Animal Outreach of the Motherlode is a non-profit, no-kill shelter for cats. It’s located just outside of Placerville in Diamond Springs, CA; and I am very happy to be a part of their volunteer staff! The facility is wonderful and the “cattery” is a bright, open space with plenty of spaces to climb to, to hide away for a quick nap, or to just play around in.
Yesterday I watched a prospective Parent pick-up a cat she and her husband were interested in. She just went for it! When I left, the three of them were looking pretty snug together, too. I like to take the “wait and see approach”, preferring the cat come to me – even if we’re talking kittens. However, there are many approaches one can take when introducing yourself to a cat for the very first time; and apart from handling the animal in a rough or aggressive manner, there is no “wrong way”.
Some cats don’t mind being picked-up and handled while others will object to such nonsense, preferring to sit quietly by your side. Cats will normally make their preferences known. Some may hiss or swipe at you. Some may just wriggle out of your grasp. Some will go limp in your arms and purr loudly, their eyes half-closed in a state of pure (purr?) bliss. Here’s what I look for:
- Ears: Are they tilted forward (relaxed) or flattened back against their head?
- Eyes: Do they appear calm and relaxed, or are the eyes narrowed and/or the pupils dilated (fearful and anxious)?
- Tail: A confident cat will walk with her talk straight up. If the cat has an erect tail, arched back and pushed-back ears, she is showing that she is scared but willing to fight. Unlike dogs, cats “wag” or “flick” their tails when they’re annoyed (Stop petting me NOW!).
Finally, introduce yourself in a calm, confident manner. Cats, like most animals, pick-up on the vibes around them.
These photos were taken from 3.3.2020 to 3.17.2020.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT
Achoo, BinkBink, and Babushka are siblings that we born feral and half-starved. They are still shy of new people, but if you take your time with them you’ll find they’re all big, sweet, lovebugs! They would do great adopted together or in pairs and would also tolerate other furry “siblings”. List of attributes noted by their Rescuers: Playful, goofy, likes being held, comes when called, feisty/instigator, social/outgoing, hunts successfully, uses scratching post.
IN THE SPOTLIGHT