Cat Sanctuary

Puma’s World

Pauline Chin takes us to the Moore House

The Moore House is intended as a quiet retreat for our senior cats where they can live without constant activity and change.  However, some happy changes took place took place there in the last month or so.  Bluebell received treatment for her ears, got a lion cut, and she spends most of her time camping in her tent.  Shaggy and Chanel have become a close couple.  Earl has claimed the box bed and armchair by the back window.  Most importantly, Smokey got moved into the side room.  Now she has an entire room to herself and she can still watch for intruders.  With Smokey out of sight, Puma has greatly expanded his world.

This nice, but nervous 16 year old was surrendered in the summer.  He spent extra weeks hiding in his cage, despite the door being wide open.  Volunteers would go in to brush and invite him outside, but it was a no go.  At some point, he decided the neighbouring cage was nicer to live in.  Every little while he would take a few steps away from his home to check things out.

Coming out onto the deck was a major step for him.  He’d approach the door and look around.  Sometimes, he’d walk out.  He’d stay for a minute, then retreat.  The deck regulars (Shaggy, Chanel, Earl, Bluebell, Rufus) didn’t mind his presence; there was always space to sit down.  It was the eagle-eyed stares from Smokey above the cagetops that sent Puma packing.  Smokey is not an explorer; she only comes down to floor level for food and waste elimination.  Chances are, they had an unpleasant first impression.  Ask almost anyone and they’ll tell you about their unforgettable encounter with her.

Since Smokey has her own room now, Puma has been walking all over the trailer without worry.  The only thing I’ve seen spook him is the sound of heavy footfalls.  He’d flee and return as soon as the thuds disappeared.  The vibrations travelling through the wooden floor make it feel like the beginning of an earthquake.  Can’t blame him for hiding.

I find he seems overly curious about the grey cat.  I wouldn’t say infatuated, but no one gets in close proximity to Smokey without good reason. Like good (or nosey) neighbours, Puma and Earl have decided to take turns checking on Smokey.  Sometimes, they would sit outside her door for a bit, while Smokey gladly ignores their caterwauling.  A blanket on the lower half of the door gives her privacy.

With winter temperatures in full swing, Puma has discovered another joy – the heater!  Forget the cage.  He loves the appliance so much that he spends 95% of his time next to it.  Blankets have been placed around the heater for his comfort.

While the other cats favour swarming any human that sits on the couch, Puma gleefully stays by the heater.  Should he approach, he would appreciate gentle pets and grooming.  He’d be grateful if you could keep the other cats at least a couple feet away.  (Sorry, Shaggy.)

Like many elderly cats, the extra dose of heat makes an incredible difference in their world.  Ask well-aged humans how the cold feels on them – it makes their joints ache, there are challenges of staying warm, and general malaise.  It’s very much the same for cats.  Some senior kitties refuse to get out of bed. They spend all day by a heat source to keep warm, have a shorter fuse, or pass on physical activities.  Puma has hit his stride and has newfound confidence.  If heat makes him so happy, in another 5 months, he’ll be ecstatic when he gets to sunbathe on the deck.

Blog by Pauline Chin
Photos by Pauline Chin, Daphne Jorgenson, Karen Nicholson, Anne Rainbow