Cat Sanctuary

Amaretto & Domino

No, not the holiday chocolate variety… but they could be!

These 2 came in from Nanaimo last winter.  Both began as hissy ferals who emphasized the “fear” in feral. While they both call New Aids home, their personalities are polar opposites.

Wily weirdo Domino (yes, another one) can make a scene these days, but started off hiding and hissing.  He didn’t want any contact and seemed disgusted by humans.  After release, he started to explore the place.  He has medium length white and black fur, with asymmetrical black markings. His pink nose has black “freckles”.

Little by little, he eventually got used to the presence of us weird, furless creatures. There was a house big enough for everyone, a constant source of food and water, and different humans who did the same routine everyday.  They cleaned his poop box, brought food, playthings, and treats!

Domino will approach anyone.  With his tail up, he hopes for affection or food.  Pass on the opportunity, then prepare for chaos.  While you’re petting another cat, he may wedge himself in-between, flick his tail like a feather duster, or swat them.  If that doesn’t work, he’ll try climbing on you.  There’s nothing quite like getting razor hooks in the knee with the attached cat using them for leverage.  Time for peroxide…

Another trick is scare tactics.  If the majority of cats are gathered around for food, Domino will sneak behind the crowd and scream.  Of course, that sends everyone scattering.  I saw this happen 3 times in a single visit.  He didn’t even want the food – just the attention.  When he was temporarily caged in autumn, he made the same you-stepped-on-my-tail outbursts.  The other cats unfriended him by then.

Because of his wild behavior, he’s earned some nicknames: DomDom, Donkey, Dingdong.  I call him Dodo boy, as I feel he’s more like a bird than cat.  He zips in for something good and suddenly high-tails it.  He has a devious nature and knows how to entertain himself, just like members of the crow family.

Domino, Puffin, and Tugboat have never met, yet they all know how to sit and stare for attention.  The greatest trick he’s learned is to be nice to humans to get goodies. He’ll be your friend, if you allow.

Petite Amaretto was definitely a spitfire while acclimating.  After release, she made herself scarce, but eventually allowed humans to interact with her.  She stands out because of her calico markings – black and orange spots on a white body.

When she’s in a good mood, Amaretto is like a housecat; she sleeps in high places and comes down for pets, toys, and treats.  She knows how to head bonk, leg rub, and use her claws to reel you in.  Her fur is smooth and soft.  But when she’s had her fill, she’ll give you a small swat.  Persist and she’ll demonstrate her gnawing skills on your hand.  She loves using her teeth and claws.

Amaretto’s currently the smallest FIV+ kitty.  The other cats give her space and don’t pester her.  Even Domino isn’t crazy enough to mess with her.  They probably remember her ferociousness and opt to keep their fur.

Back to the chocolates:  Amaretto can be sweet and smooth, a little nutty, but potent.  Domino would be a dominostein.  His outside shell beguiles his multi-flavoured personality – parts of which may take you by surprise, but that’s what makes him special.  These two probably won’t do well in an average home, so that makes them two more flavours in our box of random chocolates.


Blog by Pauline Chin
Photos by Lisa Brill-Friesen, Pauline Chin, Phaedra Hardman, 
Karen Nicholson, Michele Wright