Happy Tails: Katniss

If cats could hold jobs, Katniss would be a supermodel. Also an ambassador for peaceful dog-cat relations. And maybe later in life, a politician. The gorgeous tabby has the va-va-voom looks, diplomacy and persuasive personality to succeed in all three roles.

She’s also not too shabby as a pet, according to both foster mom Veronica Dicerni and forever mom Anita Tang.

“Isn’t she gorgeous and beautiful?,” chuckles Dicerni. “Of the three kittens we took in to foster, she was the most photogenic and cuddly. And she was just so social.”


As Dicerni tells it, she and her three daughters – who named Katniss after the heroine in The Hunger Games books – began fostering a trio of roughly eight-week-old, orphaned kittens last May, their first-ever foster adventure. Though the kittens’ provenance is unknown, Dicerni thinks they were spotted living in one of the city’s various cat colonies by Annex Cat Rescue volunteers.

A month later, Katniss made her way to an adopt-a-thon at an uptown Toronto pet store where Tang – acting on a tip from a friend who worked there – met and was immediately enchanted by the cat. The deciding factor was whether Katniss could thrive among other animals in the home shared by Tang and girlfriend Alissa Fu, notably a German Shepherd named Koda and an adult cat named Vito.

“We’d been thinking of adopting a kitten,” Tang says. “Vito we got as a shelter cat when he was about two but I’d never had a kitten. When I went to the pet store, Katniss was very calm, responsive and my friend said they had had a couple of dogs nearby and Katniss was really good with them. That was a big thing.”

These days, Tang confirms that “Vito is surprisingly gentle with her. Katniss steals his food all the time but he lets her. And the dog is in love with her and follows her everywhere. Katniss is amazing – we have been trying to harness-train her, and she just takes in everything very well.”

Both Dicerni and Tang enthusiastically testify to the benefits of fostering and adopting rescues. Says Dicerni, “I am 52, I have three daughters and it’s not like I don’t have enough to do. But fostering is a joyful thing.

“For me, it’s a bit selfish because I just love cats but I can’t really afford the time commitment of caring for any more animals – we have two cats and two dogs already. So in the long-term, a new pet wouldn’t work out for us but in the short-term, it’s fantastic.”

Adds Tang of the decision to adopt, “It’s really worth it. It’s always good to give a cat a forever home. So far, we have nothing but love for our newest addition.”


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