Cat Saturday,  Cats,  Domino,  Gris Gris,  Layla Morgan Wilde,  Merlin,  Odin,  Secrets of Cats

Our New Siamese Foster Girl

If you love cats, sharing makes us purrrr :-)

What a week! There’s never a dull moment at our house for the cats or the humans. You’d think our appearance on The Daily Show on Monday night might have been the highlight, but it wasn’t. Last Sunday, I attended a fund raiser committee meeting at Cat Assistance, the shelter (where Odin and Gris Gris are from), and left with a little Siamese foster girl. It was the last thing I expected, but when I took one look at her and heard her story, I knew she coming home. She looks and has a similar energy to Coco, Merlin’s sister who passed away last September.

Sakura was surrendered to the Yonkers shelter over a year ago when her name was Ling. The previous seven years of her life remain a mystery. In the past year, she was adopted (it didn’t work out) placed in foster home, returned again to Cat Assistance and when I met her, super stressed from two pet adoption days and refusing to eat or drink much.

I’ve had Siamese cats for most of my life and know them inside out. This one is high strung, fussy but affectionate and needs a chance to de-stress or she’ll never be adoptable. Many cats simply don’t show well in a caged shelter setting. Speaking of stress, it’s never an easy decision to bring home another animal. There is an adjustment and ripple effect on for every member of the family. I’ve been happily living with five males (including hubby) and questioned bringing in new female energy, but I trust my intuition and it’s turned out for the best.

In under a week, Ling Ling or Princess Ling Ling as she likes to be called, has gone from homeless to Diva. Ling is Chinese for delicate and it describes her to a T. She’s a delicate thing, barely five pounds with velvety chocolate points and paws. Her kitten size hides an outsized inner tiger. She’s hissed the mancats under her iron paws and claws in short order.

Merlin did draw the line in the sand at bringing Ling Ling into bed last night. He punished me briefly by not cuddling at bedtime but forgave me by morning, his honor and top spot in the hierarchy intact. The juggling of meals, moods and general maintenance is a minute by minute job, but I wouldn’t have it any other way.

I do have new found respect for cat lovers who successfully have more than six cats!Ling Ling in Coco’s old chair

Most Siamese hate enclosed spaces and after one night in a large bathroom, Ling Ling let me know she wanted out. She hasn’t used the bed she came with since. She prefers much to my surprise, an old office chair on the third floor that Coco used to love. In fact, it’s still covered in her cat hair. Merlin spends most afternoons up there as well, oblivious to her unless she gets too close. He can’t see her but he can smell her and hear her hiss.

Day by day, with play, petting, Reiki and communicating, her confidence has grown and she’s comfortable in all the rooms now on the second floor. Feliway the plug-in synthetic “feel good” pheromone is working its magic as well. I kept the camera away from Ling Ling until yesterday, when she allowed me limited access. It reminded me of when Odin and Gris Gris arrived, their nervous energy made decent shots impossible. Odin, of course can’t get enough camera moments and Gris Gris secretly now likes the attention.









A more serene Ling Ling enjoying a sunny spot in the cat’s playroom.

siamese-foster-cat-assistance-ling ling












Gris Gris, who is very gallant, gives Ling Ling a wide berth and is happy either napping with Merlin, napping on the porch with Domino or exploring in the garden. Yesterday, the bed didn’t get made; I didn’t have the heart to disturb the two old boys, Gris Gris and Merlin.










Odin will do anything to get outside to play with feral pal Domino. He made one escape this week without his harness and blissfully tumbled in the grass yesterday and had a secret meeting with him under the magnolia tree (no doubt plotting world domination!) Finally, after climbing a few trees and properly panting he agreed to comes indoors. The good thing about his strenuous exercise is he’s docile as a lamb all evening.


At first, Odin was the only one who was curious about Ling Ling and wanted to play. No dice. His retaliation was taking a big dump in her litter, but he’s far more interested in plotting his next escape.

We’re delighted to report on Domino’s continued improvement. He’s still limping but using all four legs. This was the first I caught him using both front paws for scratching. Hubby insists on giving him more food to make sure he’s getting all his meds, but don’t you think he’s getting chunky?












His eyes are brighter and we’re our keeping paws crossed his next few weeks of treatment. At the end of the day, it all comes down to loving cats and doing whatever we can for their well being.

Another thing to celebrate! It’s Petfinder’s 15th birthday. This weekend, July 15-17, Petfinder is joining with over 1,500 rescue groups and shelters across North America for what could be the largest adoption event in Petfinder history to hopefully get 15,000 pets into furever homes! Spread the word.

petfinder-15th- birthday



  • annb

    What a wonderful story. I too foster and it’s always a heart breaker to see a cat like “Princess” Ling Ling in there. I have always loved and wanted a Siamese, but it never seemed to work out, with already having my max, mainly based on fosters I bacame attached to or who just badly needed a home. The cutest part of your story is a “feral cat getting fat!!” That’s truly amazing. Hope he comes in when it gets cold. Thanks for being a wonderful cat person and sharing your tales.

