Gouku as a kitten was underweight, watery eyes, he didn't know how to sniff, or to meow, or to use his tongue for drinking, eating or licking. He was covered in mats that were pulling his skin, he had lots of infestations, and he was scared of the dark. He was also abused as an infant, and did not trust men. His first vocalizations to us were hisses, and together with the classic "scaredy cat" arch, he was extremely fear-based.
As he got older, his personality - his underlying personality didn't change. He would freak out if something dropped, at a doorknock, bringing a bag in from inside. He absolutely refused to go into any dark room. He still had problems licking and he didn't know how or why to sniff. On the flip side, he was normally a very velcro kitty. He wanted affection. He was always underfoot, and he was so kind to our pet mouse. Then when he was 2, at the scream from us at a wolf spider, he gave out a very bad attack with deep bite and scratch wounds.
We tried to get advice from the vet and other cat owners (although we're from a cat-owner-generational family) - who all said the same thing. "Put him down" "Put him to sleep" It was impossible to kill a cat who was obviously still fearful, and all his violent, defensive actions were based on nothing but fear. We refused, and tried to work around it, boosting up his ego, giving him flower essences, expanding his surroundings through taking his kennel outside. We had time-out sessions during the daytime, and kept him kenneled at night. He got his own room, and we'd spend time with him daily. Eventually, it became a regular cycle. We'd work with him, get him stable, and then he would attack, seriously.
We tried to place him to a farm - but he lacked outdoor-awareness, and his long hair made him a magnet for burrs. Plus, he had to eat a special diet of cooked food, due to urinary problems that would leave him with his legs up in the air and crying as he licked himself if he ate conventional food - especially dry food. Due to his large size, we felt uncomfortable putting him on a farm with children, and the no-kill shelters told me he'd be placed on the kill list since he was a danger. There was nowhere to put him, and we did make a commitment to him for life.
Poor little Ku. He was a very mistrustful boy who didn't know how to show, or take affection. Those early weeks of anyone's life are very formative, no matter who it is. He was very loved, although he was very dangerous, and because of him, he will definitely cause me to pause before taking in another foundling - as opposed to a breeder's cat, who raises their babies in loving environments, where they don't have to be scared.