Hello Wonderful People of Heartland,

This Happy Tail is quite a bit delayed. Our family adopted Norman in late June of this year. This is the story of Norman’s transition.

When Norman got home he immediately found himself a cozy spot we lovingly started to refer to as “the underbed world”. For the first few weeks he would only come out like a ninja in the night to eat his food and use his box. Occasionally you would catch a glimpse of his tail as he fled to the safety of the “underbed”. We knew he just needed time to adjust. So we would spend a lot of time laying on the floor and talking to him, leaving him treats, and letting him know we just wanted to love him. Eventually he gathered enough courage to come to the edge of the “underbed world “ and allowed us to pet him. Soon enough he enjoyed the petting so much that he would roll out from the underbed and allow us to pet him in the “real” world. As time progressed he eventually felt safe on the upper level of the house and would enjoy when we would give him lovin’ in the open. However, quick movements and loud sounds would still send him fleeing to the “underbed”.

Everything for Norman changed when the Mama Human got a call from a friend that there was a baby kitten that was separated from it’s Mama and needed help. Norman became intrigued by this tiny creature that was making all this noise. He would come sit on the bottom step and watch as the humans bottle fed the tiny creature. (This tiny creature was later to be named Mika) Norman didn’t exactly like Mika at first. He didn’t want to get close, but he didn’t hiss or get territorial around her. Norman was indifferent to her, but started coming into the downstairs more frequently to watch his human family interact with Mika. Which also slowly opened the door for his human family to interact and pet him on the bottom level of the house. However quick movements and loud sounds still sent him running to the safety of upstairs.

Then one day something magical happened… for the first time Norman used his voice. He called out and Mika ran over to him. After a bit of sniffing from both cats, Norman began to purr and Mika snuggled into him. From that moment on it was love. He would sing the song of his people to her, clean her, play with her, snuggle together. He makes sure that she eats before he does. He taught her to “talk” using different tones, and they have little conversations across the house.

Norman still wouldn’t let his human family pick him up or get too close to him. He would allow petting on his terms. And would still run away from quick movements in his direction. As much as he was teaching Mika the ways of being a cat, Mika was teaching him to not be afraid of his human family. He would watch as she climbed on furniture and cuddle with the humans. Eventually he got the courage to climb up on the furniture and cuddle with Mika. He wasn’t comfortable with the humans interacting with him quite yet and would run away if we came too close. Eventually he realized that it was okay to climb up and cuddle into an open spot on the couch while the humans were sitting out of arms reach. With time he eventually allowed us to pet him. Now he climbs up and nuzzles into a human of his choosing and cuddles with us!!!

It has taken Norman quite a while to feel comfortable in his new home. From his behavior we can tell that he was clearly shoo’d away frequently in his life prior to finding his forever home. His personality is so gentle, sweet and caring, and you can tell that deep down he just wants to be loved. He loves playing with toys, everything to do with Mika, and absolutely LOVES a good rubbing. He has a healthy appetite and will appear from nowhere the second someone steps into the kitchen. (where the food is kept) He might not be ready to be held, but we don’t mind loving him on his terms until he’s ready for more. We are so incredibly proud of the progress he has made over the last few months. We know that as long as we keep loving him, showing him he is safe and can trust us, hopefully we can replace all his bad memories with good ones.

We want to thank all of you at Heartland for finding our baby Norman and taking such good care of him before he became a part of our family.

Hope you all have a wonderful day,

The Kogan – Sabel Family

Happy Tails Archive


When you adopt from a no-kill shelter, you save two lives. The animal you adopt and the one that replaces him.