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VeraBlue 01-10-2009 05:47 PM

Made himself at home, he did...a cat story
So, since mid summer, a stray cat has been hanging out in my yard. He (and I use that term lightly, I really have no idea) would come around if we were out back, cooking on the grill and make goo goo eyes till we fed him. He was gutsy enough to chill with us so I had no problem letting him dine with us. As the season changed to autumn I continued to feed him, leaving a bowl of cat food outside for him. I noticed he liked to nap on my potter's bench so I put a old seat cushion out there for him. That was enough for him to make the yard his own. I've nicknamed him Max (from the dog in How The Grinch Stole Christmas).

It's obvious he trusts me because none of the other neighbourhood strays stick around if I'm outside. Max will come from whatever hideyhole he lives in as soon as he hears the basement door open, knowing 'she who gives food' is around. Naturally, I've been toying with the idea of letting him into the house. I opened the basement door a couple of weeks ago, but didn't come out, myself. Max peered inside, meowed, and cautiously walked in. I gave him a bowl of food to eat, inside. He ate a bit, but bolted out the door when some leaves flew by. We kept this up for a while until a bad snow storm. I didn't see him for days and feared the worst. Also, with my new hours, (I leave before dawn) I haven't seen much of him. Weekends were pretty much the only time I saw him.

Woke up this morning, went down to the basement, opened the door, and did the obligatory psspsspss noises, calling him by name. Sure enough, he bounced over the yard wall and ran up to me. No hesitation this time, he came right in, looking for his dish. As he entered, I slowly closed the door behind him.

Then I stood there wondering if I was ready to commit to this path:huh:. I walked upstairs to find Lou still in bed. I must have had some look on my face because he asked me what I was up to. I said "there's a cat in the basement". He asked if it was Max and I replied that it was. He asked if I knew what I was doing, and I replied that I had no clue. I'd just put 10 mini loaves of brioche into the oven, but instead of watching the bread, I headed to the supermarket to get a cat litter box and the fixings for that, plus some 'wet' as Lou put it, food. That was 7am.

Max meowed for a while, looking at the doors, and wondering what was going on. See, there is a bad storm going on right now, and I just don't have the heart to let him weather it under some bush in some yard. So, after exploring all 3 floors of my home, he's finally settled down. He knows where the food dish is, and I think he knows where and what the litter box is. Right now, he's curled up on the sofa watching a Perfect Storm on tv. He actually moved over so Lou and I could sit, too.

If he hangs out for the week I'll take him to a vet to get him checked out. He's pretty cool looking, too. Black and white with white paws and one black spot on one paw Nice eyes, too.

I really have no idea what I got myself into...but I just couldn't let him freeze out there, ya know.

Anyone else ever take in a stray cat?

PieSusan 01-10-2009 05:51 PM

That is how Patches adopted me--we soon learned she was pregnant and that is how I got Pippin. I had to find a good home for all her other children. Patches and Pippin were black and whites, too. I hope Maxi (in case, he is a she) gets to stay. You will love the pitter pat of little feet and the sweet way they have getting you to do their bidding. Hugs to the new mama and hugs to Maxi, your new furbaby for being so smart in finding a good home.
Sadie and Celia send you a lick on the head!!!!
Pie Susan

Katie H 01-10-2009 05:52 PM

All the time, Vera. Some of our best kitties have been strays that we brought in for the same reason you brought Max inside. Of the six currently inside, 5 were strays. Ashley, my avatar, was a stray.

Makes your heart feel good when you can provide a safe, cozy place for a creature with no apparent home.

smoke king 01-10-2009 05:53 PM

He's not a "stray" anymore Vera!!:lol:

Sounds like he ended up right where he was meant to be.

kitchenelf 01-10-2009 05:56 PM

If you can pick him up sit him in his litter box, scratch the litter with his paws for him, that will signal what it is for.

Sounds like you have a new member of the family Vera!

My husband found a cat under the shrubs at his office one day. He brought it home and they were on the sofa together for a loooooong time. He finally called me and said he couldn't stand it anymore. His ear was raw from the cat sucking on it for 2 hours! :lol:

Our other cat the dog found. They are best of buds! The cat is still a bit wild. Won't let anyone near him but me and sometimes my husband...and of course, the dog. They smack each other down and if the dog won't pay attention to him he steams by the dog, whacks her on the head and spits at her.

Good luck :cat:

Toots 01-10-2009 05:59 PM

I think you did the right thing too. My husband and I have found alot of strays in the past and if we can't locate their owner, they stay with us. I would like to see a picture of Max!

babetoo 01-10-2009 06:33 PM

is this you first time having a cat for a pet? they are very different from dogs as you will find out. good for you

MexicoKaren 01-10-2009 06:55 PM

Vera, we've never had a cat that wasn't a stray. And we've had some pretty darned wonderful cats. Right now, we're taming a little white kittie that was born a few months ago in the field next door. He sleeps under the bedroom armoire all day and comes out at night while we're eating dinner on the patio. Shares our dinner, plays with some toys Jerry has set up for him. If we go in the house, he meows at the door for us to come back and play....still won't let us touch him, but that will come as he trusts us more, I imagine. At any rate, he's very entertaining, and our big fat black cat is tolerating him pretty well. You've done a good deed! Congratulate yourself and enjoy.

