Cat Sanctuary

Leo and Daphne (aka Lacey)

It’s funny, though perhaps not surprising, that volunteers don’t ask each other “Do you have a cat?” That’s practically a given. It’s really more a question of quantity.

Me? Two.

If you’re wondering how a person can manage to choose two from the hundreds of cats at the sanctuary, I must confess I didn’t even try. When I was ready to adopt, I went to one of the staff for a recommendation. She already had one picked out: a pretty little 3 year old grey and white longhair named Lacey who would wriggle and purr at the slightest provocation. Great! Introductions were made and I loved her right away.

I told one of the other staff members and was greeted with a rather unexpected response:

“Um, er…”

I told one of the other staff members and was greeted with a rather unexpected response:

“Um, er…”

Lacey came to the shelter with her 2 year old son and daughter. The daughter, Angel, was quite self-sufficient and not a worry, but the son, Leo, they could only describe as “very attached.” My own description of him runs more along the lines of the cat equivalent of a 40 year old guy who lives in his parents’ basement and spends all his time with online gaming. But yes, as a somewhat socially challenged mama’s boy, who probably wouldn’t fare too well on his own.

Leo is a washer and a hider. In a relaxed mood, he’s compelled to wash anyone who will sit still without swatting him. Less relaxed, he’s saucer-eyed and looking for exits. When the cats in his former home were surrendered to the shelter, he hid so well that no one could find him for days.

Fortunately, I grew up with a cat who was also a hider (and a washer). Armed with a smile and a brush, I it didn’t take long to make friends. Animals who spend their time grooming everyone else seem to appreciate having someone groom them for a change.

His other quirk is that he’s a cat with a dogleg tail – there’s a 90° kink halfway up with another little piece kinked the other way at the end. I’m told he just came out like that. Not sure how that happens… in utero squabbling?Lacey, now called Daphne after totally ignoring me when I called her by her shelter name, could scarcely be more different than her son. She’s a little princess, equal parts refined and capricious. It’s actually amazing she’s the well-adjusted one of the pair, since she was brought in to the shelter pregnant, taken home by a volunteer to foster her while she had and raised her kittens, only to have to be sent back to the shelter when the volunteer’s circumstances no longer made it possible to keep her.

Perhaps the sure knowledge that she must be the deposed cat princess of some distant, forgotten realm helps her to maintain her dignity. This is the only explanation I can think of for why she responds to Your Highness more readily than any other name.