Today Lilly has been with us for 12 days and she has made good friends with her new brothers and sisters - Rosie and Rufus in particular. She spent a week on her own (which she really enjoyed) letting her fungus clear to a large degree - she's still got a few days of treatment for it to clear completely.
Physically Lilly was in a pretty fine condition (everything taken into consideration) although I did find the look in her eyes rather pained and sad (scroll down two posts to compare). She was in this peculiar way where she seemed to really love cuddles but would get really bitey of the hands cuddling her and she would squeak and cry if hands were put on her too suddenly. I wondered if her story was one of being handled by small children not really knowing when to let her go. I found Lilly on a building site - a house almost finished and recently inhabited for a few weeks by the family building the house (a family with three children - all under the age of 6). I found Lilly roaming around on her own just a few days after they left the house and it would kind of make sense because Lilly wasn't really skinny and there are no other houses nearby. There was also no trace of a kitty mom or any siblings.
Well, I proceeded with this theory and told my dear husband to be mindful when handling Lilly and to let her all the time feel as if she had the upper hand and would be able to say no when she didn't want to engage. This approach started to make a difference - no more biting (she would bite even when we were handling/cuddling her really gently) and now she is so confident that she will walk into our laps of her own volition and we will just place a hand next to her - letting hands become a trusted friend again. This image is from yesterday morning - today we've been able to stroke Lilly very gently with no biting and no squeaking and it has been a major YES! feeling. To feel her become confident again is just wonderful - and her eyes are gradually becoming softer again.
Trust is truly something you have to win - you can't just assume it will be there and Lilly has demonstrated such a valuable lesson.