Happy Tail: Rabbit

Rabbit was first brought into Lori’s care by a friend who oversees a feral colony. The kitten was discovered when one day, one of the cats in the colony dropped a tiny kitten next to his food dish. From there, he took on the role as her “mentor and protector.”

Lori’s first impression of the little kitty was that she “was fearless, hopping up trees and sparring with her protector.” She decided to name her Rabbit, because “as a kitten, she hopped rather than walked.” With the help of ACR, Lori decided to foster the kitten and help tame her “wild spirit.”

Happy Tail: Rabbit

Eventually, Rabbit was adopted by a family who was new to owning a pet. However, after almost a year of having her in their care, she was sadly returned to Lori. “I always tell adopters that if the adoption does not work out, to let me and the rescue know. I will foster the kitten if I am able or ACR will arrange for someone to do so,” she says.

Given that she had just taken on fostering a litter of kittens, Lori allowed her friend Bonnie to foster Rabbit with hopes that she’d be able to adopt her. Bonnie’s allergies unfortunately proved to be a problem, but she vowed to take care of Rabbit until she was able to help her find her forever home.

Luckily, Nixin had always wanted a cat. After moving to Toronto for university last fall, she and her roommate (and best friend) Melissa got the green light from their landlord to have a pet at their residence. A friend referred them to the ACR, where they learned about a new batch of kittens that were available for adoption.

After viewing photos of the kittens, Nixin says she loved their descriptions — and especially loved the “unique markings” on one particular cat. She and Melissa arranged to visit the cat and her foster mom, Bonnie.

Nixin was especially touched after hearing about the young cat’s back story. “It was very heartbreaking,” she says, “because [her foster] wanted to keep her but couldn’t deal with her allergies.”

As she and Melissa headed back home, the choice was clear. “Let’s give her a home,” they said.

Happy Tail: Rabbit

Rabbit (whose name they kept) was “very, very scared” at first. “We tried really hard to be patient — we would socialize with her when she felt most comfortable.”

At the time, Nixin and Melissa lived in the same room — which she says provided a lot of needed warmth for little Rabbit. “She got more eager to come to the bed and share the warmth. It was also important to show her vulnerability — she found this inviting and she felt that we weren’t invading her space.”

Nixin recalls feeling “so much joy” when Rabbit first decided to approach the two and eventually open up. “Slowly and slowly, you saw her character.”

Happy Tail: Rabbit

Today, you’ll usually find Rabbit roaming around “like she owns the place.” “She has a bit of an attitude!” Nixin says. “She’s picky with food, she has little whiny things she does — it’s really, really cute.” She’s developed her own set of chirpy noises, so that “sometimes she sounds like a human.”

Rabbit also has a great affinity for carbs and baked goods. “She really likes crackers and bread. Whenever I pull out anything carb-y, she just begs for it.”

Earlier this year, Nixin moved to another, much larger apartment in Toronto when Melissa had to move back home to B.C. after the COVID-19 pandemic hit. During this time, she’s been especially grateful to have Rabbit by her side. Whenever she’s felt lonely, Rabbit has been around to nudge her, make muffins on her bed or ensure she’s well-taken care of.

Happy Tail: Rabbit

While she mentions that owners are often thought of as saviours who provide cats with loving homes, Nixin claims that she doesn’t just feel like she’s been the one to save Rabbit. “Sometimes I feel abandoned too, because I’m in a new home in a big city. So in that way, she’s also saved me.”

To make matters even better, Nixin and Rabbit have just made a new friend — she’s recently adopted another rescue cat, Pierre! While Pierre is still adjusting to his new home, Nixin says she knows he will come around. She’s “just waiting for that magic moment.”

Happy Tail: Rabbit

When it comes to adopting rescue cats, Nixin says that there are no differences to her among cats — “if you’re a cat, you’re a cat!” The most rewarding thing is when a really timid cat can move past any bad memories from their past and “you can both become friends.”

-Coral Cripps

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