Oh, Look, Another One

Last week, Athena and I saw a little black kitten sprinting across our yard as we drove in the car; we got out to look for it, but it had well and truly disappeared into the treeline. We saw it again a couple days later, when we heard our cats growling at something in the garage; the kitten had come in and the other cats were preparing to beat the crap out of it. We removed the other cats and got a look at the kitten. It was just about fur and bones, which suggested it was no one’s cat at all, so we gave it some cat food and water. It wouldn’t eat while we were about so we left it in the garage with the food. Five minutes later the food was all gone and the kitten had sprinted away. Since then we’ve left a small bowl of food out for the kitten; we don’t see it much but the food goes down. Finally this evening I went downstairs and found the kitten sunning itself on the back deck; evidence that it’s getting comfortable around here. But not too comfortable, since when I came out to snap some photos of it, it promptly ran away.

So the order of business sometime relatively soon: get the cat back in the garage (seems possible, as that’s where we leave food for it), trap it there, stuff it into a cat carrier and take it along to the vet to see if it’s healthy and to, you know, get the thing snipped. We’ll figure out what to do with it from there. My mother-in-law’s been hinting she wants a cat, so this could work, provided it’s not irretrievably feral. Regardless, it’s not going to starve anytime soon, which given its previous condition is a step up.

Yes, we’re saps. But, you know. I’d rather be a sap than to have a dead kitten on my conscience.

92 Comments on “Oh, Look, Another One”

  1. I adopted a 4 year old feral tom (and snipped and dewormed him) and for the next 12 years he was the most teddy bear of loving and adorable cats, grateful every day for warmth and love and food (I never let him outside again for fear of PTSD). Cats really do love people (and I needed to entice him into my garage and use motorcycle leathers to capture him).
    Good luck to you both.

  2. Thank you for getting your rescue snipped. Also, on the kitty’s behalf, for the forthcoming check-up and shots. And for brightening my day with a little sap.

  3. You’re good peeps, you Scalzis… good luck with the capture and the vet.

    And I love the pic of the fugginadorable little stray peeking through the fence.

  4. I tamed one of those and have him still in the household and my personal cattosphere, only he was gray, not black. (Although we have some black cats, too – notably Pfeiffer, who was rescued from a gas station – of all places.) It took me several months; first he would run whenever he saw me even looking at him from inside the house, then he would run if I was out on the terrace when he was snatching a few quick bites of food from the bowl I put out. Then he would tolerate me petting him, while he was eating at the dish … and one day, I grabbed him by the scruff of the neck, popped him into the cat carrier, and took him around to the vet to be ceremonially relieved of ear mites, intestinal worms and his testicles, and baptized in the sacraments of vaccines. It turned out that he was not feral, he was just timid. And he has outgrown that – now, he is the most agreeable and convivial of cats.

  5. Sucker! It takes one to know one. I had a feral mother crawl into my garage and give birth to six kittens. I have a neighbor who does cat rescue so she lent me some traps and I’ve had them all fixed. One I was able to give away. One is lost to the wilds. The mother and four kittens have stayed with me. Mostly because I feed them. They have since been re-purposed from feral to free range. I didn’t want to have dead cats on my conscience so I did not take them to the pound.

  6. Good for you! I hope you are able to get it, and take care of it, and then give it a good home! Taking care of animals is always a good thing!

  7. My cats always come to me, I’ve never gone out looking for one and yet, I always have a kitteh. Good luck with the newest addition/possible extended family member with Mom In Law. I don’t see how you had a choice.

  8. That’s your cute new “Fuzzy” critter. He knew where to find you! Must be a science fiction reader.
    Or give it to your mom. Let HER be the hero to the little one!

  9. A few years ago, when we were having a brutually cold winter, a couple of times late at night, I came across a feral cat sleeping (for warmth, I assumed) on a pile of old towels I had left outside the kitchen, meaning to go clean my car’s interior with them (it takes weeks for me to get from intention to action on such things, so the towels sat there a long time). It was so viciously cold that week that newscasters were warning not to leave pets outside, and there were advisories to put out food for wildlife, etc. And I didn’t want to find a frozen-to-death cat on my doorstep. So I decided to put out some food for it, as well as a blanket.

