Pharoah the cat was absolutely terrified of people, but that didn't stop Cheyenne from loving him.
Pharoah spent most of his life living near a trailer park and he wouldn't let people near him.
When Cheyenne was at a local shelter with a friend, she noticed Pharoah and instantly fell in love with him. Staff told Cheyenne the cat was around two years old and had been brought in by someone who lived in the trailer park.
"He wasn't exactly what I was looking for at the time, but I fell in love with him when I met him, and knew I had to take him home," Cheyenne said. "Growing up, I had a formerly feral cat and knew what great pets they could be. I also figured since Pharaoh was still young, it would be easier for him to warm up to living with people."
Cheyenne took Pharoah home, assuming he would warm up relatively quickly. He would greet her at the door when she came into a room, but other than that, Pharaoh was very distant. He wouldn't eat or let anyone touch him.
"I assumed he was just nervous, as the shelter said he'd been eating fine," Cheyenne said. "The second day, he didn't eat again. Finally, on the fourth day of no eating, I figured something must be wrong and I took him to the vet."
As it turns out, the vet concluded Pharaoh wasn't two years old...he was TEN years old! He also had a slew of health problems, like hyperthyroidism, a heart murmur, and gum disease. The vet gave Cheyenne medication to help with Pharaoh's problems in the hopes he would start to open up more.
"He definitely was not the healthy kitten I signed on for, but at this point I was already too attached to him to even consider not keeping him," Cheyenne said.
The medication helped a little bit. His overall health started to improve, but Pharaoh still wouldn't let anyone touch him. He was nervous and jittery, and Cheyenne figured he would just never be an affectionate cat. She had no idea what happened to him over his life, so she figured all she could do was let Pharaoh live his life and love him from afar.
But then, something happened. Something Cheyenne never expected.
"I was sitting on the couch and he approached me and jumped into my lap, which was very unusual," Cheyenne said. "I pet him for a while, and when I stood up, he followed me and stood on his hind legs, pawing at me. I slowly picked him up and he immediately climbed onto my shoulders, purring."
All it took was Pharaoh to realize he was forever safe, and then he opened his heart to Cheyenne. He's still stand-offish with new people, but when he's with his mama, Pharaoh knows the world isn't scary--just filled with love.