Cat Sanctuary


Kramer first came to my attention as an unexpected cat in Pen 5.

Popping out of the cat-tree by the door: “Surprise! it’s me!” – PH

The Pen 5 cats are a well-established colony.  Most of them came from No 5 Road Shelter five or six years ago at a time when there were so many kittens that another home had to be found for the adult cats who were not being adopted.  In the ensuing years, some of those cats made their way back to 5 Road and eventually to new homes, and we are left with some pretty steady relationship bonding’s: Adam and May, Rudolph and Salish, Willow and Careen, Capilano and Walker, shy Hudson and big Chinook, who is another buddy of Walker’s. Other cats come and go as visitors – it’s an open pen – but those ten are the steady cabin inhabitants.

How to stop a human for attention – MW

More and more frequently when I cleaned in there on Friday morning, I encountered a long-haired shabby-tabby.  Initially shy, he could usually be found in a bed on one of the lower shelves.  He didn’t seem to be particularly pals with any of the others – but he obviously enjoyed being in the cabin with them. I hunted round, and found someone who identified him as Kramer – and in subsequent weeks, spent some time getting to know him.

Kramer when he first came to us – MW

I had a sneaking suspicion that he was one of the cats that had been trapped in the parking lot, having found his way to us. As such, he should have been given a detective name, but I couldn’t think of a Kramer in that category – the only possible one I could suggest was Nero Wolfe’s bete noir, Inspector Cramer.  Med staff Catherine put me right – yes, he was technically a detective cat, but it was found out that he had come from a neighbouring household where he was allowed to wander, and it was decided that he was much safer with us.  Kramer was their name for him, and I think more suited to him than the Sanctuary name of Poirot, which was initially bestowed on him.  The fictional Poirot is noted for his excessive neatness and for his magnificent mustache; our feline friend is decidedly raggedy, and there’s no sign of  a ’tache.

Enjoying a spring day – MW

Pen life suits our Kramer – he has the illusion of freedom, but all the security that goes with living at the Sanctuary; he gets regular meals, feline and human company, and a little grooming when he allows it. He’s one of the unfortunate cats that mats easily, and sometimes a little shave job is necessary, which, in its partial form, contributes to the slightly raggedy appearance.

Flirting with the camera – MW

I called Michele in to get some photos of him for this blog, and he played up to her with great enjoyment, putting paws up to look close-up into the camera lens, and posing around the pen furniture. With people he trusts, he’s the complete cuddle-cat, and more than ready to sit and be fussed over.  Definitely a cat you should get to know!

Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Phaedra Hardman & Michele Wright