The Feline Five

Coco Chanel

I'm Coco Chanel, and I was the first cat to move into the warehouse apartment.  It was a lot better when Z-Girl and I were the only inhabitants because we had all kinds of quality time together. I invented the use of tulle and plastic water bottle caps as fashionable kitty toys, and I still sleep my kitty bed that I've had since I was a baby. I don't like other people when Z-Girl is around, and I will hiss if I'm unhappy or feel threatened. This may or may not have something to do with the fact that I was taken from my kitty mama too early, and passed around a few times before I landed in Jersey City. Z-Girl is the only human I let handle me, although if you sit on the couch with a snuggly blanket I may come up and purr with you. Just don't try to touch my beautiful swirly coat. It's almost impossible to resist, especially because I have yellow-green eyes and pretty white snow shoe paws. My favorite exercise is chasing the red dot or little balls that make noise. On days when Z-Girl works from home, I curl up beside her and keep her company. 
You may read posts about "cat behavior" and "harmony," which typically will have reference to me and my cattitude. I've got a lot of it. 

Valentina Rossa

Hi, I'm Valentina Rossa! My name is derived from Valentino's signature red color. Here in the warehouse apartment, I am the Head of the Social Committee. After all, who doesn't like to greet new people and inspect their shoes? Some of my favorite things include: playing with tulle, my birdie wand toys, purring next to my Z-Girl, sitting on her chair while she works at her laptop, following the vacuum cleaner, my half sister Coco (even though she has a thing for hissing), wrestling with my adopted tuxedo sister Manhattan, and my kitty pod. Actually, there's not a lot I don't like. I even run out in the hallway to greet one of the neighbor dogs, Jonah, who looks a little like me (he's black and white). When Bessie and Lulu came to live here, it was a bit difficult for me because I prefer to be the center of attention. Over three years later and things still are not quite settled but sometimes I will go easy on them and parallel play. I'm not willing to say that I'll be friends with them but Z-Girl seems to think my heart is too big not to eventually get along with everyone...

Manhattan Bay

Funny story: I was born and lived under the building of the warehouse apartment, existing there for the first 7 months of my life as part of a feral colony. I watched my kitty mama and two of my siblings get caught in Great Rescues, leaving me to fend for myself as the youngest in the community. Then, in February of 2010 I was within days of dying when I finally gave in to my own Great Rescue (Aunt Natalie~the Patron Saint of Feral Cats in the PAD says that I was still one of the most challenging of the ferals to Capture). Today, I am a princess with my own bed and so many toys I get confused. Communing with the ghosts who live inside the warehouse apartment, chasing shadows, and snuggling with Z-Girl are some of my favorite indoor kitty activities. Who knew that there would be birdie wand toys that allow me to chase and catch prey on the inside. (Note: Z-Girl says I likely was a very agile pigeon huntress). Valentina and I are buddies and I do my very best to get Coco to warm up to me but it's NOT easy. She is elusive, I can never be certain if she will allow me to come close or not. When I first moved in, I would bow as I approached her. Methinks she still expects this royal for B&L, we have an understanding: when strangers enter the apartment, we three hunker down under the bed with no arguments. Otherwise, we can chase each other for turf. Z-Girl says I'm starting to make the turn because she's caught me touching noses with both Bessie and Lulu. 

Bessie and Lulu

Hi this is Bessie. Before Lulu and I moved to the warehouse apartment, we lived as a threesome with my other baby (now called The Captain) in a tiny hole in the foundation of a partially used warehouse two blocks from here. Then, we were in boarding for a few weeks while Aunt Nat and Z-Girl tried to find homes for us. Once it became evident that I did not want to part with my kittens they really had a difficult decision on their hands. Against my wishes, The Captain was adopted out and that bonded me ever so closely to my remaining baby, Lulu. Z-Girl said she would foster us until a suitable home was found. This proved to be a challenge, largely because I don't like to be touched and many people want a cat who will sit on their lap. Z-Girl did find a nice home for us but once she dropped us off she cried and cried so she came back for us the next night. We were so happy we ran to hide under the bed and now, that's where we still feel quite comfy. 
We have small flokati rugs, windows, food, heat or air conditioning, toys--and best of all can sleep underneath or on top of the velvet-covered bed. We work hard to re-define the turf lines here and it's not easy, I'll tell ya that. Slowly, we make progress. Z-Girl has put some catification in place and the next phase sounds promising. Lulu wants me to tell you she loves playing with the red dot, the bird wand toy, anything that makes noise, tulle, and especially loves to jump from the top of the armoire to the bed. By the way, I am quite playful, and I do love Z-Girl. I purr and I follow her when she is in our part of the apartment. In the past year, I changed my mind and now enjoy petting, scratching and some snuggles but ONLY when Z-Girl is on her bed. Neither Lulu or I will let her pick us up, yet... maybe one day...

Here is a picture of Manhattan during a feeding on Bay Street, prior to the Great Rescue:

To read about our rescues, go to our Rescue Me page.

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