The first 10 days with Hamster I wrote a daily journal. Most of the entries are the same and consisted of documenting his meows to locate human presence, his constant companionship, and how he wanted to be a social eater having me sit on the floor next to him during meal times. He loved (and still does) to sleep on the bed with me, sit on the couch between my husband and me, and stayed in my office during working hours at all times. If I moved from room-to-room, Hamster would always follow.
Due to a prior commitment Hamster was returned to Pet Helpers the first week of May. As normally done with my fosters, I wrote a letter to his forever family as well as provided a foster profile and photos. These were kept with him on the front of his condo along with Pet Helper's write-up. Unfortunately, I was told Hamster had no interest in playing, wasn't eating well, and needed to be returned to foster. I was heartbroken that he had not found his loving family, but as soon as I could he was returned to my home. Hamster seemed so appreciative and I noticed some of the earlier undesired behaviors disappeared now that he was back in his foster home.
Hamster has continued to make changes over the past two months. At the beginning of his foster time with me, he would not play. Period ~ nothing would catch his interest. After several weeks, I did find one toy he enjoyed after many trials, and that is still a favorite. However, he has progressed and is interested in several cat toys; we play a minimum of two sessions a day (often more). The past several weeks he will now play alone with his toys ~ I now hear and see him batting about balls and chasing cat toys from time to time. One of his favorite things to do is play hide-n-go-seek with me. It is a lot of fun to watch him run ahead of me in the house, hide behind a corner, to only run and hide behind the next corner as I approach his "hiding" spot. Periodically, when I reach the spot where he 'thinks' he's hiding, he will jump and all four paws are off the floor before he runs to the next room to hide and wait for me to walk by. He makes me laugh now that he is more relaxed and enjoying home life.
I used the word "trust" in today's title. While I believe Hamster trusts me to care for him and cause no harm, today is the first time he has allowed me to trim his claws. I love cat and dogs' paws and have always been able to rub my finger between my pets' paw pads. This I have missed with Hamster, but have gradually been able to do "mini massages" of his feet and legs. So, today I thought would be the day I would try something many cats don't appreciate. He really didn't need a lot of trimming done, but there were one or two claws on each front leg I wanted to trim because they sometimes get caught in the sheets. I was so proud and Hamster (and of me) that this once feral cat who would not allow human touch a year ago now trusts to have nails trimmed. I wonder how he will be a year from now with the continued love of humans ~ the thought makes me smile.
Hamster's perfect forever human is out there and will be looking for him, but in the meantime, I will continue to work with him to make him one of the best pets he can be. Truly, I am in awe of his progress.