Preview of Coming Attractions

Over the next several months, I will be traveling across the country in search of cat stories, visiting innovative cat rescues and shelters, interviewing eccentric cat lovers, leading vets and behaviorists and so much more. To view my travel schedule and learn more about my Cat Behaviorist business, please visit http://www.thecatbehaviorist.com/ . If I will be in your area and you feel you have some interesting cat stories to share, please don't hesistate to contact me via my website.

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Best Friends, Kanab, Utah: Reconsidering Incontinence

There are several ‘suites’ at Best Friends dedicated to incontinent cats. Surprisingly, I found many of these leaky cats the most captivating in the sanctuary.

Zander had me in fits of giggles as he climbed all over my shoulders and arms, shellacking my hair with his copious drool. He balanced his bulky body by winding his back legs around my arms and grasping tightly, while he explored my face with his own.

Dribbles is another shoulder riding cat, however his particular bowel dysfunction persuaded me to decline that level of intimacy (I’m a pretty earthy girl, but…) However, this charming tuxedo won me over with his abundant head butting, rubbing his whiskers and mouth against my cheeks and chin.

Dilly is much less approachable, but this young cat earned my respect through her strength and determination. Paralyzed, she drags her stiff hind legs behind her, but manages to scale any cat tree with claw and muscle—just using her front paws. As she thrusts her torso over the edge of the platform, a large splat of urine flies to the floor, but Dilly ignores this, settling into a bit of displacement grooming.

Entering the lobby of another cat building, I am enthralled by the enthusiastic greeting I receive there. Scooter, a handsome black cat who lost both of his hind legs to a car accident, literally scoots on two front paws, sliding his hinny on the smooth, slick floor, as he hurries to be the first to bask in the attention of any visitors that open the door. He purrs and rubs against me in triumph.

His buddy, a fluffy, gray cat is slowed in his scooting by the two immobile hind legs he drags behind him, but manages to arrive quickly and commandeer one of my hands for his own portion of stroking and rubbing.

Some cats have higher thresholds for touch than others. Given the time, I love to engage a cat in affection until it walks away, polite, but finished.

I don’t think Scooter has such a threshold, it seemed that I could have spent the entire day praising and petting him and he never would have tired of the attention.

Another pair of favorites, Cashew and Pella have been adopted and will be going home in a few weeks. Both born without eyes, this brother and sister seem to have an intuitive ability to seek out and find any welcoming laps. As soon as I sit, the five year old blind siblings come running and deftly leap onto my thighs. Cashew settles there, while Pessa climbs up higher wanting to be held like a human infant when it is being burped. Both are highly inquisitive, captivated by the Peek-A-Prize toy, batting at the numerous balls and tiny pillows that they can reach between the holes. I have never seen other cats react so enthusiastically to the Peek-a-prize when there weren't treats in it.

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