Cat Sanctuary


Last month I wrote about a beautiful tabby and white semi-feral named Esme who’d been adopted out but had to return to live at the sanctuary when the change of environment proved too much for her. For anyone who was baffled by why her adoption story wasn’t a successful one, read on.

Jenny is another semi-feral whose good looks and sparkling personality won the heart of a nice woman who wanted nothing more than to welcome her into her home.

If you meet Jenny on the back porch of the singlewide trailer at the sanctuary, you’ll find her both active and affectionate. She actually sought me out before I even knew who she was, meowing for attention and dancing for joy when she received it. The next time I met her, she repeated the performance and followed it up with a head butt to my rear end with a level of force and enthusiasm that a medium sized dog would have been proud to achieve. In other words, she’d love to love you and isn’t at all shy about showing it.

In fact, I was only able to get the photo below after I’d finally gotten her worn out from a cuddle session that bordered on the epic.

With a personality like this, I suppose I can see why her adoptive parent saw the instructions given to her by RAPS staff for introducing an adopted cat into the household as less “rules” than “guidelines.” Jenny’s so outgoing at the sanctuary that you wouldn’t think she’d be phased by meeting lively new people, so calm in her environment that she shouldn’t need to be initially confined to just one room in her new home…

With tame cats who’ve already had the experience of living with a family, the assumption that they’ll manage to adjust may prove true. With a semi-feral, though, appearances of unphasability can all too often be deceiving. When Jenny’s new person gave her the run of the whole house right away and invited her mother as a houseguest at the same time, Jenny, in a word, freaked. And soon couldn’t be found anywhere.

The woman who’d adopted her was distraught, horrified at the thought that somehow, despite all precautions, the frightened cat might have escaped outside. Leslie and Gaye remember going to the house and looking in all possible hiding places. Eventually, they found Jenny where she’d wedged herself in an impossibly small place under a table holding an entertainment system. Only after dismantling this, removing the large TV and tilting the table could they extract the terrified Jenny.

And, after trauma to all involved, back to the sanctuary she went. Making friends with semi-ferals at the shelter, let alone bringing one home, takes a long time and an unbelievable amount of patience. Not everyone realizes just how much, particularly when the cat in question seems to be giving a million signals to the contrary… until you take them out of their comfort zone. For Jenny, it was all just way too much all at once.


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