The resident cats

Someone recently asked me a question about one of the resident cats and it made me realize I haven’t told their story! With all they put up with, it’s the least I can do.

In April 2008, goofy Gus crossed the rainbow bridge, leaving behind wild child Pip. She was a stray found in the yard at work. She was never completely domesticated but, oh!, did she love Gus. At the time I was planning on moving so Pip and I lived alone for a few months. After I moved into my condo it was clear that Pip was still lonely so I decided to finder her a companion. It had been many, many years since I’d sought out a cat (they’d all found me!) and around this time I learned about Toronto Cat Rescue. In late September 2008, they were having an adoption event. Off I went, “just to look”. I didn’t take a carrier and even took transit having NO intention of actually adopting. When I walked in (it was in a store that is still a TCR partner, though it’s been completely renovated since then) all I could see were kittens. Pip was 12 years old — she would not appreciate a kitten. “Do you have any older ones?” “Sure — over there.”  I was directed to the cage holding “Curly”.  “Older” is clearly a relative term. Curly was six months old! But SO adorable. And very friendly and affectionate. After years of timid cats I was eager to find someone sociable. So Curly — I was told he was one of three fostered by the young men who found them; I can only assume the other two were “Larry” and “Moe”! — came home with me and was re-named Jonesy.

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Pip hated him on sight.

I mean hated: Who is this young jerk — who is NOT my Gus — trying to play with me? Who is this unmannered little beast who keeps trying to get my attention. Make him go away.

I tried for four months. Things did not improve — they got worse. Pip was hiding ALL the time and Jonesy was getting more obnoxious with boredom. He’d attack me all the time when I was home, wanting attention, wanting play. Let me state right here: at NO time did it EVER occur to me to return him. EVER. Even though I was worried about what the situation was doing to both of them.

I decided that Jonesy needed a playmate and Pip would rather be left alone than have the wrong friend. So back to TCR. I chose Murphy from the website. He was six months younger than Jonesy. I was screened again and was put in touch with his foster. I asked her where she was. We arranged a meeting. At the end I asked for directions. Now, for those of you who don’t know, Toronto is huge, geographically. The Greater Toronto Area is just over 7,000 square kilometers (2700 square miles)! It has swallowed up a number of smaller towns/municipalities. There is a lot of duplication of street names. When I asked her where she was she named an intersection not far from me. By that time I no longer had a car; I thought, oh, that’s not bad on transit. When I asked her for directions, she started, “You take the 401 to …” Wait? What? The 401 is the major highway that runs east-west right across the city. Turns out she lived in a suburb of Toronto 45 minutes highway driving away (two hours by transit). Uh, ok. I phoned a friend and asked if she could drive me to Brampton. “What’s in Brampton.” “A cat.” “A cat? Why can’t you find a cat in Toronto?” “Because I fell in love with the photo of THIS one!”

Grumpy old men can be as adorable as kittens.

Meet and greet day arrived. Just before it was time to leave I got a call; the foster wanted to cancel. Her kids were sick. But I’ve arranged a ride!! I told her if it was too much trouble, that was one thing, but if she thought I was worried about catching something, I wasn’t. She must have heard the desperation in my voice — she said ok.

So off we went. Even on a Sunday morning with light traffic, it was FAR. I assured my friend that unless there was something seriously wrong (and probably even then) with the cat I was bringing him home. There wasn’t. I signed the paperwork, handed over the fee, popped him in the carrier and off we went. When we got home I knew I should do the separation thing but I just had a feeling. Jonesy was already inspecting the carrier. I opened it up and out popped Murphy. (Actually, I think his name was Matrix.) They chased each other around a bit and after half an hour they were eating side-by-side. They’ve been pals ever since. Because of all the help, my friend got naming rights and he became Murphy.

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He is not supposed to rest his bulk on the antique child’s rolltop desk! But he was having so much fun bopping kittens on their way past I didn’t have the heart to make him get down!

Pip accepted Murphy and they became friends. Not good friends, but friends nonetheless. Pip and Jonesy never became friends.

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About Adventures in Cat Fostering

I am a cat fosterer for Toronto Cat Rescue. I also have two cats of my own, Jonesy, the black and white, and Murphy, the brown tabby, in the photo. Both were adopted from Toronto Cat Rescue.
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9 Responses to The resident cats

  1. It’s always fun reading adoption stories! I’m glad your friend was willing to drive you, as it sounds like Murphy is the perfect match for Jonesy.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. always fun to read about how the “permanent residents” got adopted. sounds like a typical adventure 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  3. tarnegolita says:

    Isn’t it funny how they can have such strong preferences/antipathies for each other! Our first cat has had to put up with a lot of cats coming and going. First we got another male, who he quite liked. Then there was one lovely young female that he HATED. He hated her so much he refused to come into the house. I had to feed him outside. The cats we have now, he tolerates. I will never know what he based his reasoning on!

    Liked by 1 person

    • Poor Pip didn’t have that option, though I know she wished she did! 😉 We (in the rescue group) always say, people don’t like all people, why should cats like all cats? People can learn to tolerate people they don’t like. Mostly, so can cats, which is why we recommend the slow, gradual introduction.

      Liked by 1 person

      • tarnegolita says:

        Yes, I cannot imagine living with certain people I can’t stand… Poor Shandy! I was devastated when the little female disappeared one day and never came back, but I bet he was relieved…

        Liked by 1 person

  4. tarnegolita says:

    Now that I’m thinking about it – I wonder if he had something to do with it..?? 😉 The cat that he liked had was killed by a dog. It was very sad.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Connie says:

    I brought a kitten home to an older cat. The kitten tried to nurse on him, he never forgave her.

    Liked by 1 person

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