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Banshee
   
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What a striking, silky, sweet-faced sugar pie! Can you tell that I am trying to dispel the impression you may be getting from her name? Her rescuers gave her this sobriquet because of her hideous cries (a banshee is a legendary Irish spirit who warns of approaching danger), but these were due to her need to defend her kittens (Antrim and Sligo) from the dangers of other cats. Now that her offspring are safely weaned and in a secure foster home, she can relax her guard, and it is wonderful to watch her practicing being a honey: she rolls seductively around in her cage, curling her paws and making googly eyes at visitors while sending out seductive purrs. With her soft coat, beautiful colouring and extra digits on all feet, Banshee is pretty as a picture (as evidenced by the accompanying pretty picture) and should make a very sweet companion. Born around 2003, Banshee is spayed and has all her claws.

 
Fairway
   
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UPDATE October 22, 2005: After one month in our care, Fairway is charm itself. He had to have a painful fang removed, and we took advantage of the anesthesia to give him a proper shave. Now he sports a set of knee-high après-ski boots, a tail puff and a residual mane, a look that is actually very fetching, as you can see from the last picture in the series.

September 22, 2005: Born around 1998, this skinny boy looks justifiably puzzled at having found himself abandoned on a golf course. Mind you, he could have been worse off, as he did enjoy the favours of compassionate employees who fed him leftovers from the many functions held in the club house. He was not, however, invited to move indoors, with the result that he endured repeated soakings in the rain and became very bedraggled (hence the unattractively shaved bits where we had to release him from a carapace of mats – so tight under his chin that he could not properly raise his head). He has no claws whatsoever, and I wonder what his unspeakable owners thought they were achieving by dumping him on a golf course. Did they think he would caddy for a living? Did they not care that he was doomed to the bunker of life, defenseless and severely under par? I hope they rot, quite frankly. Fairway is still a bit stunned at the way his life has turned out, and still tends to want to use his litter box as a refuge (an unappealing habit I have tried to coax him out of by giving him an identical litter box with a soft towel to use as a bed), but he purrs gamely and is so small and harmless that I am sure he will fit snugly into someone’s heart. Does anyone have Tiger Woods’ number?


 
Gizmo GIZMO (THE CAT FORMERLY KNOWN AS LASZLO HAS DECIDED TO USE HIS ORIGINAL NAME)
   
 
 
 
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Update: "Gizmo has established himself so successfully in his rescuer's affections that he is now a permanent member of the family and is no longer available for adoption. (December 4, 2005)"

Update: Gizmo’s rescuer tells me that he needs to be able to go outdoors for a short spell every day, failing which he is likely to pine. This means that his new home must be able to offer him a relatively safe outdoor experience (no outdoor cat is 100% safe, of course). However, this may not be necessary if the new owner(s) can spend plenty of time playing with Gizmo. He is a cat who relishes a lot of stimulation. (May 23, 2005)

This charming fellow staggered to his rescuer’s door last February in -30 degree weather, sporting an impressive abscess, a raging fever and a pair of testicles. All these problems were dealt with immediately by the vet, and green eyed Gizmo has made a full recovery. His owners had decided that he could cope perfectly well on his own while they spent the winter in Florida (may they be eaten by a shark), and I suppose they were right, since he found himself a splendid foster mama and has taken to home comforts like a duck to water. If you want a lovable and loving cat to fill your lap, this is the boy for you. Born around 1997, Gizmo is castrated and has all his claws.

UPDATE (October 2004) Once a gizmo, always a gizmo – the name change to Laszlo just didn’t catch on! Since his retirement from street life, Gizmo has concentrated on lazily annoying the other adult cats in his home, but is too indolent to do much more than swat at their passing tails. He has shown himself to be partial to kittens (I mean as playmates, not as dinner) and wrestles happily with Olivia’s offspring. In fact, so happy are he and Henry with this rough housing that they would likely make a very good pair for someone wanting two buddies at the same time. Most of Gizmo’s not abundant energies are devoted to sleep and relaxation, an art he has mastered and can pass on to you stressed out city dwellers. With his beautiful thick coat, he is fondly described as a woolly mammoth by his rescuer.


