Tinker and Polo were both born at NAWT to a feral mother who was incredibly protective of her young.
Due to her feral nature, the boys’ mother made it very difficult for staff to get near to her or her kittens, which meant that Tinker and Polo missed out on a lot of handling and socialisation in the crucial early stages of their life. This resulted in both cats feeling very frightened around people and hiding away from visitors as a consequence.
Once Open Paw training for cats was introduced within the NAWT rescue centres, the team gradually began to notice a marked improvement in the behaviour of both Tinker and Polo.
Animal Care Assistant Laura explained at the time “You can always find Tinker at the front of his pen, considering he used to run and cower away, he now enjoys attention and a fuss, he will rub around your legs too.
“He is super playful and enjoys spending time in our enrichment pen. He is good at using the interactive feeders, games and NoBowl mice and is a bit of a foodie.”
Polo was the more nervous of the two cats but with the help of Open Paw, even he began to make progress.
“Before, Polo would spend the majority of time hiding under a blanket on his plastic chair,” Laura continued.
“But now he is nearly always at the front of the pen, watching out and waiting for treats.
“He is very playful and loves playing with his toys and enjoys time in the enrichment pen.
“Polo is now better around people, even those unfamiliar to him but still has a way to go.
“He will have a small stroke off of the cattery team that work with him daily but this is only for a short time.“
Just a few months into their Open Paw training, having developed a newfound trust in humans, Tinker and Polo each finally got to experience the luxury of a happy home at two years old.
A year later, both cats are continuing to surprise their new owners with their ever-increasing confidence and are both thoroughly enjoying their home comforts.
It is thanks to your support of our Open Paw training programme that we are able to work with animals who have experienced difficult periods in their lives, and can gradually help them to build their trust and confidence in people. You never give up on these animals and we make a promise to you that we won’t either.
To make your donation go even further for animals like Tinker and Polo this Christmas, please support our project on The Big Give, where every donation received between 12pm 27th November – 12pm 4th December will be doubled at no further cost to you click here to donate.