Zoe a little cat adopted from TEARS
by Diana Studer
- gardening for biodiversity
in Cape Town, South Africa
It was time to make space in our home for a lady cat. Someone to play with Thomas. We went to TEARS our local animal shelter. When cats with kittens are brought in, the kittens find homes easily, but mama gets left behind - and I wanted to give the discarded mama a second chance. Thomas is a six and half kilo big fluffy cat and I was nervous of introducing his wary character to a little person.
After we lost Aragon, Thomas was a lonely only in the calm before the storm.
The cat beds are the same size but the Ungardener made Zoë's smaller so the little cat wouldn't feel lost. Yes so. When we let her out of the guest room, she strolled over to Thomas, breezily parked her front paws on the chair and said 'Hi Thomas, I'm Zoë'. She spread herself across the large bed, and Thomas concertinaed in the small one (even in the large one he scatters paws and legs over the edge!)
We are not used such liveliness. Oh, a wooden giraffe - let's climb it! Down he came with an almighty thump and lost an ear.
Zoë is our third tabby cat. Each one was different in shape and pattern and temperament. Pickwick our first was a short square sturdy cat. When we came home from work, we would hear her meow crescendo from the bottom of the garden, then see the raised flag of her tail ascending the slope. We now have both the largest and the smallest cats we have ever had. Zoë is named for her neat Zebra stripes, her white sOcks, and her roundish squarish monkEy face.
Side by side in the garden you can see the contrast in size, which daunts her. Not. At. All.
The first time we let her in the garden, Thomas followed her carefully step by step like a nanny. I left them to investicat. Sigh. Later I went to ask Thomas 'Where is Zoë?' He was perched on the pillar of our boundary wall, and turned a worried face back to the neighbour's garden. 'Over there!' Sod's law she chose the neighbour who HATES cats. Thomas and I waited ... and she found a way up from the lawn and bare walls ... tightroped along the crest of the wall ... and when I could reach, I lifted her down. When Thomas thumped down after her, she dropped belly to the ground 'A leopard!!'
He is a daunting expanse of cat, but watches over her carefully. First time she startled him (a cat, another! cat behind the curtain) he did a backward somersault.
Our Thomas has recovered from his horror of people and I hope forgotten an abused childhood. Rescued and adopted cats so we pick November for Thomas and December for Zoë. At the end of this year they will both be three, and Thomas will hopefully be fully grown.
Now that Zoë is free to come and go (when the door is open) she lolls in a patch of sun on the doormat.
Sadly TEARS is battling to survive. They would like to again provide free veterinary services to the township animals of Ocean View and Masiphumelele. Our monthly stop order and a home for one cat (Bella who is now Zoë) make a small difference. To support them please click the TEARS link.
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