November 11, 2019
M-O-O-N that spells ... says: I wasn’t looking for a kitten. I had lost my beautiful black-and-white cat Blackie three weeks earlier and I had this terrible hole in my heart. When we saw the kittens from a distance they were all black and white. I did not want another black-and-white cat -- in honour of Blackie -- but we got to the cage and there in the corner was this little ball of grey fluff. They asked if I wanted to hold her and that was it. I was smitten. Holly's mother had died when she was two weeks and she was bottle-raised by a loving ten-year-old boy. She was very, very small for her age. Several pleading text images to my hubby later, we were the proud owners of a new little girl. We found out she was born on Christmas Day and we adopted her on Valentine's Day.  We called her Holly. She had the biggest eyes and the most swollen belly. When we took her to the vet the next day to get her checked out the vet thought she had malnutrition and may possibly have a whole host of health issues. She was only 400g (14ou). I heard later that kittens under the weight of 500g rarely survive away from their mothers. Luckily all she needed was feeding up and lots of love and she made it. She was my little miracle.

Holly was the most playful kitten we had ever had the pleasure of being owned by. She quite often had us all in hysterics, especially when played with my husband, bounding all over the lounge chasing play toys on a string. She developed a special relationship with our cat Missi, who tried to be a mother to Holly. Holly didn't have a mother and Missi had never had any babies so I think they filled a need in each other. It wasn't always plain sailing though, and sometimes Missi just wanted to get away from Holly and Holly wouldn't take the hint.

After some months with us, Holly developed a health issue almost definitely related to her rough start in life. She panted all the time, and not just when she was stressed. If she exerted herself, she stopped and panted. She walked around so restless, crying this horrible cry. I worried it was heart related, but we got her vet tests that excluded a whole host of nasty things. After a couple months, with still no answers, Holly became quite feral. She attacked me twice quite badly. The vet put her on antianxiety meds which made her worse. We didn’t know what she would do from one minute to the next but she would not let you come near her. Many tearful nights followed, and I even got to the point where I considered it may be best to euthanize her. I just couldn’t imagine her being in this state the rest of her life. She was so unhappy. 

Finally I decided to try keeping her in my bedroom and on the anti-anxiety meds for a short time. I thought if I kept her isolated and gave her small doses of affection as she would allow, I would see how it would go. She eventually came round and after about five days she accepted being in the room. She was still hugely wary but would allow limited pats. She eventually started purring and I started giving her healthy treats to eat to reinforce the happy feelings. She seemed to feel quite safe in the room. This lasted for three weeks, during which time she had started cuddling me at night and demanding attention. Eventually we let her out, but our room remained her safe room. We developed routines so that she knew what was happening, and she seemed to really enjoy coming into the lounge and lying in the middle of us watching teli. She didn’t really want to be touched, but she was so cute; she cleaned herself and stretched into the most adorable poses. She seemed happy.

From there we decided to let her out of the house. She loved it! She boomed out that door and was free. The first time, I was worried what would happen, but she was back within the hour for a snack and a pat. Now what she loves is walking to the park with me. She loves climbing the trees and running around hiding. The last couple of weeks she has just become more and more friendly. She tolerates being held. She particularly likes my husband and often goes to him for pats, and she is now letting my daughter cautiously pick her up. She is sleeping on our bed and loves for me to hold her face in the palm of my hand. She has the loudest purr ever. 

We are all so relieved that she is obviously happy now. There is still a way to go though. We hope someday she will become a real cuddler. In the meantime the little offerings of affection that she gives and enjoys are just so special. We all love her dearly. We are so pleased that we didn’t give up on her.

All Photos Courtesy of and ©: M-O-O-N that spells ...
To see an adorable video of baby Holly, click here

Comments and LOLs:
judymack812 -
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judymack812
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God bless you for the patience and love you showed for this kitten!
Natthecat -
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Natthecat
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Wow! Your backstory was intense. Are there cat psychiatrists as well as cat whisperers? #judymack is so right about your care for Holly! This is the second cat with an inexplicable mental change --very disturbing. Worth researching the whys!
Natthecat -
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Natthecat
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Possibly when Missi rejected her, it was the second time she lost her mother, and she was filled with rage. The best course was to isolate her as you did. Wow!
Natthecat -
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Natthecat
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Thank goodness.
Stonewall -
Stonewall
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Holly is really a treasure & well worth the effort and love you put into "bringing her back".
We know that people also have these intemperate times in our lives but with exactly the same sort of "treatment" we generally respond and feel and act well again.
Love and care can overcome almost anything.
Even in the toughest "kitty"
mma -
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mma
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1348 points
Thank you for Holly's endearing story; She's amazing and I understand you not parting with her when she was so upset!
Carolynn -
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Carolynn
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What an incredible story of endurance+ never giving up, giving love, cuddles+ TLC . Am so glad everything worked out for Holly in the end+ thank you for sharing.
Carolynn -
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Carolynn
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