    This wa a big decision, because I wasn’t allowed to have a pet in that apartment, and I know full well that once you feed a stray, it’s yours. But I put out the food, figuring I’d worry later about explaining my new pet to the landlord.

    The cat ate the food and slept on the blanket, I assume, since the food was gone in the morning and the blanket had cat hair on it…

    And… it never returned after that! Never saw it again. (Maybe it didn’t like the food?)

  10. You’re not being sappy, you’re being a responsible and compassionate person. Our two furbabbies are former ferals who the Husbeast’s coworker started feeding and coaxed into her garage when she noticed them in her yard (coworker regularly took in ferals and strays to find them good homes). Took them awhile to warm up to us (moving from Boston to Chicago 6 months after taking them in probably didn’t help) but now we can’t imagine life without them, and if our lease would allow us more than two, would probably adopt another one (or foster for a local shelter) in a heartbeat. Here’s to hoping that you’re able to get kitty to a vet and find it a happy home soon.

  11. I seriously love this! If we had more people like you, the feral cat population would be smaller. From one sap to another…*high five*

  12. There is no such thing as listening to too much Kate Bush. I’m 25 years in, and I’m still coming back for more.

    As a fellow stray rescuer, I hope bringing this kitty in goes well!

  13. I picked up a trick from Jackson Galaxy on My Cat From Hell. He calls it the slow blink and it is freaky. If a cat is stressed and ready to flee, if you blink very slowly while it is looking at you it will calm down quite a bit. Well a bunch. Next time you see gato negro, get as close as you can without pushing the cat to flee. He WILL be watching you, this is when you do the slow blink. If you understand cat body language you will be freaked out by the change. With my stray I was able to halve the cats safe distance. From 20 feet to ten feet. That is huge. Hope I get to pet him someday.
    1/2 to 1 sec closing, 1 sec closed and 1/2 to 1 sec opening. That’s a slow blink.

  14. Unfortunately, someone probably dumped the poor thing near your house. If it is feral, it will take time and patience for the cat to come around. Here’s hoping that it’s just scared and will settle down once you catch it. Tuna. That always works with my crew of cats.

    I was once adopted by a stray. He started sleeping on my porch, rubbing up against us every time we came home (this was five years ago). Definitely not feral. Let’s just say he’s found a good place to sleep in the 100 degree heat (the window? he’s white and gets cold a lot). I am a sucker too for the kitties. My husband banned me from Petsmart on the weekends when the rescue organizations come.

    Good luck.

  15. Having learned from experience – skunks also like cat food. And your local animal shelter may very well have humane traps that do not cause injury that they will loan out, which means the kitten or skunk gets trapped outside. If you get the skunk first, that will be where you want it to be.

  16. We still, 14 years later, have 3 of the 4 cats Wicca, Persian mix white long haired Mom, gave birth to in our closet when we lived in TX. Mom passed due to hip bone cancer and is with the flowers in our yard here in WI. She was wild and I started to feed her when she came into our fenced yard hiding from other cats. Then I put out a cat litter box on the porch. Yup crazy but so what. After many weeks she allowed it was OK for me to pick her up. When I saw one blue eye and one gold one I was a goner. Then I named the babies – Panda , Powder, Patch ( all males) and Pretty Lady. They literally gave our now 22 year old Siamese, Zenjie, something to live for as he had just lost his pal ROTC, a black Abyssinian, to an illness and had started to die. He is a bit senile at 22 but will die at home.
    Sorry for the run on,could be longer, but I just wanted to share our love of all the “saps” out there that understand these are not animals but furry friends that decide to share our life. And we truly must let them. Thanks to you and all the others . I knew I liked you for more than the bloody wonderful stories.

  17. Paul Ryan disapproves of the medical care you are getting for him.


  18. It’s heartwarming to read this and it just makes me respect you more that you have the sense of responsibility and care to do this. I’ve taken in a stray once, myself, and got a very affectionate cat out of it. It was definitely worth the time and effort it took to get her to dare to come close to me – and to get her and the cat I already had to get used to each other.

