A small kitten transferred into a shelter of San Pablo, California was having attitude problems because of which had not much chances of being adopted. She would hiss and retract herself all the time when someone would try to approach her cage. She had obviously had difficult life when living as a stray in the streets.
Kendal Benken, animal trainer, knew all methods of taming undomesticated and aggressive kittens, so she went to the shelter for 5-week-old Siamese examination. She had the conclusion within seconds – the kitten was being frightened, not frightening. She would behave like that because of fear, that was fear reaction as probably she was never handled. This is why she does not allow anyone handle her.
The only option to carry the hissy demon was to wrap her up in a towel. So Benken swaddled the little one and took her home in a crate. She got name Betty and her treatment began.
Benken unwrapped Betty and made her a home in the middle of the kitchen. “I put her in a big dog crate with food, water and a litter box. She could not run and hide,” Benken said. “With feral kittens, the best thing you can do is force them out of their comfort zone and put them in a busy part of your house.”
Benken, an animal lover herself, had a family of stray animals living in her house, who came to check out Betty after a while. The dogs & cats started huddling around the cat and showing her that she’s more than welcome to her new home. Special attitude was developed by Truvy, a huge yellow Law mix, who has always been in fond of cats
“Truvy has a special gift. She gravitates toward the rescues. I think she fancies herself as a mama cat. Truvy was very fascinated by Betty,” Benken said.
Betty was getting used to her new environment every day Each day. In 10 days she allowed Benken to pet her. Ina few more days she claimed Truvy as her close friend
“Betty just crawled onto Truvy, made herself comfortable, and wouldn’t move. Truvy was afraid to move because she knew Betty was on her. It was the sweetest thing,” Benken said. “Truvy was delighted Betty finally returned her affection.”
This was a breakthrough moment for Betty as she has stopped hissing and turned into a social member of a big family with the help of Truvy and others.
Benken started looking for a family for Betty soon after she realized the kitten has changed drastically.
It took a few weeks before Betty warmed up to Roz Westil, her new owner. “I figured she was scared. I kept her in a secure environment, and slowly expanded that environment and I let her tell me what she wanted to do,” Westil said.
Now Betty has transformed into a loving & playful kitten. After a while Westil adopted another foster cat named Amber. The two have grown into a cat pack.
“When they were introduced, Betty ran away,” Westil said. “It took a while for both of them. Then I don’t know what happened! They bonded in a week, and now they’re inseparable. It’s just amazing. They’re together almost all the time.”
Westil admits her life changed after adopting the two cats.
“I think it’s wonderful having animals around. It’s a joy,” she said. “They also really love each other. Like a match made in heaven. And Betty sleeps in my bed; she cuddles, she’s such a loving little cat. She’s beautiful.”