I knew Jaycee was scared of dogs. Anytime we arrive at some one's house with a dog, Jaycee will climb to the back of my van and refuse to come out.
But then I discovered through a stray cat that Jaycee also has a deep fear of cats.
When the cat would innocently approach Jaycee, she would yell "Mama!!" and quickly move. I was shocked to learn that anyone could be so afraid of a small cat.
My son, who always wanted a pet, was glad the cat showed up at our house and was eager to take care of her. He even picked out a name, Rocket.
When I saw Jaycee's fear, it seemed it would be best to keep the cat around and desensitize her. It also worked to keep Jaycee inside the house as she tries to escape sometimes. One time when I was doing laundry in the basement, Jaycee managed to leave the house without me knowing. But, as I was climbing the steps back upstairs I saw Jaycee running through the door because the cat was outside. It was my security kitty for Jaycee. It was working out well for me.
Eventually, Jaycee got brave enough to occasionally pet Rocket. She also started to help feed the cat. This was a good chore for Jaycee.
A few months after Rocket arrived, a couple of male cats suddenly showed up at the house and you can guess the rest. As soon as the kittens were born, we involved Jaycee, talking about them and showing them to her. As soon as their eyes were open, we had Jaycee pet them. We wanted her to be totally comfortable with them. And, it seemed to work. She was cautious but interested.
The kittens are now 9 weeks old, and they have a good friend in Jaycee.
Jaycee has made a huge transformation. I'm so glad she's no longer scared of cats. Maybe one day she will learn to love dogs. But I hope a stray dog doesn't show up at my house!