You may not remember Great Kitty Rescue survivor Nova. Many may have never met her.
We do not know how Nova ended up at FLOCK, but we do know her story after she was rescued.
Nova was one of 18 cats “adopted” by a small cat rescue group in Buffalo, NY. When faced with the enormity of caring for and finding homes for over 700 cats, the Cat Adoption Team at Best Friends Animal Sanctuary did all they could to place the cats in homes or with other rescue groups.
This included holding adoption events, promoting the cats and contacting rescue groups all over the country. Unless you were involved with the GKR, you would not know that many of the cats were taken by rescue groups who then worked to find them their forever homes within their local networks.
The rescue group in Buffalo had previously been visited and approved by Best Friends, so there was no hesitation to let them have the 18 cats.
However, after some time, there were reports that the rescue had fallen on hard times and their facility – an older home – was no longer up to Best Friends standards. Once they verified that this was true, Best Friends took the cats back…all except for Nova.
You see, our little Nova is quite the escape artist and she had managed to secure herself in the attic of the house where no one could catch her. It took repeated efforts and many months, but Nova was finally captured and brought to Rescue Village where she eventually bonded with her BFF Monty.
I was volunteering the week that Nova was brought into the yurt after her quarantine period. When I first met her, she was pushed as far into the corner of a bedded carrier on the table as she could get. She was truly terrified and my heart hurt for her. I sat in front of the carrier and spoke softly, eventually reaching in to touch her with a wand and then a soft gloved hand. She relaxed just a little and for only a few seconds before she hissed vehemently and struck out.
That has been my experience with Nova over the past couple of years – a few pets followed by a hiss and a soft strike.
Nova was moved down to Cat World with her buddy Monty. Once the new Cat HQ was opened, they were transferred as a pair to their own room.
When I visited in August, Monty was as gentle and welcoming of pets as usual. I elicited the usual response from Nova.
On my last visit things were different. Monty and Nova were snuggled together in a bed on top of the cat pen when I entered their room. Since her primary occupation when humans are around was to hide, I half expected Nova to jump down as I approached, but she sat very still and watched me with those big eyes of hers.
Monty began to purr as soon as I touched him and did the “Monty Roll” as I petted him. Nova looked on and I took a chance and much to my delight, she accepted my pets. She continued to accept them and even seemed to enjoy them. There was no sign of any hissing or striking on the horizon.
These behavioral changes show that a cat – even one severely traumatized – can move forward with the right approach and care. Although still timid, Nova is now a more confident, trusting and I believe healthier cat – And I know she will continue to be less scared and more trusting every day. Hurray for Miss Nova!
PS A HUGE thank you for all of the cat caregivers who have helped Nova on her journey ♥