In July or August, tenants from the neighboring house moved away, with their cat and dog. What they didn’t take with them were two stray cats that had shown up sometime during the previous winter and whom those people kept feeding, together with their own pets.
Once the people had left, the stray cats stayed near the empty house next door. One of them, a very cute black cat, was quite vocal and let me know how hungry he was.
So I started feeding these cats.
Then it got cold and a bit rainy.
So I made shelters for them. First just one, until I observed that they didn’t get along too well and Blackie ended up sitting under a bush in the rain because the little Princess (a very small calico cat) would need the “kitty palace” all to herself.
Then it got really cold and I improved the shelters and moved them under the roof that’s over the car park.
I kept feeding the cats (them and probably a bunch of other feral cats from the area…) and it started making a dent into our minimalistic budget before I found a job in November.
And I don’t even like cats.
I like dogs.
The owners of the rental house next door were working at restoring and improving the house and the lady talked about adopting Blackie, for Blackie was not a feral cat, he was a house cat and wanted to be one again.
He liked to be petted and he’d sit in front of our door, or the other neighbors’ door, meowing and wanting to come in. The problem is that we have a dog that absolutely hates cats, and the neighbors have a big male cat that doesn’t like to share.
One day, the rental owner lady tried to get Blackie into a carrier to take him home, but he fought so hard that she didn’t succeed; silly cat. But of course, we don’t know what had happened to him before. It seems to me that the kink in his tail could have come from bad treatment, and he was very skittish and scared at all times.
It got colder and colder.
And one day, Blackie was gone.
With my son, we searched everywhere in the vicinity, in case he was hurt and couldn’t make it back “home” but we didn’t find him. I worried and worried, because just then the real cold had come, with temperatures around 5 Fahrenheit. The little calico would barely come out of the “kitty palace” I had made of cardboard boxes, insulated with straw, and stuffed with lots of blankets. This cat is a true stray of feral cat; in all the months I feed it and talked to it, I was never able to even touch it.
Finally, yesterday, I found out that the lady had managed to get Blackie into a carrier and had taken him home. He is now one happy cat. It seems he’s still very scared and barely comes out of the bedroom where they’ve put him, but I also hear that by night, he goes and sleeps on their bed with them.
There couldn’t have been a nicer Christmas present for me than to know that this cute cat has found a new home and is now loved and happy.