  19. I think Bad Things about people who leave kittens to starve and reproduce. One out of the final litters in our area is sleeping beside me on the couch. Used to have kittens twice a year like clockwork, until the big tomcat got fixed. He continued to rule the block, just didn’t make more of the same.

  20. He looks so much like my cat, who was a rescue from an animal shelter and probably started out as a feral city kitten.

  21. Technically, you can only be a sap if you’re goaded into doing something you didn’t want to do in the first place. I’d classify this as being fortunate. (Okay: given that you have disposable income that you can afford a vet visit, and all. If you were stone cold broke and could barely afford to feed your own cats, it might be different.)

  22. The spouse abducted a half-grown feral kitten, after luring it progressively closer over a series of weeks with cat food. Some six or seven years later, George is now an enormously fluffy gray blob snoozing in the corner of my office. I have no idea how she would’ve survived in Austin with the long coat she’s got; even as a housecat with limited back yard access, we need to shave her down periodically for comfort.

    Heartwarming cat rescue stories aside, I salute you, sir.

  23. You might Be his second family. NOR did a piece yesterday? on the two-timing of cats. Also about their murderous nightlife!

  24. A couple of years ago, after we’d had a two-day tropical storm, a neighbor approached me with a Siamese kitten. She knew we had Siamese, so she thought he might be ours. He wasn’t, but we took him in anyway. I took color photos, printed out flyers, and hubby posted them in approximately a five-mile radius around our neighborhood. Several days later, we still hadn’t heard anything, so we took the male kitten for shots/deworming. Just as we were preparing to take the flyers down, the phone rang. They said they “assumed he was dead” so they hadn’t gone looking, and it was pure chance they’d seen the flyers. Then the husband/bf/whoever copped an attitude with me because “he’s already had his shots, what if you poisoned him by taking him for his shots again?”, yet they demanded to have him back.

    Crayonbaby: My husband feels your husband’s pain. We got our youngest cat, Hobbes, when we had gone to Petsmart to get food for our other two cats, and they were doing adoptions outside. My husband is actually the one who looked at him and said “Oh, shit”, and it was all over from there. But every time we go in, I still love looking at the cats :-)

  25. I have a small colony of TNR’d kitties (Trap-Neuter-Return), all much too feral for domestication. We’ve recently picked up a new cat hanging around. Just today I borrowed a humane trap for him from the local TNR group so we can get him fixed, vaxed, and know he won’t be contributing to feline overpopulation or spreading preventable disease.

    My neighbor (that is, the guy on the 5-acre farm next to mine) has been feeding him table scraps, and he’s creeping loudly into my barn to eat my colony’s food. A couple of the cats from my colony have started hanging around in the barn full time. I think they’re feeling territorial. When he’s in my barn, he spends the whole time yowling. I’m not sure if it’s “Don’t attack me, I’ll hurt you” or “Don’t hurt me, I’m hungry.”

    I saw, once, what can happen when you leave a female cat to just keep having kittens. A neighbor–elsewhere, in a previous home–had an unfixed female cat. Her owners claimed her, but not any of her offspring. “Only that one is ours.” So no one was doing anything about the increasingly inbred exploding population. When we finally realized that the neighbor really wasn’t taking any responsibility for this mass of feline life (sometimes it’s hard to track these things down when you’re separated by wooded acreage), there were 60-something cats, all feral, all sick. Another neighbor trapped them and took them to animal control. Animal control put them all down as soon as they arrived at the shelter. All.

    We’re not about to let that happen again any time we can prevent it. If a new cat shows up, it goes and gets snipped/vaxed. No more trying to track down a possibly existing owner, or other delays. Just trap and go. TNR programs are amazing.

