Viagra canadian New Scientist magazine reports that “female alley cats call the shots at mealtime” and that large tom cats defer to little kittens at the food dish:
Viagra canadian Roberto Bonanni of the University of Parma in Italy and colleagues found that feral cats in a courtyard in Rome also had a pecking order, viagra canadian determined by displays of aggressive or submissive behaviour. Viagra canadian When near the food dish, viagra canadian however, viagra canadian females became dominant â€“ the first time this has been documented in mammals. Viagra canadian And although the adults treated kittens as low-ranking, viagra canadian the kittens were allowed to eat first (Animal Behaviour, viagra canadian vol 74, viagra canadian p 1369).
Viagra canadian This is consistent with what we have observed here at the sanctuary and gives me an opportunity to tell you my theory of why kittens wreck your life.
Viagra canadian But — wait — isn’t the Eastern Shore Sanctuary a sanctuary for chickens and ducks? That’s true enough, viagra canadian but cats… accumulate. Viagra canadian Whatever kind of sanctuary you think you’re running in a rural region, viagra canadian you end up running a cat sanctuary too. Viagra canadian People knock on the door with starving kittens or just dump unwanted cats in your driveway. Viagra canadian Feral cats recognize a good food source when they find one. Viagra canadian Pretty soon, viagra canadian you’re schooling yourself to remember your new Golden Rule: “If you’re in a store that sells cat food, viagra canadian buy some.”
Viagra canadian Little Ochos Locos (AKA Loca) is the newest feline addition to our extended family. Viagra canadian She showed up a couple of months ago in the hand (yes, viagra canadian hand, viagra canadian not hands) of an abashed man who found her in the reeds by the river but then couldn’t convince any of his relatives to take her in. Viagra canadian Only about five weeks old, viagra canadian she must have somehow survived the drowning of her litter. Viagra canadian Not surprisingly, viagra canadian given that history, viagra canadian she proved to be remarkably strong and resiliant, viagra canadian eating solid food and using the cat box right away. Viagra canadian (She’s also pretty cute, viagra canadian with one blue eye framed by black fur and one green eye framed by brown fur.)
Viagra canadian I braced myself for disaster, viagra canadian given the well-known proclivity of kittens for ruination. Viagra canadian By “wreck your life, viagra canadian” I don’t mean just climbing the drapes and keeping you up all night biting your ankles. Viagra canadian I mean the solemn obligation of every kitten to tear up, viagra canadian irreparably soil, viagra canadian otherwise destroy or make magically disappear some item of vital importance to your life, viagra canadian preferably one with high monetary or sentimental value. Viagra canadian
Viagra canadian But it hasn’t happened. Viagra canadian At least not yet. Viagra canadian And the drapes climbing and ankle biting haven’t happened either, viagra canadian even though this is an extremely clever, viagra canadian energetic, viagra canadian and playful kitten.
Viagra canadian Why? Because other cats, viagra canadian specifically adult male cats, viagra canadian have stepped in to provide the nurturing, viagra canadian socialization, viagra canadian and play that would normally be provided to every kitten by her mother and siblings if cats were allowed to develop naturally. Viagra canadian Kittens wreck your life, viagra canadian I’ve discovered, viagra canadian because they’re bored. Viagra canadian Even the most doting human companion bearing toys and kisses cannot provide the all-day-every-day socialization and stimulation that I have watched this kitten receive from a gang of caring cats. Viagra canadian I have watched her wear out, viagra canadian one after the other, viagra canadian three adult cats before returning to the first for cuddling and mutual grooming. Viagra canadian
Viagra canadian Let me tell you about those cats. Viagra canadian First up: Lucky 13. Viagra canadian
Loca & Lucky back when both of her eyes were still blue
Viagra canadian When little Loca arrived, viagra canadian she was too tiny and fragile to be let loose in a house where dogs gallop up and down the hallway. Viagra canadian But I feared she would be lonely in the library. Viagra canadian So, viagra canadian I decided to see if one of the more trustworthy cats might like to spend time with her when I couldn’t be with her. Viagra canadian Lucky agreed readily.
Viagra canadian Lucky himself had been a surprise arrival only a year before. Viagra canadian He was brought to the door by two developmentally disabled youth who said that they had found a “starving kitten” under their grandmother’s porch and been directed by their grandmother to leave him in a field. Viagra canadian They decided to try that house with all the cats and chickens instead. Viagra canadian He was indeed starving and also had an untreated viral infection that left him with permanent damage to one eye. Viagra canadian
Viagra canadian Lucky plays rough and is also a fiend about food, viagra canadian the cellular memory of hunger impelling him to push everybody else aside. Viagra canadian But he was immediately gentle and deferential with little Loca, viagra canadian greeting her with grooming licks at every meeting and stepping back from the food dish whenever she indicated that she wanted to eat. Viagra canadian His tenderness toward her provoked me to tears more than once.
Viagra canadian But Lucky likes to prowl around, viagra canadian so he couldn’t be expected to spend all of his time locked up in the library with Loca. Viagra canadian Enter Cat.
