“She and her kittens were being fed out there by the guys who use that spot as a base for the tunnel operations. It is actually the only time I’ve been scared trapping as one of the guys was NOT HAPPY that we were ‘taking’ the cats. Fiona (Torbie in the front courtyard) and Schatze (Torbie who got out and is living in the parking lot) are two of her kittens. From the start, Deanna seemed kind of tame- she would watch me set up the trap and would sit not too far away just watching me.
When she was trapped and put into the Singlewide, it wasn’t too long in the cage before she warmed up to people. Unfortunately when we let her out, she was so terrified she found a small hole in a sofa on the porch and stayed there for at least 3 days refusing to come out for food or to use the litterbox. When we finally pulled her out, she got a few more months in the cage to really get used to us. Even now, she is a total sweetheart to those she knows but if there is too much going on in the trailer, she runs behind the cages and won’t come out until all is safe.
Many people have expressed interest in adopting her, but we feel that moving her from a place she knows and has been for several years would be highly traumatic and she would likely be one of those cats who we’d have to go in and fish out from behind the hot water tank, or under the entertainment system. Once a semi-feral, always a semi-feral. Deanna has a lot of volunteers who love her and give her extra special attention.”
My first pictures of, and most of my encounters with, Deanna look like this:
She’s so friendly and generally up for a cuddle that it’s hard to imagine her having been so frightened when taken out of her comfort zone. But then it’s hard to picture cheery Esme hiding behind the hot water tank in Lisa’s story or cuddly Jenny wedging herself under the entertainment system in what was meant to be her new forever home… Understandably, RAPS staff are reluctant to put Deanna through the same kind of trauma through an adoption attempt.
Fortunately, she’s safe and happy at the sanctuary. And all those who love her can – and do – make sure she feels loved and well cared for.
Updated April 29, 2011: I’m sad to report that Deanna has left us to go to the rainbow bridge. She will be missed. Here is a lovely tribute done by RAPS volunteer and Deanna’s friend, Michele: