Cat Sanctuary

A Happy Tail – Terra

Terra came to us a couple of years ago, transferred from the 5 Road Shelter where she had not been happy. She was one of our “Garbo” cats (“I vant to be alone!”) and did not appreciate the proximity of other felines.  Like many of those cats, she enjoyed human attention, but unfortunately she also suffered from black-cat-itis. Many shelters have a number of black cats that have been passed over for adoption because nobody has bothered to look past the black fur to see the personality beneath.

Terra has been on our adoptable list for some time, and almost hit the jackpot a year ago – but it turned out that the black cat that the adopter had fallen in love with was actually another cat! So Terra remained with us, adopting the position of Laundry Cat in the Double-Wide. Unlike in the Single-Wide, where the Dryer Gang rules by the door, the Double-Wide dryer is occupied by one cat at a time – and mostly, that was Terra. She was often confused with big Cole, but he mostly wanted to be In the laundry (preferably nested in the towels), whereas Terra had her own bed on top of the dryer. In that position she was able to make contact with the many humans working in the area.

From volunteer Val Lea, who has adopted her recently:

As a volunteer for several years at the sanctuary, we were keeping an eye out for a new member of our family to bring home this past June. I’d fallen in love with Terra, whose normal perch was on top of the dryer in the double wide. So affectionate with people, but hating all the other cats, she would want to sit on my lap, but if another cat came near (and one always does!) she would hiss and run away.  I was concerned she’d miss all the love she receives from the staff and volunteers if we took her home.  I was reassured that since having no other cats around would lessen her anxiety, two people loving her would make up for it.

We (and by we I mean my husband Greg) spent five weekends building her a catio on our back deck. It was a major project because the deck had to be shored up to take the load, and the wood had to be painted white so it would look nice too.

All screened in and with a roof, it measures six feet by fourteen feet, because I wanted an area big enough so we could be in there too. It has shelves for her to perch – some with pillows on them, which Terra has just jumped across, and not actually sat on.

Her first day was spent mostly under the bed, but I coaxed her out for cuddles every couple of hours. She was much more adventurous the second day and found a spot where she could see the front door, down the hall and up the stairs – the perfect look-out!

By the fourth day, she was acting like she owned the place and was rolling around, trilling, sitting on my lap, enjoying being brushed and generally relaxing. Even greeting people who visited – after first checking that there were no cats with them!
Completely ignoring all the cushiony areas I made for her (along with the “softest pet bed in the world”) she prefers to sprawl out on the carpet.

though it didn’t take long before that pet bed was also getting a good workout!

We are absolutely delighted that we can give Terra a forever home where she is queen of the castle. I spend a good part of my time singing Terra, Terra to the tune of Sarah by Jefferson Starship.  She likes it, but I’m not sure how the other human feels about it 😀

Thank you, Val and Greg,  for loving her and giving her a home of her own!

Blog by Brigid Coult & Val Lea
Photos by Val Lea and Michele Wright

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