It was clear to the Annex Cat Rescue volunteer who spotted him that Oscar, a purebred shaded-silver Persian, didn’t belong in a feral cat colony.
“Apparently, he had a bit of a heart murmur,” said his foster parent, Elva. “They thought perhaps because of the genetic defect that he had been abandoned.” As a result, Oscar developed a mistrust of everybody and had a lot of social skills to learn — how to be around both humans and cats.
Oscar was a dichotomy. For his first few weeks in foster care, Oscar hid upstairs. Eventually, he began to creep down while his fosters watched television and would sneak around the periphery of the room; he wanted to be near them but invisible. Later, he’d direct a funny hissing noise at them, then immediately succumb to their affections.
“Because he’s a Persian, he always has sort of a sour look to his face, which just made him all the more adorable,” Elva said. Eventually, she realized that Oscar did enjoy being around people; he just needed lots of coaxing and patience.
Meanwhile, Rebekka, who already owned a flame-point Himalayan, had always wanted more than one cat and was looking for another of a similar breed. She found Annex Cat Rescue’s website while seeking out local adoption options and thought it was welcoming. Plus, when she saw Oscar’s photo online she felt an instant connection. That feeling was mutual.
“When she came to visit, we pretty much knew from the start that she was the right fit because he responded to her quite positively in a way that he didn’t do with us,” Elva said. Although Oscar liked his fosters in the end, he warmed up to Rebekka in a flash. She stayed for less than an hour that night and already Oscar had approached her and accepted some petting.
“When I met him the first time, I looked at him and he looked at me and I thought, ‘We belong together,'” Rebekka said, “I felt it. I remember it as one of my most clear memories.”
Elva also felt that because Rebekka had another cat who could show Oscar the ropes of how to be a cat, her home was the optimal one for him. Rebekka agreed that the influence of the energetic and vibrant Sookie would help Oscar shine and it has. Oscar has gone from being a cat who didn’t like to be touched to one who head butts his human while they take selfies together.
“Do it,” Rebekka says to anybody who is on the fence about adopting a rescue cat. “Practice patience and unconditional love and just watch what unfolds — it’s such a great gift.”
— Leslie Sinclair