Monday, August 23, 2010

Foster Cats I Have Known

Before I talk about my third cat, Ren, I thought I should describe the others who have lived with me as foster-cats. Providing shelter to cats who need temporary homes can be interesting. The PAW Society here in Lethbridge, Alberta, takes care of many cats until they can find them permanent homes; in the meantime, the cats go into foster-care. There are never enough foster-homes.

I've fostered four cats for the Society so far. I've found that explaining to my resident cats that the new addition will be subtracted soon does nothing. They still resent the interloper.

My first foster-cat was a black one named Lincoln. He was an easy-going fellow who was cordially fought by Josie and largely ignored by Tungsten, though she would hiss and growl when she did come upon him. But Lincoln didn't seem to mind much. He was talkative. He would yowl and sing from one end of the apartment to the other. I've no idea what he was saying, and the other cats didn't enlighten me. They simply wished he would shut up. He wasn't that bad, though. He hid for a couple of days in the room in which I kept him, but started coming out of his safe spot to explore his room, not long afterward. Soon he was out all day, though back in his room for the night. Josie would threaten him, but it wasn't taken too seriously - she's simply not a fighter; my Chubs just wanted to make sure her place was secure. Lincoln was adopted fairly quickly.

Then came two who will long be remembered by my resident cats. Wixie and Mystery, both female, had to be removed rapidly from their adopted home, at the request of their owners. Their permanence there was not as long-lasting as it had been hoped, though they were evidently loved and there was no complaint ever made against them. Wixie was the more frightened of the two, though Mystery was probably much upset by being thrust into a strange world. She was a little tortoise shell creature with an insistent meow. Wixie was a two-tone girl, solidly built, with a mask of grey fur over her otherwise white face. Mystery was dominant and ate less than Wixie, who loved her soft food. It was over that that their personalities switched. Wixie (the 'Masked Marvel') would push Mystery aside to get at the latter's soft food, and Mystery would let her. I suppose the principle is the same as when a person drives a car, very much in control of it, but gets out of its way if it starts rolling down a hill at her.

Though (or perhaps because) Mystery would boss Wixie about, sometimes cornering her, literally, and slapping or growling at her, Wixie took to asserting herself with Tungsten. I wanted Tungsten to stand up to the newcomer, but there is a morose streak to my orange one, and she would simply seek out a quiet place and sulk, though she'd scrap if she had no where to go. Josie was left alone, perhaps because Wixie sensed that Tungsten was the one in charge, and therefore the one to defeat.

Wixie and Mystery were typical of cats in that they learned a routine quickly. They loved their play time, and started letting me know they were ready for it hours before I was. Mystery enjoyed chasing a stick, around and around, until she grew tired, after which she would lie on the floor and expect it to come to her. Of course it did. Wixie liked trying to grab the stick as it poked out from under a quilt. They knew their dinner and snack-times, too, the Masked Marvel growing so excited at the prospect of her gourmand feast that she would spin about in circles, crying with delight.

But Wixie was actually quite shy. When called to come over for a petting, she would arch her back, rub her face along a wall and shuffle over with a diffident air. But she was purring the while.

Mystery and Wixie were adopted together. Though they were never best pals, going somewhere new as a pair would have helped them tremendously. It's always nice to have someone familiar in an unfamiliar place.

And now, there's Ren...

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