 
ELVIS and JAZZ
   
 
 
 
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ADOPTED - through their owner’s efforts, not mine
UPDATE: Update: I have now met these cats in person (in furson?) and can confirm that they are charmers. Catnip is a sure way to their hearts, and once the ice is broken, Jazz especially can’t stop playing. Elvis is somewhat more retiring at first, not an unusual reaction to strangers, and the cats are very attached to each other. Jazz recently underwent a shave and this gives him a hilarious look, as the pictures show; you can also spot the slight defect in his right eye (apparently, this is not a problem and his eyesight is good).

Well, I finally got the pictures and it turns out that Jazz and Elvis are cream points. In the picture that shows them both, Elvis is on the left and Jazz on the right, and aren’t they a feast for the eyes? If they are half as pleasant as they are beautiful, they must be winners. (January 6th, 2005)

I have not yet met these blue eyed boys nor seen their pictures, so here is some preliminary information for you Himi lovers out there, to which I will add at the next update: Elvis (18 months old) and Jazz (2 years old) are beautiful healthy males, very bonded to each other but adoptable individually. Both are castrated, and Elvis is declawed (front paws). They are up for adoption because their owner no longer wants to deal with fur and litter boxes and all the downside to having cats, but she describes them as social and affectionate. Jazz is good with strangers, but Elvis needs a bit of time under a bed before he will come out and mingle with the cocktail crowd (I don’t blame him, as I often wish I could hide at parties). As to their colour, the owner was unable to tell me their points but says they have pale coats, so I am assuming they are blue points (but I could be wrong, so please don’t hold me to it).

 
Gavroche new name: MAUI
   
 
 
 
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UPDATE: After lolling around looking elegant and charming for six months, Gavroche was beginning to wonder whether his ship would ever come in. Turning his large green eyes to me, he seemed to be asking how much more sweetness he would have to conjure up in order to find an adopter. Well, the wait was more than worth it, as he is now basking in the almost undivided attention of two animal crazy owners (he does have to share their love with three parrots, but both their house and their hearts are large, so this should not prove too difficult). When he first came to me, Gavroche was so depressed that he flirted heavily with anorexia, and I was worried that he might suffer a similar bout of depression-induced lack of appetite after the move to his new home. My fears were unrealized, as he simply withdrew to the closet for a few hours, purring quietly in response to his adopters’ blandishments, before emerging to take possession of their bed and all the comforts of his elegant new surroundings. He has also been granted a new name, Maui Loa, in keeping with the vast improvement in his circumstances. (October 22, 2005)

This boy has been well loved and well cared for by his late owner, and it shows. His temporary caregivers, relatives of his owner, report that he is very affectionate and sleeps in their bed at night. They are putting him up for adoption because they can’t cope with his hair. To be fair, Gavroche does have an abundance of the silvery stuff, but then that is what makes him a handsome Persian. His most splendid feature stares right back at you when you meet him, a pair of enormous green eyes which give him a slight resemblance to an astonished owl ("Hang on a minute! Where did that mouse come from??"). Persians have large eyes, but their squished in faces (sadly, imposed on them by our peculiar tastes) cause many to suffer from conjunctivitis and squint in discomfort. Pressure on the tear ducts makes the eyes leak (hence the "tear stains" found on many flat faced cats). These cats require daily care, as is the case for Yoda, for example, whose devoted owners keep him beautiful and comfortable (you will find Yoda in the Adopted section). Gavroche is fortunate in having a fairly normal nose with decently sized nostrils (I know, you are amazed at my interest in these orifices, but I have had Persians who snorted like bulldogs and it is no fun for them – my vet actually carved out bigger nostrils to help them). Thus he has an almost stain free face and no eye irritation My poor silly Platon (who resides in the Lemon Grove, and in my bedroom) is another clear-eyed Chinchilla Persian with huge eyes, but his have a crazed look and he goggles wildly at me every day as though he has never seen me before ("Eeek! Cat Lady at 2 o’clock! Take cover!"). Gavroche is another type of cat altogether, well adjusted and apparently sensible. Of course, he is still a bit shocked by his new environment and is not eating properly, but he has started to purr and squeak in a surprisingly undignified soprano voice, so my hope is that he will soon relax fully. Born on August 28th 1999, he is castrated and his front paws are declawed. I believe he once shared his home with another cat, but don’t know him well enough yet to speculate about his willingness to get along with other animals. (March 21, 2005)

