When Cat Town found Myrtle at the shelter, all we knew of her history was that she had grown up on the streets. She was so shy and fearful we couldn’t touch her. Her fear made her challenging to handle, despite her small size.  Shelter volunteers known as the Cat Crewthose who work closest with Cat Town to identify cats that may thrive if they are shown a different environment—were uncertain about whether miss Myrtle could be socialized. But we knew we needed to try. With the shelter quickly filling up, Cat Town placed her into our foster program. Enter Janet.

My 18-year old cat, Monkey, had just passed away, and ten days later my boyfriend of four years broke up with me. I could not have been more heartbroken. I knew I needed support, and love, but wasn’t ready to leap into any sort of commitment. Then I saw an ad on Craigslist: Cat Town was looking for fosters. I knew I wanted to foster Myrtle as soon as I saw her little goofy cross-eyed picture.

We explained how painfully shy Myrtle was, and how extraordinary patience was this cat’s only chance for learning to trust of humans. Myrtle needed a space to explore where she could develop her confidence on her own time. And Janet was willing to take a chance on her.

Myrtle was untouchable. But something happened when she came into my life. She grew more confident around me, and I found my happiness again by helping this sweet black cat discover herself. After a while she would snuggle—but only a little, and only on her terms. And I was fine with that. I was sure that I wasn’t the right sort of person to have a cat as shy as she was, but part of me kept thinking, “Maybe I should keep her. Maybe this could work.” Then something amazing happened. I fostered a couple of kittens, and with them around, Myrtle just transformed. She put herself into a mothering role, and took care of the kittens with me!

While keeping three cats wasn’t possible for Janet, finding a permanent friend for Myrtle turned out to be the key to winning her over. She adopted Sushi, a confident kitten at Cat Town Cafe, and made it official with Myrtle.

With a kitten I could cuddle, I knew that I could give Myrtle the support she needed, for as long as she needed, to continue her path and build her confidence. So now it’s the three of us—Sushi, Myrtle, and me. And I’ve never been happier.

Cat Town’s cats may be considered by many to be hard-to-adopt—the sort of cats that shut down in a cage, or may struggle to find their confidence. But they’re easy to love. And thanks to our dedicated staff, volunteers, and fosters, we see happy endings like Janet and Myrtle’s every day. Thank you for your support!