Stash is an unusual case for us (as has her daughter Iris). She’s been here since she was a tiny kitten (early 2008), and made it clear that she trusted me very early on, when she had kittens before I could trap her for TNR. But, she wouldn’t let me touch her.
She has been doing the rubbing up against things, showing her butt and looking over her shoulder like she wants to be pet, for years. But she would dash off if I reached out to touch her.
I’ve managed to touch her back, and even get a little scritching in as she moved along, and to touch her head while she was eating. It just annoyed her a bit, but didn’t totally freak her out.
Then, in early November, she did the rub-by on my shins and the underside of my arms while I was crouched over the food bowls doling out the cat food. And I got to pet her a little, but not much.
Saturday night, about a month later, she did the rub-by again, and I went for it with the full ear rubbing, a little under the chin, etc. She sat still for it all. She didn’t lean into it, but she didn’t move away at all either.
Since then I’ve pet her a little when she’s eating. She’s not crazy about it, but not really offended.
I’ll keep working on it and maybe she’ll decide she likes scritchin. Maybe not. I don’t need to hold her and love on her. We’ve had a great relationship for years. But now I feel much more confident that I can grab her and take her to the vet if she needs it. And that gives me some peace of mind.