Cat Sanctuary

Meowvember furry faces

November is the month when guys who can, grow their facial hair, and then shave it off at the end of the month to raise funds supporting men’s health issues. In the feline world, facial hair is not limited to the males.  Obviously some cats are furrier than others, but it’s not just the quantity of face-fluff that’s noticeable, but also the markings.

Last time I wrote about Meowvember, we admired the defined ‘tache of Magpie, who usually hangs out around pen 8 and Waldi’s Hut. Magpie is no less hissy, but some of us have now been introduced to Sweet Pea, in the front courtyard, with similar markings. Sweet Pea has been with us a while, but is very feral and wary, and prefers not to be seen (unless you carry chicken!)

Digby, Smoochie, Mya, Salish, Comet and Rocky all featured in the Meowvember blog back in 2017, but since then we’ve an assortment of new facial markings to join the ‘tache club.  One of my favourites is sweet Winston, who lives in Waldi’s Hut – he’s still a little shy, but loves being petted when he knows he can be safe with you

Spirit and Tootsie are both one-sided ‘tache wearers – Spirit (front courtyard) on the right and Tootsie (back courtyard) on the left.

It’s easy to tell them apart because of where they live; distinguishing facial markings are more important with sisters Sandy and Pebble in Pen 4. Pebble quite likes human company and presents herself for petting; her twin sister Sandy is more likely to greet you with a claws-out swat in true feral fashion. Pebble’s marking is on the left of her nose, and Sandy’s on the right.

Many of the tabbies in Pen 8 have facial markings that help us distinguish them. Johnny is the alpha, hissy boy, with a single smudge to one side of his muzzle; his sister Hailey carries little balanced patches on both sides.

Fellow feral Selena is the only one in the pen who now approaches to ask for petting; her markings cover both her muzzle and her chin – ‘tache and beard.

My favourite boy Skittles not only has a hint of ‘tache markings, but he also has a serious quantity of facial fur.  But it’s all his – he is not going to be shaving it off at the end of the month!

Our magnificent Dell has relocated to the Single-Wide (for insulin injections), and will also not be doing any shaving at month-end.  Dell has wonderful fur, and usually an impressive set of whiskers – we noticed that some of his whiskers were much shorter than they should be, and guessed that his little tabby girlfriends in Pen 3 had probably been doing some over-enthusiastic grooming. Now that he’s made himself at home in the SW, we hope he can regrow his nibbled whiskers.


Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Lisa Brill-Friesen, Melanie Draper, Karen Nicholson, Michele Wright