Angel and Sixx are my two cats, litter mates, they were rescued from the wild as kittens and rehabilitated with their mother and sister. Their mom and sister were adopted quite fast, Angel and Sixx remained at the animal haven for the first year of their lives.
Sixx thrived with human contact, he was very social and loved everyone and everything, Angel remained unsocial, still a bit ferrel, he was untrusting and wanting nothing to do with anyone or thing, except his brother.
Ursula, who runs Haven of the Heart, thought Sixx and Angel were lost causes, no one seemed interested in adopting the dual. She was making arrangements to send them to her mother (her mom provides a loving home to any of Ursula’s rescued cats that didn’t seem to be a match for any forever homes). That very day she was about to send them to her mom, I called and left a message that I was interested in adopting two cats and wondered if she had any bonded pairs.
She immediately thought of Sixx and Angel and called me back to come meet them. Haven of the Heart is located in Palgrave, ON, at the time it was about a 45 minute drive from where I was living. I made arrangements to go that weekend.
Upon meeting Ursula I got to see so many of the wonderful dogs and cats she rescued and was trying to find loving homes for. She brought me to the “cat” house, while telling of her work in rehabilitating ferrel cats, how she found Sixx and Angel with their mom and sister and had rehabilitated them. She told me how Sixx was very social and very loving (which is VERY true) and that Angel was still a bit unsure and for me not to be surprised if I hardly saw him during my visit.
While she held Sixx and I petted him, Angel came out of hiding, he curled up on a cushion near me and I started to talk to him. After a few minutes I slowly raised my arm to stroke his cheek. Angel laid there and let me quietly talk to him and stroke the whole time.
Ursula remarked he has never done that with anyone, and while she usually never lets her pets go home after a first meeting, seeing how Angel responded to me, was good enough for her. I was free to take the boys if I wanted that day.
That was when the Angel I was warned about showed himself. He would not let us crate him. We tried for 15 minutes and he was so stressed out, he hid, we all agreed it was not good for him, so I left with Sixx, while Ursula set up a live trap to get Angel so I could pick him up.
While Sixx was settling in my home with Dupont, I worried he’d forget his brother. I waited as each day went by, Ursula hadn’t seen Angel at all, he wasn’t even coming out of hiding to eat.
On the third day I got a call, they trapped him. We all agreed trying to remove him from the live trap into a crate would be too stressful for him and there was a good chance we’d lose him again to another hiding spot.
I drove out to Palgrave that evening, it was pouring rain, I remember it perfectly, I was so stressed out Angel and Sixx would have forgotten each other and it would be awful.
I got Angel home and he immediately hid. He hid for days, to be honest he basically hid for years! As he got more comfortable with he would come out to eat and interact with his Sixx, but if I went near him he fled.
I had planned to call the boys Nikki and Sixx (for my rock God Nikki Sixx), but Angel was so good at making himself disappear, I gave him the name of my favourite magician Criss Angel.
It wasn’t until about 2 years ago, (after we enlisted the help of an animal spiritual healer for one of my fosters – and she did all my pets), Angel started coming out when I was around, and letting me pet him. But he still would retreat to his “hiding” places when people came over. And if he did come out when others were around, he would not let them pet him, but they would still delight that they finally got to see Angel!! I was so proud of him as he was becoming so much more social and less fearful. That was until I turned his world around and moved him across the country.
It was such a stressful time for me and the pack, but what I didn’t expect, was turning Angel’s world upside down would be exactly what he needed to fully trust me and his pack………..