Thursday, January 8, 2015

The Return of The Cat Report

So, between the trip to Arkansas and the holiday schedule, i've been remiss about writing up notes on how the cats are doing; I'll try to do better in 2015.

Have to say how happy I am about all the end-of-year/holiday season adoptions: Buxter (who had to wait so long for her turn -- since May!), The Kittens (Avalonea and Hagruphus), Toulouse and Monet (now "Cuddles" and "Whiskers"), the Other Kittens (Wysteria and Fuschia, who were adopted, unadopted, and readopted), and Maebe (to my friends Owen and LJ). It was a real pleasure to visit Maebe (now Maeb) in her new home and see how much they wanted to make her feel at home. 

By last week (W.Dec. 31st) we were down to just three cats: ANUBUS AUGUSTUS ('Gus')Mr. TIZZY, and little PANYA. That meant a lot of time to devote to each cat, with walks for all. Tizzy thinks the store is a big, big place. Also, there are dogs. And he gets lost and doesn't know how to get back to the cat room, which starts him meowing. He's the friendly sort, though, and when he spots people he likes to follow them, no doubt thinking they must know where they're going. Anubus was reluctant, and vocal, and didn't stay out long. The real surprise was discovering that Panya has learned all about walking. The week before it'd been all I cd do to stop her from bolting under the shelves (I managed to convince her she wdn't fit), and we'd spent most of her walk in the little corridor with the manager's office and snack machines. She'd been really nervous until she smelled a little piece of sawdust by the door behind which they keep the extra birds &c. That interested her greatly. Then she found a piece or two of dried hay of some sort and happily ate it. That must have made for a good memory, for this week she came right out and explored. She loves to roll over and lie belly-up on the concrete.

I'd brought in two peacock feathers as a special treat, and all three cats loved them. Unfortunately Tizzy and Gus didn't stand a chance: Panya declared that All Games Belong To Her and took them away. It was the same with any other game I broke out: the others might show an interest, but Panya wound up with it all her own sooner or later through sheer manic energy.

Did notice one endearing behavior on TIzzy's part: if he notices anybody watching him through the windows, he mews at them. 

In the time between last week and this week a new cat (EMMA LOVE) arrived, settled in, and got adopted, all without my ever having seen her. Great news that she spent so little time finding her new home, though I'm sorry not to have met what sounds like an amazing purrbox of a cat.

This week (W.Jan 7th 2015) we were back to the same three cats again: ANUBUS, TIZZY, and PANYA. In just the short time since last week Panya had declared herself the Boss Cat, with neither of the others interested in challenging her (though her energy seems to bother Mr. Tizzy sometimes; think he'd prefer a little more peace and quiet). Anubus was funny: last week I'd showed him the blankets on the top shelf inside the cabinet, and he'd loved it as the Best Hiding Place Ever. Clearly he remembered it too, because I'd no sooner let him out today than he climbed to the top of the nearest cat-stand, launched himself onto that shelf, and burrowed back to settle happily into a nice soft nest, hidden from the world. It was particularly funny showing him to visitors in the room, since he was entirely invisible with his eyes closed but reappeared when he opened them.  One woman who visited was very taken with Anubus because he reminder her of own cat, who she said had been adopted from our cat-room six years back (before my time) and who'd died just two days before.  In any case, she petted and fussed over Gus and I think it did them both good. 

Mr. Tizzy settled himself on the cat-stand furthest from the door, where he mostly slept the day away. Tried to interest him in games but he kept dozing off. He's a lazy predator, wanting the game to come to him so all he has to do is swipe a paw. He did love being wiped down with a wet cloth, which from his reaction I think reminded him of being bathed as a kitten. Need to figure out something he really enjoys that Panya can't take away from him. Did notice that he's not at all afraid of dogs, though he watches them carefully. Panya too is brave around dogs and actually sniffed two (one of them a miniature greyhound) through the fence at one point. 

One of my fellow volunteers came in to visit the cats during my shift, and it was fun to watch the cats' reaction to her: Augustus came out of where he'd been hiding and Tizzy mewed at her, while Panya of course wanted to play. Definitely got to see a different side of them when she was there. Good to remember that the behavior I see out of the cats can be very different from how they act around others.

All three cats got walks (brief for Augustus, moderate for Tizzy, lengthy for Panya), during which he got petted by one of the kind ladies at Banfield. 

There's no doubt that little Panya was the star of the morning, especially after I set out the fence so she could lie outside the room and show off her stuff pouncing on little mousies -- the mouse-on-a-string toy was far and away her favorite. No less than three sets of people came by who expressed an interest in adopting her. It was fun to see the little girl accompanying one of these people solemnly playing with Panya through the fence. Another visitor had recently lost her cat and I think looked at all three of ours as a sort of first step to getting used to the idea of taking a new cat into her home. Finally there was a woman who recently lost a beloved cat (seems to be a lot of that going around -- friends of ours in our book group lost one of their two much loved cats last week) who looked almost exactly like Panya; seeing Panya seemed to be a way of reconnecting with some good memories. 

All in all, a busy day for visitors coming in to meet the cats.  Panya is the center of attention; hard to believe someone won't be won over by her charm soon, though I hope Anubus and Tizzy find homes themselves sooner rather than later.

--John R.

P.S.: Have to say it was great to see the photos of PHOENIX in her new home, very much in charge of all she surveys. And good to know that her health's improved with the weight loss. --JDR

UPDATE: An I'd no sooner posted this than I saw the news that PANYA has been adopted by one of my fellow volunteers. Great news! 

Hope it'll soon be Anubus's and Mr. Tizzy's turn.

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