Skylar the Sheltie has arrived. I picked her up this morning. She’s spent the day getting familiarized with the house, getting reacquainted with Glimmer, meeting a cat for the first time in her life, and meeting and getting acquainted with my husband. She just finished her first supper… and what an eye-opener that was. I have some very hard work ahead of me.
I am taking into account the fact that she is in an unfamiliar environment, and that there’s going to be a certain amount of anxiety and fear involved in that. However, the degree of that anxiety and mistrust I’ve been seeing is far greater than I expected. She has been here most of the day, and she is still shying and trying to run away when I or my husband extend a hand to her to smell. She is still extremely wary about accepting food from us. She is refusing to drink if Violet or Glimmer is near the water dish. She will not come when she’s called. I hand-fed Skylar her supper [her owners say she wolfs her food and that she’s choked a couple of times because of eating too fast], and when I asked her to sit before inviting her to take the food, she was very hesitant, and she didn’t trust me at all. She did sit eventually, but she was clearly uncomfortable about it. She also tried to snatch the food from my hand and run away with it.
Although Skylar is not pacing like she normally does, she is not relaxing, either. She did have a bit of a snooze earlier, while my husband, Glimmer, and Violet were napping. But now they’re all awake again, and her nervous pacing has begun. The positive side is that it’s not to the extreme it was when I met her; I’m hoping it will ease even more as we work together over the next few weeks and she starts trusting and gaining confidence.
Though Skylar’s situation seems quite daunting right now, today is only her first day here. Considering the depth of her mistrust and fear of the world and everything in it, the fact that she’s even trying to ask for affection, that she’s even trying to let Glimmer help her, and that she’s even trying to be around us instead of hiding from us is actually very encouraging. It’s going to take a lot of hard work and patience, but I believe that little Skylar can be brought out of her shell and become the happier, more relaxed, more trusting girl her family wants.