Happy Tails: Claira

“Claira’s is a true success story,” says foster parent Joanna. Claira, a gorgeous Calico, was rescued as a kitten from a backyard in Toronto, with her sister Casey. The sisters had very little exposure and no direct contact with humans. Naturally, the kittens feared human touch, and were a challenge to transition into a human home. Claira was particularly feisty and discouraged contact, until the kittens found their way to Joanna in March of 2015.

Happy Tails: Claira

Joanna, an experienced foster parent with a knack for challenging kittens, was just what the sisters needed. “Repetition is key to gaining their trust,” says Joanna. The kittens hid in Joanna’s bathroom for a few days, getting used to the sounds and smells; after which, Joanna gave them no choice but to let her slowly pet them. “I just don’t take no for an answer,” Joanna says. “It’s important to touch them in a way that makes them like it.” Joanna allowed the kittens to stay in their hiding place, while she gently stroked them, until they began to enjoy human contact.

Claira, it turns out, loved being petted and loved attention once her fear faded away—so much so that she would push her sister out of the way to get at Joanna. Under Joanna’s care, Claira went from a kitten that had never experienced human contact to one who seeked out Joanna and purred loudly when she got attention.

Joanna recognized the sisters, particularly Claira, needed to go to the right home if they going to continue to improve. Nick and Lina were the right fit. “Nick was wonderful with her; there was an instant connection between the two,” says Joanna. Although Claira and Cassey were adopted separately, Joanna maintains it was the best thing for both kittens. Claira was becoming very dominant, even somewhat of a bully, and was not a good match for her timid sister Cassey.

Claira is doing wonderfully in her new home. She is full of energy and is perfectly matched by Nick and Lina’s equally energetic cat, Bellaire. The two keep everyone on their toes with 6 am and 11 pm laps around the house.

Claira’s journey is not only a wonderful success story, but also a testament to the impact of fostering in preparing and placing kittens into the proper homes so they can thrive. Joanna and her husband have been involved in cat rescue for six and a half years, after they saved a feral colony in their community. As with Claira, Joanna recommends repetition for anyone struggling with fostering a difficult kitten. Through repetition and patience, successes such as Claira’s will continue to occur.

—Kathy Ribeiro

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