It’s interesting to look back at some of our cats when they arrived with us, and see how they’re doing today. Five years ago Lindor and Parker came to us – they just happened to arrive at the same time and were put in adjacent cages to acclimatize.
Black Lindor came to us from the Shelter with a reputation for ambush attacks from the shadow of his cage; Debbie was on staff there at that time, and said that it took some care to be cleaning in the cat room without becoming a Lindor target. There are many cats who come from an experience of freedom and don’t do well within the confines of a Shelter environment. Many of these do much better when they arrive at the Sanctuary and have more space to move or to hide in, according to their needs.
Once released from his cage, Lindor made himself at home around the DoubleWide and the back courtyard. He’s a beautiful fluffy boy, but the fluff extends between the ears – he’s not the smartest cat we’ve ever had! Initially he was a bit reactive, and we all gave him some space. He’s not particularly cat-social, though he doesn’t really mind other cats being around – he just doesn’t socialize with them. What he has discovered is that when humans sit down around the courtyard table for coffee, there are sometimes goodies on offer! We are told that cats don’t taste sweet stuff – but Lindor leads the queue when Timbits come out, and can often be found trying to cat-burgle his way into the box.
He likes attention – he’s not really a lap-cat, but he loves to be petted, and he has joined the ranks of the cats wearing a bandana during visiting hours as a signal that he is adoptable. If you’re into big fluffy cats, he’s a winner!
His blonde counterpart, Parker, had been surrendered for aggressive behaviour, and sadly, that has not changed much. Occasionally she can be seen out in the courtyard, but the upper shelves of the Laundry Room are very much her turf, and she defends them against all invaders.
Her blonde prettiness is irresistible to the uninitiated, but it only takes a smack or two to realize that the collar this girl wears is not just decorative – it’s a real warning. She does have some favourite humans who are permitted to offer petting when she’s in the right mood, but most volunteers have learned to be wary around her, and that contact with her is likely to produce blood.
I usually do DoubleWide feeds from the sink, and most of the time it’s black Cole sitting there and stealing the first bite on every plate – and Parker is at floor-level, growling to keep other cats away from her plate. Just occasionally, Parker beats Cole to the top of the washing machine, and then I find myself being very cautious as each plate is filled and moved. This level of aggression is often seen in feral cats and is usually fear-based; Parker’s not a feral, and she fears nothing; this is straight dominance, and letting everyone know that what Parker wants, goes!
I wonder how these two would have made out in a jurisdiction where there wasn’t a no-kill Sanctuary option. As it is, they both have space and time to meet their needs – Parker has her shelves where she can get away, and our patience with her swatting; Lindor has attention and love and the possibility of eventually finding his own home.
Featured image & below: Michele Wright