Sampo was near-feral when she joined the USA based wendy house in 2003. She liked cat’s, not people. The idea was that her and Matrix would bond and entertain each other during my long work days. Matrix was a lap cat, Sampo was Matrix’s companion, not mine.
When people come into the house, Sampo hides. Sampo’s never been a lap-cat. Since Matrix’s passing she has voluntarily ventured onto my lap for short explorations. Sampo’s increasingly tolerating my picking her up. Something near impossible 3 years ago. Toleration is definitely her experience. I’m hoping that the advanced stroking that accompanies being picked up will eventually lead her to relax and enjoy it. Mostly our separate silences work to bond us well. She’s taken to talking to me when I get home from work and she likes to follow me around the house. She’s companionable at an arms-length distance.
When I go away, my neighbours pop by to change her water, feed her, and they’d like to pet her. They rarely even see her. When she hears the key in the door she runs upstairs and hides between the boxes under my bed. Looking after her is not a rewarding experience for my neighbours.
For the route 66 trip I’ll be away for nearly a month. I’ve decided to take Sampo to a cat kennels where someone can actually keep an eye on her elderly body. She’ll be seen, and the comings and goings of the kennel will keep her entertained. She’ll have her own view of bird-filled trees.