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cat toy+excited cat+slippery lino=win !

Down at the Cat Shelter again this afternoon. I bought a dangly cat toy from the pound shop last week, a furry mouse dangling from a short rod, and took it for the cats there. I visited room 2 first, where there is a six month old brother and sister called Frog and Rainbow (sounds like the name of a pub). Rainbow is a beautful dark tortie - a colour I really love. Frog is tabby and white and well named. I'd seen him doing frog hops when playing with him last week, but he did some spectacular leaps after the mouse toy.
   At first, Rainbow seemed to be the one more interested in biting it like prey, while Frog wanted to chase and catch. Young cats are easier to get spinning in a circle, while you trail a toy round and round just in front of their nose, and Frog fell for it with great enthusiasm. And as the floor had no traction, he was turning so fast at one point that his back legs had slid sideways so his hip was almost brushing the ground as he went round. I stopped in their room again at the end of the visit to leave the toy there. Frog got rather possesive of it, grabbing the mouse in his mouth and refusing to let go. I pulled him short distances, just to try his determination, and could probably have towed him across the room if I'd tried.

I took the toy into Room 1 and was pleased to see Tinka and Ginger sitting out on the floor with the other cats. They are young cats, born to a feral mother, and very shy. When I first visited, a few weeks ago, both stayed hidden distant corners and fled if you came within a few feet of them. Now they will sit out in the open and watch you, looking curious and wary, rather than terrified. I threw the mouse close to Tinka a couple of times (not directly at him, which would scare him) and he dabbed at it a little. Progress !

I visited the infirmary downstairs, where cats are confined to large cages to lessen the chance of infecting others. There's usually one out in the small room, given a chance to run a little and not go stir crazy. This week it was a young black kitten, Lala. She looked a little bewildered at first, so I picked her up and cuddled her for a bit, then got her to play with a loose string from the scratching post. Once she was doing that, I coaxed her into playing with the mouse toy and she was soon zooming up and down after it. The caged cats were most interested. When I dangled the mouse in front of their cages, they all reached through to try and grab it. It was rather like a scene from a prison movie, with paws instead of hands reaching through the bars.

So a satisfying visit and I certainly got my money's worth out of the cat toy.


( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
28th May, 2009 14:01 (UTC)
I love reading your shelter stories. It's wonderful that you go and spend time with these poor little critters. It's nice you've been able to see the progress too.

Any possibility of adopting one of these sweet scamps to give Diesel some company?
29th May, 2009 00:48 (UTC)
I intend to get another cat, and am off to a cat show first thing Saturday morning with friends. I love big, shaggy cats, like Shiraz, and am interested in getting a Norsk Skogcatt - a Norweigan Forest Cat. So I shall look at some at the show, to see if I like them as much in the fur as in photos, and maybe talk to breeders.
Then we'll leave Steve and Simon at the show for the rest of the day (at the Nissan Social Club in Sunderland) and Helen and I will drive off somewhere interesting - maybe the coast - and return to pick them up later.
I'm looking forward to it - apart from the 7.00am start.
29th May, 2009 01:22 (UTC)
Oh that sounds fun!

NFCs are ginormous! Almost as big as Odin is now (he's currently almost 28lbs!!). But they are sweet and intelligent and the ones I've met have somewhat of a sense of humor. Just be ready for copious amounts of shedding since they have that thick, insulating undercoat. At least it's *mostly* seasonal, but you'll need to keep it brushed all the time.

I've seen two different types of coats on these cats...some are silky and some are more course with almost a woolly feel to them. I think the woolly type is the breed standard.

The thing you'll be amazed at when you get your hands on one of these gentle giants is just how SOLID they are. Very large bone structure and the muscle build to support it. But they're not bulldoggish like Odin...they're a little more gracefully built than that.

Let me know how you like the NFCs...you should also check out the Turkish Angoras. They're shaggy, can be large-ish but they're more agile and VERY silky feeling.

Have fun and be sure to report back! LOL
28th May, 2009 20:31 (UTC)
I am so glad you are posting abt this. I think you certainly are a good play volunteer for the cats! :) xx
29th May, 2009 00:42 (UTC)
I'm glad to know people are enjoying reading about my visits to the cat shelter. Of course it's no great hardship for me to spend time with cats but it is rewarding to know that I'm actually doing some good too. The shy ones and the kittens need to get used to contact with humans so they're friendly and easier to find homes for. The staff do give them attention, but also have the business of running the shelter and maintaining it, so can't give as much attention to individual cats as they'd like.
Other cats are well socialized already, and just appreciate a lap or being fussed. And the younger cats like someone to play with them, which is good excercise for them.

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

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