  26. That last picture is really awesome. I had a stray black cat, she was my best friend for 20 years. Our current version of the stray is an orange tabby who was so hungry for so long that she never got beyond large kitten size. Now she is snoring on my stair landing after snarfing down her dinner (She has eating issues since she was so hungry as a baby and eats everything the second we put it out)

    Honestly I think that rescued cats are the best pets, they know what a tough world it is out there and show their gratitude in a million ways. My favourite is when she rests her head in my open hand and falls asleep there.

  27. I recently rehabilitated two feral kittens (one of them all black). I can’t tell how old he is from the pic, but if he’s less than six months, he can probably be a happy people-loving cat. You must confine him to the house (preferably a crate when unsupervised, and a small room when he’s out) and force human contact on him. If you let him come and go outside, he will stay pretty much feral. It helps to feed him tasty canned food in your lap, rather than leaving food out in his cage. Feed him by hand a couple times a day until he starts enjoying it. Good chore for Athena. (By the way, our black feral kitty is named Athena. She came with it from the shelter and it suits.) I hope you keep him because it validates my ownership of four cats. :-)

  28. Awwwwwww…

    (I’ve never had a kitteh show up on my doorstep, but my last four have been (older) rescues. I don’t have them for long enough (not that there is such a thing), but it’s so worth doing. (Though why the current one has been sleeping half-under a pillow for the past several hours, in not-exactly-cool weather? No clue. *shakes head*)

  29. Also, our older cats did not like the kittens at all at first. Both are gradually getting chummier with them now that they are older and not constantly acting like twerps. (Sometimes they still act like twerps and set the relationship back by weeks.)

  30. I usually just lurk around and read the site but this particular post forced me to post.

    First, no cat is irretrievably feral. It just takes time and patience to bring them around. People thought the Vick dogs were irretrievable but Best Friends proved them wrong.

    Second, If you don’t want another house cat you can find a group near you that does TNR (mentioned above) and leave it outdoors and feed it.

    My wife and I have worked with rescue for over 10 years. We now live with 25 cats, all “unadoptable” for various reasons. Several were deemed to be feral and unable to be socialized. All are now friendly, happy people cats. They do still hide when new people show up but they will come out if the visitor is not loud and spastic. :)

    Our method was to segregate the new cats in a single room. We would then sit in the room with them for quietly reading or talking or playing games until they got used to our presence. We would also sit in the room during feeding time and I would sit between their food bowls while they ate. They would become used to me being there and after a while I would starting petting them while they ate. Always at their pace.

    Also, I second the recommendation of Jackson Galaxy. He is pretty awesome.

  31. I hate people who turn cats out to die hungry, cold and alone. I have fostered a bunch of ferals until I could find them homes and have a couple that are getting way up their in years. The love they give back is truly amazing. Bless you for your kindness to these wonderful creatures.

  32. Saps or not, the Scalzi clan is a good bunch. I’ve done something similar in the past. A friend of mine knew of two cats staying in, let’s just say a less than healthy situation. They were borderline neglected and starved for attention, and had possibly be abused at one point or another. My friend recommend I take care of them because I’m a quiet person and the cats were a little bit shy. I took them home, got them fixed (just in time too as the female was about to go into heat) and looked after them for at least six months before it became obvious that my small apartment wasn’t the best place for them to be. They’d rehabbed a lot, were loving and affectionate, but they still needed a lot more time and attention that I could give them, so I found a semi-retired couple with a few other cats willing to give them a home.

    I miss them and hope I got them started on the path to a long and loving life.

  33. Good for the Scalzis! Feels good to help help someone who’s down on their luck, small, furry someones included.

  34. Every cat I have ever had came to me because someone else didn’t take care of them. You’re good people!

  35. Both of our dogs were found wandering the streets as largish (read: no longer cute to people who aren’t like us) puppies and all of our cats are rescues of one sort or another. It did my heart good to see your post.

    Like so many who have already commented, I think there is a special place in hell for people who turn out domesticated animals. People who think that they’ll “be just fine, they have instincts to hunt” are just making excuses for themselves.


