I was born on: 20th August 2014
I came here: November 2014
I like to: get a bowl of food separately
I don’t like to: be followed around
Ben came to us in a year when we had the most kittens ever! He was not alone, but with his brother and sister, all three of them skinny and sick. We took care of them, which was not easy at all, the boys being very very shy. And so they remained for a very long time… For a while, until some of the kittens were adopted, Ben and his brother got lost among the many other cats and being so scared, you could barely see them. They were not asking for attention, all they wanted was peace and space so any attempts of getting close to them resulted in them being even more scared… So we had to stop pushing or asking them to like us. We made peace with the idea that Ben and Ray would be among those the cats who would stay in the shelter for the rest of their days. Yes, we love them, yes, we spoil them but it will never be what a family or home can offer.
Two years after Ben came to us, we had to move to another place – which was not taken easily by the cats or us, for that matter. For some shy cats, whatever progress we had made got completely lost while for others, surprisingly, things got better after a few months. Don’t ask why, maybe it’s true what one of our friends said: they just had to face us in the smaller place, look us in the eyes and realize that there is no reason to be afraid…
So one day, we remember noticing a gorgeous cat approaching, shy but not really scared. It looked like Ben but it was a whole different guy – taller, not skinny anymore, not running away, curious and almost willing to make contact! It was dinner time and he was among the cats who come and greet us at the door. He took the habit of jumping on the first shelf and waiting there for his own bowl of food. Not meowing, not asking, just looking straight at us. So he got it! No pushing him, no forcing him to allow cuddling, just waiting for our turn patiently and meanwhile watching for any sign he could have given us.
The day came when we petted him. One by one, he allowed all the volunteers get closer and closer. It took him so much time but Ben realized he loves cuddling, purring, massaging the pillow even if he still gets scared of sudden movements or noise. He is slowly learning that not all people are bad, that those who love him deserve his trust and he seems more and more willing to give humans a try. He has his whole life ahead of him and he proved he can and he wants to be a fearless cat if he feels safe and protected. Not every day is the same, most of the times he runs away and doesn’t allow petting. He must be at peace first, and then he can “let us in”. But we already know that he can do it…
Ben needs his future family to show understanding, to have patience and to let him gain trust at his own pace. Ben has made huge progress in the last months and he would make even more if he had his very own forever home and his very own human whom he could trust and love.
Adopting a cat from our shelter can only be done through an adoption contract. Why? Because we care! The conditions imposed by the Friends of Cats Association are easy to meet when the person who wants to adopt is a responsible human being and really loves cats.