I have taught her how to use the litter bin and scratch post, and she wouldn't dream of touching the furniture. She is not quite so afraid of open spaces anymore, realizing no harm will come to her, and she has taken to sprawling across the coffee table and playing with her feathered snitch in the evenings. She likes cuddles more and more--no longer does she shy away from head kisses--and she dearly enjoys human company, following me from room to room if I leave her side. Even if she isn't interested in pats at the moment, she will want to know what I'm doing.
It has been wonderful to see her grow, even in a week. She has come to understand that the human touch is meant for love, not unkind smacks, and that there really is a place for her in this world that does not involve cuffs and one-meal-a-days and fights over territory. She reminds me a bit of my father's work among the Badi women in Nepal--taking something so lost and broken and patiently reteaching it the meaning of home--and that is why I am so delighted to see good cheer bud from the despondency and confusion of abandonment.
Despite all this, I cannot keep her. She is going to a fosterer, but I am happy to give her over knowing I have taught her everything she should know, and now she only needs find a home that will give her the love and attention she requires. I realize this may sound a silly and cumbersome idea (and especially odd to the non-believer), but as much as I would like to keep her, my doing so would limit the many uses of my house, and above all, I want my house to be open to God's work (there'll be people passing through the island connected to my father's work)--for everyone--cat allergics not excluded. I really cannot bear the thought of drawing borders around God's plan for my life simply because I could not relinquish my own selfish ambition or vain conceit.
And so I give it up.
If anyone would like a charming and independent cat lady, please do let me know.