  36. Good for you. I live in an area that has two ‘cat-ladys’ so stray cats in my neighborhood have it pretty good. My last adoptee went from a scrawny kitten like yours to what appeared to be a full-blooded Maine Coon. He did not trust men and HATED the vet of any gender, but was the ONLY cat I’ve ever had that loved a car ride to the nursing home. He would prance out of the carrier and proceed around the room greeting every elderly person and child (any gender), making sure to let them pet him before moving on to a new person.

    My current stray is the variety that always wears a mask. Due to the drought, I’m keeping a bowl of water outside for anyone who needs it and the masked bandits think that’s a dandy idea. They are very friendly, but so far I haven’t gotten closer than 5 feet. And as I have seen one of them get MAD, that’s close enough. But they sure do look like they’d be soft and friendly.

  37. Oh the cats may be growling while you’re in the house. But they’re the ones marking the trees around your house with kitty hobo signs that read, “sap lives here.” Mine do that all the time.

  38. Although I tend to agree with your policy not to have a “Like” option, I think a lot of us would jsut want to add our support. If your kitten is less than 8 weeks or so, you should be able to turn him/her into a real lover. Thank you for being truly pro-life.

  39. Owner of 2 trapped feral cats here (also 2 non feral strays). Both were aquired by the garage method. Both of our ferals were relocated into a spare bathroom (2 years apart) with all the comforts and left there to get used to us. We would go in every day to feed, change litter, and just sit on floor and talk to the large pillow in the tub. Then one day the pillow moves and eyes are staring at you over the edge of the tub saying “stop yapping and leave so U can eat”. Doesnt take long after that:)

    took 2-3 months for each of em.

  40. One day I’m going to have a t-shirt printed: “Cats Happen”. At the moment, I have five cats who have happened to me. And a dog who happened all the way from Tennessee. This kitty person will soon come to realize how lucky it was to happen upon the Scalzi household.

  41. Five years ago, a tiny black kitten came crying piteously to our back door. I put food out, and over time, moved it closer and closer to the house. Then I put a cat carrier out, and put the food in it, closer and closer to the back. Noticed that an adult cat was waiting until nobody was looking, running up to the dish, grabbing a mouthful and running away. Eventually, trapped both and had them neutered. Let the dad-cat loose, took the baby to the vet and brought him indoors. Couple weeks later the dad-cat returned, and we’ve continued feeding him outside. Tiny black kitten now more closely resembles a dignified furry bowling ball. He’s got issues, but he’s a love.

  42. My three cats are all ex-feral. If it needs you for its food, half the battle is won. I took the slow approach, that being my style. But for more speed, please take advantage of the time the cat will require to heal from the medical procedure of being fixed to keep it in a cage so that you can pet it regularly. Just stick your hand in the cage every little while, to slowly and calmly pet the cat. Most cats can figure out pretty quickly that they like to be petted. The shyest of my ex-feral cats DEMANDS to be petted.

  43. Oooh, a black cat — they’re so pretty. Can we have another naming contest for this one?

    It’s been really hard for the rescue folk to get cats adopted — everyone wants dogs — so it would be great if your mother-in-law could take it. It’s very young, so I doubt feralness will end up being a problem once you lure it in and it feels better from food, meds, etc.

  44. Good luck with the kitteh. I am trying the same thing with a tabby stray, just getting into adolescence. After a month of talking and cat food on the back porch, I am still getting the hiss, but it’s mostly pro forma now.

  45. Both my cats are black. While I meant to get only one from the humane society, he’d been so abused that he desperately ignored us in the adoption interview. So we brought home his feline friend, too–all 16 lbs of her. Looked like a bowling ball on a stick, except for Harvest Moon-sized yellow eyes. Both show appreciation to this day: she demands petting and attention, and he flirts for it.

  46. The idea that you’ll let it go to your mom in law once you get it to trust you is so naive, you self -proclaimed sap,you. (And we love y’all for it). Just get it once on your lap, purring away like a smoothly oiled well fed motor with you stroking it and talking to it and there you are… it’s going to be blood in your eye if your mom in law decides to take it away from you, ever. That’s the problem with these kitties- they are highly addictive. And you disprove the corollary axiom as laid out by Mr. Kipling of a man throwing 3 things whenever he sees a cat, because they always walk alone They don’t. They pretend to be independent till they find really humane saps like Scalzi and Co.

