For many years, people entering the Sanctuary were greeted by a charming long-haired tabby boy, who would bustle over to inspect, claim a lap if one was offered, and gobble any treats. We lost our Jake about five years ago, but I still have a sense of deja vu when I am met at the gate by Hunter.
Hunter came to us last spring, having been surrendered to RAPS Adoption Centre in March by his owner, due to his extreme aggression towards her. She’d had Hunter since he was a kitten and he was always quite mouthy, however it escalated to the point where he would attack her multiple times throughout the day. Time in the Adoption Centre didn’t work for him; many cats are stressed by being caged and by close proximity to other cats, and Hunter was transferred to Sanctuary in the summer.
Once released into the front courtyard, he settled pretty easily. Cats who don’t fare well at the Adoption Centre often do much better with a sense of freedom, and with the ability to find space apart from other cats. Hunter is not shy about interaction with cats; with humans he’s a little more erratic.
He’s still quite young and has aspects of less-desirable “teen” behaviour, but our staff think that in fact he is adoptable and trainable – insofar as one is ever able to “train” a cat. We have seen that former (and now part-time) brat Jasper is ready to be challenged by learning little tricks, and keeping his brain busy makes him less brattish. We’ll have to see if that will work with Hunter.
Unfortunately, whenever the staff find a potential adopter for him, Hunter decides that he wants nothing to do with people, and goes off to hide somewhere. He likes who he likes, on his own terms, he’s not interested in an “arranged marriage” and his person will need to be pretty cat-savvy!
Hunter gets on best with his buddy Picasso, and the two of them can often be found in the lobby outside the SingleWide, or chasing and tumbling with each other in the courtyard. He will occasionally play with a wand toy, but seems to like solo play and cat play more than interaction with humans, though he has his favourites. Assistant Manager Valerie can hold and cuddle him like a baby, but he won’t allow that privilege to everyone.
He’s not interested in my bribes, and gives me that slitty-eyed disdainful look that cats can do so effectively, before he turns his back on me and shoots up his leg to wash. He’s on the “potentially adoptable” list, and can be found sporting a very dashing bandana at weekends when visitors are around – though he’s more likely to tuck himself and his bandana away until the visitors are gone, and dinner is served by the evening volunteers.
Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Graham Akira, Lisa Brill-Friesen, Brigid Coult, Karen Nicholson, Valerie Wilson & Michele Wright
Featured image: Hunter by Karen Nicholson