I thought I adopted the wrong cat but I adopted the wrong technique

This is a story by Mona Ahmed. She says that she thought she had adopted the wrong cat who behaved terribly towards her. She hissed and scratched. She describes her as a terror. “A little black devil who liked attacking in the dark”.

Little devil cat turned into an angel

Little devil cat turned into an angel. Photo: Mona.

A sibling of this little black devil was the opposite colour, white, and “the sweetest cat you will ever meet”. Mona tells us that this sweetest of cats would jump up for kisses and purr for hours. He was happy, she says, just to be close to her.

Mona had unwittingly become the cat guardian of a devil and an angel living side-by-side, so she thought. It seems that she had a lightbulb moment because she got to the point where she was going to re-home her little devil but then decided that her cat needed time.

Here was the beginnings of a change in Mona’s behaviour which pointed towards that very valuable quality in cat caretakers, namely, patience. You can achieve an awful lot with patience when interacting with a domestic cat.

She says that she began to respect her cat’s privacy recognising that cats are essentially territorial. She did not pick up or pet her and made sure that both cats had their space. I take this to mean that she did not impose her desires upon her cat. She gave her cat some space to be herself. Is this respecting the cat?

In fact, she says that she played hard to get. She would let her ‘little devil’ pass her by and would not reach down to pet her. And when she did interact with her cat she made the moment specially rewarding.

After three months her “little devil” had mellowed and transformed herself into a loving cat. Mona is her favourite and the only person deserving of attention, she says. She only wants to be petted by Mona and to play with her. She sleeps beside Mona.

“She is the best cat ever and it makes me sad that a lot of people miss out on such amazing cats just because they don’t give them enough time”.

Patience is the byword. Gentleness and respect are the methods.

Comment: reading between the lines, it seems that initially Mona tried too hard to impose herself on her cat. Perhaps her cat was a little anxious and in forcing things along the cat became more anxious resulting in defensive aggression. Respecting the cat is about letting them be what they have to be and giving them space. In Jackson Galaxy’s language she learned to respect and understand the Raw Cat – the wild cat beneath the domestic veneer.

The story is on Quora.com under “How do you bond with a cat?”

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Note: sources for news articles are carefully selected but the news is often not independently verified.

Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 74-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare. If you want to read more click here.

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