Tucked away at the back of the SingleWide is the office area where our Sanctuary Manager and Assistant Manager work. There are a couple of cages for cats who need more isolated care, but the rooms are also well-equipped with cat-beds, litter-boxes and all the necessary paraphernalia needed for resident cats. Sometimes the cats in question are there because they’re unsocial with other cats, sometimes there are health issues.
Currently the two residents in question are Mojo and Licorice – both of them solid chonks. When we have cats that are overweight, it’s hard to put them on a diet, because so many of the general population would rather free-feed with kibble in preference to eating the canned food. And caging them means that they get very little exercise, so that a restricted diet doesn’t actually help much. Sweet chonky Mya was adopted from the SingleWide by one of the volunteers and we hear that she has actually lost quite a bit of weight because she has to run up and down stairs to get her treats.
Licorice has been with us for seven years, having been brought in as an unneutered stray. The testosterone might no longer be a factor, once his surgery was done, but cattitude remained part of his personality, and he picked fights with other cats and was often put in TimeOut to calm down. In recent years, Licorice has become arthritic, and no longer moves so well – and of course his lack of movement has contributed to increased weight.
Mojo came to us in 2021 as a surrender; he was huge, and matted, and diabetic, and it was immediately obvious that he would need a lot of care. Since he arrived, he’s dropped from 30lbs to 17lbs, and his diabetes is now in remission. Because he is such a big boy, he’s not that enthusiastic about the concept of exercise; his idea of making an effort is to jump from the floor into an office chair and make himself comfortable there. Luckily Licorice is prepared to tolerate the company of his roommate – or perhaps it’s just that having a battle is too strenuous these days!
So Mojo and Licorice have the use of the offices, which allows them to move freely, but they have a carefully measured restricted diet. Unfortunately, a lot of the administration in the last month or so has been happening out of the Adoption Centre, and nobody has been in the SW office, so the boys have less incentive to get up and move around. The Kitty Comforters have been making a point of visiting them, and if they’re in the right mood, getting them to play a little; unfortunately, both would rather lounge around rather than play (Mojo likes feather toys when interactive play is offered). They are willing to make the effort to come up in a lap (both need a stool to make a halfway jump), but any amount of running is not on their agenda.
We’d love to have them out in the courtyard – Licorice occasionally goes out for a short visit – but for now, KCs and feeding/scooping volunteers do as much as they can to keep these two stimulated and active to some degree, and we hope that the drop of a few more pounds might allow them to enjoy a bit more freedom when the weather is warmer.