Ruby (aka Rubadooba)
The oldest subject of study at the Institute is fluffy, tortoise-shell Ruby. She was an expert fetcher in her youth. Ruby was born in the summer of 1998 to a feral kitty. We adopted her that October from a man who rescued and fostered the litter.
Two years ago, we gave Ruby a quinceanera when she turned 15. It was a grand debut to society even though she refused to dance with guests and hid under the Directors’ bed after being presented.
Rebecca (aka Weebeca)
Rebecca was nearly feral when we took her and her brother from a family that was planning to take them to a shelter the next day. Though she didn’t bite, scratch, or hiss she fled when we tried to approach her. For years she kept her distance but was gentle when we caught her for vet visits. We really tried to get her to accept brushing and petting but she was sooo shy. Then her brother died of a tumor and for six months she pined for him. When we fostered eight kittens in the summer of 2012, she came out of her shell and watched the kittens play and eventually began to chase a leather string toy. Now she asks for brushings and attention. She loves neck scratches!!! We think she is around 14 years old.
Zippy (aka The Zipper)
Our calico came with the litter of eight we fostered the summer of 2012 but she was not related to the rest of the litter. She was about three weeks older than the others . The vet said the younger kittens tried to nurse Zippy and she was bewildered but soon tolerated their sucking and kneading and began licking them like a mother cat. When I would feed the kittens their canned kitten food, Zippy would stand back and wait for the little ones to finish before dipping in herself. She continued to mother them for weeks, small as she was. She would have made a great mother had we not had her spayed.
We kept three of the kittens including sweet Zippy. She lives up to the name we gave her when we noticed her running around the hallway at the speed of light. The Zipper has the longest legs and biggest paws of any of the study subjects at the Institute, a feature that she often uses to dig out ice cubes from my tall, empty glass of tea.
Velvet (aka The Imp)
Velvet one of the kittens we kept from the litter. Except for a few wispy patches of white hair on her belly, she is black and fluffy though not particularly velvety. She is our imp and has put plenty of scratch marks on us when she doesn’t want to be petted. She is a great lap kitty but lets me know when she becomes overheated with too much petting. We raised her with as much affection as the other fosters and she’s a real sweetie when she is in the mood. She is our expert at opening cabinet doors and drawers.
Socks (aka Silly Boy)
Socks is the only male at the Institute. He’s a greeter of guests, demanding belly rubs by falling on his side in front of you. It has been difficult to climb stairs the past two years with Socks tipping over every few steps wanting that tummy rub. Socks is a prolific fetcher who has a favorite little fluff ball that he drops in my lap start the game. Socks also carries ping pong balls in his mouth to deposit in the shower for a session of kitty cat hockey.
CitiKitty (aka CitiGirl)
CitiKitty is the newest addition to the Institute’s study subjects. A friend found her in the shrubs near CitiBank where she, her mom, and siblings had been dumped. Despite her feral beginnings, she has become one of the sweetest kitties ever to be observed at the Institute. Her nemisis is Velvet who ambushes her at every turn. Luckily there are many places to hide at her new home. She is now one year old.