Cat Sanctuary


Dell has moved!

 has been with us for eight years, and he was fully adult when he came into our care. You can read more of his early days with us here and here in the blog – for the most part his life has been spent in Pen 3 with the ferals.

He himself is not a feral, but was a stray or abandoned cat, who once knew what it was to have human friends. In his early, wary days with us, he bonded with Gregory, and the two were inseparable. Gregory was the older of the two, and we lost him a couple of years ago; there was some discussion about whether Dell might come out of the pen, but the med-staff pointed out that since he had been diagnosed with diabetes, it was easier to find him for his twice-daily insulin if he was always in the same location.

The other Pen 3 cats were mostly not people-oriented. One of the cat-whisperers has been working with the Merritt cats, who prefer to stay out of the cabin, but they don’t socialize with Dell. The little old tabbies enjoy his company (and, apparently, chewing on his whiskers), but they are also not happy with people around. And Dell loves people. Luckily, between twice-daily insulin, morning cleaning and evening feeds, he gets regular visitors, and many of the Kitty Comforters make a point of spending time with him.

In the last few months we’ve had several cats come to us who are also diabetic, and who have been located in the Single-Wide. In October the med-staff decided to bring the diabetics together, and see how Dell might take to a relocation.  After an initial week in a cage, during which he was pretty vocal about not liking any change, he came to the conclusion that in fact he could get more time with humans this way, and perhaps it was a change for the better.

In the first weeks after his cage opened up there was a steady stream of cats in and out to investigate. He took it all very calmly; aggression with other cats has never been a problem. Our lion is now beginning to enjoy prowling around a new territory – he has been investigating the ramps and getting onto the high shelves with some of the shyer cats. Because he’s a cat whose fine fur matts very easily, having him in will allow us to keep him better groomed. He’s enjoying comfy chairs and heat-lamps, he’s holding his own with other cats, and he’s even found a buddy to snuggle with. Harvest recently lost his sidekick Babylon, and is glad not to be lonely any more.

The cats who live in the outdoor pens don’t have to be cold – each cabin has a thermostat-controlled heater. But there’s no denying that this will be a much warmer, more comfortable winter for Dell – physically and emotionally – with lots of company from the humans he loves.
Blog by Brigid Coult
Photos: Lisa Brill-Friesen, Brigid Coult, Melanie Draper, 
Karen Nicholson, Michele Wrigh