A neighborhood cat named Petzi showed up on a family's porch for food. He was full of battle wounds and was terrified of people.
Over the next few months, the family was on a mission to win his trust and turn his life around.
Stefan F. and his wife from Austria began feeding the neighborhood cats on their porch or terrace after they lost their beloved cat last December. "Some cats would show up regularly and eat the food during night time. I cannot say if Petzi was one of the visitors," Stefan told Love Meow.
In April, the couple adopted an orange cat named Moritz, who came to them as a stray. Then a few weeks later, Petzi appeared. "He looked haggard and weak, but we weren't able to get closer than 20 meters without spooking him away."
The ginger and white cat vanished for a few weeks, and when he returned, he looked as if he had got into a big fight with a few cuts on his head and neck. "He was sitting in our garden, looking at the living room. My wife tried to get close to him but that wouldn't work," Stefan added.
They offered him some cat food but he wouldn't eat in front of them. The couple walked inside, closed the door, and watched him from afar. "It took about 10 minutes after closing the door until we saw him gulping down the food."
They kept up with his daily feedings, but every time they tried to approach him, he would run away and refuse to eat in their presence.
The couple decided not to make any eye contact with the cat and slowly and discreetly inch closer to him each day. "We would sit a few meters away and wouldn't look at him when he ate. This was the key to get him to know that we mean no harm."
Once they were within reach, they began to try to touch him very gently. "Immediately after putting down the food, we would lightly touch him on the head. The first few times he recoiled, but after a while it worked and we were allowed to pet him very gently."
They got some meds from the vet to treat against fleas, worms and ticks. His wounds also healed up nicely. With love and a lot of patience, the kitty really came around.
When they were discussing adopting Petzi, their cat Moritz helped them solidify that decision. He accepted his new pal right away and even helped him adjust to indoor life.
"A few days ago, we got his first vet visit (wellness check and neuter surgery) and he is officially a member of our family," Stefan said.
When they came home from the vet, Petzi snuggled right into Stefan's lap and purred so intensely.
The sweet boy has come a long way since he showed up as a hungry, fearful, scraggly cat.
He loves to eat and demands cuddles with his humans after every meal. Life is good now!
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