Mama 01-10-2009 06:58 PM

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Originally Posted by VeraBlue (Post 768384)

Anyone else ever take in a stray cat?

We have 10 now (4 that stay in the house and the other six hang out mostly outside (everybody comes in though when the weather is bad). The newest being Pixie. My husband is a truckdriver and found her near the gate where the big trucks go in and out. Her mother was nowhere around and he was afraid she would get squashed so he brought her home. All of the people on this wonderful forum helped me to name her. She is spoiled rotten!!!! and thinks(?) she is in charge!

This is her, then and now(she still hasn't quite grown into her ears but she's getting there :lol:):

sattie 01-10-2009 07:11 PM

Congrats on the new family member VB... and it is very sweet of you to shelter him from the storm. I do believe that he adopted you!

elaine l 01-10-2009 07:56 PM

Congrats on the new addition. I am still lobbying for a new pet. I am a stray catcher. My last cat, Pepper, was a stray that was brought in by my daughter.

I was thinking of a dog but most of them around here are on a leash with their owner so I am having a hard time luring one in! I hate strays on leashes!

Alix 01-10-2009 08:17 PM

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My Tuxedo boy was a stray. He hung out at my Mom's house for a long time. There had been a stray girl cat that had kittens and mom was feeding them all. Then suddenly the mom kitty disappeared and there was Tuxedo looking after all the kittens. He would bring them around and check out the yard before letting them come eat. He'd position himself between the door and the kittens "just in case". As time went on and the weather got pretty bitter out, Mom would set the dishes just inside the door and leave the door cracked open to encourage them to come in. Well, Tuxedo would come in...check it out and go to the door and "Prrrt!!" for the kittens to come eat. My Dad started sitting in that room to watch the dinner show and at first Tuxedo would just sit and watch him, but pretty soon when Dad called, Tux would jump in his lap til the kittens were done eating. They were completely feral, but he had obviously had a home. Well, one day, Mom just picked him up, took him to the vet for the snip job and shots and brought him over to our house. (I'd said we would take him if she could catch him). He didn't hesitate, toured the house...used the cat box and then jumped on our bed for a grooming session. He's slept in my arms every night I've been home for the last 14 years.

I'm supposed to tell you that this picture is called "Bohemian Rap Kitty". Do I need to mention he is a very patient cat?

PieSusan 01-10-2009 08:17 PM

Strays make the best pets--they are ever so grateful. I don't believe you will have any regrets. Sadie and Celia were strays that adopted me at Rescue Village.

QSis 01-10-2009 08:45 PM

Wow, Vera, very cool!

I'm amazed that Max would make himself at home on the couch next to Lou so quickly. He must not be feral - excellent!

What you are "getting yourself into" will be determined by how much enjoyment you find in your cat. Cats are relatively low maintenance, and but they can be as loving and fun and as much comfort as dogs.

Not to mention WARM!

Here's the view of my lap, as we speak. I have an 18 pound furry blanket in Bud. Kinda nice, since I only keep the house at 62 degrees.

Best of luck with your new baby, Vera!



Alix 01-10-2009 08:46 PM

HOLY MOLY! thats a BIG kitty.

ChefJune 01-10-2009 08:55 PM

sweet story, Vera. I think you'll be glad you did that. :smile:

expatgirl 01-10-2009 08:57 PM

I'm just in awe of Zoe........she's the cat that allows my granddaughter to throw her across her shoulder like a fur wrap and the cat doesn't protest.........she hugs her, kisses her, squeezes her and this cat just takes it all in without protest...........we've teased and commented that she's brain dead but she is the sweetest, most kind cat that I've ever met and I emphasize this to my granddaughter who is going to think that all cats are like this........I love Zoe.........dumb cat.........thank goodness.........:)

kelly79 01-10-2009 09:21 PM

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What a great story. Reminds me of how Smarty adoped us! He showed up 2 years ago early spring...looked scrawny and under fed. He was scared of us at first. I would set on the patio patiently waiting quietly until he would wander close...finally I coaxed him on my lap and slowly he started to trust us. We fed him outside until the critters started moving in on his food --- we had racoons, possum and even skunks showing up trying to steal his meals! He was very cautious of the inside, but was soon making himself at home and he has been training us ever since - and has become an "indoor-outdoor "cat. Named him Smarty because he was "smart" to find our house + he knocks the screen door when he wants in! Strays have a special way about them. Congratulations!

expatgirl 01-11-2009 03:11 AM

Smarty sounds like he's smart........glad to hear that you've given him a great home......debs

VeraBlue 01-11-2009 09:26 AM


Originally Posted by babetoo (Post 768428)
is this you first time having a cat for a pet? they are very different from dogs as you will find out. good for you

I've had a few parakeets in the past, but this is the first warm blooded creature, other than my children:ermm:.

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