Here's the thing: I acknowledge that my cats might be...lemons. I mean, they spayed, declawed and vaccinated Boku and gave her to me for $0. And Mona was the same treatment for $75. But I'm a sucker and they're mine and they're awesome. And I've always had hope that they'd get better.
Then loml came around and won Boku over with his tireless petting. And my scared, clearly previously abused cat transitioned yesterday to letting people pet her when she was in a stationary position. SHE LET US TOUCH HER WHEN SHE WAS LAYING DOWN. Still kind of on her terms, but it's awesome. Maybe in the next 5 years she'll be a normal cat. Or....10 is probably more realistic.