Kitty Comforter Pauline Chin knows the Double-Wide cats best, but she’s also come to know the cats in a more distant corner of the Sanctuary.
Walking past Pen 8, you might notice two smaller black cats. Kermit is all-black with light green eyes. Gigi is black with a white chest patch and a white bikini patch. Her eyes have changed from gold to yellow-green.
Kermit and Gigi are the youngest arrivals trapped from Rusty’s Towing. These two are currently over a year old. There’s a high chance they are younger relatives of Magpie, as well as Fable and Eclipse, who hang around the back courtyard. All sport mostly black coats, round faces, and round eyes. All are different degrees of semi-feral and prefer to avoid human touch. But they love food!
The pair arrived last year and were caged with Fable. It was a bit of a challenge to interact with all three of them, but Kermit seemed to come around first, then Gigi. Not so much with Fable, as she was older and far from the kitten socialization window. The wand toy seemed to fascinate them and entice them to paw at it, while staying out of reach from the human.
Once released from the cage, Gigi and Kermit went to Pen 8, along with Magpie. Fable often sits atop the cages in the double-wide. And I hear Eclipse retreats beneath the single-wide during the day.
The majority of kitties in Pen 8 are very feral. Johnny and Smithy welcome humans with loud hisses before running to the back. Hailey the tabby will sit and stare at a distance. Entering the shack usually causes the remaining residents to flee. A walk behind the little house reveals the cat tree where everyone is usually hiding.
In summer 2017, feral Splotch had a stroke of sorts that caused some paralysis to his back legs, and also made him forget he was feral. On his return to Pen 8, he became an ambassador for the cats in Pen 8. With Splotch around, the other cats got their daily cuddles and knew they had a trustworthy friend. He also piqued their interest by showing them humans weren’t to be feared when he came over to rub against our legs.
Kermit, in particular, followed Splotch’s example. Play with human and earn a treat. Simple.
Sadly, this past July we lost Splotch. With his absence, Kermit would come to the gate and look eagerly, eyes full of hope. “Where is my friend? No Splotch? I sad.” Then he would retreat to a corner, lay down with his head on his front paws, and stare off into the distance. Death seemed to be a new and uncomfortable concept for him. It’s taken him most of the summer to recover and he no longer runs for the gate… unless he knows you have something good.
Today, Gigi and Kermit are still playful kittens at heart. They love their toys and treats. If we’re lucky, we may even get to pet them after playtime. We hope that they’ll become more welcoming with humans. Since every cat has an individual personality, we can never really predict their future disposition, but we can befriend them along the way.