Each day, the kids and I (and sometimes Ryan, my husband) sat with Shadow and Midnight. Shadow started playing with us after just a couple days of adjusting. He would chase the “toy on a stick” and balls across the floor, sliding to a stop as the toy changed direction. Midnight would hang back, cautious, but tempted to sneak attack her brother. We could bring the toy across our laps and Shadow would chase it right over us, but didn’t want us to pet him…yet.
After several patient days, we reached out to Shadow and even though he hadn’t known he wanted to be pet, he LOVED it once it happened! He started to greet us at the door when we came to hang out and begged for scritches under the chin and down his back. He remained cautious about new sounds and people and about being held, but really blossomed into a friendly, sociable kitten. Soon, he was climbing in our laps (and up our legs!), and even enjoyed being cuddled. Each interaction and purr from him was like a gift for having been patient, for having shown him some respect and having given him time to adjust and trust.
Midnight, on the other hand, did not trust us so readily. She started playing with the toys around the time Shadow started being interested in pets, but if she found herself within arms’ reach of us, she would look startled and quickly scamper away. We were eager to show her that we were kind and gentle and only meant her well…but she was determined to keep her distance.
Strangely enough, it was Ryan (who definitely spent the least amount of time with the kittens) who finally got Midnight to come out of her shell a little. He could get her really interested in playing and even to accept a few tentative pets from him. Just like people fall in love with certain animals, animals certainly choose their people!
Just as these sweet kittens were starting to open up and trust us…the first lice treatment loomed on the horizon…