The 4 cans times 16 plus plates of cat food distributed at feeding time equals that many cans needing to be washed in preparation for recycling. There's an audience of cats sitting on every available surface watching me work, so I didn't really take much notice of this one little black cat with white paws until the day she stared a little longer at the tap running on full, cocked her head to one side, then gave the stream a little swat.
The next week she's sitting on the edge of the washing machine next to the sink, waiting for me. I had trouble filling the water jugs we use to top up cats' water dishes because she would keep sticking her paw in under the tap and diverting the flow.
The next week she's waiting in the sink.
I'd seen a video that RAPS volunteer and blogger Barbara Doduk had taken of Lillix chasing a stream of water around the sink like it was the best cat toy in the world. This, of course, had to be tried...
...with most gratifying results.
By now I hear that Lillix the waterbaby is a common occurance. She loves playing in the sink so much that it can be hard to get to all those cans that need rinsing out. And no, you can't deter her by threatening to pour water on her - she's quite willing to get totally soaked over the course of her game. You just have to physically remove her from the sink.
And repeat as needed.
Given all the fun and games, I was surprised to hear from Leslie that Lillix came to the sanctuary as a shy feral. Here's what Leslie had to say:
"Lillix began her life at the sanctuary a few years ago as one of many young feral cats in one of our back pens. When we decided to open the gate and let them run free, the shy kitties scattered and spent their days in hiding.
One afternoon, I spotted Lillix on the Newcomer's Deck, thought her extremely cute and decided to capture her and take her indoors. We placed her into one of the big cages in the double wide, and began to familiarize her with human touch. In no time at all, Lillix began to respond and became very affectionate. We discovered that one of her front legs is turned outward, possibly from an injury at birth, but that it doesn't in any way impede her movement.
Now that she is tame, Lillix has become a favorite of many sanctuary volunteers. Her attempts to capture the water that pours from the tap (while oblivious to her sopping wet body) is a new game that everyone finds endlessly entertaining."