Rusty is having a difficult time adjusting to being back home. He's been here a little over 24 hours and though I didn't expect instant bonding, it broke my heart to realize he is frightened of the other cats. He hisses a little and I've heard him growl a couple times, but that's natural when a cat is placed into a situation with other cats he doesn't know. He doesn't seem to remember his brother or his mama. They act as if they don't remember him either. I feel so sorry for him but I keep thinking about something I've heard Cesar Milan, the dog whisperer, say from time to time. He claims animals don't think as humans do, instead, they live in the here-and-now. They don't worry about the past or the future. I'll try to keep that in mind while helping Rusty re-enter the pack.
Tonight I spent some one-on-one time with the little guy and after a bit of hesitancy, he walked up and rubbed against my leg. Ah, progress! When I put out my hand, he walked under it, rubbing his fur against it as he passed. That's very positive and gives me hope he will eventually feel comfortable here. It's best if I don't rush him, but allow him to come to me. Tonight he watched intently as I swept the floor in the kitty playroom and I wondered if he might be having a flashback to the times he rode on the broom when he was a kitten. He and Kizzy took turns being my sweeping helper. I didn't want to overwhelm him, so I put him in a room with his brother Bailey for tonight. Tomorrow I might try him with Kelly. I heard one yeowl as Bailey entered the room, but that was it. Who knows? Maybe by tomorrow morning they'll be friends.
It doesn't appear that Rusty has been abused, but I do think he was neglected. He winces and sort of ducks when I try to pet his head and he only allows me to hold him for short periods of time, then wants me to let him go, which I do. Since he was thought of as a "demon cat" by his adoptive person (I can't call her his mother - she didn't mother him very well), he probably wasn't spoken to in a very kind way and I'm sure he wasn't held or cuddled. That's all in the past now and there will be positive things ahead. I'll do what I can to make up for lost time.
If I could turn back the clock and be allowed a "do over", I'd keep Rusty here with me and give him all the love I gave his brothers. Since I can't do that, I'll have to deal with things as they are and do what I can to help him feel loved and wanted. He's both of those things to me.