It’s coming up on a year that Tucker has been with me. He is a foster-cat; I’m taking care of him on behalf of the Lethbridge PAW Society. He arrived just a few hours after my previous foster-cat, Devon, was picked up by his new people and taken to his permanent home. Devon, by the way, is doing fine. He has been accepted (at last) by the two cats already in the household and has since been joined by a fourth cat, who has become his best friend.
Tucker was declared unwanted by his family after he wet out of the litter-box several times. The household was going through a bit of an upheaval - a happy one, mind, you: a new baby had arrived - and Tucker’s nerves were on edge. So he was ‘returned’ to the PAW Society and I volunteered to give him a place to live until he was adopted by some lucky person or persons. So far, he has not been chosen. That surprises me; he is an adorable, sausage-shaped cat with a wonderful personality. But his prolonged stay doesn’t bother me, as I find him a delightful companion, however temporary.
Tucker remains a timid animal. He is forever coming over to me and rubbing against my leg, showing me that he likes me. That’s appreciated (after all, how often do people, even close friends, do that?) but just as often, he comes toward me, then changes his mind, due to movement on my part or a sound or something only he can perceive. It’s as if he thinks, “I like you; I’ll show you. Not right now? All right, I’ll come back. I don’t mean to inconvenience you…”
His timidity reached a peak a few weeks ago when he became frightened of my bedspread. Yes, that’s right. One day, he jumped up on the bed, stared at the cover under his feet, sniffed it, tapped it, then retreated to the folded duvet at the foot of the bed. After that, he refused even to sit on the duvet. I regretted that, as he stopped sleeping there at night, as well. Then, more recently, he recovered himself, braving the duvet at first, then even venturing on the dreaded bedspread. He has returned to sleeping on the bed at nights, in his spot on the near lower corner. He never seems to move from there during the night, and comes up to the top of the bed to greet me when I wake.
He had initially established a position of strength over Renn, who is two years younger. That has reversed itself now. The cats’ relative positions, not their ages. Now, Renn periodically smacks Tucker about. It’s never physically harmful, and much of the time, they will pass each other without a sign. But then Renn will need to demonstrate who’s in charge. I wonder if Tucker experiences some Schadenfreude when Tungsten puts Renn in his place.
Tucker’s noises are a wonder. He sounds like a monkey, a porpoise, a human baby - anything but a cat. Well, except when he purrs, which he does a great deal. I believe that he’s an animal who is easily pleased. A little attention carries him a long way. His appetite is strong: he will eat, or try to eat almost anything, though fish comes far down on his list, and I think it upsets his stomach, anyway. The only time he becomes assertive is when there may be food in the offing.
Like the others, Tucker has his favourite spots: the second platform on the lower cat-tree in the sitting room; the arm of the couch when I’m sitting there; the floor of the dining area, where he can stretch out.
He’s made himself at home with me and his feline roommates. Some day, he will be adopted, and have to accustom himself to new surroundings once more. That will be difficult for him, but he’ll find his place there, too, for he’s adaptable - as well as adoptable. But a little piece of him will stay with me.