June 08, 2021

Transformation Tuesday #30

I'm down to the last couple of transformations in my inbox. They're great ones(!) but now I need to beg for  more so I can continue Transformation Tuesdays. I look forward to putting these posts together every week. Opening the Transformation Tuesday emails is kind of like opening gifts on Christmas--not knowing what kind of transformations they hold, but always feeling inspired :)

This first one has a long story with it, but editing it down would take away from the extent of the transformation. Enjoy!

I live in the Boston area, and with the pandemic it has been nearly impossible to adopt a pet--so many people adopted, shelter pets are scarce. Several of our (really terrific!) shelters "import" pets from high-kill shelters in other states (Florida, Texas, Georgia, etc), to try to meet the demand. However, just getting an appointment to *see* any adoptable cats was like finding a vaccine appointment--nearly impossible--I'd applied and been on the "approved adopter" list for several shelters since late January and was still waiting.

Anyway, in mid April I was looking at one particular shelter website and saw a cat called an "unfurgettable friend"--which is "shelter-speak" for a shy/scared cat that needs some extra attention, and I emailed an application immediately. I had applied for other cats at that shelter before, so I didn't get my hopes up.

However, that day (April 15th), I got an email asking if I could meet this cat at 10:30am the next morning (schedules are strict due to COVID protocols)--the shelter folks were really nice, but if I didn't take that appointment I knew that it would go to the next suitable adopter.

(Of course it was heavily snowing (!) the next day (April 16th), and the shelter was 45 minutes away and I don't like to drive in the snow--but it makes for a good story.)

I met the cat, who was an owner-surrender, just over a year old. She'd been in different shelters for almost seven weeks, because even though the shelter in Georgia had said she had a sweet personality...at the Boston shelter, she was upset, scared, angry--it took weeks for her to start to calm down-- weeks in which she sat in her (soiled) litter box, hissed, swatted, and growled. This girl was not good with change, and I can relate.

By the time I saw her, she was rubbing her head against the bars of her cage to try to get pets and reaching out to touch me. But because of her temperament, they wouldn't let any visitors take her out of her cage (I understood.) My heart broke: this cat needed to be in a home.

The shelter has 5 or 6 animal behavior experts on staff, so the next step was for me to meet with one of them to talk about how best to help her feel safe and to adjust (and to make sure I was safe). Part of this shelter's promise is that I can speak to/meet with anyone on their behavior staff for the rest of this animal's life, they really want to make adoptions work--and then they brought her out to me already in a carrier.

I named her Gilda, and she lived in my bathroom for nearly a week. She has *never* hissed, swatted, tried to bite or scratch me, but it was clear she was terrified. She has really unusual coloring-- I've never seen a cat quite like her-- hard to tell in the photos, but her fur is almost white, with some black hair mixed in and with pale peach patches--her whiskers are black and white.

She is a mess and I love her. She has some skin and digestion issues (so many black heads, ugh). The first night she was with me she peed in the bed I bought for her--and, well, let's just say she was too scared to use the litter box. She moans when stressed out and growls when she hears an unfamiliar noise. She is terrified of towels.

But it's been nearly four weeks and: she's never missed the litter box since that first day, she figured out what her bed was for (and decided sleeping with me was okay, too), she loves crinkle-ball toys and little mice and constantly rubs her cheeks on my nose. The first night she was brave enough to leave the bathroom, she jumped on my bed and slowly maneuvered her way into my armpit--so that her face was resting in my neck. While she was purring, I was crying from happiness.

We have a ways to go: my mom tried to meet her and Gilda hid in the tub; she also needs to have her medical issues addressed. We have a vet appointment next week and I have anti-anxiety medication for her if I can get her to swallow the pill, ha! She and I have been "practicing" with her carrier-- I put toys and treats and an old smelly t-shirt in there and she seems ok with that.

Enjoy the before and not-quite-after (maybe during) photos!

- Michelle, New England

The adventures of the summer cottage continue! I was fortunate the tenant left me all her furniture for $1000--all of the beds, couches, the works. First project: paint the walls this Cuba-inspired color “Dinner Mint”; get the trim back to white; and paint the bookshelves the distinct coral and purple! (Here is the link to the transformation of the outside of the cottage.)

- Lindsay

Michelle, I LOVE that you adopted Gilda--you are the perfect person for her. It requires so much patience and compassion to understand the needs of a cat like Gilda. She's clearly very comfortable with you and is slowly letting her guard down. What a sweetheart!

Lindsay, holy smokes! The cottage looks so happy and fun. I have to admit, I never would have chosen those colors (I have a terrible eye for design) but you couldn't have picked better colors for the place--it looks amazing! Also, you did a great job with the before and after photos--seeing things from the same angle always adds to the "WOW" factor ;)

Thank you so much for sharing! Remember, I'm always looking for more transformations to post, so if you have one to share, please send me an email at: Katie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com. Include a before photo and an after photo, as well as your name and a description of the transformation.


  1. I love that paint job!! The green and white trim looks so good

  2. I hope Michelle provides you with a follow up on Gilda. What a beautiful story. It makes me happy to know Gilda will be able to have a wonderful life without being moved around from home to home. She's such a pretty cat.

    I love the green paint in the cottage. What a difference.

  3. Gilda is just gorgeous! Your patience has already paid off, she'll be your best friend furever!!

  4. How do I send you pictures of a transformation? I enjoy looking at them too.

    1. The last paragraph of this post explains how to submit a transformation. Just send me a before picture and an after picture (preferably not a collage) and a description of the transformation to: katie (at) runsforcookies (dot) com. :)


I used to publish ALL comments (even the mean ones) but I recently chose not to publish those. I always welcome constructive comments/criticism, but there is no need for unnecessary rudeness/hate. But please--I love reading what you have to say! (This comment form is super finicky, so I apologize if you're unable to comment)

Featured Posts

Blog Archive