I'm a regular visitor to the local humane society. I go because the new facility is pretty spiffy, which makes visiting easy, and because I love spending time with the animals there. Animals left in shelters are prone to depression, and the longer they're there, the more problems they can develop. I like to think that through visiting them, I'm helping them stay adoptable. It's proven that if the animals see people that they recognize, they're less likely to become or stay depressed.
This pretty little girl is pretty new. She's curious, but skittish. I'm sure this is all very overwhelming for her.
On a recent visit, I walked into the room as a few people were crowded around a bench. Hiding underneath, was this cat.
"Pull that one out!" one girl exclaimed, "I want to see her." The cat shot to the other end of the bench, her eyes bulging in fear.
The group was shocked and annoyed when this cat wasn't receptive to their attempts to grab her out from her comfort zone and be handled. They soon left.
I went and sat down on the floor, visiting with some of the other cats in the room. I've found that the cats seem to really respond to people sitting down on their level. I suppose it's because we're less intimidating when we're not so big.
This cat, C, watched me from across the room. She peeked around the plastic couch on one side, then skittered over to the other side and looked at me. I laughed and held out my hand for her. She hesitated for a moment, but then walked over and gave me a good snif.
She sat there and watched me interact with a couple other cats, occasionally coming close and letting me pet her.
As I prepared to leave, I walked over to the bench where C had been hiding. She hopped up on the seat, walked up to me, and put her paws on my shirt. She wanted to be picked up! I gently scooped her up, and she sat in my arms, purring, until I told her that I needed to go, and set her back down.
Cats, like people, have their own personalities. Some of us warm up to anybody who crosses our path, and we'll go out of our way for attention. Some of us prefer to watch until we're comfortable. Some of us don't like crowds. This doesn't make us, or animals, better or worse. Just different.
Oh, here. Here's another cat, for good measure.
This sweet and energetic little girl knows me pretty well by now. This is the first time I've worn tennis shoes around her though, and she took that opportunity to attach herself. She's another cat who is pretty standoffish when she first sees you, but she climbs all over me now.