Tuesday, February 5, 2013

After BEBHS: Penny

Here is an update about an extraordinary cat who was adopted by a former BEBHS employee.  This is truly a heart-warming story that brought huge smiles to our faces!
I adopted Penny from BEBHS almost 2 years ago after having seen her at Oakland Animal Services. Her eyes were too small and were infected when we first saw her. She was housed with another kitten at the time, and we rescued them both together. Penny had surgery to remove her eyes that were more problematic for her than useful (she was basically blind, although I think she could see shadow). At the time, I lived with Todd, the orange tabby pictured in some of the photos, in a studio in Alameda. Todd decided he was going to be Penny's big brother, and he started taking care of her. He'd groom her, play with her, and patiently put up with her kitten antics. The two of them get along fabulously.

Early this year, I moved to the Los Angeles area to go back to school. I was a bit worried as to how Penny would do, since she's blind and I was moving into a large 2-story home. I was especially concerned about the stairs, as well as the resident cats already living there (4 of them - there are now 6 cats in the house, including my 2). But Penny adjusted quickly, and in a matter of weeks, she was running up and down the stairs with the rest of them. There's also a huge cat tree next to a bookshelf in the living room. Penny loves that cat tree, and she'll often use it as a way to get up on top of the bookshelf (yes, she makes me nervous all the time).

Penny now has a new friend, in addition to Todd. He's a black and white cat named Salem. They play all the time. I used to think that Salem was too rough on her, because she'd often 'yell' at him to stop playing so hard. But recently, I heard Salem 'yelling' at someone to calm down, and I had to go see who it was. Penny was chasing after him, batting at his tail and pouncing on his head when he paused.

Penny's a tenacious little kitty. When she wants my attention, she has various tactics that always work. She used to unplug my computer, even though I had the electrical cords blockaded by a minefield of boxes, books and photo albums. Once I got that set up so she couldn't play with the cords anymore (no, she doesn't make me a nervous wreck at all - ha!), she resorted to biting my feet, batting at my legs, or very desperately mewing at me with her paws on my legs, asking to get into my lap. How can I resist that last one?

I love her dearly, and she's getting on fabulously. Nothing slows her down, and she has no idea that she's any different from any of the other cats. Also, she has the best senses in the world. She runs around this house like she can see, knowing exactly when to turn to get through the door to the bedroom or when to turn to get up the stairs. There's one step into the laundry room and she knows exactly where that step is. I think she can feel changes in the flooring that help her navigate the house. Also, she can be in the room farthest away from where I feed her and still be able to hear the cat food can open.

She truly is an amazing cat! I'm glad she's mine.

Thank you for all the hard work you do there. I know it's a huge job. I also know it's a mostly rewarding one. Thank you for what you do!
After BEBHS is a weekly post where we will feature notes and photos from animals rescued by BEBHS and adopted into their forever homes. If you've adopted a pet from us, we would love to hear from you! Please send update and photos to ksmitley@berkeleyhumane.org.

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