Cat Sanctuary

Double-Wide Kramer

In the last few months, volunteers have been asking “who is that beautiful cat in the DoubleWide?” – and the cat in question usually turns out to be our handsome Kramer.

Showing off the tail floof (DJ)

Kramer is the second cat by that name – his predecessor was also tabby and fluffy, but preferred the outdoor life in Pen 5; this boy likes the comforts of warmth and cosy beds and food at hand.  He’s a big handsome boy with a magnificent floof of a tail, and he reminds me very much of big tabby Zander, who was a resident of the Sanctuary when I first came here.

He likes to be by the door, where he can get a little attention (BC)

We don’t know a lot about Kramer’s background; he’s about 8-9 years old, and has been surrendered twice, for no fault of his own. The first time was in 2021, when his human family moved and couldn’t take their cats, so Kramer and his housemates came into our care.  He was adopted again at the end of December 2021 and went to a household where he was living with a younger cat, Riker. In the early summer of 2023, both cats returned to us because of some sort of family crisis, and they took up residence in semi-detatched cages in the DW. Gradually it became clear that though the two tolerated each other, they were not bonded, and Riker was really a people-cat – looking for laps, enjoying belly-rubs – so he was transferred out for adoption, and Kramer remained with us.

Kramer with younger “bro” Riker (BC)

Waiting for the door to be opened (BC)

What was obvious was that once he was out of the cage, Kramer just bloomed – he was very comfortable in new surroundings, and is disdainfully tolerant of other cats.  He’s not anti-people in any way – there’s no aggression in him and he’s quite willing to accept a little petting. But it’s usually just a little petting, and then he turns away and says “enough, already!”  He has a bit of asthma, and tolerates the med-staff giving him a dose from the puffer.

Interestingly, for a cat with such confidence, until recently he opted not to go outside at all. In fact, for a while he rarely negotiated the swinging door into the laundry room, preferring to wait for a human doorkeeper to open it for him. Most of the other cats have learned to push through, or to hook with a paw and pull the other way – Kramer would rather call for a butler.  But recent sunny days, with everyone deserting the DoubleWide, led him to braving both the door and the cat-door, and exploring the back courtyard.

Not so sure about this outside exploring thing… (BC)

Doing a little cat-yoga in comfort (LBF)

He stopped to have a drink at a newly-filled waterbowl, and have a little face-off with Jasper – interestingly, it was Jasper who backed down without much fuss. A side-trip into the Tea-Room presented him with a lot of orange floof around the dinner-plate, and he avoided them and explored outside the side-door. A trip up the stairs and into Newcomers gave him a quiet encounter with Ollie, before he retraced his steps and crossed over to Pen 6. He ignored all the other cats around – very much The Cat Who Walks By Himself – but finally decided that he needed to return to the quiet of his own space in the DoubleWide.

Aspects of Kramer’s personality remind me of my own boy, who’s not a clingy cat, liking his own space and his own schedule, and who has only recently progressed to being on the lap, rather than beside the lap. Kramer has his favourite beds, his usual turf, and a few people that he tolerates – most of the other cats might as well not exist for him. He’s not an assertively “Garbo-cat” resident, but would probably do well in a quiet home where he’s the only cat, and can establish his territory without feline interference.  And if it never happens? – well, he’s already showing that he can settle to a comfortable life in the Sanctuary.

Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Lisa Brill-Friesen, Brigid Coult, Daphne Jorgenson