One of the most dedicated volunteers at The Great Kitty Rescue got to know Bramble better than anyone. Here is Dacia’s story of Bramble and her plea for him and the other cats still waiting for a home of their very own ~
I was assigned to Room 10 which had been written off as the “ferals”. But Terri and I were working miracles with these cats and more cats came out of Room 10 for the giant adoption event than anywhere else.
I was asked to take Room 10 for an afternoon when the employee who was in charge had a family emergency. Bramble was marked “DO NOT TOUCH – MEAN” and he looked mean and glared and jumped and hissed. And I ignored him.
I came back to Pahrump two weeks later for another 10 days and Sherry asked me to evaluate the “Bottom 25” — the feral of the feral. They were considering placing them into a feral colony. Bramble was one of these. I was not looking forward to this as it was sure to result in scars. But, one by one, I evaluated these cats and made notes on whether or not I thought there was potential for rehabilitation. I saved Bramble for last, because he was already labeled “mean”.
I came to Bramble’s cage. He glared at me. Ears down (helicopter ears as we referred to them) and hissing, spitting, and growling. I took the feather wand and stuck it in his cage. He jumped at it and hissed. I touched him with the wand and started stroking him. He… Started… Purring.
I started crying. Here was a cat who was traumatized and abused. His caretaker (a contract employee from Pahrump) had ignored him and by placing a sign on his cage that said “Do Not Touch -Mean” had guaranteed that none of the volunteers gave him any attention.
Here was an abused, scared, traumatized cat who purred at the first “petting” — the first kindness other than food and water — he had received. As soon as he knew I was not going to hurt him, I was petting him with my hand.
I wrote my notes and gave them to Sherry. Bramble’s note read: “This cat is NOT feral. He purred. He is scared and traumatized and it has been a long time since someone has been kind to this cat.” She had tears in her eyes as mine ran down my face. He had been written off as feral when he was a gentle soul who was scared.
Maine Coon Adoptions said they would take him if we could find a foster and I agreed to foster him. He would hiss but do nothing more. He would hiss and you could pick him up and kiss him on the mouth. He would never hurt a fly. He was truly just scared.
He had his own walk-in-closet that he stayed in. After a month, it was opened and he could have the run of the house if he would like, but he stayed in his closet. I would get him every night at bedtime and we would snuggle all night.
In bed, (typical man) he was a totally normal cat. He would purr and head butt and make muffins and love on me, but out of the bed he was still scared. But, in the bed he was a lover and he loved to snuggle under the covers.
It got to where around 10pm each night he would come out of the closet himself and go sit on my bed as if he were saying “Hey Lady. Let’s cuddle now!”
I felt pressured to return him to Best Friends on the 6 month transport. It was a stressful time and a very stressful week and I have felt guilty about it ever since. MCA had a deal where they would keep the cats for six months and if they had not been adopted, they would trade them back with Best Friends. MCA took two more cats in his place and he is well taken care of there. But, I should have kept him. He trusted me. He loved me. I can only hope he forgives me for abandoning him and I wonder how he is doing all of the time. I hope he is not scared and I hope people at least talk to him and tell him what a handsome boy he is. Because he is majestic. And he was my baby. And I love him.
Bramble, I hope you are okay. And I hope people that read this and go volunteer at BFAS go visit you in your building. And I hope they pet you even though you may hiss at them. And I hope they tell you what a sweet, handsome, precious little soul you are. And if you ever find yourself this way again, I’ll keep you like I should have. I love you little man. Hopefully, you get to see Dice and Kendra and Joker and Guess and Jinx and Demi and Delta and Allie and Patch and Puddy and WildChild and Hailey and Sterling and Oblio and Obsidian and Tori and Whisper and Pacific and Greyson and Piano and Jewel and Bogart and Hugo and Lucy and Popper and Thumper and Snow and Thorne and Angel and Orbit and Sybil and Licorice and Princess and Sparky and Opal and Eclipse and Andrew and Astro and Agent and Charm and Tumbleweed and Jamen and Charisma and Mooch and Pie and Warrior and Charlotte and Missoula and Willow and Bond and Ferrari and Handsome Devil and Zappa and Curtis and ALL of the Pahrump kitties who still need forever homes.