Korat cat rules over all at the Sanctuary
It’s easy to see why Princess Blue thinks she’s royalty. It’s not just her fancy name or her knack for attracting attention. She’s a purebred Korat cat, and when she came to the Sanctuary she had the papers to prove it. It’s her breed (Korat vs. Russian blue) that gives her a distinctive look: a striking, silvery blue-grey coat and a pretty heart-shaped face.
Even though Princess Blue is 14 years old, she’s still a spitfire. She’s got a low tolerance for boredom, which is common for the intelligent Korat cat breed — and when she does get bored she isn’t exactly quiet about it. Even bustling Cat World, where Princess Blue first stayed and where most cats at the Sanctuary live, wasn’t exciting enough for her. That’s why she gets to stay in a very special place at the Sanctuary — one that’s far too hectic for most cats, but it’s her idea of paradise.
Walking a Korat cat
Princess Blue is always on the go, checking things out, getting into cabinets and wanting to explore. When she lived in in Cat World, her caregivers would take her out on walks at least once (if not twice) a day to keep her entertained. Walking a cat on a harness is a great way to let an indoor cat safely explore the outside world and to give her that extra exercise she may need to stay happy and healthy. It sure helped Princess Blue feel less restless. She isn’t naughty. Korat cats typically just aren’t couch potatoes.
If Princess Blue felt like she didn’t get a long enough walk or enough attention, she’d let people know by making messes outside of the litter box. But if she was busy and could be where the action is, she was completely happy and neat. So when a spot opened up for a friendly, social Sanctuary cat at the Best Friends Welcome Center — one of the busiest places at Sanctuary — Princess Blue’s Korat personality made her the perfect candidate. In no time at all, she moved in and settled happily into her new digs.
Front and center
Even on a slow day, the welcome center and the attached gift shop are buzzing with activity. Some cats would be intimidated by all the foot traffic. But Princess Blue is thrilled to see all the Best Friends visitors and volunteers. Instead of hiding in the custom-built cat enclosure, she places herself front and center, right along with the Sanctuary ambassadors who greet visitors.
During the day, she walks around the whole welcome center with her harness on and sits up on the front desk to help check in newcomers. She goes for walks on the grass that circles the building, or she visits the tranquil koi pond. In the gift shop, she has what is (for her) the world’s best cat perch — a cat bed in a window where she can keep one eye on the birds landing in the trees outside and the other on all the people shopping inside.
Welcome center queen
Since moving into the welcome center, Princess Blue has made lots of friends. Visitors can’t resist her. Volunteers sometimes stop back in to the welcome center after their volunteer shifts just to see her again. She’s met people from all over the country and various places around the world. She even cuddled up with Maxine, a friendly bearded dragon someone brought in for a visit.
As for the welcome center staff, Princess Blue trained them in no time flat. If she’s in her window bed, she’ll meow to let them know she needs something, or she’ll get up and prance around in front of them. Then, someone will pick her up and carry her to her food, water, or the litter box and back again.
It’s not that this active little lady has gotten lazy since she landed in the hub of activity. It’s just that, now that she’s become the official welcome center queen, Princess Blue likes being treated like royalty. And the folks at the welcome center, as well as everyone who meets her, are happy to pamper the Korat cat queen.
Photos by Molly Wald and Cathi Drinkard