When we first adopted Elsa at the end of March 2020 we got lots of advice from Tim and Sue on how we might encourage her to accept us and accept that she was now ‘at home’. When we got home from SAFE Haven we put her in my office with her food bowls, litter tray, toys, igloo and scratching post. This was to be her safe place for a while.
Elsa found a place to hide in my office drawers and we couldn’t find her for days. We kept the door shut and as I worked and Zoomed during the lockdown I talked to her gently. She only ate after we had gone to bed and never ate in front of us.
After a few months Elsa moved from the drawers to her igloo but she still didn’t interact with us. I started opening the door during the day and she decided to slowly explore other parts of the house.
Fast foward to today and Elsa interacts with us, meows for her food when it is time to eat and insists on pats. She has made herself at home, and finds a place to relax and sleep during the day – usually a sunny spot or our bed!
Elsa likes routine especially around bedtime. When I collect her dishes to wash in the evening she watches me carefully and when I tell her it’s bedtime she goes straight into the office and I close the door! Sometimes if we are later than normal, she decides to ‘put herself to bed’. In the morning Elsa watches out of the office window waiting for me to come back from a run or the gym and then she meows to be let out of ‘her room’ (my husband tells me she doesn’t make any noise until I get home).
Elsa is still very wary of strangers and noises but she has established herself as Queen of the castle.
It has taken months and months, but it is so wonderful to see Elsa emerge from a very scared cat to one who is happy and contented. We don’t regret adopting Elsa for one minute!