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Welcome to Your Furever Home, Henna!

We recently adopted a 9-month-old female kitty that we named Henna.  My daughter and I were scrolling thru cute kitty pics on Petfinder one evening when we came across her picture. She had a sweet face that made my daughter pause and say “awe, mom look at her!”  The listing described her as a “spirited” kitty, that they believed was part Bengal. We were looking for another Maine Coon rescue, but we had not found the right match for our big boy Sonny. We know several MC owners that also have Bengals, so out of curiosity, we decided to take the 2-hour trip to meet her.

On the day of our visit, my daughter and I met Kelly, the foster mom from Angels Assisting Felines, at the adoption center. The minute Henna was taken out of the crate, she started pacing and growling like a wild cat. She was annoyed by the kittens nearby, smacking their crate, and hissing every time they meowed. Yikes, this was not a good first impression!  I must admit that I was a little intimidated by her. I could see the sadness in Kelly’s eyes that Henna was going to ruin her chances for adoption with this bad attitude. When we asked about Henna’s history, she told us that Henna had already been re-homed several times for being “too much to handle” and has been in her foster care for over 2 months, as potential adopters didn’t care for her sassy attitude. That broke my heart. But I wasn't sure that this is what we had in mind. 

We sat down and gave Henna some space while we chatted with Kelly. She assured us that while Henna sounded intimidating, she really was a sweet girl, and it was just the situation that was making her upset. As we told Kelly about our other cats and all that we had been thru with each of them, she seemed certain that we would be the right family for Henna.  Eventually, Henna came and sat in my daughter’s lap and started purring. We dangled some string and her little face just lit up in excitement. She was clearly very playful, and her whole mood changed. There was something endearing about her. Maybe it was her hooded eyes that gave her this concerned expression on her face, or the odd sounds she made.  Kelly told us that Henna was super active and didn’t sleep much, but when she did, she was a lap kitty. She got along well with the other adult cats at the foster home (but she obviously didn’t like little kittens!).  We had been looking for a companion for our 3-year-old male, Sonny, who frankly, can be a jerk-so we needed a girl that could hold her own. We had no reservations on Henna’s ability to handle Sonny, but could we handle Henna? We decided to take a chance. 

It has been 7 weeks since we brought her home, and she is settling in nicely. We did the usual one-week quarantine in her own room so she had time to acclimate to the sounds and smells of our home, and settle in a bit.  We were nervous about introducing her to Sonny, expecting lots of hissing, fighting and maybe some hiding, assuming it would take months for them to accept one another. To our astonishment, Henna and Sonny bonded almost immediately. They both behaved more like dogs than cats, sniffing each other out, and were each delighted to have a playmate. Now they act like siblings-wherever Sonny goes, Henna follows with enthusiastic curiosity like a little sister. They chase each other around the house at full speed, which sounds like the Budweiser Clydesdale team coming thru!  They also both love water, so they are often found splashing around in a tub or sink together.

She enjoys being around the family, and always sits nearby to observe us as we work, study, cook or clean, but is still a tad standoffish.  I’ll admit that when it comes to cats, I’m like a 5-year-old that wants to pick them up, squeeze them and give them kisses! Its taken everything in me to avoid smothering Henna, as she make it clear from the start that she didn't like to be touched. Or so I thought... Over the past few days, a more affectionate, trusting side of her is emerging. Just this morning she jumped up onto the counter where I was standing, put her front paws onto my shoulder, and made a little trill sound. I took it as a cue to pick her up, and when I did, she started purring and totally relaxed in my arms. OMG! Only a fellow cat person would understand the feeling like your heart might explode with joy at the moment that your cat finally says “I love you too”!   While that cuddle session didn't last long, it gave more hope! 

Henna has brought so much energy, warmth and love into our home, at a time when we really need it. Whatever was "too much to handle" for her previous families, hasn't been an issue for us. We think she is purrfect, sassy pants and all!  Welcome to your fur-ever home, Henna!

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