Cat Sanctuary


Who could ever look at this cute face, and not fall in love?


That was certainly the case for this pretty girl, who came into the SPCA in Vancouver as a pregnant mom, and was adopted by a couple who just fell for her. Like many cats in a shelter situation, she was very shy, and they took her home and named her Pixie, confident that the shyness would wear off and she would warm to them.
Didn’t happen!


They must have been very good cat-parents, because they were endlessly patient with her shyness, and her ability to hide herself away. They didn’t push her to interact, but as any owner of a feral cat knows, you wonder how long you can live with a shadow permanently lurking under the bed. By the sixth year of her time with them, she had progressed to sitting beside her human dad on the couch, and allowing just a little petting before running away to her hiding place again.


Then something happened that made it necessary for them to move – and not just a single move, but one that would probably involve several transitions. They loved her, and they knew that this would be very stressful for her. And so they brought her to us, seeking sanctuary for her, and a place where she might feel safe.


Her original name of Pixie suited the scared, wary creature she was at the beginning, but Leslie thought she needed a name-change to suit the classy little cat she could be.  Her lovely dilute colouring reminds us somewhat of Princess Diva and of Latte – both of whom are very much their own personalities – and Leslie named her Chanel, hoping that she would grow into the confidence of her classy namesake. For the first while Chanel lived in the DoubleWide, in a quiet corner cage. She accepted visitors from the shelter of her box, but firmly stayed inside – the volume of her purring made it clear that petting was welcome, but her non-appearance also sent a very clear message.


Finally she was moved over to the Moore House – the area also known as “GeriCatrics”. Chanel was not that old – probably no more than 7 or 8 – but the quiet life in the Moore House was much more to her taste. For some time she preferred to hang out in a shelter of some kind – preferably one that was just out of reach. She didn’t allow for our determined Kitty Comforters, who were quite prepared to perch precariously on a chair in order to pet her and remind her that humans have their uses.


In the last year or so she has improved in confidence, wallowing in caresses when offered, and interacting fairly peaceably with the other cats – in particular, with Sophia, with whom she can often be found snuggling. For Chanel, the Sanctuary is truly a place where she can feel secure.

Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Brigid Coult, Melanie Draper, Chris Peters, Michele Wright