Cat Sanctuary

Shaggy and Spicer


These sweet older cats came to us a few months ago. One of our Sunday visitors asked if we could take cats from outside Richmond. An elderly relative on the Island had passed away, and her cats were owner-less – living in her home and being cat-sat by various people who were unable to become their new owners, they were not doing particularly well. The local shelter was unable to promise much – older cats, and especially older bonded cats, are not easy to find homes for.  After discussion with the staff, Shaggy (12) and Spicer (11) came to us.

Shaggy – MW

Spicer – MW

For the first while they were in the DoubleWide, in one of the quiet corner cages.  Both cats were obviously upset by the turn in their fortune; Shaggy in particular was wary of all these strange people. But quiet visits from the Kitty Comforters worked their magic, and the two gradually relaxed in their new surroundings. We hoped that without taking them to No 5 Road, we might be able to find them an adoptive or foster family here. But then it turned out that Shaggy was diabetic, and the triple-whammy of age, health and a bonded pair told us that they would probably remain Sanctuary residents.


We transferred them to the Moore House, to the “gericatric” building. The Moore has its share of cranky divas, and once their door was opened, it took a little while for them to venture out. Now the summer is here, Shaggy is happy to make his way to the deck and enjoy the sun; Spicer basks as well, but also enjoys visits from any humans around.


The two of them, like Vesper and Fable, are often found together. Shaggy is very affectionate with his roommate; in fact, sometimes his licking is a little too enthusiastic, and she gives him a smack!

We’re monitoring him carefully; like humans, some cats remain diabetic all their lives, and with regular insulin, the condition can be managed. With other cats – especially when a previously overweight cat loses some of that weight, diabetes may go into remission. Weight control is always harder to manage in group living, of course – we’ll just have to see how Shaggy makes out.


Cats living in the Moore House are not accessible to Sunday visitors, but they get a lot of attention from the daily Kitty Comforters, as well as from the volunteers who clean and feed in the area. Readers who think they might give a home to this sweet pair should contact Sanctuary Manager Lisa at We talk about Sanctuary cats being non-adoptable, but with many of them it’s less that they are non-adoptable, than that they wouldn’t do particularly well at the 5 Road Shelter – there are several of our senior cats and FIV cats that would actually do well in a home, and I will hope to present some of those in upcoming blogs.
Thanks particularly to Vicky Lo, who loves and visits them regularly, and whose photos are such a big part of this week’s blog.

Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Victoria Lo and Michele Wright