Tale of Three Tabbies (pt. 5)

It’s been several weeks since the barn cats were set free, and I’ve seen neither hide nor hair of two of them.  Only Hannah, the braver of the three, remains, although she rarely allows herself to be seen.

With winter ahead, I worry about Hannah being by herself.  With the disappearance of Gracie and Chloe, Hannah has become more reticent and fearful.  I can tell that she yearns for company, but she just can’t get past her fear.  Cats are “hard wired” to live in colonies, and the harsh reality of life in the country favors animals that are not alone.  She must sense her vulnerability.

It’s possible that Gracie and Chloe will turn up unexpectedly when the weather becomes cooler.   That’s not an uncommon occurrence, according to the cat ladies at the Sanctuary.  But for now, I have to decide whether to bring another couple of barn cats in–which of course means starting the acclimation process all over again.

max

Meet Max aka ‘Paintball’

Enter Max.  Max (previously known as “Paintball” as a result of his unfortunate experience being used as a target) is a handsome orange kitty with bright green eyes who came to the shelter covered in purple paint.  One day last week when I found Hannah in the barn, I seized the opportunity to lock her inside, later returning with Max.

max2Max quickly made himself at home in the hayloft.  Surprisingly, he showed no fear and within minutes began following me around, purring in the hope of having his head scratched.  All of this obviously horrified Hannah, who watched with amazement from behind the plywood.

hannah

Hannah hiding behind the plywood, not quite sure what to make of this crazy new cat – Max.

Max has had a wonderful influence on Hannah.  Within days, Hannah was following his lead and spending more time out in the open, at times venturing within a few feet of me.  She finds it fascinating that Max can be so relaxed and watches with consternation as I scratch the back of his neck and he purrs with delight.  Max has a big appetite–I mean a really big appetite–and it quickly became apparent to Hannah that if she was going to get anything to eat she’d have to come out of her hiding place and assert herself.

max1

Max loves head rubs and scratches

It’s been only a week and a half, and I’m pretty sure that I could let Max and Hannah out now and they’d both stick around.  I’m going to wait, though, mostly for Hannah’s benefit.  I want more of Max’s relaxedness to rub off on her and for the two cats to become bonded.

max3

Max, relaxing and enjoying his new home.

~By Lisa G.

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About colvillevalleyanimalsanctuary

The Colville Valley Animal Sanctuary is an all-volunteer organization dedicated to the rescue and rehabilitation of abandoned, neglected, and otherwise homeless companion animals. We provide both crisis and long-term sheltering, medical care, fostering, and adoption services - all with the goal of placing our animals permanently in safe and loving homes. We spay and neuter all of the animals in our care and actively promote, through financial donations and community support, the effort to reduce the number of unwanted animals in Stevens County. By example and through education, we promote and advance the values of responsible pet ownership and the humane treatment of animals.
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