Friday, August 28, 2015

The Cat Report (W. 8/26 & W. 8/19)

Quite a change in the cat room this week, with the departure of Mr. PEPPER back to the main shelter. A cat with personality (he reminded me a good deal of Parker), but so distrustful. His people, whoever they were, clearly didn't hold and pet him; he really didn't know how to respond to petting, though he got better as the weeks went by. Hope he's able to find himself a good home through one of the other cat-rooms around the area. 

That just leaves us with six cats, and a lot less confrontation. 

CHESSA, our special needs cat, was her usual sweet self. After getting petted and her fur combed through with the fingers she went for a long walk. She has no particular destination in mind, but I noticed that she likes people; if we came across some she'd follow them, hoping I think to get some attention. Afterwards she went into Brie's room and hung out. She loved the bit of wet catfood just before noon and, unusually, complained when she had to go into her own cage at the end of morning. Having seen a picture of her online with two other cats, one of whom was grooming her, I'm hoping she'll be adopted into a family with another, mellow, cat.
   Warning: she likes the string game, but eats the yarn when you're not looking.

By far the most active cats around were brother SYLVESTER BEAN and sister OKRA, who came out, explored, played, and generally made themselves at home. I made the discovery by chance that both know their name. I usually call him 'Bean', which he ignores, but when I called him 'Sylvester' instead he immediately looked up and over at me. Same with Okra; she also knows, and responds, to her name. After a string game, she settled down happily in the top shelf of the cabinet, while he helped me with each cage I cleaned on the ground level, going in and inspecting and supervising. He's become really affectionate: rode on my shoulders some and at one point came up and rubbed up against my legs, wanting some petting. I was happy to oblige. She also welcomed petting anytime I reached into the cabinet. They've become v. sociable kitties in just a short time. 
    They both played the string game, with yarn. I broke my laser pointer a while back and keep forgetting to replace it; think these two will welcome it back when I do. 

FRUITY PEBBLES, our semi-senior cat, wanted in her basket, as usual. She made it perfectly clear she doesn't like walks. Once I gave up on that idea and let her go back in her basket, with a plentiful catnip supply, she was happy as could be.  What a beautiful cat. 

BRIE also wanted mostly to be left alone in her favorite spot: beneath the cat-stands by the door. She's fond of catnip herself, and rolled in the stuff.  After all the others went back in, she had a bit of a walk, exploring the area in that little alleyway and around the front of the room outside the glass. She growls when other cats come close but it's just a 'stay back, this spot's mine' kind of thing, not aggressive or anything like that. 

That just leaves OLLIE, who continues to harbor suspicions that I'm a cat-eating fiend. He did play the string game some, but retreated back as far as he could into his cage whenever I came near, so I made him a cave with the blankets, which seemed to do him good. I wonder who did what to him, back in his past, to make him so worried. He does love wet catfood, so much he came out from his cave to get some and let me pet him a little. 

LAST WEEK (W. 8/19): didn't get my full cat-report written up, but here are a few notes: 

We had the same seven cats as the week before (Pepper, Cheesa, Bean & Okra, Pebbles, Brie, and Ollie), but the feel of the room was quite different as the new cats settle in and the veteran cats mellow.

PEPPER: much better behaved today. In fact, he was almost charming. After his walk I let him out and put the short cat-stand right in front of his open cage, with steps going up from that to the cagetops. It makes the entrance to the room a bit crowded but improves his mood remarkably to be able to hang out just outside his cage but not in it, and also to come and go between the cagetops. i almost got him to purr.

Most of the cats went to their favorite spots, with Pepper claiming the cagetops but not kicking up too much of a fuss when Okra and Bean went up from time to time. Brie and Pebbles went straight to theirs and stayed there all morning. Ollie actually came out and made a few anxious prowls around the room ; turns out he knows how to use the steps. He wanted to go high, but Pepper sat on the steps and blocked his way -- just as well, perhaps, since I may have had a hard time getting him back down if he did. 
   I'd had a hard time getting Okra and Pepper to go in their cages the week before, so much so that I stopped trying with Pepper and instead distracted him with a game until I'd lured him into a box and was able to scoot him up, box and all, and put him back in his cage. To his credit, he accepted that as a move he hadn't seem coming and settled down.

Everybody but Brie at wet catfood. Bean seemed thirsty. 

Chessa was adorable and affectionate.

Visitors in the Cat Room
Katrina came by and gave Chessa a good long walk which I'm sure did her good. I walked Pepper, who explored warily, checking the location of each bolt-hole if it were to be needed.   Brie explored the area by the office and snack machines thoroughly and wanted closed door open but in lieu of that accepted being able to roll on smooth cool concrete. Pebbles thought it was big and scary out there and wanted to come back in right away.

Had quite a few visitors over the course of the morning, including some that seemed serious adoption prospects, but none of which seem to have led to anything.

Health Concerns
None, really.

As I was leaving, I saw the Humane Society Cat Truck, which I'd never seen or even heard of before, parked near the PetsMart. Turns out they were doing an adopt-a-cat drive from a special van whose sides are clear like windows, enabling you to see inside into the cages with the individual cats (seven in six double-cages). Several were beautiful (esp. the little black one named Firefly) and some seemed sociable; here's wishing them all good luck in finding good homes of their own as well.

--John R.

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