Thursday, December 22, 2016

The Cat Report (W.12/21-16)

With Lillith’s untimely return to Arlington* and the arrival of three new cats, yesterday morning we had a total of four cats in the Renton cat-room: all-black SHEENA OPRIA (at 12 one of our two senior cats, though she doesn’t look it), 
 Old Man HANK (long lean and very orange; he’s 14 and looks it), lively MARIO (less than a year ald and might best be described as a grey tuxedo cat), and 3-yr-old HELENA (a beatiful little brown tabby who distrusts the other cats and prefers they keep their distance).

Sheena came out right away and spent the morning in her favorite place, on the blanket atop the bins in the back of the room. She was pleased to get some attention (petting) but not interested in any games and definitely wanting to keep her distance from the other cats. She got worked up when Helena jumped in her cage and made herself at home, keeping a wary eye on things until I got Helena to move and All Was Well.

Helena was just as wary if not more so but happily perched atop the little cat-stand when it was placed outside her open cage. She hissed at the other cats if they got what she considered too near, but she didn’t swat or slap at anybody: just a little hiss now and then when she considered it called for. Later in the shift I picked her up and put her atop the tall cat-stand in the outer room, where I was glad to see her settle right down and welcome an array of games: the stick game, the feather-duster game (which she treated as if it’d been a captured bird), the bootlace game, and especially the bug-on-a-stick (‘Da Bug’). She’s quite the little predator, so I was surprised when a woman came in with her two sons and Helena let them all pet her. I conclude that she likes attention, it just has to be the right kind of attention. 

Hank is quite the gentleman, greeting all visitors and welcoming all attention. He has real charisma, and I’m sorry to hear he’s been taken back to the clinic today over some concern re. his teeth. He loved the box I brought in, and was in and out of it repeatedly. But he liked the box-top just as well (it made a nice noisy surface for the bug-on-a-stick to land on and skitter over). Best of all, he thought, was the paper bag. He liked this so much I left it behind for him (folded up and on one of the top shelves). He had a good walk outside: a bit nervous but not panicky. Surprisingly, while he wanted people to pet him inside the room he avoided people when encountering them outside the cat-room. Given how much he loves to explore when in the cat-room I did let him take a peek into the bench when I was putting my bag away: thirty seconds was all he wanted to hop in, sniff the place, and hop back out again. Thereafter he ignored it, in a been-there, done-that sort of way. He does love to play, especially the bootlace game and the bug-on-a-stick. I got one or two tangles out of his tail-fur, but he said he’d prefer someone with a gentler touch to do any more of that that might need doing. Towards the end of my shift he got interested in what was going on outside the cat-room, watching the people outside. He enjoyed being out of his cage, and was unhappy with me for making him go back inside it at the end of my shift. He’s a great cat w. a sad back-story;** hope he finds a good home soon. 

Little Mario is full of bounce. He and Hank are not buddies but tolerate each other remarkably well: Hank didn’t mind Mario playing near him so long but preferred he keep at least a foot away. Mario also had a walk and as jumpy at first, settling down some as the walk progressed. Found out that he’s quite a smart cat: anywhere I took him, he knew exactly where he was in the store as soon as I set him down again, and remembered each area he’d visited before and how they all linked up. He wanted to play all shift, enjoying just about any game he could get. He got a lot of attention from visitors, as did Hank, simply by being outgoing and friendly, greeting every visitor. Not surprised that there was already a hold on him from potential adopters; hope they come back for him soon.  

We had lost of visitors today, including a few who expressed an interest in volunteering; think we’ll definitely be hearing from at least one of these.  

One visitor said she’d adopted a cat from here named Nebb about five years ago; does that strike a cord with anyone?

No health issues aside from those potential ones noted by others.

—John R. 

*Hope her potential adopter isn’t put off by the delay and this adoption does go through later this week). 
   Also hope Mr. Hank gets a clean bill of health and is soon back with us.

**for pictures of all the cats, and a brief bio of what is known about each, cf.

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