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November of 2012 the Seattle Animal Shelter received a number of cats from a hoarder.  We got the 5 most likely candidates for socialization:  4 adults and a kitten.  We set the adults up in carrires in cages in the basement.  Initially they were too shy to come out of their carriers but 3 clearly loved to be pet.  All were undernourished, had URI, and needed time to recover and get healthy.  After a while we moved them to an upstairs room where they all hid under the bed.  Now they have full run of the house and are some of the sweetest, quirkiest cats we have fostered.

Lucy (left) and Lily were too shy to come out of their carrier at first

Lucy (left) and Lily were too shy to come out of their carrier at first

Lily

Lily relaxed by me on the couch.

Lily relaxed by me on the couch.

Lily shared a cage with Lucy and the two would sit at the door of their carrier with little tortious shell faces looking out.  I could reach in and they would both head butt and crowd up to my hand for pets but they were too shy to come out.  After a couple days they got bold enough to come out for their meals.  I would sit by and pet them while they were eating.  At first this was too much and they would scurry back into their carrier but then they could stay out to eat while being pet.  Lily was the first to come out to greet me and seemed interested in exploring outside of the cage.  We called her “Ms Adventure” because she was the boldest of the two ladies.

Now that she has run of the house she has shown a unique blend of shyness and boldness.  She hides inside a livingroom chair most of the day and is the hardest to approach.  But, in the evenings when we settle she is the first to jump into our laps for pets.

Lily has a very soft, down, medium length tortious shell fur – just a delight to pet.

Lucy

Lucy always has a serious, shocked expression.

Lucy always has a serious, shocked expression.

Lucy is my particular favorate.  She supper loved head rubs but was more wary coming out than Lily was.  Now that she is upstairs she is the one who is most likely to approach me for pets and the one who will sleep on the bed with me.

Lucy has not one tooth in her head – we speculate an effect of in-breeding that happened in the hoarders.  She has a tendency to wheeze and snort – we think related to the structure of her mouth and nasal passage.  Her purr is a charming cooing snort.  Lack of teeth, however, does not much impair her abiltiy to eat.  We generally feed her pate which she gums down with gusto.  She is the thinnest of the honeys but slowly putting on weight.

Lucy’s coat is a little coarser than Lily’s but has a beautiful mahogany color and is a pleasure to pet.  She has a of a disheveled, serious look, but is always ready for a head rub.  If my attention lags she will tap our arm with her paw to pull our attention back to petting her.  (Lucy and Lily have since been adopted together.)

Wally

Wally at a cat adoption event.

Wally at a cat adoption event.

Wally is a black boy, shaped like a cannon ball.  He had a big appetite so got a cage by himself.  He would sit head out the door and hiss at us when approached.  If we just held our hand above him Wally would give it a moment consideration then headbutt us and purr.  He would come out for his food then notice that he was out and shoot back into his carrier.  He would then notice that there is food and come out to eat.

Once we gave them free run of the house he immediatly adopted the space under our dining room table as his safe spot.  He can watch the world go by but has protection of all the chair legs.

While all the honeys are playful, Wally is the most.  A toy pulled across the livingroom floor will always lure him out.  He must never have had a chance to chase a toy as his first attempts were clumbsy.

Charles

Charles cleaned up by Chip

Charles cleaned up by Chip

Charles is a beautiful long legged grey boy.  He was the most shutdown of the adults and got his own cage as he was reluctant to eat.  For the first several days he gave no response to any pets and I considered him the most at risk.  Then I made a point of spending some extra time with him, petting him regardless.  Some switch seemed to flip and soon he was head butting and rolling around with the pleasure of being pet.

Chip, who came over to spend time with the crew, took a particular liking to Charles and spent extra time with him.  Upstairs he was always the first to come out and would come right up to us for pets.  When Chip became a SAS foster parent we transferred Charles to her.  Charle’s now has his own web page to facilitate his adoption.  (And has since been adopted.)

Shadow

Shadow soon after arriving

Shadow soon after arriving

We put the kitten in his own room.  Shadow clearly had no idea how to live inside and was scared and shutdown.  Marie spent a lot of time with him, showed him how to use the litter box and how to receive pets from people.  When we first let him roam the house he hid in and under things but always came out for play and meals.  Over several weeks he shifted dramatically and was soon out and confident all the time.  Shadow revealed a delightful, balanced personality.  He could play by himself, he could play with people, and he could play with other cats.  He could sleep by himself, he could snuggle with us on the bed, and he could snuggle with other cats.

Shadow became good playbudies with another foster, Bubbles. Bubbles was somewhat dominate toward the other cats but always very affectionate and tollerant of Shadow.

These two have been adopted together.

Feeding Cinder

Cinder

Cinder is a Seattle Animal Shelter foster cat.  We took her because she was loosing weight and her foster parent had too many kittens to track Cinder’s eating.  When she first came to us we integrated her with some semi-feral kittens from another site.

Cinder and the feral boys

They proved to be too old for an easy turn around so we sent them back (where some patient site care takers are working with them).  We took Cinder on our weekend get-away to a Whidbey island cottage.  After several rounds of feeding a/d food with extra water her appitite kicked in.

Back home she was doing great so we picked up another solo kitten from the shelter.  When this little gal arrived she spent the first 7 hours running madly around the room.  We thought it was excitement to be out of the cage but it turned out to be her natural waking energy level.  We named her Bolt!

Bolt

After 3 days of watching each other at a distance Cinder and Bolt! began to play and sleep together.

Cinder and Bolt sleeping near each other

They ate well and gained weight.

Bold and our cat ambassador Annabelle

Cinder and Bolt together before going to SAS for surgery and adoption

Sammy and Maggie have been at St Francis house for 2 1/2 months and had free run of the place for 1 1/2 months.  People don’t see much of Sammy but Maggie hangs out upstairs in their room during the day and can be found in the front rooms at other times.

To understand what the pair were doing I let them a trail camera which was placed in the cat’s room.  The building is occupied from 9am to 3pm M-F.  Looks like Sammy joins Maggie soon after people leave, the eat, groom, nap, and wrestle until sometime in the evening.  They show up again early in the morning.  Overnight I assume they are playing, patrolling, and sleeping throughout the rest of St Francis house.

This pair were difficult to place.  They really liked each other, Maggie kind of liked people, and Sammy preferred to not be around people (though he could come to like being pet).  St Francis house is a great home for them.