I have not yet introduced our newest animal. She is Prissy, a grey-and-white cat given to Greg by a coworker who would otherwise have taken the cat to the pound. This was several months ago, when we still lived in the rental house. The cat was hugely fat when Greg brought her home, and so shy that she went into the fireplace and hid among the ashes for about two days straight, unmoving as a cat statue.
Prissy’s coat was greasy and full of skin flakes, and on her back was a tumor-like appendage, which, on close examination, turned out to be an extremely matted wad of hair. Anna went after this with a letter-opener and got it off.
Bewildered by the raw meat which is the staple diet for animals in our household, Prissy initially refused to eat. Again, Anna took charge, cutting chicken hearts into small pieces and forcing them down the cat’s throat. Prissy did not resist the force-feeding, but neither did she cooperate, at least for many weeks. Then Anna trained her to eat from her hand, and finally Prissy learned to pick up her own food from a blue-and-white china bowl. She eats in Anna’s room, behind a closed door. She is a sensitive cat, and Anna understands her.
It feels good to know that you have rehabilitated an animal. Prissy is now a sleek, trim little cat, and sociable enough to sit in all our laps, though Anna is still her favorite person.