Cats being the hedonists they are, it’s not surprising to find them curled up in warm places. Most of the Sanctuary’s cat-cabins have ceramic heaters, and even in sub-zero temperatures the outdoor cats have somewhere warm to be. In every building around the Sanctuary there are favoured places that cats choose – mostly related to warmth. In the Tea Room, you will practically always find Sadie face-planted as close to the heater as possible.
In the Double-wide, there’s usually a crowd on the table just inside the door, and another (usually focused on Salty) on the couch. Hot air rises, and there are normally a good number of cats on top of the cages in the Connor. And the papasan chair near the courtyard stairs is always good for a cuddle-puddle as is the one on the Newcomers deck.
But the favoured place has to be just inside the door of the Single-wide, where, as you enter, you are usually greeted by a furry pile.
Personalities vary, but the core of the Dryer Gang, as they are known, are usually Simone, Bantam and Chickadee. The three of them came from an egg farm (now demolished) and it’s likely they were all related – according to our vet, Simone is older than the other two, and may well be their mama. You’ll find these three on the September page of the 2017 calendar.
Simone is one of those cats that visitors actively seek out. She is a cuddle-bug, liking to be held upright over a human shoulder, rather like a baby. In her earlier days she would have come under the no-semi-ferals-adoptions ban, implemented after our experience with Jenny and one or two others; now she is older, calmer, and there is a long list of people that would probably adopt her like a shot. However, as with Salty, we have to consider not only her but also all her cuddle-buddies – losing her would seriously affect the dynamic of the group.
Bantam enjoys his share of petting and cuddles, though he’s not as much in favour of being picked up as Simone is. Chickadee is shyer still, preferring that petting is restricted to the cuddle-puddle itself – it’s not so long ago that Chickadee still preferred the safety of the cage-tops.
The trio is usually joined by Zoe – older than she looks, but still very active – sweet green-eyed Jenny, Little Mama, and most-recently, Diamond, who we feel is still mourning the loss of her beloved son Garfield. It’s lovely to see her settling in as part of the group, and sharing in comforting snuggles.
They, and the many other cats who join them are a delightful group who never fail to draw the attention of Sunday visitors – whether or not the dryer is operating