Some cats simply belong together. That’s certainly the case with Tini and Rue who are mother and daughter, respectively, and both less than five years old. Yet despite their shared lineage, it took considerable effort to unite the pair for good.
Born outside and rescued separately in mid-2014 from a west end colony, the sleek, elegant and nearly identical black cats – distinguishable by their strikingly unique eyes – went through several unsuccessful placements before finally landing with Ruth last April.
The long-time ACR volunteer, who has fostered nearly 30 cats and kittens in just under a decade, was the ideal interim candidate for the cautiously curious pair. By December 2015, stable, socialized Tini and Rue were headed to the forever home of Karen where today, they are thriving… especially if a visitor comes bearing beloved cheddar.
“They are very happy and one of them is sitting in the window watching me right now,” Karen laughs. “Both Rue and Tini have their own distinct personalities, of course. Tini was physically closest to me at first which might have been about putting herself between me and Rue. But Rue is the showboat who likes to play around. She was the first to really engage with me directly whereas Tini was around but watching.”
Interestingly, although Karen has owned countless rescue cats over the years, she always gravitated towards older or ill cats requiring more care.
“When I saw them on the ACR website, they weren’t what I thought would be my first choice,” she confirms. “But when I interviewed with ACR, they said ‘Perhaps you’d like a break from old, sick cats. We have this pair we’d like to place together.’ It hadn’t occurred to me to take healthy cats!
“They were very timid when I visited them at Ruth’s place. But I hung out for a few hours and noticed they made eye contact. I just decided based on the care they had received to that point, that I would take them on and try and bring them out of their feral state of mind.”
Both foster Mom Ruth and forever Mom Karen agree that Rue and Tini – the latter shortened from Meowtini – are exceptionally beautiful and gentle cats despite being formerly feral. Given time and patience, the pair acclimatized perfectly to life indoors.
Karen also stresses that the level of care and attention the cats received under the aegis of ACR made it much easier for her to adopt them with confidence.
“I got lots of backstory on the cats. Both Ruth and ACR had plenty of detail on what to expect, which made me feel very informed. In fact, we all went to the vet together for their pre-adoption check-up. At first, they were wary – mine was yet another new home. But my home is large and very quiet, I work from home, so we fell into a routine very easily.
“As long as you take the time to allow the cats to adjust to their new environment – and to you – they start feeling safe and trust that you are where the food comes from. Patience and understanding goes a long way. We just got used to sharing the same space.”
Photos courtesy of Karen Walton.