After returning from a lovely trip to Florida, we were welcomed home by an orange tom cat on our back porch. We realized it was (notice the bold print) our neighbor's cat and figured it will find its way back during the night. In the morning we got up and wallah! Tom was still there. Looking sweet and meowing for food, I went to the local mini mart, and bought what I thought was my one and only box of cat food ever, and returned home. It was March, still wintery, and I do have a small soft spot in my cold heart. That day, we fed Tom and he has never left us.
Our neighbor had been called away on business, and when she returned home was looking for her cat. I apologized that the cat seemed to have "picked us". I insisted that I had no idea why since he is only getting cheap box food and not been allowed to come inside.
Because of Tom's sweet nature, he has won me over and is considered our family cat. My heart has expanded. One kind, gentle, loving cat welcomed into our lives. We are complete.
There is no way this story ends that easy.....
Many stray cats had been noticed entering and leaving our barn. That summer, my husband found four kittens in our barn looking suspiciously orange. Who's your daddy? Yea, Tom's your daddy. After that, Tom took "the ride", if you know what I mean. The mother cat was a wild, very feral cat that did her best to keep her kittens safe from human eyes by moving them many times. Eventually, she moved them back behind my neighbor's house probably to keep my kids away. My neighbor had noticed the cats and kept a watchful eye on them. The opportunity came one day and snatch..... they were able to grab one of the kittens and bring it into the house. She is an avid cat lover and I think she may have secretly wanted a part of Tom back, so she took it in hoping to domesticate it. Unfortunately, the feral nature was ingrained in her, and she is still very skittish towards people.
Red (my neighbor's name for the cat), Tom Junior (what we used to call the cat before we realized it was a girl) and finally, Theresa has been showing herself around my house, eating my food and occasionally letting one of us get near to her and pet her if we approach slowly.
Next time.... a lesson learned from our cats.