Journey, the cat from China who was found inside a shipping container in Prince George, continues to recover is SPCA care. Journey’s life-threatening medical concerns have been addressed but she has made slower progress towards learning to trust the people who care for her.
Journey remains under the watchful and specialized care of Dr. Karen van Haaften, a board-certified veterinary behaviourist who serves as the BC SPCA’s senior manager of behaviour and welfare.
Dr. van Haaften has Journey on a behaviour modification plan, working with her twice a day. At first, Journey would not come out from under the bed. Now, Journey loves engaging in regular play sessions in the open with a wand toy.
This little cat has gradually become less fearful of human contact. Initially, Journey was very stressed by a hand reaching for her – she was not used to accepting physical attention from people. Dr. van Haaften started her on a training program similar what we use in the shelter to get under-socialized cats comfortable with petting.
At first, Journey could barely tolerate petting, jumping away when people would try to pet her but she’s gradually become much more comfortable, sitting calmly and quietly while accepting pets. The cat who used to jump up into the rafters or hide in a corner when people came into the room has changed so much.
Journey will still need more time, repetition, positive reinforcement and patience. She does not yet show signs that she’s enjoying being pet but she has continued to make slow progress every day.
Her quality of life in foster care is good, with daily play and a big window for enrichment. We are now confident that Journey will be adoptable and be comfortable living in someone’s home. We are hopeful that a little more time in foster care will help her learn to enjoy physical affection too!
Thank you to everyone who has followed Journey’s amazing story and look forward to more updates on her progress towards being ready for adoption.