This gentle boy is the second to bear the name – our other Woody lived in the back courtyard as part of the Old Boys club, and passed a year ago.
We think this Woody is around ten years old, and he’s been with us for six of those years. He came to us in 2017 from another rescue – this one in the Comox Valley where there are several organizations doing good work to reduce a feral cat population. Kitty Cat P.A.L.S (Prevent A Litter Society) addresses local needs with TNR (Trap/Neuter/Return), with a Barn-Cat program for ferals, and with adoption where possible for kittens. But like many rescues, when presented with cats carrying FeLV or FIV, they will often turn to RAPS for support. Cats carrying either virus can be spayed/neutered, but they can’t be released to a feral colony without putting other cats at risk.
Woody arrived in company with Heidi, a handsome chonk of a calico girl, and both were moved into the New Aids colony. Heidi was lucky enough that someone saw past the FIV label and was willing to adopt her. Cats with FIV are often quite adoptable, and can live lives as long as non-FIV cats.
Woody had also had his chance at a home – at least, he was fostered for a while – but his fosterers found that he was determined to get out, and it was a constant battle to keep him in. We ask adopters to keep cats indoors, or to restrict outings to a catio – and with FIV cats, we really don’t want to risk a fight with a non-FIV cat. So Woody’s fosterers gave him over to us, and at the Sanctuary he was allowed to have all the outdoor time he craved.
He is most likely to be found at the entrance from the back courtyard, right by the gate, where he acts as sentinel, either on the shelf or, in rainy weather, in the adjacent dog-house. He quite likes humans, and will come for petting and attention – until the other cats realise that you’re there, and come seeking attention as well. At this point, Woody rolls his eyes and retires to where nobody will bug him. He had a love-hate relationship with Boomer for a while until black Randy’s appearance gave them both someone new to hate. There are several cats in this pen that occasionally need a little time-out to calm down!
The other thing to be wary of with Woody is that he is a pee-er – most of the regular volunteers know that when you arrive, you hang any belongings up or put them away in a cupboard. A recent photographer in New Aids discovered the hard way that you never put anything down if you don’t want it to be claimed by a good shower of pee. Boomer will just lie on your things; Woody wants to make it quite clear that anything put down is marked as his!
The ideal time to visit with Woody is when there are another couple of people in the pen to attract the attention of Boomer, Domino, Biggie and the rest of the attention hogs. Then you can sneak away and have some quiet time to pet him and tell him how handsome he is – even if his matted fur has necessitated a not-so-handsome haircut. He’s not into competing for attention – but he likes it when he can get it!
Blog by Brigid Coult
Featured Image: Michele Wright