When Odin was returned to Happy Cats Haven at the end of 2016, he felt frightened and abandoned. Stuck in fight or flight mode, and unsure if these new humans could be trusted, he spurned anyone who tried to befriend him.
At Happy Cats, we specialize in working with cats who have had trauma in their lives. We offer special training to our staff and volunteers to work with cats like Odin. After a few weeks with them, Odin was no longer lashing out at his few special friends. We moved him into our office, hoping he would continue to soften and expand his circle of friends.
We created Team Odin with our skilled staff and volunteers to give him consistency. Soon Odin showed us he wanted to be a lap cat!
He still was terrified of hands though, so had to be reintroduced to petting very slowly and controlled. As he showed he wanted to improve and be a loving and trusting cat, we got help from Happy Cats friends and cat behaviorists Carole Galloway and Melissa Shandley. Carole helped Team Odin with a plan to get him to the next stepâ€¦and it worked!
He really wanted out of the office, to be where he could see the daily happenings of the shelter, but that scared him too. We’d taken him as far as we could.
So, after Christmas number two at Happy Cats, he went to stay with Carole at Colorado Cats for 3 months where they generously donated part of his boarding fees. He flourished with the activity, consistency and one-on-one time he got there. When he came back to Happy Cats was able to have a colony up front!
He adjusted so well that this summer he was made available for adoption. Still, it was tricky for him to find the right home because he sometimes got agitated by the hustle and bustle of an open shelter environment.
He slowly started showing interest in some of the cat’s cats in his neighboring colony. These are cats that love other cats more than humans. He could sometimes be found watching them through his peephole.
Christmas was approaching and one of our board membersâ€”part of the original Team Odinâ€”decided he could not spend a third Christmas out of a home. She brought him home to foster with her husband and he settled right in, binge-watching Animal Planet.
We decided it was time to see how he would like a friend. Enter Elvis, a cat’s cat adolescent who wanted a big brother to play with.
Originally separated into their own Safe Rooms, the boys had other ideasâ€¦Elvis jumped the baby gate and unapologetically inserted himself into Odin’s life! Almost immediately, in the quiet home setting, these cats became friends.
There were a few growing pains. Odin had never had a friend and it sometimes took Elvis a minute to remember that, with Odin showing him the upper paw. But mostly, they played well together and Odin got more and more relaxed.
About a month into their foster care, we got an application from a very nice couple who had recently lost their only cat. They were finally ready to open their hearts and home to another animal.
Odin and Elvis had caught their eyes and they came over for a meet and greet to see how they connected. It was clear that there was a kitty for each as Odin took to rubbing on her and Elvis loved playing with him!
The boys won them over (how could they not?) and have been ADOPTED!!! Our TLC home installation will be even better because Carole Galloway is installing him with a behavior plan as a parting gift to Odin.
Just in time for Odin and Elvis to ring in 2019 in style, they will be in a nice, quiet house with a family who already loves them to pieces.
Thank you Happy Cats Haven staff and volunteers for NEVER giving up on any cat and thank you to the Steins for seeing how precious these boys are!