Whilst the kitten, who we named Stella, recovered quickly from her ordeal and got adopted shortly afterwards, mum Linda obviously needed a lot of extra time, care and attention before she’d be ready to make her mark on the world.
When Linda first came to us she seemed incredibly scared and worried. She hid away from everyone who tried to get near to her, and it was clear that she was traumatised by her past. We therefore arranged for Linda to live with a dedicated foster carer, so she could get comfortable with human contact and grow relaxed in a home environment.
Our foster carers are an essential part of Mayhew, offering a safe temporary home to animals whilst they get ready for adoption, undergo medical treatment and recovery, or take part in our Pet Refuge programme.
For cats like Linda, foster carers can also carry out much needed socialisation and rehabilitation programmes, and help animals who may not have had the best start in life look forward to a better future.
Alissa Johnson started fostering Linda over a year ago, and said that when Linda first moved in with her and her partner, she was extremely shy and nervous. However, after a few days of letting Linda explore in her own time and being especially gentle with her, Linda’s sweet personality started to show through.
As time went on, Linda started to come out of her shell more and more, and Alissa’s patience and care really started to pay off.
“It took Linda a good few months to really settle in with us. Even the smallest, sudden noises would worry or scare her, so we were careful to be patient and understanding,” Alissa explained. “We would give her her own space and let her choose when to come up to us for cuddles and attention, and created a few spaces around the house where she could hide if she felt she needed to. Though naturally, she chose her own ‘safe spot’, on an old Christmas jumper in the back of the wardrobe!
“Once she realised she could trust us, Linda began to show us more of her adorable, sweet personality. She went through a couple of medical issues when she was with us, and one night after spending a day at the vets, she slept on my chest all night. That was when I knew she’d decided we were okay.”
Despite Linda’s incredible progress, her road to adoption was sadly paved with a few more speed-bumps. Unfortunately, she experienced a couple of unexpected medical scares which delayed her rehoming progress, but luckily Alissa was all too happy to continue looking after her until she was better.
When Linda was finally given the go-ahead to go up for adoption, it was a bittersweet moment for her proud foster carer. Alissa said “When you sign up to foster, you know it’s going to be hard when the time comes to say goodbye. Though there were many times when we were tempted to sign the adoption papers ourselves, we knew Linda’s perfect match was out there, and we wanted to give her the chance to live the brand new life she really deserves. I know she is going to be so happy – but we’ll never forget her.”
“With Linda, it was even more difficult because we’ve gone on such a journey with her and she is truly such a special little cat.”
Although it took a few tries to match Linda with the perfect person, we were all so happy to see her welcomed into her new home by her new forever family earlier this week. After her tumultuous journey, and as our longest-staying cat, we’d all hoped Linda would get her ‘happily ever after’ – and we wish her the very best as she starts her new life as “Minnie”!
Following the advice of the UK Government and the Association of Dogs and Cats Homes (ADCH), we have made a few changes to our usual adoption procedures. If you are interested in adopting any of our available animals, please check out our new processes to see if you are eligible.find out more
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