Cat Sanctuary

Pen 2 cats – an introduction

Tubby – MW

RAPS runs both the City Shelter, on No 5 Road, and the Sanctuary, and there’s some give-and-take between the two. When we have a cat come to us who turns out to be very friendly, it will often be taken over to the Shelter, where it has a chance of being seen by more people, and potentially adopted. Conversely, cats who have been at the Shelter for some time and not been adopted may end up with us.

Kevin – AM

Last year we had a batch of such cats come to us. Pen 2 was cleared out and closed to back courtyard cats, and the transition was made – there were more than a dozen newcomers: five tabbies, three oranges, a handful of calicos and torties, two blacks and two tuxedos.

Booty – AM

Why were they not adopted? There was a variety of reasons. Some were very shy; when potential adopters appeared, the cats would vanish, only to re-emerge when the coast was clear. Others were more approachable, but erratic in reactions – biting and swatting does not encourage people to offer a home to a cat. Still others proved to have bad bathroom habits – peeing in odd corners, probably to try and establish territory, or just managing to miss the litter box.

Palma – MW

It was decided to keep them all together as a colony, since they came together from the Shelter.  For the first few weeks they kept mostly to their cabin, but visits from volunteers – including some of the people who had cared for them at 5 Road – made them more comfortable with new surroundings. Some settled in very quickly; others remained wary.

Tubby – MW

Those of us who clean the back pens quickly realised that this was the pen that would always need work. In spite of generous litter-boxes and outside areas in which to do their thing, there is very often poop on the floor, litter all over the matting and well paw-dabbled dirty water.  We established a feeding station at the back of the cabin for the shyer cats who preferred to hold back, as well as the usual water and dry food outside the door and inside.

Kevin – DA

Personalities began to emerge. Nobody can miss tuxedo Tubby – the only long-haired one in the set. Tubby is one of the erratic-reactions cats – mostly he’s very friendly, and then suddenly he’s had enough and out come the claws and teeth. Poor Tubby has some reason – he’s one of those long-hair cats that mats easily, and sometimes needs shaving in patches; occasionally you will find Tubby-hair around, where he’s either been self-grooming or been in a fight with someone.  The other tux in the family is Booty – Booty is shy, but more willing to explore the ranges of the pen than some of his buddies.

Booty – PH

There are two black cats with a small white patch on the chest : Kevin and Palma, both of whom are extremely shy. I understand that the only way to tell the difference between them is that Kevin has white hair inside his ears!

Tubby sunbathing – MW

Over the next couple of months I will hope to learn to identify more individuals in this lovely clowder of cats, and introduce them to a wider circle of friends.

Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos by Derya Aydede, Phaedra Hardman, Angelina Mak, Michele Wright