Cat Sanctuary

Deelia

Getting closer… (BC)

Part of the work of the Kitty Comforters is to spend time with the caged cats – new, or medicated, or post-surgery. But another important part of our work is to identify the feral cats who may be hesitating about whether they can trust us or not. Some have very good reasons to he untrusting.

Deelia came to us earlier this year with a group from Kamloops, sent by Sammy’s Forgotten Felines. Sammy’s works particularly with colonies of feral cats who may be in some danger – whether from natural causes or human ones. The group that arrived consisted of two young mothers and a group of kittens; the folks at Sammy’s thought it was likely that the younger mom was the daughter of the older one.

However, there was more to the transfer than simply getting kittens to safety. The Kamloops rescue was concerned about the senior mom’s condition, and X-rays confirmed that someone had been using cats for target practice, and Deelia had pellets in her body. Once she was in our care, the RAPS Animal Hospital took her in for removal of the pellets; we don’t know how long it had been since she’d been shot, and we hope that there are no long-term concerns over lead poisoning. The kittens – as most kittens are! – were very cute, and quickly adopted, as was the younger mom, Lydia. Not surprisingly, Deelia was not so trusting and therefore came to the Sanctuary, where she could take her time in deciding her comfort level around humans.

Watching at a careful distance (KN)

She has largely made her home on the south side of the front courtyard; she can sometimes be found in the Old Rabbit Area, and sometimes under the bed-box pile. Her sweet face carries a worried expression, and she’s not at all sure that she likes proximity with humans. But sitting quietly in the closed ORA, she will often poke her head out to see if there are treats on offer, and once again, bribery becomes a useful socialization tool.

A little face-off with Solar over a tidbit (BC)

In the dimmer light of the ORA, she’s easily confused with grey Solar at first sight, but is smaller and rounder in face. Solar is not afraid to approach us for handouts, but Deelia hovers at a distance initially and it takes quiet and patience to tempt her closer. When she emerges into the daylight it can be seen that she is actually not grey, but a very dilute tortie – the black colouring is all grey and the orange is a lovely peachy colour – and she lacks some of the underlying tabby markings of her grey “brother”. Like shy Bricklyn, she is very fond of chicken-bits, and is beginning to hold her own with the other pushy cats. She’s not quite ready for petting yet, but an outstretched hand gets a paw-tap with no aggressiveness, and she is happy to sit and share slow blinks.

Deelia’s markings show through (BC)

We’ve got all the patience in the world for you, Deelia – and we hope you can learn that some humans can be trusted.

Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Brigid Coult & Karen Nicholson

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