Luigi, June, Miss Kitty, and Gulliver

The moment I walk into the blue section at The Cat House, I see Luigi at the door to his room. I hear June’s plaintive meow calling visitors to her room. She loves attention, as does Miss Kitty, who resides in an adjacent room. Miss Kitty is simply less vocal about her desires and prefers to wait in patient silence. The crinkle of a tunnel lets me know that Gulliver is on the prowl. Visitors easily get him to chase wand toys. These are four of the cats I’ve gotten to know best during my recent visits to the Lincoln’s no-kill cat shelter.

With his big eyes that beseech one to stop and say hello, it’d be hard not to love Luigi. I’m certainly smitten with him. The first time I sat in the middle of the senior room at The Cat House, he immediately came up to me, sat on my legs, and pressed his angular body against my chest. The more I stroked him, the more he purred. When my legs fell asleep, Luigi calmly stood next to me while I repositioned myself, and then he curled atop my legs again until I readied myself to leave. At that point, he followed me to the door, waiting for the next visitor.

Luigi’s overcome a lot since being found a few years ago as a stray and turned over to The Cat House. He walked up to someone’s house, looking emaciated and as if he’d been on his own for a long time. He had an abundance of health issues. These days, Luigi suffers from kidney disease, but otherwise is full of spirit.

On my subsequent visits to the senior room, Luigi has allowed me to hug him and has bestowed me with his kisses. He never fails to give me attention and so I never fail to visit him unless there are other visitors. Then Luigi desires their presence too. He even once stood on the edges of his litter box just to catch the eye of a passing visitor. And visitors want to see him too. Some pick him up and hold him close to their face, an action Luigi rewards with loving purrs.

June and I initially didn’t hit it off. When I first visited her, her purrs sounded angry to me, and so I felt intimidated by her. Volunteers have told me this is a common experience for visitors, and that June’s growls sound worse than they are. They advised me that June loves attention, an assessment I soon discovered to be true. During my second visit, after I had petted her for a time, I stopped to take some notes. A brief time later, June started to tap me and continued to do so until I resumed stroking her.

Just like Luigi, June is lucky to live at The Cat House. When she was found by a volunteer, June had a large eye ulcer. June stayed in a foster home until there was room at TCH. Upon arrival, health issues plagued June and she started off cranky. After her eye surgery, June’s attitude improved. Part of her thyroid has also been removed and June receives medication for a heart murmur, but neither stop June from staring contentedly out her window or from watching out her door for visitors.

I’ve grown to adore June. Her gritty eyes and raspy breathing remind me of my first cat, Lucy. When I touch June, she meows and leans close for head, ear, and chin rubs. Her eyes will close, and she’ll purr up a storm. At times, she’ll shrug off attention, such as when there have been many visitors or if I touch her side. Otherwise, she’ll stretch her paws out to me and attempt to pull me close. When I respond by giving her attention, she’ll lavish me with kisses. June at times will even curl up on my lap and knead. June is a sweet girl with unconditional love.

Miss Kitty is a relatively new face to me but equally difficult to resist. When I first passed her room, she sat demurely waiting for any visitor to greet her. As soon as I opened her door, Miss Kitty rubbed against me, sniffed me, and then waited for me to give her attention. Once I had stroked her a few times, she strolled off to eat but soon returned for more attention. I tossed one of her plush mice in the air and she batted at it. We played a few rounds like this, and then Miss Kitty curled up by her window happy with life.

As too often is the misfortune of cats, Miss Kitty found herself homeless when her owner had to relinquish her because cats were not allowed in his apartment. After she had been shuffled between several of the owner’s friends, it was clear a more permanent solution had to be found. Miss Kitty came to The Cat House. She originally roomed with multiple cats, but she hated sharing the spotlight with them. The decision was made to move Miss Kitty into her own quarters, from which she can watch other cats but receive attention without having to compete. Everyone is now more relaxed!

Visitors love her striking looks, as well as her sweet personality. Miss Kitty has a majestic coat of blue and white. Whenever I visit, Miss Kitty enjoys listening to me chatter and appreciates neck scratches too. I also appreciate her curious nature. She routinely takes notice of my pen and my camera. She’ll bat my pen around and will grab at the strap on my camera. I’ve tried to capture her antics but it’s tough to take close-up action shots. At times, I’ll snap a photo of her playing with a mouse. Miss Kitty has that perfect blend of being snuggly and playful.

At first, I overlooked Gulliver. His presence was overshadowed by Haven and then Klondike, both of whom have been adopted since I started my regular visits to The Cat House. Over time, Gulliver’s keen sense of fun caught my attention. First it was the crinkle of a tunnel as Gulliver dove into it. Then it was the ping of a ball being rolled around the room. Another time it was the swish of a wand toy. I began to find myself fascinated with this quiet but energetic red and white cat.

Gulliver came to The Cat House from The Capital Humane Society. He’d wandered from his outdoor colony and had been picked up by Animal Control. Unfortunately, Gulliver tested positive for FIV, which meant The Capital Humane Society wouldn’t put him in its adoption program. Yet his friendly nature made him a potential adoption candidate, so The Cat House took him in. To his credit, despite the turnovers of roommates, Gulliver has stayed well adjusted.

I now seek out time with Gulliver. Maybe he knows that he’s on my radar, because on my last visit he greeted me as soon as I entered his room. We played with his wand toys. He sat beside me, head-butted me, and purred when I gave him attention. Then he turned his attention to his roommate, which incidentally is yet another new one. The two of them apparently have hit it off too. They enjoyed chasing one another through a plastic cat tunnel and roughhousing in their cubby. Gulliver not only likes fun but makes me laugh, which is good for the soul.

Every cat likes to love and to be loved. The four cats whose stories I’ve shared have a lot of love to offer, and their happiness will be complete when they find the perfect family to love them. Until then, they are cared for and loved by dedicated volunteers at The Cat House.

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