Rescue cats thriving at home


Looking sharp: Helious the cat loves to wear shirts. Photo by Rechelle Zammit

Helious the cat can generally be seen sporting a brightly colored shirt.

While this may seem odd to some, his owner assured me it was something her pet found as a comfort.

Sarah Skinner “rescue adopted” the red lynx pint ragdoll cat from a breeder eight years ago.

Helious was not the “breed standard” for his breed as you cannot clearly see the markings on his feet, he is thinner than a normal ragdoll and his eyes are slanted.

He also had urinary problems.

For Sarah, these things were not an issue and she rescued him as he would not have otherwise been adopted.

New home: Helious and Neptune were both rescue adopted from a breeder. Photo by Rechelle Zammit

She has also found a solution to stop him urinating throughout the house — which turned out to be caused by anxiety.

This is where the shirts come in.

“He really like to wear them (shirts),” Sarah said.

“We got quite the shock (about it). And it stops him peeing in the house.

“He is quite content in them.”

Helious’s shirts are removed at night-time so he can wash himself.

Helious is one of three cats Sarah and partner John Turner have, but he is the only one to wear the shirts which are actually made for small dogs.

All three of the cats have names related to astrology or astronomy, with Helious named after the Greek sun god.

“He is just the sunniest looking cat,” Sarah said.

Feels good: Neptune loves belly rubs. Photo by Rechelle Zammit

Their three-year-old ragdoll Neptune is named after the Roman god of water.

Neptune was also “rescue adopted” when he was five months old as he did not have the correct personality for a ragdoll.

“Fur-wise and looks-wise he is the breed standard. But he is not the standard personality,” Sarah said.

“He is shy for a ragdoll. And he grows at the door.”

Pluto — named after the Roman god of the underworld — is John’s cat, and came to live with the family after being found as a stray last year.

“She was tiny and malnourished,” Sarah said.

Having a good look: Pluto was thin and malnourished when she was found as a stray. Photo by Rechelle Zammit

Now aged one, Sarah thinks Pluto was about four months old when they got her.

“We believe she is the offspring of a street cat that died before that,” Sarah said.

Having been a stray, Pluto is very food motivated, according to Sarah.

“She tries to eat anything in sight.”

So much so that each of the cats has a special food bowl that is activated by the cat’s individual microchips so that Pluto can not eat everyone else’s food.

Sarah said all the cats had their own personalities.

How’s this: Sarah Skinner gives Neptune a belly rub. Photo by Rechelle Zammit

Neptune is the timid one who takes a while to acclimatise to new people, Helios is the friendly one and Pluto is a mix of the two, Sarah said.

She descried Helios as an “awesome cat”.

“He’s got personality. He’s calm and relaxed and loves people,” Sarah said.

“He gets under your feet a lot, he loves people that much.”

Mates: Sarah Skinner has a cuddle with Pluto. Photo by Rechelle Zammit

She describes Neptune as “a big marshmallow”.

While Sarah said Neptune was stubborn and could be a bit destructive, she added he was “adorable”

As for Pluto, she is the “talker” of the three.

“She likes to talk a lot,” Sarah said.

Keeping warm: Neptune has a magnificent fluffy coat. Photo by Rechelle Zammit

“She also grows, but in a happy way. She’s got that personality quirk.

“She’s been a wonderful addition.”

All yours: Pluto is keen for all types of food. Photo by Rechelle Zammit

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