Claire introduced us to Albi nearly three years ago when he was still in the early stages of settling down with us. Initially shy and a bit nervous, he established himself as a member of the Newcomers area – sometimes cosied up inside on one of the shelves or in an open cage, but more often out on the deck.
Albi was named for the husband of one of our staff, and initially she wondered if it was a good match – he was edgy and nervous, unlike his more mellow human counterpart. But interactions with passing volunteers and staff became less and less stressful for him, and now he actually seeks out human attention.
Almost always, he indulges in a behaviour that you usually only see in a really relaxed cat – he flops over to expose his belly. He will allow a little gentle tummy-rub, but I think it’s less about seeking belly-rubs and more about saying “I’m vulnerable”
He’s a little stand-offish with other cats – certainly with the pushy ones like Sid and Owl. I’ve found him exchanging head-bonks with a few quieter cats, and his territory has expanded beyond the Newcomers area and into the rest of the back courtyard.
He reminds me a bit of orange Gilbert in the front courtyard – initially very shy, and now soliciting attention and petting. It’s wonderful to see!
Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Debbie Wolanski & Michele Wright