Isn't ten months too much time to invest to find one cat the perfect home? Not for the Georgia SPCA! The cost of time was a small price to pay to save a terrified two year old orange tabby named Willie.
What was the kind stranger going to do with this cat he had trapped in the vacant home? Willie was starving, hissing and paralyzed with fear when he was brought to the Georgia SPCA. His desperate cry from the trap was more than anyone could bear- they had to give this cat a chance at a forever home. He spent his first month in a foster home, hiding in a corner, as close to the wall as possible, chin pressed against the garage floor, not daring to look at the strangers trying to take care of him. Was he feral? That was the question that would determine the course for the rest of his life. Thankfully, the Georgia SPCA had given Willie the gift of time.
A month went by and Willie was still running into the corner when anyone opened the door to the garage. He would let out the sweetest hiss, warning everyone not to get any closer. His foster family spent hours sitting in their garage- reading books, playing games, and talking- just so they could be close to Willie. They were always hoping that he would give them any sign that he was not feral. It had been a month and they still had not so much as seen him walk. It was as though they had a wild animal trapped in their garage and it felt cruel to make him stay there any longer. Georgia SPCA began the process of finding a place where Willie could live outside. It broke everyone’s heart to think this beautiful cat might spend the rest of his life separated from people. His foster family prayed, again. There had to be something else they could do. The next day the foster mom brought treats with her, and even though Willie would not look up, she shook the treat bag, said “treat-treat, Willie” and tossed a treat in his corner. After several days of shaking the bag and saying “treat-treat”, he raised his eyes and looked at them for the first time. Encouraged, they started sitting on the garage floor with Willie so they could get a little closer to him by holding out a treat in their hands. It was so cute to see him inch forward, on his belly, for that treat. One day Willie touched the treat with his nose, allowing his foster Dad to rub one finger across his cheek. Willie let out the loudest purr ever heard! Amazing— could it be that Willie was just a terrified, but friendly tabby cat? Then it happened. They were sitting in the garage when he got up from his corner and started walking around. Now granted, he was hugging the wall when he walked around, but it was progress. They could not stand having him separated from the family any longer, so they cleared out a bedroom and gave Willie the gift of more time- three months inside their home. (To this day, that bedroom in their home is referred to as “Willie’s room”.)