I am always amused by the cats who have names that don’t really fit their personalities. Cuddles, in the front courtyard, needs real caution in being touched, and actual cuddling is out of the question. Back courtyard Little John is anything but little – he’s a big bruiser – and occasionally a biter. So the addition of a cat called Flash to the Single-Wide population begged the question – was this going to be a flashy cat?
The answer is decidedly not – this girl is a really quiet one, with nothing flashy about her personality or appearance. She’s beautiful, in her own way, but not with the strong colours of Timber or Kiwi; she’s a dilute tortie with a gentle muted shade. She’s also very quiet in personality; like all our new cats, she had a cage-stay when she came to us, and she preferred to hide and not interact with humans. She wasn’t aggressive or terrified – she just wanted to be left alone. She had apparently been the victim of a dog attack some years ago, and the aftermath of injuries have left her a little reluctant to be active.
It was all too easy to clean her cage, or to feed her, with minimal interaction – but it was worth making time to spend with her, because once she trusted, she enjoyed contact and gentle petting. Once her cage was opened, it was evident that other cats were not among the things she enjoyed – without being aggressive, she made it clear that her cage was her own space, and she did not want to get out and mingle.
Up to a point, we can let cats be where they want to be, but there are a limited number of cages in the Single-Wide, and Flash finally had to be evicted to allow a cat with medical needs to use the cage. With great reluctance, she relocated to the nearby shelves where she could feel sheltered; she was no happier about contact with other cats, but she became more willing to interact with volunteers and staff. In the last couple of months she has relocated yet again to the cage-tops where other cats are less likely to bother her, but where, unfortunately, she can also be missed by humans.
Flash reminds me of a senior lady reluctantly relocated to a care home – she has all the things she needs, but she’s not much into community living, and keeps herself to herself. Her injuries of five years ago, have left her a bit uncomfortable with movement, and she doesn’t always reach the bathroom in time. At the age of 14 or so (around 80 in human terms) she’s not a great prospect for adoption – especially as we move into kitten season! But she has obviously known love, and appreciates petting and gentle grooming. For the most part, we say that our cats are non-adoptable – but there are some for whom that is not only untrue, but actually not the best thing. This sweet girl needs a home of her own, and a person for whom she is the One Cat; she needs a quiet life and much love – and I would love to think that we can find that for her.
In the meantime, if you have some quiet time in the Single-Wide, climb the small step-ladder and make friends with Flash – you’ll both enjoy the experience!