Happy Tails: Simba

Tova had been working with Annex Cat Rescue for several years as a colony caretaker before she met Simba (briefly known as Oz). A friend contacted her about a rough-looking, middle-aged cat who had been living in a woman’s backyard for six years; the woman was tired of watching Simba freeze every winter. Simba first entered into Tova’s care with no ear tips, a scarred face, his nose all cut up and broken teeth (which have since been pulled). And he was terrified of everything.

Happy Tails: Simba

He started out as an office cat at Tova’s previous workplace, but he wasn’t the friendliest of cats and ended up scaring a lot of people. She attempted to find another home for him but with no luck.

“I didn’t really want a cat because I had just lost two special cats, so I asked Annex Cat Rescue to take him on as a foster but nobody wants him because [of him being] middle-aged and mostly feral,” said Tova.

Happy Tails: Simba

She fostered Simba for about a year before she decided to officially adopt. “I was taking a little nap and when I woke up there was a message on my phone from a stranger saying, ‘I’m going to adopt Simba; I’m coming over in the next hour to take him.’ And I thought no, I don’t think so. He’s been here, we’ve got a good thing going, and I feel like he trusts me. Sort of? Finally? Which has been really hard to get because he’s been pretty messed up by people I’d say.”

Time and space seemed to be the best technique for helping Simba come out of his shell; once a day for 10 minutes, Tova would sit down beside him and read to him, but he would just walk away. Giving up on that, she just continued to give him his space but encouraged any visitors to offer him treats to help get him accustomed to people again. “So now when people come over he expects treats, which I am totally fine with because it’s nice to see him out and about.”

 

Happy Tails: Simba

A happy Simba still hisses at everything, according to Tova, but he’s also a big purr machine, and has settled into his forever home nicely. Since he mostly likes to be on his own, Tova noted that she has never had a problem with him clawing the furniture, or being woken up in the middle of the night for food.

“I was afraid of taking on a special needs cat because my other two cats were so sick for so long and it was so expensive… but [Simba] has been a very low maintenance cat,” Tova explained. “Picking a shy, fearful, sick cat doesn’t mean that it’s going to be horrible. For me, he’s been the easiest pet I’ve ever had.”

-Grey Spafford

 

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