PeeWee is another self-appointed cat greeter, though not always the welcome one that Cookie is. This is not to say that PeeWee lacks anything in the personality department. On the contrary, she’s warm-hearted and loving. It’s just that she has this tiny, tiny problem of being totally incontinent.
As in she may pee on your shoe.
It’s not her fault, it’s just an unfortunate defect that purebred Manx cats can be prone to.
(see this Manx FAQ for more information on the breed)
Seeing her now, round and slow-moving, her diminutive name seems to have been chosen for the sake of irony, but shelter staff member Leslie describes a young PeeWee who “had long legs like a rabbit and could run like the wind” when she came to the sanctuary from the SPCA at four months old. Favorite activity? Merrily de-feathering a hot pink duster
These days no longer particularly wee or agile, presumably due to various health issues related to Manxness, PeeWee gamely hobbles around the back section of the sanctuary, still eager to make friends.
It’s easy to tell when visitors to the sanctuary have just been warned about PeeWee’s little problem vis-à-vis their shoes and pant legs. You see them freeze in the midst of reaching down to pat the cat who they’ve just discovered leaning against their foot. Then they start backing away slowly, then kind of scuttling away as PeeWee, uncomprehending, hobbles after.
Those who get to know her are more forgiving. You feel guilty shunning anyone so well meaning.
PeeWee is also an empath in the way that some animals are. One day when shelter staff member Ann hauled herself into work like a trooper despite really not feeling well, Peewee would not be satisfied until she was allowed to offer comfort and cuddles. Sitting on Ann’s lap, PeeWee concentrated on making the human better, using the full force of all that good energy pets are supposed to be able to muster and pass on to each other and to us.
And then she pooped.
Er, best of intentions… ?
Updated August 28, 2011: After spending her whole life at the sanctuary, handling her incontinence with the grace that comes from blissful ignorance, putting up with regular bum-washings with only as much squawking as she felt necessary, and handling later life illness that gave even more of a wobble to her walk as best she could, PeeWee had to be separated from all who loved her yesterday. Her latest medical challenge was just one too many, and so staff had to take the difficult but ultimately kindest decision to give her peace.
A favorite of many, she will be deeply missed.