  47. John, I hate to break this to you mate…. you’re human.

    Nice one. I couldn’t handle that on my conscience either.

  48. If you don’t have room in your heart for the least amongst us than you are not truly human. Thanks for taking care of the needy as they come by. I don’t really recommend the same with children, but it’s worked out well on this end!

    Besides, house cats keep the alligators away.

  49. Here’s how it works…you find an abandoned cat in an apartment building. You say” oh, we already have two cats, we can’t have another.” But you can’t just leave the cat so you say” we’ll take it to the vet and make sure it’s healthy and then we’ll find a home for it.” In the two hours it took to capture it and vet it the cat becomes yours. Won’t give him up. He’s too cute and the other cats will get over it. They did. And so now we have added Ernesto the Pest-o to our group. Welcome to the club, Mr. Scalzi. I know you will…

  50. Our house is ruled by Spike the Girlcat. She allowed my husband to adopt her before I met him. She rules the house with an velvet gloved claw. Our lives are richer because she has graced us with her presence for the past 18 years. Some things are inevitable, and wonderful!

  51. That’s pretty much how Baen ended up with three cats. We are an office of saps…

  52. To anyone who ever says “If you just don’t feed it it will go away”, my reply is “Dead is away for sure.”

    What a fine addition to your family!

  53. The last “feral” cat we took to the vet was a half-grown kitten we found so hungry it was trying to eat the frozen bread we’d tossed out for birds in 8 degree weather on Christmas eve. When we got her to the vet to be fixed, we found she’d already been fixed and thus was someone’s pet. Grrr.

    (Yes, pet. Around here they notch ears on fix-and-release cats and she had no notch.)

  54. “I’d rather be a sap than to have a dead kitten on my conscience.”

    Plus you don’t have to worry about The Ghost of Heinlein haunting your ass for the remainder of your miserable days.

  55. Thank you, Mr. Scalzi, you’re a credit to human- and catkind.

    My mother adopted a stray who was very leery of people (although living in their carport), and coaxed him closer and closer until he started coming in the house. They didn’t know whether he’d been litter-trained, so they put him out overnight. In the morning, they found one of the window screens flapping open and Charlie sleeping on my mom’s chair in the living room. He’s slept indoors ever since.

  56. Count us another pair of saps. We acquired the Gray Mouser this way, because when she (yes, she) showed up at the back porch it had been raining Noah’s-Arkically for two weeks and we couldn’t stand the idea of leaving a scrawny, scratched-up kitten outside in that.

    Because our lease only let us have two cats, and we already had two cats, she became Contraband Cat. The said lease was up yesterday and security-deposit questions have been resolved, so there’s not much the landlord can say to us now…

    She’s the happiest cat I’ve ever known. Except about chipmunks. Chipmunks are the universe’s expression of pure unmitigated evil.

  57. In this world, rescuing a feral kitten trumps a lot. Did it once only to lose the little guy to FIP a few weeks later. To this day we occasionally reminisce about Charlie as he made such an impression on our family.

  58. (((((((((((HUGS))))))))))) You made my day. I hope you can help the kittie and find her/him a good home. I will never understand how people can be so cruel to animals.

    My cat Bubie past away last summer. Still miss him. Would like to help another cat find a forever home but my apartment has changed it pet policy to NO PETS ALLOWED. Oh well I was thinking of move anyways.

  59. I took care of a feral cat in Afghanistan (and truly wish I could have found some way to bring her home). She went from being absolutely skittish (only eating and drinking when no one was out and around) to, before I left, being an awesome lap cat that would fall asleep in your lap. She (Sandy) kept me saner during my lonely night shifts and for that I am thankful (I like to think that I probably gave her the best 3 months of her life, short as it probably was. I think she ate better than the Afghan locals (chicken, fish, and even beef jerky)).

    She is the only thing I miss (or think fondly of) from Afghanistan.

