A cat accepted help and decided to trust one day after a lifetime on the streets. He turned into the sweetest hugger.
Bruce the catHearthside Cats
It took Ashley Anderson of Hearthside Cats (an all-volunteer rescue in Geneseo, NY) eight months to get within a mile of a cat named Bruce. He was scruffy and battered after spending a lifetime fending for himself on the streets.
"Bruce was rescued from an unsafe area. He was incredibly fearful and in need of a placement to address medical issues and give him the time necessary to adjust and assess," Ashley shared with Love Meow.
Behind the fear and uncertainty in those eyes, Ashley saw something soft and gentle. "He deserved the chance to know that the world could be a far better, kinder place."
He was rescued after a lifetime on the streetsHearthside Cats
Bruce was ensconced in a quiet room with all the amenities. He was rough around the edges, and needed a full dental and lots of time to build trust.
In the beginning, Bruce was frightened and attempted to escape by climbing the curtains, seeking an exit. To no avail, he resorted to taking refuge behind the curtains, trying to be invisible.
He was very scared at first, desperately trying to run awayHearthside Cats
Ashley gave him all the time he needed to decompress, become comfortable, and feel safe. With a great deal of patience and irresistible cat treats, Bruce's eyes started to soften as the fear faded from them.
Bruce worked up the courage to accept treats from Ashley. With that positive encounter, his confidence began to build. He started to allow face and chin scritches, and eventually, came out of the confines of his hideout.
Slowly but surely, Bruce started to warm up to AshleyHearthside Cats
For the first time, Bruce learned that people aren't so bad, and that he quite enjoyed human affection.
Once Bruce warmed up to his people, his world brightened. He went from being frightened and withdrawn to being a complete cuddle-bug, eager to be loved.
He discovered that chin scritches felt goodHearthside Cats
"The terrified boy who once hung from my curtains, turned out to be the most gentle, loving, and forgiving little old man," Ashley told Love Meow. "The feral and the fearful are some of the most deserving and loving."
Bruce continued to make strides each day, and when he set his head on his human's shoulder to bask in the affection, it was such a rewarding moment.
Bruce laid his head on his human's shoulder for a napHearthside Cats
"Watching him rest comfortably without a care in the world and do 'normal' cat things is one of the best parts of rescue."
For years, Bruce kept up a tough facade as a survival mechanism in the outdoors. When his walls came down, his sweet-natured temperament emerged, and his desire to be loved was his way of making up for lost time.
He's bloomed into an affectionate, loving house catHearthside Cats
Bruce takes his time to decide where the best spot is to plop down on his people when he goes for a nap.
"He is the first to the refrigerator in hopes of a snack, loves belly rubs, and prefers falling asleep with his face pressed to your cheek," Ashley added.
"He spooks easily, a trait I find that ferals often retain, and has a permanent look of alarm that makes me smile and love him even more."
Now, Bruce wears a peaceful, content countenance when he cuddles or sleeps. He likes to wrap his arms around his people or lay his head on them as it calms his mind and soothes his soul.
The former street cat has blossomed into a full-fledged teddy bear with an insatiable appetite for snuggles.
"He is my little shadow. My reason for rescue and reminder that the very best and most rewarding things are always worth fighting for."
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