Pen 6 has become an important area of transition at the Cat Sanctuary. It’s a fairly small pen, but right at the beginning of the back pen complex – so there is lots of activity around. Five years ago it was designated as the home for a colony of cats who had come to us from a Sunshine Coast shelter that was closing. We remember those cats with love – especially sweet Simba, and PawPaw
As they acclimated, or were moved to other areas, or adopted, we were able to move them out, close the pen for a clean-out, and prepare it for the Candy Cats’ arrival in the fall of 2017. With the exception of sweet Skittles, who has passed, these cats are still with us. No orange cats in this bunch – the closest we have is the hint of gold in the agouti colouring of shy Hershey.
Two years later, the Candy Cats were moved out to make room for another influx of cats when RAPS trapped a total of nearly 60 cats and kittens from one colony. Most of the kittens were fostered and adopted, but we had a group of teens who were too old to tame easily. Most of them were black or tortie, but orange Mercury proved to be a very shy twin for Sprocket, living in the back courtyard.
These cats were very skittish for some time and it wasn’t until the following year that the determined work of the Kitty Comforters began to pay off. Most of them have relocated to Pen 1, and will likely remain semi-feral, and wary, but Aphrodite, the boldest of them, has found her own home where she can be tortie queen.
And now Pen 6 is full again – and this time it’s an influx of (mostly) orangekitties from outside Kamloops, from a situation where TNR was needed, but in the end, the rescue felt that the cats really needed rescuing – and so they have ended up in our care.
For the first few weeks there were just seven of them – Persimmon, Kumquat, Billy, Kelvin,Buffy, Goldie and a lone tabby, Juniper.
Persimmon is the bravest of them, coming to investigate a visitor, talking and flirting. She’s something of a show-off on the shelf along the front wall. Where Persimmon is, Kumquat is not far behind. Though he’s not ready for me to touch him, I know he’s allowed ear scritches from other volunteers. Kelvin will come and sit beside me, as long as I don’t reach out.
The others are all still very wary; they can be touched when they’re tucked away in their cabin beds, but they now prefer to take cover in the many hiding places we’ve left in the pen. They particularly like the playhouse in the southeast corner of the pen, and are equally charmed by the prospect of playing on the tarp that protects the playhouse roof.
They have just been joined by another five from the same colony: Cheddar, Creamsicle, Chamomile, Barley and Chaga (two more oranges, two greys and a black) – more introductions to follow in a subsequent blog!
We’re all looking forward to getting to know them better as they become more relaxed in their new home.