One of the questions a number of Sunday visitors ask is, “Do you have any white cats at the Sanctuary?” I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised, because in fact we have very few real white cats, though there are several white ones with black markings (like Hillie and Yma) and others that are white, tinged with orange (like Tara and Ollie).
Dexter, in with the Leukemia cats, is white, as is Timmy in the front courtyard, who hates other cats, but loves to find a human who will offer a lap for a while.
In the back area, our only pure white cat now is Lumi, and I was interested to note that she had never been blogged, though she’s been living here for nearly ten years now. Lumi came to us from the home where she’d lived for several years since being adopted as a kitten. We don’t know much about it, but we were told that she became very aggressive, and both husband and wife were nervous about being around her, because she would suddenly attack. When she came to us, med-staff Leslie pulled on her big bite-me-now gloves and went in to visit her; she says Lumi was most disappointed to have no reaction to her attack. It sounds as if, like Chimo, Lumi had been encouraged to play-fight, with hands as targets, and had never learned that there were better ways of interacting with humans.
She’s still a little dangerous to be around; she “makes nice” and then suddenly turns and swats. Mostly now, it is just swats, though for some years Lumi wore a red collar – Sanctuary shorthand for “This Cat Bites”. The collar is no longer there, though still present in the minds of a few volunteers who have been on the receiving end of Lumi’s attentions.
Lumi is one of a number of cats who prefers not to meet us at ground level, but likes to take the superior position high on a shelf or on a cage-top. There she is excellently sited to make a decision about whether she will allow a little gentle petting, or whether the offered hand will be slapped away.
A recent bout with pancreatitis has had Lumi caged for a while and within reach. Once her initial physical discomfort had decreased, she seemed to enjoy sitting in her cage and watching all that was going on – letting us know with loud vocalizations when a plate of food had been placed on the floor near her cage and her own plate had not yet arrived. Now the cage is open again, she can return to the upper levels, but so far she is still remaining in “her” space, and apparently enjoying her interactions with humans.