I think perhaps Gabriella and her former mom had a battle of wills. Perhaps they both wanted to be the top diva in the household. We know a bit about Gabby. She was bought as a kitten, and declawed as a two year old. She was left at the shelter when she was five. I have a feeling that this little girl was treated with disrespect, that her mom did not know much about cats other than to see them as cute stuffed toys. Just think how irresistible this girl was as a 3 month old kitten. Gabriella would be the first to tell you she has opinions and doesn’t like to be unceremoniously pushed around.
I had a foster once who had a problem with nipping. As I got to know him, I felt that this kitty had found that his explicit body language was ignored or not understood. Perhaps the five children in his family had not been taught to understand his body language or respect his wishes. Perhaps their parents didn’t, either. So he learned that the ONLY WAY to get through to these utterly dense, rude humans was to nip them--I said “PUT ME DOWN!!”--and that got him noticed right away. We were respectful of him, connected with him, and he learned that we could understand his clear messages. He never once bit us or his new human.
With Gabriella I think we are seeing a variant of that same problem. I think she is a “poor little misunderstood girl." And declawing her at age two didn’t help her. When she was first at the shelter, they said that she “had a short fuse." They emailed me to see if I would come for her. It sounds like she started out as a handful, an edgy, angry cat. By the time I learned of her and arrived, she was a darling girl, soliciting petting, being adorable, walking in figure eights to rub against my hand. No problem at all.
This girl needs a cat-experienced, loving, patient human. She needs to be treasured, pampered, and cosseted, and not picked up and carted around or treated as though her wishes don’t matter. The new bond of love needs to built so that the old irritations with her past human can be forgotten. She is a good little girl. She is a nice girl. She is a loving girl. As months pass she will learn to relax into a life that is much better than her last one. She is not fully relaxed yet and is on guard, still worried. How hard it is when you are not accepted as you are. I might add she did not like her pictures being taken today because she was so very interested in everything new around her except the photographer. Nevertheless, she was very patient with us and well behaved in this photo session. For our part, we knew not to force her into it for too long. No problem.
She is not the first cat we have had who needed to forget past troubles or even pain with humans. We have had cats who feared and hated grooming, for example, who learned through being gently treated that grooming was a love fest and something that could be enjoyed. I had my own cat, a breeder’s cat, that initially would scream as if in pain before I even touched her with a comb. So it needed to be six kisses then one little swipe with the comb. I made it a love fest and after a year or so she got over her fear.
Gabriella’s owner ultimately left her at the shelter. She didn’t want her anymore. From her paperwork, it just sounds it was not a love match. So how great that we have her. She needed to get out of that family. She will be a happy girl in a new home.
Gabriella needs a quiet, stable home with no children and no other cats. I really don’t know about dogs. I would not suggest active, barking little dogs but a quiet older submissive dog may be fine. She needs a human or humans who want a lovely, and my goodness she is beautiful, sweet, affectionate diva to rule the home. Her human needs to enjoy being trained to perform appropriate cat tasks in a timely fashion. Gabby will be the boss though some negotiation may be possible after a bit of time has passed. She is not unreasonable.
Her favorite trick is to throw herself, thump, on her back and roll around side to side to show you how cute she is. She watches to make sure you are watching: “Do you see how adorable I am?? Look at my fuzzy tummy." Great fun. Someone will have a wonderful companion.
She eats wet and dry food and is litterbox perfect.
The photos showing her in a cage are her shelter photos. It is a rare cat that can look so beautiful in shelter pictures.
Her foster mom is Harriet in Santa Cruz. Contact Harriet at (831) 336-2983 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions, or send an Adoption Application. If you are unable to reach Harriet, email us at Info@purebredsplus.org
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