Cat Sanctuary

Chateaux: What’s with that name?

Chat (pronounced “shat”) is the French word for cat, so that might go a little way to explaining Chateaux’s odd name.  But chateau (pronounced “sha-toe”) is the French word for an elegant manor house and chateaux (pronounced the same way)  is more than one elegant manor house, so what kind of name is Chateaux for a cat?

Here’s the story:
Two brothers, Shadow (black) and Ashes (grey), were adopted from another shelter as young cats about a year or two ago.  The lively pair weren’t very tame at the time and then didn’t enjoy the love and attention that could have allowed them to become affectionate companions to their guardian.   After just six months in what was supposed to be their forever home, they were surrendered to RAPS.   Sadly, Ashes tested positive for feline AIDS so was transferred immediately to RAPS’ Cat Sanctuary.  Shadow stayed on at the City Shelter but never did become tame enough to be considered adoptable so, after eight months there, he too was transferred to the Cat Sanctuary.  Somewhere along the way, there was a mix-up in the names of the two cats – Ashes came to the Cat Sanctuary with the name Shadow and Shadow was known as Ashes to the staff at the City Shelter.

When Ashes (the black cat formerly known as Shadow) came to the Cat Sanctuary recently and the name switch-a-roo was discovered,  everyone there was used to calling the grey cat (formerly known as Ashes) Shadow.  Are you confused yet?  So as not to have more than one cat named Shadow at the Cat Sanctuary, the “real” Shadow was re-named Chateaux.  When said with an elegant French accent, it sounds pretty much like Shadow, n’est ce pas?

So, now that the name thing is sorted out, what’s Chateaux like?  Well, he’s certainly elegant with his glossy black coat and beautiful green-gold eyes, but he’s not a lovable little kitty.  No, not at all!  Hardly surprising, considering that the Sanctuary is the fourth place where he’s lived in his short four years or so of life.  He’s quick to hiss and throw an angry paw at anyone who tries to pet him, but will stare quietly and give an almost friendly blink or two if just spoken to gently from a respectable distance. He seems very interested in the goings-on outside his cage and will sit just inside the cage door observing the activity but scoots behind the protective drape and glare out if someone enters his cage.

We have high hopes that, with lots of gentle attention and love, Chateaux will turn into a nice, happy cat who will enjoy being petted and maybe someday he’ll find his own forever home in someone’s chateau. Then, maybe he can get his own name back!

Blog by Marianne Moore
Photos by Debbie Wilcox Wolanski