For several years, Sunday visitors to the Sanctuary have entered, anxious to report that we have escaped cats in the parking lot, and needing to be reassured that yes, we did know those cats were out.
The two “strays” were Jordy (brown tabby) and Schatze (torby). Both had been taken in to the Sanctuary and for various reasons they never settled. Jordy made his home-base in handyman Doug’s work-shed; Schatze hung out mostly under the Moore House. Staff kept an eye on both, necessitating the occasional capture and vet-visit, but both were so unhappy and so quick to escape, that they were just accepted as the outside cats.
On his last vet visit Jordy was diagnosed with a heart condition, and his outside feedings soon included medication, which he accepted happily. And then recently he vanished – we hope he just found a hiding place and passed away quietly. Schatze, deprived of her parking-lot buddy, was more active and vocal, and the decision was made that, like it or not, she should come in. We’re situated on agricultural land, and the inevitable predators are a danger to even a savvy cat like Schatze.
So she came into the Moore House for a while, caged, to try to settle her, and there was discussion about where she should go – should she stay in the Moore House where she could see out to the area she used to hunt? Or should she go somewhere else?
In the end the decision was made that she needed space more than she needed visual familiarity, and last week she was released into pen 4, one of the feral-cat pens at the back. It’s a spacious pen, totally fenced in and covered, and the other cats in it – who include OJ, Rusty and Sandy & Pebble – all seem to get along peaceably. They get Kitty Comforters in from time to time, and many of the cats are more accepting of human attention than they used to be.
For the first few days in the new pen, Schatze sulked; she found herself a corner under a bush and stayed there. Staff and volunteers visited her, and made sure she had food, water and attention. On Friday Michele went in to try to get some pictures, and Schatze emerged to do a little exploring. The following day I visited and was greeted by the familiar chirping, and a little cat looking for her favourite treats.
Time will tell whether Schatze will settle or will pull a Houdini – we hope she realizes she really has it good in there!