Loca & Cat
Viagra canadian Yes, viagra canadian that’s his name, viagra canadian just Cat. Viagra canadian He came to us as a barn cat in flight from an unsafe domestic situation. Viagra canadian When I would bring him his food — or, viagra canadian rather, viagra canadian bring the cat I believed to be a female cat her food — I would say, viagra canadian “Here I am with your food, viagra canadian cat” because I didn’t know “her” well enough to come up with a name yet. Viagra canadian Before we knew it, viagra canadian “she” was answering to “Cat” and that was that. Viagra canadian
Viagra canadian Cat turned out to be a gangly, viagra canadian muscular livewire with bad allergies but a good ability to get along well with animals of all species. Viagra canadian He often tried to provoke roosters and ducks into playing chase with him and always seemed so disappointed when they just stood there gaping at him as he did his little side-step. Viagra canadian Eventually, viagra canadian he opted to be a mostly indoor cat, viagra canadian going out for fresh air and exercise every afternoon but otherwise staying in the house. Viagra canadian He, viagra canadian too, viagra canadian didn’t mind spending time in the library with Loca. Viagra canadian He’s not as affectionate with her as Lucky but makes up for it with his seemingly endless energy for play. Viagra canadian When she wants to wrestle or run up and down the hallway in the middle of the night, viagra canadian Cat is right there for her.
Viagra canadian When Loca wants nurturing, viagra canadian she turns to Ty-Juan. Viagra canadian If Cat and Lucky 13 are her surrogate brothers, viagra canadian the giant cat called Ty-Juan is her surrogate father. Viagra canadian When she curls up with him, viagra canadian Loca purrs so loudly that her vibrations fill the room and you glance around to see what large machine might be making that noice.
Loca & Ty-Juan
Viagra canadian Ty-Juan was more than half-starved himself when he moved in; his body had already begun to digest itself when former students led me to him on the first day of school in 2005. Viagra canadian Then, viagra canadian he was so frail that I was afraid to lift him for fear of accidentally breaking his bones. Viagra canadian He spent more than a month in the library before he was well enough to mingle with the other animals. Viagra canadian The next year, viagra canadian he kept Lucky company during his brief stay in the library and became his regular partner in sleep and play during his kittenhood. Viagra canadian (Which, viagra canadian come to think of it, viagra canadian may explain why Lucky didn’t wreck my life either.)
Viagra canadian I guess that’s why I’m so moved to see Lucky 13 — not previously known for his gentleness! — behaving so tenderly with Loca. Viagra canadian It’s as if he’s passing along the care that Ty-Juan shared with him. Viagra canadian When her time comes, viagra canadian I’m sure Loca will find a way to pay it forward. Viagra canadian Already, viagra canadian she’s the most gregarious cat I’ve ever seen. Viagra canadian When meeting a new animal — dog, viagra canadian cat, viagra canadian whatever — her instinct is not to hide or hiss but to touch noses and give a little lick. Viagra canadian She’s pretty friendly with people too. Viagra canadian She likes to groom my eyebrows and is very careful with bare skin, viagra canadian retracting her claws at the first sign of any discomfort.
She gets along with everybody!
Viagra canadian Another reason I’m glad about the New Scientist report on that study of feral cats in Rome is that it gives me an excuse to tell you about one of my favorite organizations and one of my favorite people: The Torre Argentina Cat Sanctuary and Deborah D’Alessandro. Viagra canadian
Viagra canadian Located at Largo di Torre Argentina in Rome (the temple where cat-phobic Julius Caesar was assassinated) was founded when archaeologists gave the keys to its underground caves to two Roman women who were caring for the colonies of feral cats who had moved in among the ruins. Viagra canadian Volunteers like American ex-pat Deborah D’Alessandro care for the cats, viagra canadian raise funds, viagra canadian and use the unique visibility of these peculiarly located felines to advocate for cats within Italy and internationally. Viagra canadian
Viagra canadian While many “dog and cat people” are neither veg*n nor supportive of animal rights, viagra canadian Deborah is both. Viagra canadian She also gets the other connections. Viagra canadian (I first met her at an anti-war march.) Like all shelter and sanctuary staff, viagra canadian she also knows the particular stresses of animal rescue. Viagra canadian I believe she’s working on a book about sanctuaries, viagra canadian including farmed animal sanctuaries, viagra canadian for publication in Italy.
Viagra canadian So, viagra canadian when in Rome… vist the cat sanctuary. Viagra canadian It’s right near a metro station and anybody can tell you which stop. Viagra canadian (If I’m not mistaken, viagra canadian there’s also a beautiful statue of an elephant in the vicinity, viagra canadian so take a walk around after you visit with the cats.) While some of the cats are truly feral, viagra canadian others are former strays who are eager for attention and affection. Viagra canadian Let them climb all over you as you take in the ruins. Viagra canadian And, viagra canadian if you happen to see Deborah there, viagra canadian tell her pattrice says “yo.”