Happy Tail: Mulder and Scully (previously Lizzie and Albert)

Doug, who volunteers with a feral cat recovery centre in Scarborough, enjoys helping cats find loving homes. “There are cats out there that need people — otherwise they’re on the street,” he says. He’d rather not see them on the street if “they can be in a nice, warm house.”

Last year, a litter of six four-month old kittens was rescued from a Scarborough colony by Lesley, a trapper who volunteers with Annex Cat Rescue. A previous colony caretaker decided to move away, leaving the kittens in need of help. With Lesley’s assistance, Doug brought two of the kittens into his home with hopes that he’d be able to foster and socialize them. He affectionately named them Victoria and Albert (“Bertie” for short).

Happy Tail: Mulder and Scully

Unfortunately, Victoria had trouble adjusting to domestic life. After a tough go, Doug and Lesley made the difficult decision to return her to the feral colony (this time, under a neighbour’s supervision). However, upon visiting the colony again, another one of the female kittens caught Lesley’s eye. Deciding to see if she’d be a better companion for Bertie, she brought her into Doug’s care and he named her Elizabeth (“Lizzie” for short).

“Lizzie was different — she loved to be petted and was very friendly,” he says. In turn, Bertie took cues from his new playmate and became more friendly and affectionate. Not before long, “the two got along famously together,” playing in a big crate in the family room and being dubbed as “the rock stars.” After some time, it was clear they were ready to find their forever home. “Lizzie and Albert were very lucky, given the circumstances,” says Lesley.

Happy Tail: Mulder and Scully

Cheryl, who grew up with cats, had previously owned an orange tabby when she was younger. When she first moved to Toronto, she had wanted a cat for some time and, after finally convincing her fiancé, Jeremy, they decided to adopt. After a few attempts at trying to find the right cat, she browsed ACR’s website and came across a photo of Bertie and his bright orange fur.

However, Cheryl soon found out that Bertie was bonded with another cat — this one with orange and white markings. While she hadn’t originally planned on adopting two cats, Jeremy expressed that he’d be okay with it. And when they visited Doug to meet the duo, they “fell in love right away.” It was settled. Cheryl and Jeremy re-named the two cats after another famous duo from their favourite TV show, The X Files — Mulder and Scully.

Initially, Mulder and Scully were a bit timid in their new settings. Scully was the first to venture out, with Mulder quickly following suit. Cheryl says they gave them their own time to get used to their new life, “letting them have the run of the place to figure things out.”

Happy Tail: Mulder and Scully

When looking back on their first year with Mulder and Scully, Cheryl insists that they’ve come quite a long way. “Every day, week by month we’ve seen how much they would come around,” she says. “They used to be so skittish — now we joke about how now when they run away, they don’t run far.”

Scully, who is typically the “brains of the operation,” is usually the first to try something — but Mulder, “the brawn,” quickly catches up. Both cats also love to sleep in their owners’ bed every day, though they both enjoy their own unique forms of cuddling — “Mulder likes to come in the bed and lay on top of us, but he won’t stay — while Scully will come lay beside you and stay there.”

Happy Tail: Mulder and Scully

Both cats have also become impressive athletes. Cheryl and her fiancé have recently taken on teaching Mulder to be a baseball player — this includes a nightly ritual of “catcher training” with a pack of toy mice, where he tries to catch them and does the most “incredible jumps and flips.” “It’s like watching the MLB top 50,” she exclaims. Scully has also developed an affinity for heart candies with crinkly wrappers.

Apart from the wonderful bond Cheryl and her fiancé have now formed with the duo, the two cats seem to be a perfect pair. “It’s amazing watching them interact with each other — they’re such a good matching set.” And when reflecting on their decision to adopt them both, Cheryl now says she can’t imagine not having two cats.

Happy Tail: Mulder and Scully

She also insists that while there were initial adjustments to be made with adopting cats born into a feral colony, it was so much more rewarding to earn the cats’ trust. Overall, she claims it has been the “most incredible, rewarding learning experience watching them grow.”

-Coral Cripps

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