“Learning to trust is one of life’s most difficult tasks”. ~ Isaac Watts
Four year old Olympia came to Protectors of Animals from a local animal control. She, along with several other cats, was surrendered as a result of a hoarding situation. We agreed to take three. All three cats had been inside a home, loved, and fed, but terribly under socialized. We don’t know the details, of course, but it is possible that Olympia lived seeing only her person. And with so many cats, that person may not have spent much time with Olympia.
Don’t get us wrong, Olympia is NOT a feral cat. And it doesn’t appear that she was ever abused. She is comfortable having people around- just not too close to her. But even at the very start Olympia was never aggressive. Instead, she ran. And boy can she run fast. That is how she got her name- because she could be an Olympic sprinter. But if Olympia is great at sprints, we are marathoners. We were willing to stay the course as Olympia learned to trust.
With this pretty girl trust will always begin with a wand toy. Her love of play will win out over her nervousness every time. And if you repeatedly play with her, without trying to grab her or pet her, Olympia will start to trust you. She shows her trust in subtle ways. Maybe she will let you walk past her without running. Maybe she will come into the room where you are and sit nearby, grooming her gorgeous fur. She may even brush past you on the way to the other room, the feel of her fur on your leg almost imperceptible. But don’t let these moments pass unrecognized. They are small things, but huge for Olympia, because they are her way of showing you that she sees you as someone safe, someone who is part of her life. With a few volunteers, Olympia has gone further, coming up to greet them when they arrive and both allowing and enjoying petting. And every day Olympia takes another step towards trust.
Olympia wants affection. She wants to be a beloved companion. She wants a home where there is enough time and space for her to shine. She wants a person who will continue to help her learn to trust. So we are looking for the person who wants to teach Olympia. We are looking for someone who can offer the commitment of love, time, and patience to a cat who never got enough of any of those things.
We won’t pretend that Olympia will learn to trust you overnight. Or even that she will be greeting you at the door or sleeping on the bed with you by next month. It might happen that way and it might not. But we are now confident that it will happen eventually. Because Olympia has figured out that life isn’t a sprint, it is a marathon. And all that matters is having someone you love at the finish line.