  60. Cheers fellow sap! My current 2 fat cats started life as starving kittens abandoned by their feral mother. A friend found them near her shed, I heard about it, came and visited and the rest is history.

    I think this occasion calls for another sci-fi cat short story!! (like the one with the robot you had on your blog sometime ago)

  61. My beloved kitty, who’s also black with yellow eyes, was about that size when her foster dad trapped her. Seven years later, she still startles easily, but she’s a champion cuddler and a great all-around housecat.

    But even if your little one is always wary of humans, you’re doing a good thing.

  62. Back in the early 1990s, a colleague and I were commissioning a major industrial plant in Bulgaria, when at some day we heared this incessant, dire meowing of a kitten in need. After an extensive search we found that it originated from one of the pillars supporting the huge building (note: as this was an industrial refrigeration plant, also the pillars had insulation panels). As we found, somebody had dropped a litter of kittens in the space between the insulating panels and the actual concrete pillar.

    By the time we cut through the place where the kittens were, all but one had died (very unfortunately). Typically, nobody in that factory knew who had done it, and even more typically, nobody local wanted to take care of the sole surviving kitten.

    This pissed both my colleague and me greatly off, so we took care of it and — keep in mind this was the early 90s — we smuggled it back into The Netherlands when flying back. A friend of mine who lives — with his wife and kids — in an old farmhouse took care of it (do keep in mind that at that time I was away from home about 250 days a year: I couldn’t keep pets), and I am happy to say it lived a long and happy life (and procreated).

    In short: this is what you do to kittens in need. Here’s to hoping it will survive and thrive in a good home!

  63. @ULTRAGOTHA Maybe someone else had mourned about a beloved pet (which you have saved). Young cats sometimes stray, and under certain circumstances they won’t find home again, scared away by a dominant cat, or petted by children and then following them into an unknown area … and after getting scared away or (even worse – hurt) losing faith in humans. Did the vet check if the cat has an implanted chip or a tattoo?

    About twenty years ago our (elder) cats went back to her old place after we had moved to the other end of the town and became feral. We knew about her by a man keeping his dog in a kennel, she got fed by him (after stealing dog food first). He made an attempt to catch her, but failed. So we decided to leave her there and to pay for food.

    There had even been cats entering moving vans:
    http://tierschutzverein-muenchen.de/de/presse.htm?q=0&aclpresse=1000:1000:1203301141269880833 (in German)

  64. You are awesome for this! If this makes you a sap, then my husband and I are saps too. We currently are owned by 4 kitties, and very nearly had 5. The current 4 include two from the humane society, one from one of the hubby’s student’s, and one who had been dumped as a kitten and found by friends of my brother. All are currently well loved and have their own places. Thank you for making a safe space for this kitten!

  65. The kitty looks so much like my recently departed cat. he was caught as an 8 week old feral, but tamed down quite nicely. we had 14 wonderful years with him until just last month when he got a very aggressive cancer and had to be put down. i really miss him :(

  66. Yay for the little black cat! She is so lucky to have you.

    On the other hand, if it doesn’t work out for your mother-in-law, I’m currently fostering 15 kittens and 1 nursing mother (only nursing 4 of them, her other one has a cleft palate so is getting tube-fed by me). Hit me up and I can send pictures, tell you about personalities, and give you their life/medical history. Ohio isn’t too far from me and I have connections with a pet transport that runs that direction.

  67. Hurray for saps, I say. Most of our cats have been ‘rescues’… by which I mean cats who swung by, decided they liked the place or the people, and stayed. Some temporarily – Marigold had her litter of kittens then moved on when she knew they were in good hands – but most for the rest of their lives. Good luck with the little black cat….it’s certainly lucky to have run across you!

  68. We have a cat that looks a great deal like this. Some people in our condo complex moved rapidly in the middle of the night and just left their kittens, littermates between 8-10 weeks old, outside to fend for themselves. The male we were able to get after about two weeks, the female took a little longer. He was all black, she was an orange tabby so we called them Midnight and Dawn. She’s disappeared, unfortunately. He, however, has decided that we are his and is the suckiest cat ever.