Nearly one year ago I walked into Helping Paws, hoping to find an older cat that needed a loving home. I was instantly tempted by the kittens and playful cats that came running over when I stepped inside. Faucet was one of the shyest cats in the room- he didn’t come running up to me or seek out any attention- but contently laid on top of the cat post in the back. When I eventually made my way over to him he looked up and let me pet him. Staff members seemed stunned at how approachable he was to me. It turned out Faucet had been there nearly his whole life, and at seven years old still hated to be picked up and was sensitive to touch. As if by fate, we hit it off right away.

Two days later (it took two days to get him in a carrier), I brought him to his new home. The staff members cautioned me that Faucet was loving but incredibly shy, explaining it would take at least six months for him to warm up to his new home. Admittedly, I didn’t think it really would take that long, but I was committed to giving him the time he needed to feel comfortable.

Faucet spent the first five months hiding under the bedroom dresser, only coming out at night when he knew I was in bed. If I moved or tried to approach him he would scurry back under, hissing with vigor. Growing discouraged, I started to wonder if he ever would come out and make himself at home. Gradually, he started making more frequent appearances out from the dresser and one morning, around month seven, he even curled up at the foot of my bed.

Slowly but surely, Faucet warmed up and began embracing his new home. He loved discovering the views out of the windows and the giant sofa in the living room that he quickly claimed as his own. Now, every morning I wake up to him curled up on my side, begging for a rub down. He is still very shy and likes to be the one to initiate contact on his own terms. I’m happy that he is feeling comfortable at home and becoming social.

I strongly recommend to people looking for a pet to give older cats a chance. It’s been very rewarding to put so much time into making Faucet feel comfortable and seeing it start to pay off. His brother Ben still remains at the shelter and I’m sure he, along with the older cats who live with him, would be equally as loving as Faucet if someone were to give them a chance with patience.