Last November, I introduced shy lynx-point Chai on the blog, and mentioned that she came in to us with other cats from a local trapping operation. All of them went to the Adoption Centre, but were not ready for taming, and were transferred to us at the Sanctuary. Tabby & white Speckle is the most easily identified by her markings, but I’ve struggled to sort out the other two from all our other front-courtyard “plain” tabbies. Some of them have already had their blog moments in the sun; here they are again, with our newcomers.
Freya and Cricket are well-known to us all – affectionate and confident girls. Freya, who was initially surrendered for aggression, is likely to be the greeter and leg-rubber at the gate (and occasionally a gate-buster); she likes to sleep on top of the 6’ broom closet. Cricket endears herself by jumping up to meet the petting hand; we keep a careful eye on her because she occasionally shows a limp, though it never seems to last long. Floofy Autumn with her highlighted ruff usually hangs out on the top level of the climbing frame. Cookie Hill has mostly moved her location from the Hill House to the Yellow Shed, but is anxious for pets when someone comes to visit. In the Connor we have the more torby girls: Carly Simon, Celine Dion and Christina Aguilera and of course, pretty dilute Chirpy.
Libby was introduced as part of a feral group that came to us from VOKRA. Her brother, grey Solar, has settled well, and particularly loves Carol Porteus, who comes to feed twice a week – he knows she’s always good for particularly tasty offerings. Libby, though, is not comfortable with humans and hovers between the feral Old Rabbit Area and the Hill House. The draw in the Hill House is tubby little torby Lorelei, who Libby loves, but even loving Lorelei is not enough to tempt Libby into human contact. She looks on disapprovingly as other cats accept attention.
Libby has the same identifying chest dot as Kahlua, who arrived last April with Chai and Speckle – but Libby’s fur has more of the classic-tabby whorls, whereas Kahlua shows the tabby stripes. Kahlua began in the Old Rabbit Area with the ferals, but has graduated to the Hill House, where she knows she can flirt with visiting humans.
From her beginnings with us as a feral, she has gained immensely in confidence, both on the table or shelves, and at floor level – some cats are ready to be petted in one place but not the other; at waist-height they can be fussed, but on the floor they are daunted by our size unless we get down to their level. Kahlua just enjoys the attention, wherever it happens. She and Libby look alike, but their behaviour is very different!
Another tabby who is easily confused with Kahlua is Goose. She came to us more than a year ago from a local rescue; I believe she was originally from Manitoba. At about 8-10 months old, she was in the teenager space where she was past her best-by date for taming. Cage time was longer than usual, because she was so timid; many hours of Kitty Comforter attention were spent just sitting and talking with her to accustom her to our presence. And, typically, once released, she still believed we were big scary monsters, and avoided being noticed. And because she’s a very ordinary little tabby in appearance, it was easy to miss her.
She loves to play, even if she still isn’t sure of humans. Laser pointer, ping-pong balls, feather toys.. you name it, she’ll probably play with it – in fact, she’ll wake out of a deep sleep to come play. She also LOVES cardboard boxes. She can mostly be found in the Gazebo in the centre of the front courtyard, where she hangs out with the boys – Mozart, Benny, Caleb (she is particularly attached to Caleb!) and enjoys the comfort of the heat lamp.
The last little tabby came to us a little later than her buddies Speckle, Chai and Kahlua, because it turned out that she was pregnant, and she went into fosterage to have her kittens. They tamed and were adopted, but she remained wary, and was brought to join the others. She had originally been named Domino, but since we’ve had two Dominos (one adopted) and currently have another Domino (male) in New Aids, she was renamed as Dominique. Rather than joining the other ferals, she stayed near Chai in the Connor area, and can often be found near the gate.
Though clearly tabby-marked, her fur is more agouti-patterned, with torbie hints of orange in it. Dominique is very food-motivated, and the offer of treats is a major incentive to hang around certain humans!
Most of us struggle to identify all our black cats correctly. The tabbies, too, tended to get lumped into “the tabbies” group – but there are enough differences in appearance that a little detective work has helped ID them, and allow their personalities to shine through!