It’s anxious pet month, so I thought this would be a perfect time to share Brooklyn’s story.
People ask me all the time why I chose to do my job. I could give all sorts of reasons, but truly I love working with animals and seeing how quality care can make the world of difference to owners, who for whatever reason cannot care for their pet at that time. Brooklyn is one such cat.
Brooklyn is a very shy little kitty, who is unsure of people. Her owners had tried to put her in a cattery a few times, but this had proved stressful for Brooklyn, as a result her owners had stopped going away. However, due to family commitments a trip away could not be avoided.
I love a challenge, and I love the reward of seeing the shy kitties come out of their shells. Brooklyn was by far my biggest challenge to date. In fact the majority of my first two visits was spent searching for Brooklyn to ensure she was safe and well! She had taken to hiding in the wardrobe on my visits, but I could see when I was not there she had been eating, drinking and using her litter.
Throughout my visits I would thro her the odd treat and sit in at the other side of the room, quietly or talking gently. On each visit Brooklyn would move slightly closer, though still in the wardrobe! But she moved from inside, to a shelf, then closer to the front of the shelf. I knew I was winning when she was beginning to eat the treats I gave her whilst I was there…not only that, she began to take them straight from my hand!
As we came into the second week Brooklyn was beginning to come out of the wardrobe, greet me in the kitchen, ask for her dinner, play and strut her stuff. It felt like a real win! On it’s own that felt great, but one of the things I love most about my pet visits is providing owners with updates and feedback. I am a needy pet parent! I like to know how my babies are doing when they are not in my care. Seeing how happy Brooklyn’s owner was at the progress was the icing on the cake! Here’s what she had to say…
Our side of the story…Brooklyn has been a member of the family from a few weeks old, so I know that she’s never been chased by children or other animals, and given she is for the most part a house cat – only going out into the garden when I’m home – I’m pretty sure she’s never been harmed by a human. Brooklyn is just one of those kitties, and aside from us her family she is shy and afraid of everything and everyone else.
As a test run for a holiday we had to take when we would be away for two weeks, we placed her in a cattery. This was a gold standard establishment, found after much research and reading reviews and we left her there for two days and nights. The cat I collected broke my heart. It was hard to imagine how a pet could get so skinny in two days, I can only guess that her anxiety was up the whole time and if the amount of food that was returned to us was any indication she hadn’t been eating. Seems also that she hadn’t left the bed where I found her hiding not even to use the litter tray, because her coat was soaked in urine and faeces.
Despite telling the owners of the cattery that we were using this as a test run and if there were any problems to please get in touch, they hadn’t called to say, ‘hey your cat is having a nervous breakdown you might want to come and pick her up’.
Following this experience, we seriously considered that my husband would go to visit his parents and I would stay home with the cat. Then we found Liz.
Knowing how nervous I was to leave Brooklyn, Liz came to visit to get the lay of the land and see what she was dealing with. When Liz came to the house Brooklyn looked at her from a distance and went upstairs out of the way. I didn’t think that Brooklyn would get to the point of feeling comfortable with Liz, but I figured if she was in her own territory then even if she was anxious about someone coming into the house, she would have her own space between visits to chill and do her own thing. We said goodbye and although Liz had said she would send updates I thought these would mostly consist of messages that the Brooklyn was somewhere in the house, but she was eating and drinking.
The photographs started appearing almost immediately. The main theme of the early shots was of Brooklyn hiding in the wardrobe amongst my jumpers with funny little message from Liz, written as if from Brooklyn. Then slowly, as Liz won her over, the photographs began to arrive that showed Brooklyn eating treats from Liz, then leaving the wardrobe (red letter day) and finally playing with her toys and then ultimate acceptance the head smush.
The messages, photographs and videos meant I wasn’t worried about my pal back home. I know she was in good hands, I could see she was happy and healthy, and I wasn’t concerned about her being miserable because the video of her chasing the toy around the bedroom clearly showed she was having a ball with her new friend.
We have our next trip already booked with Liz. If you’re like us and you worry about putting your furry (or feathery) friend in a strange place to be looked after by people you’re not entirely sure about then don’t give Liz a ring instead. You’ll be happier and more importantly so will your pet.