We have our share of cats who have names in common – usually names they have arrived with, rather than names they have been given here. At one stage we had four Bobbys at the same time! Domino, Jasper, Jinx and Katie have all been popular names, And Cookie, as a name, is up on that list. The earliest Cookie was one of my first RAPS acquaintances, and beloved by many. Cookie 2 was one of a pair of very tubby cats who lived with us for a while, and were adopted by someone who was able to control their food intake and help them get fitter.
I introduced Cookie Mills a couple of years ago; this sweet girl continues to be a favourite of staff and volunteers, but prefers to ignore all the other cats. She is becoming more and more a tubby variety of Manx; long-term Sanctuary lovers will remember PeeWee, with a similar build.
Our most recent Cookie came in about 18 months ago; she had her cage-stay in the Hill House, and since we had Cookie Mills in the back courtyard, this front courtyard girl became Cookie Hill. She came to us from an owner who had tried everything to help her beautiful girl settle down. Cookie had come from the SPCA so they had no back-story, but it became obvious to them that she was untrusting – particularly of men – and acted out with aggression, anxiety, and of course, peeing. The family tried everything, but it was clear that only the mom was acceptable to her.
Sadly, the SPCA wouldn’t take her back; they said that she was unadoptable, and that euthanasia was the only alternative. Luckily, the Cat Sanctuary was a better one for her. It took Cookie Hill a while to accept her change in status, and there was a fair bit of swatting involved. These days she mostly hangs out in the Yellow Shed area, and when she’s in the right mood, she can be chatty and affectionate with humans, though she reminds me of Sophie in the TeaRoom – moody, but cute, and ready to be petted if you do it to her specifications.
She stands out from all the other little tabbies because of the beautiful orange necklace she wears. Often a torby (tabby/tortie mixture) has the orange colours dispersed generally among her fur (she’s almost always female, because of the genetics around colouring). Carly Simon and Christina Aguilera are a pair whose tabby markings are balanced with their ginger colouring. Roe has striking ginger blotches in her coat. I don’t think I’ve ever seen such a clear marking of the orange fur to give a cat a pattern like this. And she has the most beautiful green eyes to offset her colouring.
Cookie Hill will never be Miss Popularity around the Front Courtyard. There’s not much room in the Yellow Shed but Miss Hill insists on a shelf to herself, and she is not into socializing with the other cats. The Hill House itself tends to be more social than she’s ready to face. As the weather warms up, though, we’ll probably see more of her out and about. We do have some faithful male volunteers, but it’s mainly women she sees, and we hope that she will be able to put her bad experiences of the past behind her, and learn that there are people that she can trust again.