Cookie Mills is one of our Double-Wide Manx cats.
Her human companion died, and the situation was not an easy one for her – she was obviously attached to the woman, and to a life in which she was the only feline. She was taken in by a family member, but the stress of upheaval led to her peeing in the wrong places, and she eventually came to us. To find herself living in a dorm of other cats must have come as a shock. As with all our new cats, she spent the first month in a cage, getting used to the sights and sounds around, but with a space she could call her own. And, in common with some other new cats, when the cage door was opened, Cookie Mills didn’t want to leave!
Unfortunately for her, cages are needed for other new cats, or for cats who need medical attention, and Cookie Mills had to relocate a few times. She always manages to find a shelf in a quiet cage, and claims it for her own. She’s not actively unfriendly to other cats; she’s like the new kid in school who is something of a loner, and doesn’t really want to make friends. Occasionally she can be found sharing with another shy cat – perhaps Tiger or Pancake – and sometimes she reluctantly makes room for Sativa.
Cookie Mills shares space (and occasionally a shelf) with some of our other Manx cats, who have Manx syndrome issues. Little Sativa can’t help but leave bits of poop wherever she goes. Plum can use a litter-box, but can’t always control her sphincters, and needs regular baths. Our new girl Luna is leaky because of post-surgical issues and we need to change her bedding regularly. Cookie Mills’ peeing problems were emotional rather than physical, and she usually uses a litter-box and keeps herself pretty clean.
She is a general favourite with many of the Kitty Comforters, and has taken a special fancy to one of the Sunday visitors. Her owner’s family came to visit recently, and were visibly moved to see Cookie Mills react to the visitor – it appears that her manner and style are very like the original owner’s.
So far Cookie Mills has restricted herself to remaining in the Double-Wide. Currently the swing door is closed because we try and keep new cats from going outside until they’re more comfortable. (The long-time inhabitants are well able to open the door for themselves, but it’s a barrier for the newbies). We’d like to see Cookie Mills go out and get some exercise. The characteristics that make a Manx a “stumpy” can also mean shortened spines and arthritis, and many of them are stocky at best, and obese at worst. Because it’s so hard to control Sanctuary cats’ diet without caging them, encouraging exercise and play is our best option. She may end up among the cats who get carried to the gate at the far end in order that they at least get to do the return walk.
Cookie Mills doesn’t really come into the category of “Garbo” cats who “want to be alone” – she’s not aggressive in any way to other cats or to humans. We understand she misses her former owner, but we hope she can learn that there’s love for her here, as well.