Monday, December 1, 2014
Mondays with Myrtle - The second in an occasional series
Guest Blogger: Margie Higginbotham, a Team Myrtle member
I have a soft spot for cats that are down on their luck. The elderly, the infirm and the lonely all tug at my heart. When Myrtle came to Animal Friends, she was all of these things. How could I refuse the chance to be on “Team Myrtle”?
Myrtle had a behavior plan to follow which involved certain signals and behavioral techniques to help her reach the ultimate goal of trusting people again. We quickly found out that food was a great motivator for Myrtle.
Myrtle was not so fond of human hands coming into her space, so I fed her chicken and tuna from a hand-crafted spoon with a very long handle. We started our journey with the cage door closed and the spoon sneaking in between the bars.
When the hissing and growling stopped, we graduated to an open door with my hand sliding farther and farther down the handle of the spoon. One day, I even got a hand sniff – yes!
The next visit, I got a greeting at the cage door – another victory! The last time I worked with her, she touched my hand with her face.
Now, Myrtle has found a foster home with an outstanding Cat Behavior Team member and I couldn’t be more thrilled for her.
It’s my hope to hear about the next leg of her journey to her forever home.