Savannah Super Cat
Last May I was contacted by Savannah Rescue and asked if I would rescue a young Savannah out of central Illinois. It's a couple hour drive for me, and being retired, why not.
John Popp, and my sister Sue (it's also her member name), gave me the heads up and asked if I could evaluate and temporarily foster the cat for the challenges that were reported for this cat. At the time it was said this was a four year old F2 Savannah that had been in multiple homes, the last of which had more than a dozen cats. The kicker.... somebody had declawed all four paws.
Road trip for the wife and I! I want to thank the alert breeder in central Illinois (Kristen) who found a Craig's list Savannah for $200. She grabbed this cat knowing full well something wasn't right and got the heritage story from the seller. Before everybody jumps on "Was it Chipped?" bandwagon, it was. And the chip was never registered. Having two savannas in my home and not wanting to introduce any diseases, Rose went straight to veterinarian for complete labs and checkup. Amazingly, she was completely healthy and no issues whatsoever. The vet estimated her age between 3 to 5 years old. She was about 8 pounds. She put on another 4 pounds in the next 3 months, and now is at a weight appropriate for her size. It took about a week for her to start coming out of her shell. She was quite timid (as you would expect) and very slowly was interactin with my wife and I. She was quarantined for 2 months and we noticed signs of PTSD and flinching when ever a hand was moved near her. Meanwhile R2 (Mister Joyful, never met anybody he didn't like!) was scratching the door wanting to meet that cat he could smell. We would not let him get close at all as Rose was very defensive. I took a play out of Witchy Woman's playbook, and put the twins (R2 and Arya) into my bedroom and closed the door while Rose walked around the house for an hour or two to scent up the place. We did this for months. Eventually we let her out and kept the twins at bay while she explored. Arya for the most part was not happy about it and growled and hissed relentlessly. But R2 really wanted a new friend a worked hard at not being too aggressive, and eventually Rose would let R2 sniff her. Rose now had a problem or trying to figure out the hisser from nice cat. R2 and Arya, being brother and sister look somewhat similar. By October Rose had pretty much the run of the house, mostly by lurking. We would always pur her in her own room at night and whenever we left the house. Starting in January we started letting her have the run of the house at night, as long as the confrontations where minimal and just a growl. The reason I'm telling this long story, is to help other future Savannah homes be aware that transitioning an adult cat can take a long time.
At this point in time, Rose can generally identify R2, and will occasionally play "slap and run" with R2. On occasion, we have found R2 in Rose's room 2 feet away from Rose sleeping soundly, Rose having no problem with it. There are some times that Arya doesn't get cranky when Rose is nearby. This is still a work in progress.
We know know that Rose can be a joyful cat, loves to interact with my wife and I. We have discovered Rose likes to play fetch, which is a problem with an overbearing R2 who's favorite game is fetch.
As my wife notes, "Rose is a failed foster home. She's a keeper!" We love her antics. She is still coming out of her shell, but we see a top shelf cat in her. She has a home where she is safe. It's been wonderful to see a shy and reclusive cat come out of her shell to be a normal cat.
Welcome to your forever home, Rose!