Hello, hurt kitty (she comes home)

On Thursday, I returned to the shelter to acquire our newest family member. The shelter volunteer who’d been helping us all along was finishing an adoption. Another shelter volunteer was noticeably distressed as that cat got adopted.

Then we went back to get our injured stray. While she was being put in the carrier, the other volunteer told me the cat which had just been adopted used to belong to his father. The gentleman had passed away, leaving four cats and a dog. He (the volunteer) had adopted two. The dog had quickly found a home. The fourth cat was still wandering around. It seems so unfair, as if the volunteer was losing more of his father all over again.

The shelter volunteer who’d been working with us told me that another volunteer had spent time petting and loving our injured stray the night before, and also that, based on how fast she sucks down food,  the kitty appears to have been sired by a Kirby vacuum cleaner. We were given instructions on how to socialize her with our other two cats, and home she came.

As soon as I got her into the house, the cat started yowling. So much for stealth.

I brought her into Kiddo#1’s bedroom, and immediately when I opened the carrier, she tried to leap out the window. Which was closed. She hid under my son’s desk, and there she stayed. I set out water and food for her, but she wanted nothing to do with it. We expected as much.

But then she didn’t want to come out. She just lay there, looking depressed. She wouldn’t explore, and she didn’t come when I called. She’d offer a hiss or a growl if I were stupid enough to get close while putting food in her dish, but other than that, she lay there dispirited.

On Friday, when the baby napped, I did my morning prayers there, figuring she just needed time to feel secure and come out. Nothing doing. This cat who used to run out of the woods to my voice wouldn’t come to me in the same room.

When I was done, with the baby still asleep, I got out the sock I was knitting and worked on that.

Within five minutes, she was out and sniffing me, rubbing her face on my boots, standing on my legs, and then putting her face in my hands. 

Later that night, with her again refusing to come out, I pulled out the knitting. And out came the cat.

I can only figure that with me paying attention to something else, she feels safer than if I’m looking right at her. If I’m making these enticing clicking sounds and saying intriguing things like “…yarn over…slip-slip-knit…knit one…purl…” while I’m looking at my hands, I’m obviously valuing something more than her. Which, as any cat-owner knows, is verboten. They’ll do anything to prevent that.

I still don’t have photos — sorry, the camera’s dead and you’d only get shots of the desk anyhow. And she still doesn’t have a name. (Look, I’m just not a good namer. We did the same to the baby, remember?) But for now, I’m going to be doing a lot of knitting-as-socializing. Wish us luck, and keep us in your prayers. Thanks!


  1. cathrl

    Given all the knitting, how about Sock?

    (It could be worse – if that was me knitting, she’d be in line to be called Fluffy Computer Bug).

  2. blueraindrop

    yarn and cats…. she’s just getting closer to inspect her future toy.

  3. Deb

    I’m so enthralled by this saga. Naming it Sock or Yarn or Knitty Cat would make sense…

    Too cute?

  4. philangelus

    “Socks” is a book about a cat of the same name, written by Beverly Cleary. So not Socks.

    We’ve got a name in debate right now. I’ll let you guys know how it pans out, maybe with photos if I get new batteries in the camera.

  5. Wendy

    The Humane Society recommends reading to shy or mistrustful kitties or doing what you’re doing: engaging in an activity that has nothing to do with the cat. Cats love to keep you company when you’re doing things: laundry, yard work. If you really want her to love on you, bring in your laptop. For some reason the keyboard brings out the pest in the shyest feline. 😉

  6. philangelus

    I had no idea what I was doing was actually recommended! That’s cool. But she didn’t come out for the laptop at all, sadly. Knitting still works best — well, other than feeding her. And playing with her worked last night. Kiddo#1 was able to pet her then too!


  7. Cricket

    Cats sound a lot like kids, that way. Letting them come to you works wonders.