(Dec. 27, 2017)
I found Tommy on the highway October of 2016. Yes, the highway. She was underweight, missing fur, had hundreds of thousands fleas, three parasites, but it was love at first sight.
It took a few months to get her up to health and up to weight. We did a slow introduction to our older two cats, and now they’re pretty close to being friends.
My parents never wanted me to bring her home, I was 16 and getting ready to leave for college. The last thing they wanted was to take care of another cat. So, since then, she’s been mine.
She knows it, too. Tom sleeps wrapped up at my side, her head on my chest. She follows mw around, trusts me and me only.
I’ve become dependent on her, the same way she’s become dependent on me.
At the end of 2017, my psychiatrist recommended that I start getting her train and registered to be my emotional support animal, maybe even my service animal.
This is where it all starts.
Tommy is anxious, she’s a very skittish cat. She gets scared of her own shadow, sometimes bushing up at her own reflection in the mirror. When the front door opens, she runs under my bed. When she hears a voice she doesn’t recognize, she hides under my bed. She spends so much time hiding under my bed, that I put blankets and pillows under there for her comfort.
I started by holding her when my friends walked in, letting them give her a treat as they slowly walked towards her. She refused to accept any treat by them, even when held up to her mouth. She refused to even let our vet give her a treat.
It’s been a long year trying to get her to be less scared of people, sounds, the unknown. It’s a slow, painful progress but she’s getting there. Right now, we’re at the point where she runs a few feet away, crouches down, and just watches the person she doesn’t know walk past her. I tell them to not pay attention to her, to move slowly, and not to make sudden movements.
In the fall, I’m moving out. She’s coming with me. We’ll be living in a small, loud dorm complex instead of our quiet, suburban house. That gives me about 8 months to get her up to speed.
Harness training: A work in progress. People training: A work in progress. Car rides: Pretty good, scared for the first 15 minutes.
She’s getting there, I believe in her.