Oberon was offered to us for rehoming just before Christmas in 2018, by a family who discovered an allergy soon after adopting him. As soon as he entered the café, we knew he would fit right in! He spent a few days in our cat care room once we had taken him in, bounding around with any toy he was offered and enjoying lots of playtime with team members after their shifts.
During this time, the team had a number of discussions about what Oberon’s name would be – he was originally named Kojo by his previous family but because hadn’t yet learned his name and we maintain a literature theme in our cafe whenever we can, we opted to give him a special Lady Dinah’s name.
Choosing Shakespeare as our author of choice, Oberon was briefly named William whilst we put it to our social media followers to help us decide on a permanent name. Following a wave of wonderful responses, we decided to name our little man after Oberon from the play A Midsummer Night’s Dream; it certainly seemed plausible that with his playful ways and beautiful fluffy features, he would grow to become the King of the Fairies!
Around the time Obie entered the café, we were undergoing a number of changes in our kitty colony. The Trotter siblings were still new to the café environment and were getting used to the other cats, and we were beginning the process of rehoming Donnie, Wookie and Carbonelle. Obie was whisked off to be fostered at Lauren’s house for a few weeks as he needed to be neutered and have a number of blood checks before he could go out into the café and interact with the other cats. Obie embraced his time with his foster family and enjoyed spending his days napping, chasing string and playing with the PetCube! He also liked to wake Lauren up by shouting for cuddles in the middle of the night and then leaving as soon as he had her attention, as cats do.
Before long, Obie was deemed fit and healthy and was ready to return to the café to meet his new companions! The process of integrating a new cat to the café is normally very slow; they will spend their time in the cat care room at first, sleeping there overnight, being introduced to the rest of the cats slowly and taking short trips out onto the floor to become used to being around a high volume of guests. It soon became evident that this was NOT going to be the case with Obie. As soon as he arrived back in the café, he made it very clear that he did not want to be isolated and was almost immediately insisting on being let out onto the floor to meet the other cats – and, incidentally, a full café of guests! Of course, the cats know best so we let Obie take the lead in this situation, and he was out on the floor full-time within a matter of days!
Not long after Obie’s arrival, foster cat Teddy arrived at the café. Obie proved to be a massively instrumental figure in Teddy’s integration process, being the only café resident that was prepared to meet Teddy’s high energy levels and desire for rough play. Teddy would often agitate the other cats at first by failing to read their signals and simply launching himself at them in an attempt at play-fighting. However, he was soon able to meet his match in Obie and the two would spend lots of time play-fighting with each other. It was really great to see that Obie was playing this important role as it certainly helped to mellow Teddy out and stop him from upsetting the other cats, especially in a time where there were so many changes happening in the café environment.
During Obie’s first few months in the café, he was incredibly high-energy and often chose to spend entire days playing with customers rather than napping. He particularly loved to chase a piece of string around the café, and it was always a task for the wait staff to carry trays of food and drink through the café without tripping over a wild Obie! Cuddles were also a definite no-no unless he was super sleepy – the way to Obie’s heart was definitely through toys rather than love!
We have noticed that in the past couple of months, Obie has begun to mature and therefore mellow out quite substantially. He has become much more relaxed, is more welcoming towards those wanting a cuddle, and takes great pleasure in his daytime naps. In particular, he seems to be very fond of napping out in our new yard area, and we have found him in amongst the soil of our plant boxes on more than one occasion! We do feel the heat is definitely a factor in this; poor Obie loves to lay out in the sun on the catio and chat to the birds, not realising that his luscious long fur makes him very susceptible to the heat. It’s not uncommon for the cat carer on shift to have to wipe him down with a cold flannel to cool him down! However, Obie’s playful ways do still remain and we recently found that dropping a feather above one of our large fans gives him the perfect object to chase in the hot weather.
Obie is a cat with true character and really is the perfect café cat – he is now equally as cuddly as he is playful and is always keen to interact with guests. He is also the only member of our gang who isn’t black or black and white, and this paired with his enormous fluffy tail means that he draws a lot of attention. He’s a real hit!
With Wookie being rehomed back in March, we did wonder who would steal his crown as the biggest celebrity in the café, and judging by the attention he already receives, it seems Obie may be a strong contender for the title. We really love our beautiful, unique little man, and we know that our guests will too!