Uzoma is a gorgeous, extra large, 6 year old, black tabby and white Maine Coon male who has traveled a very bumpy road in his life so far–but we remain optimistic that his forever people are out there readying themselves to love him for who he is! Uzoma is a Nigerian name given to males who are born on a journey, and Uzi’s journey began in 2013 when he was rescued from a very high-kill shelter as a declawed adult. The procedure to remove a cats’ claws from their paws is brutal, and should be considered a form of abuse. Declawing leaves a cat marred with insecurities and anxieties because they are no longer able to protect themselves with their claws or use them to exercise their prey-instinct (such as catching feather toys, etc). Despite his insecurities, Uzi LOVES people once he feels safe: he enthusiastically lays with you and makes his “biscuits” on your neck like your own personal masseuse; he will mush his face into your face to mark you as his very own; he will greet everyone in your home by rubbing up against them–with special attention to the ladies because a ladies’ man he is!
But, given his long history in foster care being bounced around to several different homes, and his experience losing his claws, Uzoma has learned that he needs to be on guard at all times. What this means for his forever people is that they will need to invest time in the beginning of their relationship with Uzi to learn to communicate with him: a growl while he’s snuggling you means he heard something and is concerned, so he needs to focus on that potential threat rather than your snuggling; a hiss means he’s overstimulated and needs to remove himself from the situation; and a bite means he does not like what you are doing to him even though it might seem reasonable to you (like belly rubs, Uzi does not allow humans to rub his luscious belly!) The easiest way to diffuse any reactive behavior from him is to not make eye contact, doing so will let him know that you are no threat to him. Once Uzi learns that his people will respect his communication and honor his preferences, they will have a love-filled life with this sweetheart! He needs an experienced cat caretaker who understands that kitties are their own beings that have their own ways of living their cat-lives. He also needs to be in a home where he is the ONLY ANIMAL, he does best where he can know he is King Uzi and all focus is on him.
In many ways, Uzoma represents the crux of animal rescue in that he has had a very hard life, filled with sadness, fear, and uncertainty, which has left its mark on this beautiful soul. Uzoma has been adopted!