It’s very easy to overlook yet another black cat or another tabby among a hundred other cats in the Cat Sanctuary front courtyard – but somehow, the striking-looking Bricklyn also gets overlooked.
I have to admit, for many years she worked very hard at it! Bricklyn came to us in August 2012, trapped by Carol at BC Brick. She came to us with kittens, and was fostered out until the kittens were old enough to go to the Shelter for adoption. Like Autumn, who came around the same time, the kittens were ready for new homes, but no way was Mama going to approve of this new life. Autumn was a particularly angry girl for a while, joining the ferals in what was then the Val Jones corner, but within a couple of years she’d changed her thinking and began enjoying contact with humans.
Bricklyn was also not ready for human contact, and certainly not for adoption, and she vanished into what we call the Old Rabbit Area. This is a covered courtyard, with all the shelves draped so that scared ferals can remain out of sight. In theory, we’re ready for ferals to be ferals as long as they please, but we do try to bring them round to our way of thinking – and that can be very hard when they have such a great place in which to hide!
So for years, all we got was the occasion flash of Bricklyn emerging and vanishing again. Cats are crepuscular, meaning that they are most active at dawn and dusk. Like many of the shyest cats, she could often only be seen by the early morning or late evening staff and volunteers. She hung out with similarly shy cats, like the older Lora and Lorelei, and as they gradually allowed more contact with us, Bricklyn would look on but not venture any closer.
She’s now around 14 years old, and I don’t know whether it’s part of the aging process – as some cats become senile, they forget that they’re scared – but more and more we’re seeing less feral fear from Bricklyn. She can be spotted exploring around the north side of the courtyard, and sometimes venturing onto the climbing frame. She is cautiously interested in us (especially if chicken is offered), but not ready to accept food from the hand or to allow touch. But if she thinks the chicken donor isn’t noticing her, she can get quite vocal.
Bricklyn’s also something of a cougar, flirting with the younger male cats. She particularly likes blond Leo and big Kenji, and will head-bunt them happily. They have many other friends with whom to interact, and sadly, the older lady is not big on their radar – but she doesn’t give up hope!