Despite his coat of driven snow and hypnotic eyes - one blue and one yellow - Django was not the easiest rescue cat to re-home. When he was surrendered to a council shelter in 2018, Django was about 14 years old. No one knew his precise age but he was completely deaf, underweight and suffering from as yet undiagnosed hyperthyroidism.
As well as losing his home, Django’s brother, with whom he was one half of a bonded pair, had recently died. It was no wonder that he appeared to feel very alone and a little lost in his ever silent world.
At least Django was largely oblivious to the best efforts of his noisy neighbour to, well, rattle his cage. The jet black cat in the adjoining cage clearly didn’t like Snow White being in such close proximity and hissed and spat at him at every opportunity. Django could certainly sense the war of attrition but at least he couldn’t hear it.
I rescued Django and he now lives in Sydney’s eastern suburbs with a much bigger but not at all noisy companion; a black cocker spaniel, herself a rescue dog, who is the most gentle soul imaginable.
On his arrival, Django quickly adopted a routine that Count Dracula would have been proud of; hiding in various dimly lit recesses by day only to emerge after dark to converse with the night sky or perhaps the heavens. To varying degrees, this continued for several months. It illustrates the patience that is often required of adopters of cats with special needs or those whose often unhappy former lives can mean their confidence and trust in humans is low and requires careful reconstruction.
It’s well worth considering adopting a special needs cat including those, like Django, who are in their twilight years. He has well and truly pierced his bubble of sadness and is now bursting with happiness and confidence. Our house sitter has dubbed him ‘noisy boy’ as he happily chunters away as if addressing a large open air rally without a microphone. He’s certainly a cat whose life, post-rescue, has been turned up to eleven!
Gordon McDowall for FFARQ
16 May 2019