BB came to the Sanctuary about a year ago.
Anxious newcomer – LBF
Anxiety is an emotion with which many of us are familiar, and we don’t always know what has caused it. Perhaps we can link it to a specific event, to environmental or social factors. As humans, we can sit with a therapist and perhaps work out what causes it, and perhaps find some coping mechanisms. Animals – cats, in this case – can’t analyse, they just react. An anxious cat may hide, it may cling to its owner or poop on their bed to show its discomfort, or it may lash out, and show aggression.
If I close my eyes, perhaps you’ll go away… – KN
BB was surrendered as an aggressive cat. We understood that she had been acquired as a kitten, and we don’t know what happened in her first three years, but her owner found her impossible to manage, and we agreed to take her into our care.
What is this strange place? – LBF
Like all our new cats, she was caged for awhile to give her a chance to acclimate to a new residence. Her cage was marked with caution signs, but the Kitty Comforters would go in and sit with her for periods – not forcing contact, but just allowing her to know that someone was there. Gradually she relaxed, and the hissing and spitting ceased, though we were still regarded with distrust. The med staff gave her extra cage time to get used to new surroundings, and we think it was good for her.
JJ – that’s my bed you’re sleeping in… BC
For most of the newcomers, once the cage door is open, there’s a period of caution, and then they begin exploring. BB did not want to explore. Her cage was HERS, thank you very much, and she was staying right there! Matters were not helped by her neighbour, tuxedo JJ, who was territorial in the extreme, and aggressive with cats and humans alike. Occasionally BB would venture out and claim another cage; when “her” cage was repurposed by the med-staff for a newcomer, she reluctantly relocated, and now it’s been more or less assumed that her new cage is actually hers (unless we get a flood of new cats).
You may kiss my paw… KN
This BB is not the people-friendly girl her predecessor of a few years ago was. BB1 struggled with health problems, but purred like an engine with the people she loved. BB2 is something of a Garbo-cat, preferring to be left alone, She is regal without being demanding. She has warmed to people a bit more, and allows gentle petting, but she stays to her restricted territory, rarely venturing outside the Double-Wide or even onto the back deck.
She allowed dress-up as the Easter bunny… – KN
She’s not a deliberately nasty cat in any way; we don’t see any of the aggression of JJ or Jade, for instance. She’s diffident – some cats, like Orlean or Horatio, will demand attention, and be miffed when they don’t get it. BB is often happy to receive petting as the volunteers clean cages, or do the feeds, but if it’s not the best time, she doesn’t get all snippy about it! It’s too bad – she sort of fades into the background. We remember the troublesome ones, the demanding ones, but the well-behaved quiet ones can easily be overlooked. Time for a Kitty Comforter campaign for BB!
Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Lisa Brill-Friesen, Brigid Coult & Karen Nicholson