Shortly before Christmas, Regina Cat Rescue (RCR) was contacted by a couple who had discovered a stray cat hanging around in their backyard. The cat was very skittish and panicked when they tried to coax him in, and they were worried about his chances of survival in the extreme cold.
With the assistance of an RCR volunteer and help from mother nature in the form of a brief warm spell, the cat, named Rocket, was trapped and taken to the vet for neutering. He turned out to be a healthy young cat who was in good shape aside from a bit of frostbite on his ears. He also showed signs of being tame, but with no foster homes available, he was released back to the yard and RCR provided the couple with a shelter box to help keep him warm. However, Rocket had other ideas.
Several weeks later, during another cold spell, they noticed him staring at them through the glass doors. He didn't appear to be using the shelter box, and reappeared at their door nightly. Finally, on a cold night with temperatures dipping into the -40s, they saw Rocket looking at them through the door with his face all frosted up. Worried that he wouldn't last another night in the cold, they slowly and gently lured him inside with a plate of food attached to a string.
At first, Rocket was very shy and hid under the bed in the spare room for weeks. But the couple persisted, talking gently and throwing him treats. Each time they fed him under the bed, they moved the food closer and closer. Eventually, they started playing with him with a shoelace and in no time, they would hear Rocket playing with his toys and having a blast when no one was in the room. He was still scared and hid under the bed when they were there, but they began hand-feeding him treats while he was distracted by a toy and soon they were able to pet him. Within a few days of contact, Rocket decided that he liked pets and wanted more. He began seeking attention from his caregivers and cuddling in their laps. This was the breakthrough they had been waiting for.
The final step was introducing Rocket to their other two cats, which they did gradually, even installing a screen door on the spare room so the cats could see and smell each other without direct contact. Then they brought Rocket out to meet his new brothers one at a time, with the other cats on a harness and lead, just in case. The introductions went well, and after several months, they are now a happy family!
This happy ending for Rocket was possible because his rescuers stepped up and took action to help a cat in need. RCR provided guidance and helped with the vet care, but his rescuers are the ones who opened their door to a stray, skittish cat and made him part of the family. RCR is grateful for community members who take a chance on helping stray cat and work with timid cats to help them feel at home.
Cheers to Rocket and his family!
-Alanna, Regina Cat Rescue