Cat Sanctuary

Mom-cat- love you!

The Sanctuary is home to a wide array of cats, most of whom are spayed and neutered as soon as they come to us.  But occasionally it’s too late, and Mom and kittens arrive together. For some of the moms, motherhood is no big deal, and once the kittens are taken off for adoption, that’s it. For others, the role of mom-cat continues even at the Sanctuary.

Autumn’s kittens (& Autumn, on extreme left); Autumn today

Autumn arrived a couple of years ago with six half-grown kittens. Mom and offspring were placed in adjoining cages, and staff and volunteers rallied to socialize them. The kittens eventually went off to the No 5 Road Shelter for adoption – Treat was adopted by volunteer Carol, and Waffle’s adopter visited us recently, but poor Pancake was never adopted and is now back with us.  Mama Autumn was NOT interested in being tamed, but a couple of years have taught her that humans aren’t all that scary, and now she comes to us for attention.

Hiro (tabby) with Sophie (tortie)

Sophie and her son Hiro are established single-wide inhabitants. When Claire first wrote about them, Sophie was still very wary of human contact, but like Autumn, she’s mellowed. She can often be found lounging on one of the shelves on the right side – and without Hiro clinging to her, as he used to do in the early days. However, they can still be found cuddling.

Marissa (photo PH) and Paylan

Another single-wide mom-and-son pair is Marissa and Paylan. Marissa’s an up-top girl, though she usually likes to hang out where she can see the action. She’s also one of our chronically congested cats, and has to be caged every once in a while for medication. Chubby Paylan isn’t a mama’s boy, but is still quite shy of human contact.

Diamond (tabby) and Garfield (orange)

The mother-son pair we all love and would REALLY like to find a home for are Diamond and Garfield. They came to us as owner-surrender – their owner was really distressed about losing them, but her new housing wouldn’t allow them to stay. They lived for a while at the No 5 Road Shelter, but it wasn’t comfortable for them; they’re both BIG cats and couldn’t share a cage, and in fact Garfield was reduced to lying in his litterbox so that he could reach through and touch his mom. They’re a deeply bonded pair, and so we brought them to the Sanctuary where they could share a big enclosure, and still have room to move. Garfield has been having some treatment for his eyes, and both have relaxed to the point where they don’t have to be touching all the time. They are adoptable, but only if they can go as a pair – they need to be in a home where their diet can be supervised and they can be encouraged to get some exercise.

Joanie (left) & Val (right)

Mother’s Day, of course, may also be a time when some of us remember the mothers we’ve lost. This past year two mom-cats stand out for me: shy Joanie in the back courtyard was the mother of GusGus  (in the Val Jones pen) and soft sweet Hope, in the front courtyard. We don’t know what happened to Joanie, who was found one morning – probably of a heart attack.  And many of us are still mourning the loss of our darling one-eyed Val from the front courtyard – mother of Silverfox (Foxy), Latte and Paulo (and of Fury and Savannah, now gone). Right to the end, Val was boss-mom, batting her kids out of the way if they were reaching for a tidbit she wanted.

Memories and appreciation and love – that’s what Mother’s Day is about – for cats and humans!

Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Phaedra Hardman and Michele Wright