One of the joys of being a RAPS staff person with the right sort of home is that you end up looking after a variety of temporary visitors. Sanctuary Manager Janet is an experienced foster-mom, as well as all the other things she does for RAPS, and she stepped up when a tubby little black cat came in, possibly pregnant. RAPS pregnant moms are always fostered, so that the kittens can get lots of handling and socialization before coming to the Shelter for adoption. It was almost impossible to do any sort of examination; this was a cat who was NOT happy about being approached, let alone handled. So Janet tucked the little black cat away in her kitten room, named her Beyoncé, and waited for her to pop – and waited… and waited…
Weeks later, there was still no sign of kittens. Concerned, Janet finally managed to maneuver the cat into a cage and headed off to the vet. One sedative and examination later, the vet said, “Well, actually – she’s a he….” Rather than the expected C-section, there was a quick neuter surgery, and a one-way trip to the Sanctuary.
Beyoncé was obviously no longer an appropriate name, so he was re-named Jay-Z. Once the hormones had stopped driving his body, he calmed down quite a lot, and it wasn’t long before first staff and then Kitty Comforters were in, visiting with him. He proved to be quite playful, and a small black paw was often seen under the cage door, dabbling after a toy that had escaped.
Once released, Jay-Z settled well into life in the Double-Wide. Sometimes black cats can vanish into anonymity, but the cone he wore after surgery left enough mark on his fur that it was easy to distinguish him from the other cats, and by the time it had faded, his personality had made itself obvious. His other distinguishing mark is his eyes – most black cats have yellow or gold eyes (something to do with the melanin in the skin) – Jay-Z’s are the most beautiful pale green.
With four on the floor, he’s a stocky little boy; but he’s often found lying on his back, and it’s easy to see how the belly might have fooled everyone at the beginning. He loves to play – wand toys in the hands of a human are his favourite, but he’s often found batting something around by himself. He’s cat-social and ready to join the crowd when treats are on offer, but also happy to have a caressing hand from a human sharing the DoubleWide couch with him.