Shayla

Name: Shayla

Age:   4 years

Breed: DSH

Sex: Female

Four year old Shayla was found outside as a stray. Whatever happened to her before she came to us left her with a strong distrust of people, and especially of feet and hands. (We see so much of that and knowing where it probably comes from breaks our hearts.) Shayla spends much of her time curled up inside a cat tree or cubby, coming out when it is quiet or when no people are near. Shayla gets along with other cats, it is only people that she fears.
Shayla loves sitting in the window of our Behavior Assessment Room. We see her enjoying the sun from outside, but when we walk in the room, Shayla scurries back to the safety of her cubby. She is not aggressive, but if she sees you moving towards her, Shayla will run in the opposite direction and hide.
Why are we seeking a home for Shayla you might (quite reasonably) ask? Why not tnr (trap, neuter, return) her or find her a good barn situation? Wouldn’t that be the most sensible option? It is a fair question and for some cats we would absolutely see that as the right answer. But Shayla had a relationship with her caregiver before us. We do see subtle signs that she wants another person to trust. And she is making progress. Slow, agonizing progress, but progress nonetheless.
You see, Shayla LOVES squeeze ups. They are her favorite thing in all the world. For a squeeze up, Shayla will face her fears and leave her cubby. She will move (in inches) away from her cubby. She will allow petting on her head. She has started to allow petting on her body. She will (very occasionally with volunteers she knows) allow a quick pet when the squeeze up is done or between treats. And after a few months of squeeze up therapy, Shayla has started sleeping on top of her cubby or in another cat tree on occasion. Not much, you might think. But for Shayla it means giving her a bigger, safer world.
Does she lean into the pet, letting us know she enjoys it? No. Does she come out to greet us before we show her the squeeze up? Also no. But do we think that Shayla WILL do those things in time? Yes. Yes, we do.
We believe that Shayla can form bonds with people. We believe that in time she will relearn to trust and learn that she has a bigger place in the world. We also believe that this will happen faster in a home. Most homes… most people, will frankly not be a good fit for Shayla. She needs quiet. She needs consistency. And most importantly she needs someone who will not give up, even when giving up seems like the most sensible option.
Becoming Shayla’s person will not be an easy process. She isn’t going to encourage you. In fact, Shayla is probably going to reject you, over and over and over again. But when you are about to give up, to throw in the towel, to decide that there is nothing you can do to earn her trust, Shayla may peep up at you with frightened, hopeful eyes and step one tiny step closer to the treat in your hand. And for the right person… for Shayla’s person… that will be enough to keep trying… in all the ways that really matter, it will mean the world.
If you want to find out more about Shayla or to make a special appointment to meet her, please fill out the application at www.poainc.org or send an e-mail to poaplacement@gmail.com. And if Shayla is not a good fit for you, please consider sharing her so that the right person can find her.

Adoptions are now done by appointment only. Email poaplacement@gmail.com for more info and an appointment.

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