Written by Melissa Viera
Meet Marshmallow a feral cat who is now learning how to trust. Marshmallow was one of many cats living without the guidance of a family in her neighborhood. Together the neighborhood pitched in to provide the feral cats with food and shelter. A few neighbors contacted Habitat for Cats a nonprofit organization located in New Bedford, MA, and they proceeded to do a trap-neuter-return(TNR). TNR is when feral and abandoned cats are safely trapped, provided with veterinary care and sterilization, and returned to their colonies. Some friendly cats and kittens are taken into foster care and eventually available for adoption.
Marshmallow was returned to her neighborhood after receiving necessary care, and ready to start a new chapter in her life. Marshmallow began to learn that the call "kitty, kitty" meant a dish of yummy food was coming. Next she learned to associate the sound of a click from a training clicker with the food. With patience and care Marshmallow learned to enjoy her clicker training sessions while learning to trust at the same time. Soon Marshmallow was allowing light touches and eventually even petting. With each session she became more confident making routine care like grooming her long coat possible.
As Marshmallow's confidence grew so did her personality. Marshmallow loves to play especially with her toy mouse on a pole. She enjoys many different kinds of treats and sometimes gets to lick special treats right off of the spoon. She has learned many behaviors that help make routine care possible like how to target a person's hand on cue.
Marshmallow continues to grow and learn everyday. With a little bit of patience this beautiful cat had a second chance at living a life filled with love. All feral cats are different and Marshmallow was lucky enough to have someone experienced willing to work with her, and respect her boundaries.