Mason was not going to be kept by Shelly Roche. Roche was concerned that the wild and destructive 10-year-old male cat would be unhappy in a household environment.
In October, TinyKittens founder Roche spotted a feral cat colony on a private property in British Columbia, Canada. As a result, Roche and a small group of volunteers began trapping the animals and spaying, neutering, and treating them. If any of them were friendly, they’d try to find them homes.
“Over the course of one weekend, we ended up taking in around 26 cats, including Mason,” Roche told. “He was one of our unique animals since he had a large growth on the underside of his right paw. His tail had been damaged on several occasions. He was afflicted with a slew of illnesses. He required considerable dental work. He was a geriatric cat that had been without veterinary treatment for the majority of his life.”
Mason, on the other hand, was going to be difficult to cure.
“He’s been wild his entire life,” Roche said, “so he’s never had any nice contact with humans.” “Essentially, he sees humans as predators.”
Roche intended to return Mason to his colony after providing him with the medical care he required, and just put food out for him each day. But then Roche discovered something that completely altered everything: Mason was urinating far more than he should have been.
“We did some blood tests and discovered he had significant renal illness,” Roche explained. “We reasoned, ‘We can’t return him since he won’t survive the winter in this condition.’ We had taken care of all of his other requirements, but his renal illness necessitates a particular diet and medication.”
“I started noticing toys all over the place and cushions off the sofa as I came out of my room in the morning,” Roche said. “That’s an indication of a contented cat who spends the entire night playing and acting like a regular cat.”
Scrammy, Moo Shu, Florentine, Hatch, and Fabergé were among the five foster cats Roche took home. Roche wasn’t sure how Mason would respond to the kittens because he hadn’t been nice with her in the past, but she planned to introduce them slowly to see how he would react.
“I placed the kittens down in a tiny location beneath a chair that he enjoys, and they started crawling all over him and violating his personal space,” Roche explained. “I was close by in case he became enraged – I expected him to hiss, snarl, or slink away. But then one of the ginger kittens began licking Mason’s ear, and Mason leaned in and closed his eyes as if it were the most incredible thing he’d ever seen.”
Mason had never been so relaxed with Roche, Roche couldn’t believe it.
“His face was pure happiness,” Roche added. “Contact with another live creature seemed to be the only thing he was lacking.” And, while he didn’t want it with me, he must have craved it among his own kind.”
She chose not to put Mason and the kittens together since they had distinct medical and dietary needs, but she began bringing the kittens to Mason every day.
Mason is still suspicious of Roche, but she has been able to pet him when the kittens are around.
Roche coined the term “Trojan kitten approach.” “I could slide my hand beneath a kitten and pet him that way if the kittens were cuddling with him.” And we’d all play along as if it was the kitten. Mason would have a general idea of what was going on, and the kittens would be thinking, ‘Oh, we’re doing this again?’ OK.’”
“What’s even cuter is that he enjoys being pet,” Roche said. “He enjoys having his ears rubbed and his head caressed. He’s basically imprinted in his mind that people are predators.”
Scrammy, Moo Shu, Florentine, Hatch, and Fabergé have all been taken into forever homes, but Roche has more foster kittens on the way.
“For him, we’ll have more kittens,” Roche added. “In the meanwhile, he gets along swimmingly with two of my older cats, so I made certain that they all played together.”
Scrammy, Moo Shu, Florentine, Hatch, and Fabergé, on the other hand, played a vital part in Mason’s life by assisting him in adjusting to a new existence inside a house.
“He was kind of lonely and in a place where he had to relearn everything he thought he knew, so to have these kittens kind of pile on him and give him love, and to also just play with him, it was the most carefree I’d seen him since he got here,” Roche said.