We’ve had black and white “cow cats” at the Sanctuary for some time – most of them coming from a trapping operation at an east Richmond composting plant. The trio of Mya, Teagan and Kirsty came first, then Hillie – initially so fearful and then everyone’s friend – and last was shy Yma, who still hides from contact. All we have now from that group are Kirsty and Yma; Mya was adopted, and the other two passed. And now we have another “cow cat” – but this one is in the front courtyard. Meet Rollins!
Rollins belongs to the Sanctuary tradition of “detective cats” – cats who are smart enough to find us, rather than the other way around. Typically these are cats who are spotted in the parking lot, or in the area around the perimeter; we now have trail cams running and are more able to identify if the cat we are seeing is a local one or someone new.
Sanctuary detective cats are named for fictional detectives – mostly TV-fictional characters. We have rejoined in the company of Magnum, Colombo and Kojak, Watson, Horatio and Steele. Our most recent incomers have all been black-and white; Rico, in 2020; Munch and Cassidy (tuxedos) in 2021, and most recently, Rollins. Rollins was actually spotted on trail cams while we were looking for Munch, who had done a jailbreak and was not in a hurry to return, though he hovered in the vicinity. It took Rollins very little time to decide that the food in the trap was a fair tradeoff for a comfy place, and he settled with us very easily.
Our med staff are Law and Order fans, and the names of Munch, Cassidy and Rollins all come from the Special Victims Unit series. The other detective/cow-cat in the front courtyard is Cagney and both he and Rollins actually get their names from female characters.
Like all new cats, he had a cage-stay for awhile, but unlike many of them, he loved having visitors, and would roll and preen and encourage attention. It was quite obvious that this boy was used to being handled, and we suspect that he was dumped off. Once released, he made himself at home in the front courtyard; he likes to explore and is one of those active cats constantly on the move. He tolerates the others – he doesn’t appear to have bonded in any way – but he likes to have human attention, and especially enjoys wrapping himself around a nearby foot.
That’s OK, but the foot owner needs to be careful that Rollins doesn’t get so excited that he bites. We have one ankle-biter already (Little John, in the back courtyard); at least Rollins sends clear signals that he’s getting close to the edge. Many “aggressive” cats are labelled that way because we humans don’t read their body language well enough. I think Rollins is still young, and will calm down further as he matures; sadly, he appears to be a pee-er, so the Sanctuary is likely to be his lifelong residence. Nice to have your company, Rollins!
Featured image: “Rollins” by Karen Nicholson