Patience is a virtue – A foster’s journey with Louie. 08/31/2021 By Kerry S In a world filled with immediate knowledge, feedback, and results, patience is not just a virtue, but a seemingly forgotten skill. In rescue, we need to show patience at two important transitions. Transitioning into the foster home and transitioning out of foster to their forever. My current 9-year-old foster cat, Louie, has required patience from me in spades. Louie was surrendered in December 2020 by his family he had since he was a kitten because they had a baby and Louie for months had been displaying stressed behaviors, with the final straw being when he bit the infant. It was obvious he was loved by his family and they only wanted the best for him as their home was no longer the safe and comfortable abode it once was for Louie. On the ride to my home, he sprayed, peed, and pooped all over his carrier, with a chorus of hisses and baritone growls to ensure I knew how displeased he was. We got home and I set up the cat tree his previous owners sent with him, opened the cage door, and left him to come out in his own time. I’d open the door to “his room” once or twice a day for the next three weeks only to be greeted with a hiss. On the fourth week, I finally opened the door, and he slowly ventured out of the room when I was out of sight on small outings on the same floor coming back to his home base whenever nervous. Over the course of the next several months, Louie’s hisses have significantly decreased while his confidence has increased. My resident cat has been the one to show him how great new humans are. I slowly increased our time together, from one or two strokes of his fur to a minute, and now up to ten minutes of pets can be tolerated. During that same period we had occasional marking, a broken food bowl, and ripped holes in the fabric underneath my master and guest room box springs he renovated to make into his own kitty hammocks. It took six months for Louie to brush up against my leg and let me touch him. Eight months for him to “shoulder dive” to the side and make biscuits with his paws when I pet him. It was through patience in letting him feel comfortable in his own time rather than mine that he has been able to flourish. It’s now ten months that Louie has been with me, and we have only been enjoying each other’s company for a few months of that time. He has had meet and greets with a few applicants, but to no surprise, he still doesn’t “show well” to new people, but I don’t mind. Just as I had to show patience to be rewarded with him showing his personality, that same patience will be extended as it takes the time for him to find his forever family. We will just be waiting right here. Pet Haven gives our pets the time and patience they need to adjust. However long it takes, whatever it takes. Thank you Lauren for your wonderful story about Louie and the path to patience!