As mentioned in my post How to Tame a Skittish Cat, Valentino is our Russian Blue rescue cat who is more on the timid side. He’s come a long way from the cat who would dart out from in front of us as we approached.
We adopted Valentino from a rescue group based out of Orange County and we were informed that he came with some baggage. He was dropped off at the pound as a very young kitten. His paperwork states that he was with his mother but we don’t know what became of her. He was picked up by the rescue group who placed him in foster care immediately due to his young age. He was adopted once, and returned; and was prone to upper respiratory infections.
Knowing all this, we still decided to add him to our little family. Although Valentino took to Sebastian (our Siamese) almost instantly. It took him several months to bond with us. However, a few weeks in, he gave us the sweetest surprise.
I began working with Valentino to get him to trust me. (For tips on how to get a timid cat to trust you, click here.) On a regular weekday, he walked up to the couch I was sitting on and plopped down next to me. I remained still, trying not to spook him and started talking to him in a low voice.
“You gonna hang out with me, Vali?” I asked him quietly. He kept his gaze decidedly pointed away from me, but laid down. I slowly reached over and placed my hand next to him on the couch and then slid it onto his soft fur. I began to stroke him, cooing and whispering to him. He leaned onto his side and allowed me to continue. Suddenly, he flipped over and stretched. To my surprise, there, on his stomach, was a white patch I’d never noticed before–shaped like a heart.
It was a sign, I felt. And in that moment I knew, he was home.