Anyway, back to the present. First of all, I got Linnet. She's a young cat who had been kept in a rabbit hutch and was very scared of people. If anyone went near her, she just froze. This is what she looked like when I first saw her; look at the fear in her eyes.
Linnet spent the first three weeks here hiding under the bath, only venturing out at night or if she was sure I was out. I sat on the bathroom floor a lot, avoiding eye contact and talking to her until she eventually ventured out for a stroke. The big breakthrough, though, came when this arrived ...
This is Tolly soon after he came home. Once Linnet realised he was in the house she started coming downstairs to keep an eye on him. She spent the next three weeks hissing at him but also watching him play. She would wait until she was alone in the room and then I'd hear her playing with whatever toy he'd just left.
Tolly was the only kitten in his litter and his mother wasn't interested in him so he arrived with no cat social skills whatever. His approach to anything or anyone new was to bite and scratch. It was a great relief to me when Linnet finally accepted him and took over kitten training duties. He bites her, she licks him and slowly he's getting better. She even lets him play with her tail which I think is beyond the call of duty. So, here they are now ... Linnet posing at Christmas and Tolly in a box.
This reminds me of a lovely picture book My Cat Likes to Hide in Boxes by Eve Sutton. Does anyone else know it? Interestingly, it was illustrated by Lynley Dodd who went on to write the Hairy Maclary books for which she is better known.
One more picture - I think it's safe to say they're friends now.