Hi, I’m Eric Hosmer. You can just call me Eric. I’m a 1 year-old male Tuxedo cat that arrived at Wayside Waifs in June 2012 by Animal Control. I was a true scaredy cat. Wayside’s staff was unsure about interacting with me because when they tried, I would swat and my ears would go straight down. I didn’t understand they were trying to help me. They would talk to me in nice voices, but I could tell they were as apprehensive about me as I was about them!
One day, two other cats in the room were allowed out of their cages to play. I liked that! I came to the front of my cage and meowed at them. Curiosity is a great start to help cats like me. And, liking other cats is a huge bonus as well. Staff started to interact with these other cats where I could watch and see that these people were really nice and the cats liked interacting with them. Soon afterwards, a group of nice people called TABBY volunteers started to work with me. (TABBY stands for To Achieve Best Behavior Yet). These volunteers work with shy/fearful cats to help improve our adoptability. I made them work hard. You see, trust was my biggest issue. Staff felt that I possibly had been mistreated in the past due to how I reacted to certain things. For example, if someone simply raised their hands up, my ears would go straight down. I also did not like for anyone to try to reach over my head to touch me.
So, how did these people help me? Well, first of all, they approached my kennel in a non-threatening manner. They stood to the side and/or lower than me. They blinked very slowly until I started to blink back. This is a sign from the human they mean no harm, and when the cat blinks back, it means they are starting to feel more relaxed. They also used a cat wand toy with soft material on the end to begin touching me gently. This is like an extension of themselves, but presents no threat to the cat and keeps them safe as well. Well, I have to tell you, I LOVED being petted. This was when everyone realized I really did want human contact, and they just had to gain trust with me.
Over the summer, staff and volunteers continued to work with me, and I kept progressing along the way. I began to play in my cage on my own and with the volunteers. I would headbutt their hands to let them know to keep petting me and I would purr VERY loudly to let them know how happy I was. I was still quite shy, and fearful of new things, though.
Finally, it came time for a big test. I was sent to a foster home. It was scary at first – this was a new room, a bigger room, new scents, new people. But, I had a lot of toys, a big window, and a tall cat tower to hang out in. My Foster Mom was fantastic! She visited me often and took good care of me. One day, I was laying on the bed and she sat with me. I was enjoying being petted so much, that I rested partly on her lap. That was huge progress on my part! The one thing I just was not comfortable doing yet, though, was walking around a room when a human was in there with me.
So, it was decided that I be tried out in Cat Adoptions. I was given my very own room again. The next day, I was given one of the best presents ever! Bud is a 1 year-old male brown Tabby that came to Wayside Waifs from a hoarding situation. He had lived with more than 50 cats, so it was a good bet that he would at least like me! Bud had also been quite shy when he first came to Wayside, but he became sociable much quicker.
The minute that Bud was brought into my room, I started to talk to him and stuck my head out of my little hiding place. I was so happy to have a feline friend! Staff had expected my improvement to walk around when a human was in my room to still take weeks, even if I had cat pal. But, it only took 1 day. I wanted to do everything that Bud was doing! Bud and I are more than just 2 cats that get along. We are BFFFs – Best Feline Friends Forever! In fact, we are a bonded pair, which means we must be adopted together. Bud is like my big brother. We sleep together, we groom each other, we play and wrestle with each other. Bud helps me to be more confident. I am still shy and probably always will be, but when people spend enough time with me, I trust them and will want to be fussed over just as much as Bud. Bud has helped me so much, it has amazed everyone that has worked so hard with me. Recently, we were moved into Kitty City which has its own Kitty Cam. So, now you can watch us until the right person comes along to make us part of their family.
It’s been a long journey, and it isn’t over just yet. Bud and I are looking forward to taking the next step together to our forever home. If you have a quiet home, are patient, and want 2 sweet, awesome, adorable boys please come to Wayside Waifs to meet us!