Let me introduce you to our only daughter – Cookie Dough (AKA Princess Cookie, First of Her Name; The Dough; Cookie Monster; Cookie Doughsie)!
I first met Cookie Dough when she was brought to WHS as a 2-month-old kitten. I had just started volunteering, and fostering was something I was very interested in. The intake staff named her Cookie Dough because of markings on her sides which looked like cookie dough ice cream. The then foster coordinator explained that she had been brought in by herself and was a scared, hissy kitty. I went in to meet her, and she hissed repeatedly and withdrew. She let me take her out of her kennel, hissing all the way, but not biting.
I took her home and set her up in a spare bedroom, closing the closet door so she couldn’t hide. I turned on NPR for her, and we visited her several times a day. We alternated playing with her and just sitting with her to try to gain her trust. It was heartbreaking to see that she kept hissing and acting afraid. I was told that it usually took about two weeks for hissy kitties to come around. Sure enough, right at the two-week mark, she finally stopped hissing. She loved playing with a wand toy and batting crinkly balls around.
Mujeeb had initially been hesitant to foster because he was afraid we would adopt the foster animals. He was the one who said, “We have to keep her – I cannot let her go!” She became our first foster failure after being spayed on July 18, 2014.
We kept her segregated from her older brothers (Morrissey & Sunny) for a while even after her adoption, then tried gradual introductions. She hissed at them, and they hissed in return. They finally got used to her, but Sunny did chase her (and occasionally still does).
Cookie Dough seems to be socialized only to us – she runs and hides whenever visitors come over, even people she’s been around frequently. She is an unbelievably talented hider and has caused pet sitters to panic because they JUST.COULD.NOT.FIND.HER. She jumps on top of the kitchen cabinets and hides, she hides on tall closet shelves, she pulls out movie theater speaker covers and hides in closets…you name a hiding place, and she finds it.
She gave us a scare in October 2014 when she got out through open garage doors. I went to work and realized when I got home that I hadn’t seen her for a day or so. I went calling for her outside and panicked when she didn’t answer. I walked the other way on the sidewalk calling her name, and I heard her meowing at me. I went to our garden and saw her under the neighbor’s deck. She continued to tease us for a couple of hours, running up close by and then running back into the bushes. She seemed to think it was a game. We were paranoid that she would take off running down the hill to the golf course and that we’d never see her again. I was bawling in frustration and fear. We finally hit upon offering her some “fishies” (dried bonito flakes which most of our cats crave). She came close enough to head butt Mujeeb, and he grabbed her and we ran for the house before she could wriggle out of his arms. I cannot describe our relief at finding and catching her.
The Dough is still a fearful kitty, although she has received nothing but love. She does things very much on her terms. She runs from Sunny, but stalks and chases Salvador and Kennedy. She seems not to like to be hovered over, as she will run away if you bend down to try to pet her. If she decides she wants attention, though, she will sit on our laps. She loves going back and forth between us in bed, getting belly rubs, purring, drooling on us, and head butting us. Her favorite toy is a purple stuffed mouse, which she carries throughout the house “talking” to it. She gets quite vociferous! We lost it for about a year and couldn’t find it anywhere, finally discovering it behind some couch cushions, and we were thrilled that Doughsie had her mousie back again!
We love this sweet little girl like crazy!