Yesterday, we had a wonderful breakthrough with Owl. I went in to spend time with him, pulled his growling, hissing little body onto my lap, and started petting him. Previously, he would grrrrr grrrr ssssssss at us. The growling ceased, and I heard a strange popping noise that evened out into a loud, contented purrrrrrrr! He began rubbing his face on my hands and feet (I was sitting cross-legged), and he eventually rolled over to get belly rubs.
When he was done being social, he climbed down from my lap and went back into the little box I set up for him. The box is on its side, so he has a roof and three walls, and I put in a a big fleece shirt that I'd worn before putting it into the box. The shirt's presence was to help him get accustomed to my scent, and he spends most of his time curled up on or in it.
Before this breakthrough, the little doll would try to make himself as small as possible, tucking his head downward to glare at us. We were certain that the only body parts he was capable of moving were his eyeballs, because he wouldn't move anything else, even when we picked him up! Now he will walk, eat, play, and do all kinds of things in our presence. It was a glorious moment indeed when Owl leaned up to rub his cheeks on my face!
I have a few pictures of his adorableness, and one video to share with you of him getting cuddles from Brian. He spent a lot of yesterday evening lolling about on Brian's chest, getting cuddles and belly rubs.
I do want to say one thing about this. I was really worried that maybe he was not quite right somehow. His proportions are a little odd, and his behavior was really weird. Instead of aggression, he was just a tight ball of fear. We hadn't made a millimeter of progress with him, and yesterday afternoon, I was in my room, thinking about our beloved Teya. I asked her, if she was still with us in spirit, if she would help Owl to trust us and be happy. I don't mean to offend anyone who has different beliefs, but it was not even an hour after that when he completely changed his behavior. When he climbed back into his box after purring at me, I thanked Teya out loud for her help.
Now, on to the pictures and video!
(Click on these pictures if you want to see larger ones)
I did take a couple more videos, but I have not yet uploaded them; my computer has been super-wonky lately, and it was acting freaky while I was trying to get these uploaded. I'll get them in and post them at a later date :)
As to the title of this post, I wrote to Robin (the founder and namesake of the rescue) to tell her the good news, and got this response:
"This is fabulous news! You and Brian are the kitten whisperers!"
Maybe--but, I will give the credit to the unseen helper as well.