Houdini is an enormous tom-cat tabby with a little white in his fur, who looks at you with big wide-eyes. In October of 2006, than 3 years old tom-cat with slightly frayed ears was brought to us. Most likely he’d been in many fights which is what tom-cat often do when they’ve not been castrated. Although finally caught in a garden, we were told that he had escaped from every thinkable cage or trap. Then I knew what to call him: ‘Houdini’.
Even though you’re tempted to pick up and hug this big bruiser, Houdini is a tom-cat that you shouldn’t get too close to, let alone pick up. This is definitely impossible. Once we realized he didn’t want anything to do with people we decided to set him free on the boat to see how he’d behave. Usually we acclimatize cats to this by moving them to one of the ground floor cages. Houdini’s thoughts differed from ours. When we tried moving him, he escaped! “Just let me go!” were the thoughts of this big bruiser. And he was right.
The advantage of cats who are wild is that they usually function well in groups. We still can’t approach Houdini but he has adjusted well to life on the Cat Boat. He doesn’t run away or hide anymore when we arrive in the morning but walks around, sometimes relaxed, even in the presence of people who aren’t his usual caretakers. But don’t get too close to him because he will run away.
We don’t expect anything from him; we let him do what he pleases, and that suits him just fine. He is welcome here. He is great with the other cats. A lot of newcomers snuggle up to him in his bed outside on the balcony. Maybe they are seeking support from him and this is quite all right with Houdini. He is doing okay.
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