I have been working with Art3mis and trying to figure out if she is open to the idea of being a house cat. It is so difficult to tell at this stage because she is still obviously very protective of the kittens. If I am sitting with her and there is an odd noise in the house she will gather up her kittens and start growling. Then there is also the back-sliding, what I can 'get away with' one day will get me growled at the next.
On Saturday, I decided to push her a little and instead of reaching under the couch I decided to sit on the side of the couch. I had to move the baby gate I had propped up against it to help her feel more closed in. She was none too happy about it and I got growled at for quite some time. I simply talked softly to her and told her that she was safe, and that she was pretty, and that she made beautiful babies. After some time, she stopped growling and laid down and I could hear her starting to purr again. Purring is difficult because it can be "I'm happy" or it could be "I'm freaked out and self-soothing" but I counted on it being the former because she decided to lay down and her kittens were nursing on her - which would have made it difficult for her to lunge at me.
and then this happened.
In case that was too fast for you to catch..
What occurred was blind trust on my part. I waited until I got what I thought was permission and then I went for it. I was beyond uncomfortable doing it because she was not in a good location. Where I was sitting was right on the door jam, so that was shoved into my back. I ended up turning my head away to try to reach in further, and while that worked, it felt very risky. I ended up moving the couch a bit and that freaked her out a bit but not enough to stop me when I reached in again.
Doing this has been hard on my body. It is very hard to reach halfway behind a couch while sitting on the ground when your head stays out from behind the couch.
I've tried it again several times, and sometimes it is okay, sometimes it isn't. *shrug* who knows. I make no judgements and no prognostications. Right now it is what it is and we will just take one day at a time.