Tuco is a beautiful kitten who was brought into BARC shelter some weeks ago by the police. She had apparently been abused by people who had hit her in the face. She has received veterinary care and a lot of love and attention from the BARC vets, staff and volunteers. I have been working with her very gently to help her to learn to trust people again. Other staff and volunteers have given her a lot of attention as well. She has been gradually coming out of her shell, which is amazing to see.
She will still start out a bit tentative, as you can see by the above photo, but now with me she will often walk right up to the front of the cage. Understandably, a big hurdle for her to deal with has been her fear of a hand coming towards her face or head. I may start out by doing some llama ttouches (circular ttouches with the back of my hand) along the sides of her body, but she has also gotten comfortable with circular TTouches with the back of my finger (actually my fingernail) on her forehead or the top of her head, as well as straight strokes going down the sides of her back. The back surfaces of our hands are less intense than the front, so usually I will at least begin with the back surfaces of my hand when working with her.
She has come a long way, and I think she just needs time and patience to continue to come around at her own pace. See you soon, Tuco! xo