After two and a half years of volunteering at the sanctuary, I’m amazed (and sometimes slightly embarrassed) by how frequently I’ll be introduced to a new (to me) cat who’s been there all along, sometimes in plain sight. I was therefore quite heartened to learn earlier this week that this happens to the best of us.
Long-time RAPSer Marianne emailed me on Monday to introduce me to a cat whose acquaintance she had only just made herself:
“I’m astonished at how often I meet a cat for the first time at the shelter and then am told that said cat has been there for years and years, sometimes even longer than I have! That happened again to me today.
A sturdy-looking ginger guy came trotting up to me in the [doublewide] laundry room this afternoon and, when I reached down to pet him (because he seemed friendly), he took a little swat at my hand and shied away. But he quickly came back and rubbed against my leg so I tried another pet and this time he got right into it – butt and tail up, head pushing against my hand, etc.
Just then, Leslie came by and I asked her who this handsome guy was. I was told his name was “Terry” and that he’d come to the shelter a long time ago, along with and from the same rural site as Farrah, tortie Rosie and a few other cats, most of whom have gone to the rainbow bridge.
I remember that Rosie, Farrah and her mom and two siblings were at the shelter when I started volunteering there almost ten years so it’s simply beyond me how it is that I hadn’t met Terry until today. He sort of hung around me for the next little while and let me reach down to pet him whenever I wanted to.”
When I went to the sanctuary a couple of days later to meet Terry myself, he was in the laundry room again, but this time perched high up on a shelf.
I got the smack that Marianne did, but not the rubs she received afterward. Ann told me that he’s fine on the floor, but not so friendly up by the ceiling.
He must like the wide open space of the floor that gives him numerous directions to move in if he starts feeling uncomfortable. Up on the planks that run around the perimeter of the room just below the ceiling, he can go only right or left, and maybe not even that if there’s another car barring the way. Not surprising he can feel slightly cornered up there. And Leslie says that anytime that happens, he quickly reverts, forgetting he actually likes people.
I’ll have to keep an eye out for him when he’s at floor level and see if I can win him over then.