We have two newcomers to the DoubleWide trailer.
Strike was the first to arrive – very scared at first, spending all his time hiding behind a drape. But he quickly discovered that food might arrive at certain times, and became vocal as only a Siamese can. Strike is bob-tailed – what is sometimes called a “stumpy” manx. This is a reminder to us all that Manx is a breed name, with certain physical characteristics in addition to the lack of tail, but it is also a generic (and not entirely accurate) term for any tailless cat. Sometimes the genes that produce taillessness breed true (several of Percival Snugglebutt’s offspring are tailless, like dad), and sometimes it’s just a random mutation. We don’t know Strike’s history, but his lack of tail doesn’t seem to bother him in any way.
What we do know is that he was one of a number of cats who lived in a home. Their caregiver passed and they were kicked out, but were lucky enough to be accepted into a colony that was being fed and monitored. Strike, with his buddies Butternut and Puddin’ (introductions to come) were brought into our care. They may well be adoptable, but with so many kittens taking space in the adoption centre, they are better off with us for now.
Jasmine arrived a few weeks after Strike from the same Manitoba rescue that sent frostbitten Picasso to us. Rather more blonde than her fellow-Siamese, she is totally tailless, but not for the same reason as Picasso; Jasmine has the characteristic Manx syndrome that often appears in tailless cats. Plum, Lil and many other beloved Sanctuary cats like PeeWee and SweetPea have also suffered from Manx syndrome, and need regular baths to deal with the aftermath of incontinence. Jasmine loves people and attention, but it’s a really good idea to have a towel or other padding on your lap – she’s pretty leaky.
When I met Strike, and later, Jasmine, I wondered whether they would have any affinity for each other – would we have a pair, like the Siamese cats who appear in the original version of Disney’s Lady and the Tramp? And then I checked the song from that movie, and realised what I’d not known as a kid – it’s pretty racist – probably accurate enough for the early 1900s, when the film is set, and even smile-provoking when it was produced in 1955, but no longer acceptable. So in the 2019 remake, Si and Am are replaced with a pair called Devon and Rex, singing the blues.
Strike and Jasmine don’t seem to be particularly drawn to each other – they’re both pretty easy-going with other cats, and live their separate lives. Strike is more of a loner than Jasmine, who really loves to be petted. He prefers to hang out on the back deck of the Double-Wide where he can chose to mingle or find his own space; he’s no longer as scared as when he first came in, and is willing to approach for touch and treats. Food is very important; I was late to feed this week, and was met at the door by a very vocal complaint in fluent Siamese.
Jasmine is more adventurous, and can often be found exploring in the back courtyard; she will leap up on the table to be fussed and told she’s a lovely girl. Like Lil and Plum, you just need to be a bit wary of her rear end. We are a permanent home for her; sweet as she is, there are not many people who will deliberately take on the adoption of an incontinent cat. Here at the Sanctuary, Jasmine’s not the only messy one, and doesn’t add significantly to the laundry load.
Welcome to the Sanctuary, sweet ones – it’s good to see you settling in!