Hugo has been socialized!
Hugo has made an impression on everyone he has ever met, and most have fallen a little bit (or a lot) in love with him.
And there were a few who met him and saw great potential even though he was a scared, hissing and striking punk – think a feline James Dean. Still, he was enrolled in the Feline Finishing School where he called the shots for the longest time. Class would start and Hugo would hiss, quickly followed by what we called his “fwap, fwap, fwap” move wherein he rapidly struck out at your hand with alternate paws. A really quite impressive and at times intimidating move.
But Hugo is a very food motivated cat and in time he started to trust. Even when he wasn’t being cooperative, he would play with the feather wand being run up and down the side of his enclosure, a happy relaxed cat.
His caregivers discovered, (with his guidance of course) that Hugo was not a cat to be scruffed. Scruffing is the favored method of picking up a cat that you need to transport from one spot to another. There are some cats though, like Hugo, who refuse to be scruffed. Hugo taught us that the only way to move him was to scoop him up and carry him at your side like a football.
Once Hugo let down his defenses, he became very attached to his caregiver and followed her everywhere. He got inquisitive and started to cause some trouble in the room. His caregiver knew it was time for Hugo to find a home.
Hugo was fostered by a cat loving family in San Diego, CA who had known him since his days in Pahrump. They took care of many cats and volunteered to continue Hugo’s schooling and socialization in their home.
Hugo stayed with them for 7 months and he fell in love with his new caregiver and followed her everywhere. He also learned how to sit up, to dance in a circle, and travel in a pet stroller. Although they loved him, Hugo’s foster family felt that they could not offer him his forever home and so asked for help in finding someone special to adopt him.
In so many of these situations, I find that kismet plays a role and that was true of Hugo’s adopter finding him at just the right time.
Hugo’s adoptive Mom read the booklet we had put together complete with lots of photos and she knew right away she had to meet him. The meeting went well, but she was looking at a few other Maine Coon cats and wanted to think it over. I was so happy then to receive her call the very next morning telling me that she wanted to have Hugo join her family.
In his new environment, Hugo once again turned into a bit of a punk and his Mom called for some assistance. We helped her out and she worked hard at continuing Hugo’s socialization. And what an amazing job she did!
Hugo is now quite the gentleman, comes when you call his name, solicits the pets that he loves so much, plays and will just come and hang out with you. It is amazing to see how calm and happy he is, the transformation is a wondrous thing to behold. Just look at the first photo of Hugo from his early days in the Feline Finishing School and compare it to the second photo taken this past October – isn’t the transformation wonderful?
Please leave a comment and share your memories of Hugo.