It was in July of 2013 that Cammie came to stay with me. I didn’t know then that she would be a permanent part of my life, but even so, the building of trust began. The first step was for her to trust me enough not to growl whenever I came near her. Then, I was able to pet her; then she purred. After that, though I cannot say that improvements came fast and furious, they nevertheless came. She sat on my lap, then on my chest. She started to tolerate the other cats - still not without extensive hissing, however - and now is as much a part of the family as any of them. Something that still needs to be achieved, though, is the cutting of her claws.
I have continued to take her to the veterinary hospital for this. It is relatively inexpensive (relative to the high price of everything else at the hospital) but still is a cost. It is also inconvenient, as Cammie needs to be driven there and back, and the process takes close to an hour. She makes no fuss with the veterinary technicians who cut her claws. I think she may be befuddled by simply being in the medical environment.
This process gets the job done, but aside from being a drain on resources of both money and time, it is stressful for Cammie. Ultimately, nothing bad happens to her, but being stuffed into a carrier and taken to the hospital is something no cat likes, and the worry in her mind must be tremendous. So I keep trying to cut her claws myself.
On the weekend, I was able to accomplish half the task. The princess was lying on the couch in the library. I seized the moment, took the clippers and went in to talk to her. She was suspicious and must have known what I was doing as I held her paw and pressed each claw out. Between severing each length, I stroked her furrowed head and of course spoke to her throughout. I cut the claws on her left paw only.
Perhaps I should have pressed my luck and attempted to finish the right, as well. But that is the more difficult paw with which to work, regardless of the cat. I am right-handed, so my left holds her left around her body, and there is something that is less stressful about that for the beast, and physically more convenient for me. Cammie had, I think, had enough of the activity by then.
However, one paw is done, and I will await the opportunity for the other. My princess is a smart animal, and knows as soon as I approach her what I intend. I am aware of what situation would be optimum for success, and will watch for it. It should not be long in coming. After all, cutting the claws on one paw took only two and a half years.