 
 
Ruby
   
 
 
 
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UPDATE Ruby’s rescuer fell in love with her and has adopted her. As usual, I am posting her story anyway for the benefit of my regular readers, who need a bit of variety in their diets. (October 22, 2005)

Silky and flame coated, Ruby easily persuaded a tender hearted student from Toronto, newly arrived in Montreal, to respond to her appeal for help and take her in. At first, it was thought she was pregnant, but in reality her mammary glands were simply very engorged, which meant that she had until recently been nursing kittens. Her rescuer immediately tried to help Ruby reconnect with her litter, but Ruby had either lost interest in them or had been in some way separated from them. Local cat lovers reported that they had seen her for some time and never noticed any kittens with her, so the effort was abandoned and Ruby was taken in once again. She proceeded to come spectacularly into heat, wailing so persistently that her rescuer was worried the other tenants would complain. We moved her to the animal hospital, where she demonstrated acrobatic stunts worthy of a circus performer: she literally stood on her head, front paws clutching the bars of the cage, hind legs waving in the air. We took pity on her and tried to relieve her hormonal frenzy with the use of an ovulator (no time to explain this now, it will have to go into another section of the web site when I am less busy, in 2010 or thereabouts), and now she is much calmer. However, Ruby is a lively cat with abundant energy in her small frame, so she will require a home with someone who is not looking for a couch potato. (October 10, 2005)


 
 
Floribunda
   
 
 
 
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UPDATE (December 3, 2005): After fostering Floribunda for several weeks, her caregiver has decided to adopt her, since she has fitted so well into a household of four adult cats. Charlie (the handsome grey tabby whom regular visitors will recall seeing in the Lemon Grove) has always had a soft spot for kittens and took on the duties of helping to raise tiny Flo (around six weeks old at the time) with great dedication. She is a bit of a little madam, whereas Charlie is all gentleman, so she still has few things to learn from him about tolerance and good manners. They remain very bonded and spend many hours a day curled up together, so I suppose it is Charlie more than his human who is adopting Flo. Whichever way you interpret it, they are both exceedingly lucky! Here are several views of her looking every inch the teenager.

Weighing a mere 1.1 pound, Flo was left in a box at the door of a pet store, together with several siblings. The store put her up for sale (how I hate that terminology), but the staff reported that she gagged often and kept her mouth open. An examination of the little madam by my vet revealed that she was very young indeed, perhaps only five weeks old when she was abandoned, and thus too young to have been taken from her mum. The gagging was due to her attempts to eat dry food, which she could not crunch and which lodged in her throat. A switch to soft food solved the problem, and hard food will be introduced once she is a trifle bigger. Flo may be small (very small, actually), but she has a fully developed personality and won’t put up with anything she considers annoying, like humans constantly trying to pick her up and cuddle her. She wants to play and run and squeak, and you can keep all this ridiculous cuddling for puppies as far as she is concerned. I am trying to find her a suitable playmate, someone small enough not to crush her in play, but for now she is lucky enough to be allowed to go home with her vet and be given the run of the ground floor. The resident pug is bug-eyed with disbelief (“Please tell me she’s not staying for good!?”), which Flo cheerfully ignores – no self-esteem problems here, thank you! Born around August 1st, 2005, Floribunda has all her claws and is too young to be spayed. Her eyes are still deciding what colour to be, and her fuzz is likely to turn into a short coat. (September 22, 2005)
Flora, as she is known to her temporary caregiver, now has the good fortune of being fostered by Charlie in his new home; for more details, check out Charlie in the Lemon Grove. For morale boosting on a gloomy day, just look at their picture. (October 5, 2005)

 
Mau
   
 
 
 
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Already adopted!

