As summer draws to a close and wisps of autumn fill the air, the Community Room kitties settle into their daily routines, both old and new. Every room and suite at Tabby’s Place has its own unique vibe or rhythm. The Community Room has always been a place of solace for older cats, special needs kitties, and socially reserved felines–kitties that are less frequently adopted and need a little extra attention and observation. In general, turnover in the Community Room is minimal. This summer was exceptional.
The Community Room typically houses ten residents. Today those residents include Carley Rose, Claire, Impy, June, Polly, Puzzle, Sammy, Shadow, Sophia, and Tux. Many of these you will recognize from previous blog posts, but a few may be new to you. And then there are the ones that came, left a stamp on our hearts, and then moved on. Peep arrived and thrived and chirped her way into a forever home of her very own. Dear Philly came to the Community Room for hospice care. He was showered with love until his enlarged heart said it was time to cross the rainbow bridge. Hunts befriended Puzzle, Tux, and Sammy before his promotion to Suite B (where we hoped he’d befriend a younger more adoptable feline–he did and then that new friend was adopted without Hunts, but he’s doing alright on his own). Nina arrived in all her wobbling delight and stole her way into the heart and home of a volunteer. And our sassy little Scoots went and moved to Connecticut leaving my lap a little lonely.
When Hunts moved out, Shadow moved in. The pace of Community Room life seems like a good fit for the older gentleman. He seems content to move from window to cat tree at his own pace and come down when the smell of dinner hits the air. After we learned that Polly lost her sight, the Community Room seemed like a safe place for her to readjust to life to Tabby’s. She has adapted amazingly well and navigates obstacles and heights like a champion. We are constantly asking ourselves what she might be seeing or whether her other senses really are that good. Most recently, we added little Claire. Claire was living the life of a happy community cat as part of a managed colony when her caretaker realized that she had gone blind. Claire was indeed blind when she arrived at Tabby’s Place, but the reason for the impairment could not be termined. During her quarantine period it seemed that she regained at least partial vision, but this is hard to evaluate in a kitty–especially one as timid as wee Claire. So far she seems to be doing what she has been observed doing–sitting still and barely moving. But Claire watches us and our movements.
In reflection, summer came and went in the blink of an eye. Peep, Nina, and Scoots added a certain sort of zest to the Community Room rhythm. It’s not unlike the kids returning to school at the end of summer vacation after several months of chaos. Two summer days stand out in my memory–the days the air conditioning broke. I went home early, but the kitties took it in stride. Our building has two zoned systems, so thankfully only one went out. We opened and set up gates in interior doorways and angled fans to direct air from cooler areas of the building. None of the Community Room kitties seemed to mind, except Peep. Peep tried to escape to the Lobby only to find herself jailed for multiple attempts to flee. Yes, for the two days that we were without air conditioning, Peep found herself in a crate. Today no one living in the Community Room would attempt to escape.
But do not think that things in the room are without zest and spunk. Puzzle continues his work as an ambassador of goodwill. It seems that everyone wants to be Puzzle’s friend. Puzzle is happy to have a room of friends. His long standing relationship with Sammy continues. When Puzzle is not in a cat tree or in the window box with Sammy, he is often sitting with Tux at Ginny’s desk demanding her attention. Recently June has marked herself as an adoring fan, spotted curling up with Puzzle on a ground level cushion. But the most surprising development is shy lady Impy. On several occasions Impy has taken to following Puzzle around the room. It’s not entirely clear what she wants, but it is charming to watch.