It is interesting that there are certain cats that you only see at certain times of day – or who react differently at different times. In the mornings I find that front-courtyard Diamond is very wary; by late afternoon he’s ready to accept petting. Handsome Quinn in the back courtyard is very shy and usually stays well out of the way; but at dusk he comes out and, though not ready for petting, is ready to accept treats. There are many cats who love the Sunday visitors – and then there’s Fiona, who hides out until 4:10pm when the last visitor’s gone, and is then ready to appear and interact with the staff and volunteers.
One little girl who has recently joined the chickaholic crowd in the front courtyard is Lorelei. She is often found disputing wall space with Petunia – they’re both small cats who like to get an advantage in height. Lorelei is less shy than Petunia; she will come for petting, and interacts quite comfortably with the other cats.
She’s one of our multicolored girls – a tortoiseshell/tabby mix, hence, a torby. At a distance she looks quite like tabby Jake, and then you realize that it’s not just fluff; this is a very solid little girl.
After the evening feeding, as dusk comes on, several cats emerge from the feral-cat area on the east side of the courtyard. Among them is Lora.
In size, colour and body-shape, she’s very like Lorelei, but she’s got short fur, and has obviously had some skin problems, because the fur on her back is a bit patchy. In addition to her tubby body, she has skinny little legs.
Lora is very shy, both with humans and with other cats. When Michele took this picture Lora was feeling cornered in her bed, and there was a certain amount of hissing going on, Out in the courtyard she hangs around on the edge of the crowd. If chicken is being offered, she really wants it, but hangs back from the feeding frenzy; if you toss her a tidbit and another cat goes after it, she backs off and waits until it’s not being disputed. But though she’s shy, she’s obviously fascinated too – once food’s out of the way, she hangs around just out of arm’s reach – as only a cat can do – and occasionally lies down to show her belly. She will, very cautiously, accept a little petting, but prefers to limit it.
Lora and Lorelei didn’t come in together; Lorelei was trapped at the docks about five years ago; Lora came in from a similar area couple of years later. But in colouring and body-shape, they are very similar – and they can often be found together. For all you volunteers who excel in working with the feral cats, Lora will make a wonderful challenge.