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Footprints of Joy

Animal welfare and the importance of their habitat

Buffy’s story

At 10 years old, Buffy the cat is one of our longest-standing residents. She has always had difficulties socializing with both humans and other cats: fearful of everyone, she used to spend all her time hiding from her fellow companions, out of reach on top of the cupboards.

Alessandra noticed however that Buffy had a feline friend called Glenda. When there was no-one walking round the cattery, the two would sit and groom each other, but the minute they heard footsteps they would run off and hide again. Alessandra could clearly see from Buffy’s tense body language and constant efforts to avoid people that she was not at all comfortable in our former cattery and needed urgent help. Unsuitable for adoption, we had to find a viable situation which would allow her to stay in our facility while still sharing the space with other cats.

With the construction of the new cattery in 2016, the quality of Buffy’s life improved significantly. Compared with the old facility, the puss’s new home is located in a quiet area of Footprints of Joy, with ample green space outdoors and hiding places where cats like Buffy can enjoy some peace and quiet. Not only that, but as Alessandra, an ethologist specializing in feline behavior and well-being, has been able to observe, the facility has been designed and crafted after carefully assessing its residents’ specific requirements,

Buffy now lives with her friend Glenda and seven other cats, and is relaxed and happy to be in her new home.

However, Buffy still needs help to fully overcome her general distrust of others.

Thanks to the constant care and special attention that Alessandra has been able give her, in particular through playing games together, there has been a gradual but dramatic change in Buffy’s demeanor! She has become much more curious and relaxed, and is now happy to get close to people and rub against their legs. She has learnt to be friendly to humans and other cats!

Alessandra firmly believes that Buffy’s story illustrates how her new, carefully designed environment has made her more feel more at ease, together with the extra attention we have paid to her well-being.

Sadly, Buffy has developed a serious heart condition and some other health issues over time which means that given her age adoption is practically impossible, despite these major changes. But while Buffy cannot go to live with an adoptive family, she will be able to continue to enjoy the company of other cats and our staff in her old age!