I wouldn't exactly call Maisie a "problem cat" (there-are-no-bad-cats) but ever since she was a kitten, she has had a certain personality: contrary, cantankerous, particular in whom she allows to approach (no one.) She was a rescue cat who had lived through the tragic circumstances of losing her mother too young and being left alone, sick, and flea-ridden until a kind vet in Old Lyme, Connecticut took her in. I and the old girls--Maggie and Mae Mae--adopted her. Time passed. We lived in New York, and for a while in Malibu. The dynamic of those three cats was of love, but separation. Each kept to herself. There were occasional stealth attacks--Maisie, stalking the others like a wild cat, pouncing, letting out lion-sounding snarls. Maggie would sit closest to me, on my desk while I wrote, and after she died, Mae Mae nuzzled her way in. After Mae Mae died, I waited for Maisie to claim her spot on the desk, but she never did. She was a loner cat, preferring to sit under chairs rather than on them, staring at me with her green eyes, coming out to be fed, but rarely petted.
Then along came Tim. He and his twin sister Emelina were also rescue kittens. They moved in, and I was a little worried that Maisie, although now fifteen and less angry, would intimidate them. They had such sweet personalities, loving to be held and petted, and often cuddling up with each other. I watched Maisie carefully, ready to pull her away if I saw too aggressive a swat.
But that didn't happen.
Tim loved Maisie from the beginning, but he was careful about approaching her. The initial hello didn't go very well.
So he watched.
She noticed, and tolerated it, sometimes watching him back.
After a while this happened:
They made friends.
Tim is also very sweet with Emelina, but this story is about him and Maisie. Emelina does, occasionally, hang out with them.
But mostly, if Maisie lets anyone close, it's Tim.
He taught her about love. She's almost a different cat. Amazing that love can do that.