Pet photos with Santa
We took the cats today for "Pet Photos with Santa", a fundraiser by the Fredericton SPCA in cooperation with local garden center and all-around good corporate citizens Green Village.
We've been doing this now for too many years for us to remember. Not since Veronica was a kitten (she's 11 now), but certainly for 7 or 8 years. Every year, we're completely astonished at how utterly sanguine the cats are. The place is chaotic - dozens of volunteers millilng around, dozens of other folks there for photos with large (and small) dogs, cats, ferrets, lizards, rodents, and you name it. Cats (due to their nature not being very good at this kind of thing) seem to be in relatively short supply, and all the SPCA volunteers demand to see them and talk to them in - and out - of their carriers.
Everyone tells us how well-socialized our cats are. They're completely comfortable with the vet, with the SPCA volunteers, with all the animals at the Photos with Santa. Yet these are pretty much the only times they're exposed to strangers. Our home is very quiet. We don't entertain at home (although we're sociable people). The cats aren't exposed to strangers (except on a very rare basis), dogs, other cats (also on a very rare basis), or kids. Yet nothing - nothing - seems to faze them.
We're kind of at a loss to explain it. Neither had a great start in life - Veronica was found in a box on the side of the road by a truck driver - most of her litter siblings were already dead. She was mobile and apparently coming and going from the box. For her first year with us, she would start the day by sticking her nose under ours. We wondered if she was checking to see if we were still breathing. Mojo was part of a litter left on the doorstep of the SPCA, so he had a somewhat less traumatic start to life.
Their vet said to Mojo once, while he was interacting with her joyously, "You can't imagine that anyone in the world would want to do you harm, can you?"
Maybe that's it. It'd be nice to think that's it.