UPDATE: Mau is now Sambucca (“Sammy” to his friends) and is gladdening the heart of his new owner by being very loving and energetic and misbehaving in ways she finds adorable (by insisting on sampling her food and even the bubbles in her club soda). The resident cats and dogs have accepted him, and after an initially horrified reaction to the pugs (“Whaaat are those?!? I thought you said there would be dogs here?!?”), Sammy has now fully integrated into his new home. He can now look forward to a long career of being unbelievably spoiled by his new adopter, who has a heart as big as a house. (October 22, 2005)

This delectable boy was rescued by his previous owner as a small kitten and was much loved and spoiled. His owner had to part with him for family reasons beyond her control, and it was with a heavy heart that she entrusted him to me. Fortune was smiling on us, however, as he was almost immediately adopted by an equally doting new owner, and will be sharing his home with two other cats and two pugs. As his adopter has had to travel to Italy to attend a family wedding, we decided to wait until her return before moving him to her home, and in the meantime I have integrated him into my gang, where he rips around the room and tries to shake up the staid older cats with his youthful exuberance. Dignified oldies like Sesame are not amused, but Mau just prances around in his glossy fur, tail held high and a naughty gleam in his eyes. It will be interesting to see his reaction to the pugs... Born in the summer of 2004, Mau is castrated and has all his claws. (September 22, 2005)

 
ANONY-PUSS
   
 
 
 
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ADOPTED (through his rescuer’s efforts, not mine)


This little guy was found by the children of a cat loving family and is unfortunately causing a lot of stress, through no fault of his own, as the resident cats fail to see his charm are objecting strenuously to his presence under their roof. His rescuers have not given him a name, so as not to become too attached to him, and who can blame them? Anony-Puss is described as 4 to 6 months old, which would put his birth around January or March of 2005. He is not yet castrated, and has not seen a vet yet, but that will be taken care of before his adoption. (June 21, 2005)

 
Toulouse
   
 
 
 
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Here is "garbage cat" number 3, believe it or not! This guy was only four weeks old when he was found with four other kittens in a bag with the garbage (he is not connected to Capri and Tiberius, so clearly this charming method of disposal is widely practiced – bravo, Montrealers!). His date of birth is around March 20, 2005, and if he had a star sign it would be a combination of Taurus and Leo, as he is the boldest and toughest kitten I have ever met. Since his rescue he has lived in a foster home that includes a one hundred pound Rottweiler, whom Toulouse treats like a jungle gym – cum – teething ring. Winston just looks tolerantly down as the little wretch climbs up his foreleg, occasionally pausing to give his needle sharp kitten teeth a workout. Photographing Toulouse was an exercise in frustration, as he stubbornly refused to adopt photogenic poses or – God forbid! - sit still. Thus he had to be clutched and held, and then bribed with food, and the result is not all I had hoped. This boy will grow into a cat to be reckoned with; his powerful personality and fearlessness will make him a good playmate for an active older cat (or several), and I don’t think he would do well as a singleton unless there were someone at home much of the day to keep him company and play with him. Toulouse has all his claws and is too young to be castrated. (May 20, 2005)

 
MAGNOLIA McMANX
   
 
 
 
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Here we have a true original, genetically speaking. Magnolia is part domestic calico shorthair and part Siamese, which has given her an arresting colour combination (white coat with blackish-brown and taupe patches, and blue eyes). On top of that, or rather at the back end, one finds a stumpy tail, as though she had reconsidered the whole breed thing and tried to switch to Manx in mid gestational stream. In addition to being arrestingly pretty, Miss McManx is a sweetheart, one of those quality cats who goes trustingly limp in your arms and greets everything you say with approving purrs. If my life were not already sufficiently cat endowed, Magnolia would be mine, all mine. As things stand, whoever adopts her will be getting a proper poppet. Magnolia was born around July 2004 and will be spayed soon (she could not undergo the procedure immediately, as she was very sick with rhinotracheitis when she arrived; this has now cleared up). She has all her claws (attached to her very cute paws!). (May 20, 2005)

 
Poppadom and Naan
   
 
 
 
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POPPADOM and NAAN are a brother and sister pair who were adopted early in 2004. Here they are, pretty as a picture (window)!

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