Marla lives by the motto, “when the food is gone, I am gone.”
Ed and Roger are convinced Marla lives by the motto, ‘Cum cibum abiit, ego me periit’ meaning “when the food is gone, I am gone.” Food especially salmon has played a big part in happily settling Marla into her forever home.
Marla came into their lives when Ed started working from home and felt it was time to have another pet since their cat, Maude passed away in 2016 at the age of 20. Ed and Roger searched online for an older calico cat and found Marla. She was surrendered to the Annex Cat Rescue by her veterinarian who refused to euthanize Marla at her owner’s request. “There were not many cats available that met our needs” and a kitten was too much of a change, Ed remembered. And, “often when I located a cat, they were already off to a new home”, Ed said. Both were confident they could provide a good home to an older cat who tend to be harder to find permanent homes.
They went to meet Marla at her foster home but she wasn’t too friendly. Ed and Roger knew they could cope with Marla’s unfriendly demeanour as she resembled their late cat Maude’s personality. However, getting Marla to her new forever home presented another challenge since she wasn’t fond of cat carriers. “It took nearly two weeks before we got the call that Marla was ready”, Ed laughed. She had to be acclimatized and coaxed into the carrier with food by her ACR (Annex Cat Rescue) Foster, Harmony. And, Marla growled all the way home in the cab when Roger went to pick her up.
Ed said it’s taken over a year for Marla to adjust to her new home. “We had to adapt to Marla and not the other way around”, he said grinning. For weeks she hid under the couch swatting them away. Until Ed and Roger cooked a salmon dinner and Marla came out of hiding to eat the fish from their fingers. But once the food was gone she was back in hiding. Now, she is more relaxed and insists she sleep with her head on Ed’s pillow. “Marla makes us work for every bit of attention we get from her!”, Ed exclaimed. She allows them to pet her 20 minutes in the morning, 20 minutes at night and no affection in between.
Marla has demonstrated a mix of personalities from aggressive to affectionate to playful to mostly calm and quiet. But likes her space and privacy. When she wants attention and company she can be affectionate and relaxed. Otherwise, she avoids contact and makes it clear she isn’t happy if you pick her up. But most of all Marla loves food. “She dances …waiting for her food to be prepared and purrs while she eats. She eats almost anything…beans, potato, carrots, cauliflower, broccoli but most of all salmon. She is very good at convincing us she is starving!”, Ed laughed. Also, she has regular conversations with her reflection swatting at the “mirror cat” and then running off in a huff.
Ed and Roger feel “some extra satisfaction” Marla has gone from a tense and aggressive cat to a more relaxed and happier one. “She still has her cranky hissy days, but slowly a more affectionate and cuddly cat is appearing”, Ed said. And he reminds anyone adopting, “We cannot know what upsets an older cat and you have to be prepared for anything. You have to adapt to them not the other way around.” But Ed and Roger know it “takes patience, time, band-aides” and salmon to appease unpredictable Marla.
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