Toward the end of May, I arranged to get a foster cat through the Japan Cat Network. Kuro had started out in the shelter, but had been adopted by a US military family who had just fallen in love with her from photos. Unfortunately, there was a family emergency and they suddenly had to go back to the US, and wouldn't be able to have pets for a while. Instead of Kuro going back to the shelter, I picked her up directly and took her home as a foster. We don't plan to adopt her, but I hope we can find her a forever home before we leave Japan.
She was obviously freaked out and panicking. The first thing she did when we let her out of the carrier was climb the curtain, fall off the curtain, and claw her way into the windowsill. In the next five minutes, we clipped her claws. It hasn't been a problem since. Thankfully she didn't damage the curtain, and I think I can repair the claw marks in the wall.
She had a rough time settling in. The initial stress didn't last more than a day or so, and then I could sit with her and talk softly and she'd come over for me to pet and brush her as long as I didn't move too fast.
Part of her stress might have been caused by her severe gum swelling that made eating very painful. After a trip to the vet for some antibiotics, her whole demeanor started to change. She still saw upstairs as Safe, but she started moving around more and she was more open to getting affection from me.
These little Purr Monster sessions started to get more frequent, and she stopped hiding and sleeping all day.
She still likes to be brushed, it's kind of a bonding tool.
She's not very keen on Crooked, our other cat, and she still doesn't trust my husband, but we're making progress.
Next issue: Kuro Gets Less Shy