Today, Booker is a happy cat. It even took some medication (I guess tranquillisers) to make him happy which is sad. But the overriding ‘treatment’ was, and still is, tons of love and gentle care from a really good woman, Julia.
This cat story is really about rehabilitation and the two extremes of cat ownership that we sometimes encounter in cat stories. Booker spent half his life in shelters where he was almost unadoptable. He had become too anxious and fearful. His past was one of abuse and abandonment.
Booker was destined for euthanasia only he ended up in a no-kill shelter: Dane County Friends of Ferals.
It seems that Julia saw him online and drove across the state to meet him. She says that it was love at first sight. She took him home. A real home where he was really loved. A home he would not be thrown out of.
Julia adopted Booker around 6 months ago and she says that he has been coming out of his shell more and more. This is the rehabilitation of a loving, calm home.
Initially he would have panic attacks. He would be in sheer terror and would scream. Can you imagine that? This cat was seriously traumatised. Julia said that he’d flail around and urinate all over the place. He was unapproachable. He’d hide for hours under the bed. At this point the vet prescribed medication for his anxiety. Needs must I guess.
It is interesting to note that the first chosen calming medication caused nasty side effects. His toes itched and he’d rub them against the floor until they bled. The second choice medicine worked much better and proved effective.
Today, Booker is more confident. The fear and anxiety has subsided. Personally, I would hope that he can come of the tranquillisers at some time in the not to distant future. Perhaps he already is of them but I doubt it.
He is playful and affectionate. Confidence brings these qualities which are desired by human companions. Julia says he follows her around (“he’s my little shadow”). He falls asleep next to her nightly. And Julia makes the tender, and emotionally enlightened remark, that “He rescued me more than I rescued him”.
The pet food manufacturer Solid Gold who provided this story say that he is the happiest cat you’ve ever seen.