Cat Sanctuary

Munch and Cassidy

Munch & Cassidy (EC)
In early July this year, someone reported a tuxedo cat wandering around the outside of the Sanctuary. This sort of report happens from time to time – sometimes the cat in question is a local farm cat who’s moved off-territory, sometimes it may be a cat that’s been dumped here. The latter was a reason that the Sanctuary was Richmond’s best-kept secret for years – we tried to encourage people to surrender their cats formally at the City Shelter. Cats just dropped off are in a risky position – on unfamiliar territory, possibly with few outdoor skills, and with coyotes living nearby. The staff are used to springing into action and putting out cat traps in a variety of different places.
Munch  (MW)
Sure enough, within a few days, we had a handsome little tuxedo huddled in the trap. Vet check determined that he was young, healthy and very wary. He and his cage went into a larger cage in the Double-Wide to let him adjust. He was a Do Not Enter cat for a while – tended by the med-staff only until they felt he was more relaxed.
Munch  (KN)
But the reports of a little cat kept coming – so the traps went out again, and before long, we had Cassidy in our care – almost a twin to Munch. He went into the cage next door, and before long the two of them could be seen visiting through the mesh.
Visiting through the bars  (KN)
Cassidy was the more approachable of the two, and quickly accepted petting and attention; Munch was warier and needed a very gentle approach. When their cage door were opened, Cassidy quickly moved in with his brother, and the two could often be found together. They belong to the select company of cats that found their way here (we assume) and have been named for fictional detectives John Munch and Brian Cassidy in the Law and Order spin-off series Special Victims Unit.
Bookends  (KN)

The two are almost identical – there is a little variance in the face-blaze, and Cassidy has a distinctive spot on one of his hind legs.  They may look like identical twins, but they’re very different in personality.  Cassidy is the more daring of the two cats, and it didn’t take long before he had explored the Double-Wide and made himself at home – while Munch preferred to remain on his own turf. Cassidy walks around with a happy-cat erect tail; Munch’s tail stays low. Though the two were never seen together on the trail-cams, pre-trapping, when the pictures are viewed retrospectively, it’s very obvious which cat crossed in front of the lens.

Cassidy  (KN)
When a cage is opened up, we don’t always know how the cat will react. Sometimes they head for the cage-tops, and end up hanging out with DC and his buddies; sometimes they will shift to the Deck and either hide under the drapes or make friends with the Red-Light cats. Sometimes the cage is open, but the cat remains right there. Big blond Oscar has refused to move from his cage, while his travel-mate Charlotte is spending all her time in the gardens. New boy Thomas (blog to come) is also reluctant to move far, though we hope he’ll pluck up courage soon.
Cassidy exploring  (KN)
Cassidy and Munch’s differing personalities are clear here.  Munch seems to be quiet, introverted, happy to stay at home – with an occasional venture onto the Deck with the other tuxedos. Cassidy is the extrovert, the explorer, and it wasn’t long before he’d made his way into the back courtyard and was investigating things like boxes and flower-beds and other cats. I don’t know whether he’s learned to negotiate the laundry-room door, or discovered the Deck exit, but he’s happy to be out and about – just as long as he can make his way back to spend the evening with his brother Munch.
Cassidy squashing Munch  (KN)


Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Elianna Chin, Karen Nicholson. Michele Wright