  • Mary Fraser

    Layla…love all the wonderful details about the clan… very happy to see Domino progressing. He is tired…sooooooooo tired… When my rescues are coming back from the horizon… I usually add vit C, and pure whey powder to their food. The Whey has all 26 amino acids which are very helpful in rebuilding cells.I also add a general kitty vitamin such as Missing Link to the food.

    Re Ling….my humble impressions are that she is heart broken and empty. She is missing the life she had long ago, and finds all the changes too much and too frequent. She keeps wishing to recreate what she had before….and that was with a single female owner, a back porch and lots of companionship.
    The biting etc ….??? with each bite she says “you are not her”… and so perpetuates her aloneness…
    Also the usual drill… fear fear fear. I don’t think she will change too quickly……
    When I ask her what she likes to eat.. I see.. “sauce”..LOL. Creamy sauce on chunks. That brings to mind this Fancy Feast stuff I recently discovered that costs a dollar a can!!!!(in a greeny blue small can like regular FFeast) but it is filled with real meats and creamy whitish sauce. You might try that in a quiet location.

    Best wishes to you all…

  • Catsparella

    Ling Ling is a beautiful Meezer! It’s so wonderful of you to foster her, and to take the time to give her all the love and support she needs. Domino looks plump and happy 🙂

  • Bernadette

    I hope she gets adopted right from your home so that she doesn’t have to go back to the stressful shelter and start all over again! Five cats…when was the last time I had only five cats? With the right energy, including the humans, it generally works fine. She needed to find her inner diva, and the boys are sufficiently confident, and more or less paired off, that she won’t upset them. Can’t wait to see more photos of her!

  • Faith

    I love the contrast between Ling Ling’s dark points and her light fur, just beautiful! I am they are all getting a long. A lot of people would love to have a cat that stayed kitten size forever.
    You have a giant loving heart and your cats are blessed to have you.

  • Deb Barnes - Zee and Zoey

    Well, bless you Layla for recognizing that Ling Ling needed some de-stress time out of a cage so that she can become adoptable. My secret wish is that you keep her – she already seems to have found a spot in your heart. I do know, however, all too well how delicate it can be sometimes with a large crew of cats. They each need their special attention and loving, and each has such unique personalities and quirks to keep up with.

    That being said, I wouldn’t have it any other way. I know you will do what is best for your family. If you end up keeping this beautiful prima donna, I would be thrilled for you. If you don’t, I am just happy that you opened your heart and home to give her the healing time she needs to go to someone else’s forever home.

  • Marg

    Ling Ling is just gorgeous. She is one of the prettiest Siamese that I have seen. We are so glad that you took her into your house. It is so sad when these homeless kitties get passed around from foster to foster. Hope you can find a great home for her
    Dom is NOT too fat. He probably needs a little extra weight on him for now. It won’t hurt him and he will lose it as he gets more use out of his bad leg. Let the ole boy enjoy his food.
    Take care and have a great week end.

  • Tinch

    If there’s any betting going on, I’ll bet that Ling Ling is a keeper. You sound like a mom already, Layla. As to the female being a boss, my Emily, the youngest, is a female and has two brothers, several years older than her. She tried the princess bit on the two males and, other than a bit of hissing, they ignored her. They still do, but she seems to like it that way. She doesn’t seem to realize that she isn’t the princess she thinks she is.

  • Kathryn

    wow, 5 cats again, and a girl. So glad she is working out. That is a ton of food and major litter. Very good you can keep your cats outdoors during the summer days.

  • Pam Kimmell

    What a thoroughly delightful update on the state of your world with your beautiful cat family. “The Princess” is a pretty girl – and I bet she becomes a permanent member of your crew! They have a way about them when it comes to winning us over don’t they…..Domino looks amazing – he may look chubby but I think he just looks so happy and healthy now….it’s wonderful how he’s come back after the abscess was taken care of. Odin – what can we say about him?! He’s just so darn cute!

    Hope all of you have a wonderful weekend………..
    Pam and Sam, One Spoiled Cat

  • Ingrid King

    Ling Ling is a beauty! It sounds like she’s settled right in in a very short time. I see another “failed foster” in your future…

    And yes, Domino is getting a little chunky, that’s for sure! Whoever heard of a feral cat getting fat! I think this will be the winter he’ll finally come inside.

    • boomermuse

      Ingrid, I hope you’re right about Domino but not so sure about Ling Ling. My first priority is the well being of the boys. I’m working on her aggression issues. She wants to be queen bee and it’s delicate balancing act maintaining harmony.

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