The back courtyard at the Sanctuary is home to several tabbies, and Stella is the queen!
A large-boned girl with a certain presence, she can usually be found holding court on top of the cat-tree just outside the Tea-room; if the weather is less pleasant, or the humans are meeting in there, she will claim the top of one of the shelves or the table.
There she seeks attention with conversation and the odd waving paw. She doesn’t want to lap-sit, and she spends as little time at floor-level as she can manage, but she likes to be noticed and acknowledged.
Stella came to us a few years ago when her family situation changed, and the stress caused her to become a pee-er, as sometimes happens with unhappy cats. She was even unhappier, initially, when she was surrendered to RAPS and brought to the Sanctuary.
But time has done its work, and Stella is well settled with us. She’s not much into the company of lesser cats; she’s not nasty about it, like Parry or Licorice – they’re just beneath her notice.
Occasionally, a visitor will confuse her with Sophie. Sophie is not a queen, she’s a spoiled princess, and things have to go her way at all times. In token of this, she wears a collar to remind people that she can sometimes be a bit nasty if she feels we’re not paying the right attention to her. Behaviour like that is beneath Stella’s dignity.
Sophie is one of the cats who came to us from Five Road several years ago, and spent time in Pen 2 with Calvin, Chase, Celeste and Zivko for tabby company. Even before the pen was opened, Sophie was eager to be out, and she, Parry and Taffy have relocated themselves from Pen 2 to the Tea-room.
Sophie wants attention but it has to be just so. Reaching to touch her is risky, but she is often ready to leap up on your lap. Better still, she likes the game of jumping on your chair just as you are about to sit down. Touch has to be around the neck and ears but not down her back; teeth and claws come into action quickly if you don’t read the body language correctly. She definitely doesn’t like the other cats!
The third Tea-room tabby is Jody – and most of her time is spent on a shelf in the bathroom. If Stella is the Queen and Sophie the spoiled princess, Jody is the elderly, and slightly confused, Queen Mum. She is very much a loner, though she adores human attention and will lick the petting hand as long as it is allowed.
Occasionally we will hear despairing wails that are characteristic of a geriatric cat who doesn’t quite know where she is; a little petting, and all is right with Jody’s world again.
These three tabbies could not be more different in personality, but they’ve chosen to share the same space, ignoring each other (and most of the other cats) with varying degrees of grace.