A brand new life for Dora 4

Dora came to us when her people took her into their vet to be euthanized. They admitted they had abused her for all her 11 years, leaving her with a serious case of Feline PTSD. She was terrified of everything and quick to strike out and bite if she thought she was going to be hurt…because she had been.

We gave her a soft cube to hide in and our loving staff and volunteers started to slowly gain her trust.

One of the first things that brought her around was catnip! She was a big fan, and rolling around in it helped her to forget her fears.

Dora could be really sweet, but she could turn on a dime if she thought you were going to hurt her. Catching a fast movement over her head or out of the corner of her eye brought bites even to our best Shy Cat Handlers.

She couldn’t be put with other cats because of her fear, so she spent her days in her condo, usually tucked up inside her cube.

One day, Jacklyn came along, looking for a senior with special needs. Jacklyn had zoo experience with wild animals, so she was well equipped to handle Dora’s fear-based reactions.

We did a Foster-to-Adopt for Jacklyn and gave her lots of instructions on how best to prevent the things that triggered Dora’s reactions.

Dora immediately blossomed once she got into her new home! Hungry for attention, she turned into a very social cat who came out at night to play and even meowing to be petted. She met Jacklyn’s boyfriend and friend and even decided to sleep with her friend!

One of her favorite toys is a twist tie, which she collects and hides all over the house.

Originally wary of noise triggers, she no longer runs away when she hears something new. She knows that when too many people come visit, she can find refuge in her cube, tucked into the closet where she started out in her Safe Room.

Recently our Medical Manager dropped by to give her a vaccination and she just stayed on the bed, purring the whole time!

Jacklyn says that her bites are now more like normal overstimulation bites, rather than full-on defensive ones. She runs away after she bites, knowing she shouldn’t, but sometimes can’t help herself. Those triggers can run deep.

Jacklyn says she’s hard to photograph because she immediately stops whatever cute thing she’s doing and comes over for pets!

She also says, “Dora has been so much fun to watch grow and become more comfortable. She gets more confident every day! Thank you so much for trusting me with her and for pointing her out to me when I came in. You all rock and are so supportive.”

4 thoughts on “A brand new life for Dora

  • Deborah Douglass

    It is so heartwarming to see the wonderful work that you are doing. I have a three-legged rescue that has similar fears. He (Hopscotch) has calmed down, but any sudden movements or noises sends him running for his safe place, which is under the bed. He has come a long way, but he is a work in progress. His brother, Bosco is a comfort to him.
    I am looking forward to seeing the new shelter when it is complete.
    Thank you for doing the wonderful work that you do.


  • Don Zupanec

    How wonderful to learn of Dora’s progress. On my visits to see Talia, I often stopped by Dora’s condo to say hi and talk to her. She seemed to want to open up and interact, but her fear was, understandably, a formidable obstacle. I wondered whether she would be able to overcome the mistreatment she had experienced for so long. Happily, it sounds as though she’s done just that. Credit belongs to Dora herself, to all the kind and caring folks at Happy Cats who were so patient and committed to Dora, and to Jacklyn, her new person. Such a happy story.

  • Sylvia Street

    Hi folks,. when I first read about little Dora, I cried for 20 minutes straight, but when I watched her beautiful success story, it warms my heart to know that she is finally enjoying the unconditional love that she deserved to have all along!

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