Though most of the Sanctuary cats have come in as singles – whether feral-trapped or as surrenders, we have our share of feline family relationships. Some of them have recently been featured – the “Cow Cats” – Mya, Kirstie and Teagan – are now out of a cage and hanging about in the upper reaches of the single-wide trailer. They’re unlikely ever to be very tame cats, though both Teagan and Kirstie will accept a little attention, but they still enjoy each other’s company. However many of our siblings largely ignore each other, and it’s rare that you find them together, so most of the upcoming pictures are of singles rather than pairs. Claire introduced shy Tricia nearly five years ago and updated us on her progress back in 2013. Tricia is currently caged for a mouth infection, and actively solicits petting when visited – big progress from the shy girl she used to be.
Now we need to get working on her little sister Tara. Tara has been almost exclusively a back-pens cat – a little ghost who hovers around pen 1, but doesn’t want much to do with people. She was recently confined to treat what looks like an inner ear problem, and though still wary of being touched, is watching everything that’s going on. Having a cat caged, and accessible to the staff and the kitty comforters, is often a really good way of coaxing them into the next stage of being tamed.
The last of our Val Jones family, Paulo and Latte hang out together in the front courtyard – but their togetherness is probably less about affection and more about a common goal of food and attention from humans!
Brother and sister Miller and Fiona also live in the front courtyard. Though they mostly live independent lives, we can occasionally catch them together. Fiona’s usually a very friendly girl, though she doesn’t think much of Sunday visitors – she has a talent for hiding herself away until 4:10pm, when she emerges with an air of “did I miss something?”. Miller has progressed from being pretty feral to being everyone’s pal, and loves attention. The third of the trio is their sister Schatze (whose middle name should have been Houdini). Schatze lived in the parking lot until recently – she had a gift for escaping (though we never knew quite how). The nearby presence of coyotes encouraged us to bring her to pen 4 which is totally meshed in, and she’s stayed there – she was pretty miffed at first, but has now progressed to living in the hut with some of the other cats.
Families can be adoptive as well as blood relatives – and that’s true of the Dryer Gang: the first cats you encounter on entering the single-wide. They are centered on Simone and Bantam, who we used to think were brother and sister, but according to the vet, Simone is older than Bantam, and may well be his mom – even though he’s twice her size. The other cats are unrelated – they all just love each other!
The single-wide is also the home of some of our maternal relationships: tortie Sophie and her tabby son Hiro; Diamond and mamma’s boy Garfield.
And a third maternal relationship which we thought was wheezy Marissa and her orange son Paylan, has now been revealed to be mother/daughter (rechristened Sarah Paylan) – we should know by now that though orange cats are usually males, we have our share of the female variety.
Happy Family Day!
Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Brigid Coult, Claire Fossey, Phaedra Hardman, Debbie Wolanski and Michele Wright