If you should stroll into Cafe Adoption Room #2 and find that you’re not in the mood for a Twinkie, a Trifle, a Cupcake or a Strudel, there’s now a fifth option on the menu of scared cats.
The one and only Marischka has joined the cats rescued from the Chester hoarding situation – a.k.a. the Dessert Kids – and she’s fitting right in.
That’s a good thing and a slightly-less-than-wonderful thing. Naturally, I’m delighted that the Dessert Kids have embraced Marischka right away and that she’s comfortable being the fifth pea in their pod (OK, food metaphors end here).
But does the whole quintet really have to live under the couch?
Well, that’s not quite fair to say. Intrepid little Twinkie and her BFF Trifle, while still not quite adorers of human adoration, spend many happy hours lounging out in the open, and they do relish playtime with us. Even sweet Strudel has made sloooowly lengthening forays out from the furniture fort. Cupcake? Not so much. Yet. But she is letting certain trusted staff members and volunteers pet her on her own turf (that is, deep under the recesses of the couch) – and she even seems to be enjoying the attention.
But Marischka? Well, let’s just say she’ll take the Dessert Kids’ “timidity” and raise them “terror.” From the day she came in with her wee ones (Cyril, Leon, Paulina and Jacob – more on them later), mama Marischka has raised distrust of humans to a high art. I think Denise put it best when she explained, “Marischka refuses to make eye contact, like she’s trying to convince herself, ‘you don’t exist in my world.'” Even her kittens hissed at us with all the ferocity a 2-week-old, 5-ounce ball of fuzz can muster when they first arrived. (Fortunately, now living apart from their mom’s, um, bad influence, they’re learning that we human beans aren’t so bad.)
So, beautiful Marischka is going to be a tough nut to crack (must…stop…food metaphors!). I’m grateful we have such a perfect-for-her welcome wagon as the Dessert Kids, because she truly does seem to feel at ease with them.
The sweet quartet’s immediate welcome of the newcomer has made me love them even more. We already knew the Dessert Kids are deeply devoted to each other: when they’re reunited after being briefly placed in separate crates while their room is cleaned, they all rub against each other with gusto and gratitude, as if they’d been separated for many eons. What a wonder that they can immediately, happily open their hearts to a fifth feline.
And I do believe those sweet, traumatized hearts will continue opening up to human beans, too.
In the meantime, I can only hope that Twinkie, Trifle, Strudel and Cupcake are telling their new “sister” the hopeful signs they’ve seen from us Big Scary People: hey, you know, they feed us. And there are an awful lot of treats coming from those hands we don’t want to touch us. And then there are the toys – oh, and catnip! Marischka, you know, sometimes we even think about letting them pet our heads…do you think we can risk it? Do you think we can trust them?
We’ll keep doing our darndest to assure them that they are loved and can put the full weight of their trust in us. But, in the meantime, I’m thankful that they have one another. Everykitty needs somebody sometimes, and if their “somebody” of choice happens to be feline, so be it.
PS: About Marischka’s babies…you can see them in action here. I think their mom would be proud.