I have never been a cat person, having cohabited with a dog for most of my life; I’ve always been on #TeamDog. However, recently, I adopted three stray cats; two boys and a little girl. The two boys are brothers and came first, with the girl coming a couple of months later.
I never thought I would adopt a cat, much less end up with three of these furry monsters and yet, here we are. The two boys, Smokey and Bandit, came to us because Bandit decided it was his home and that was the end of it.
As young babies, the two boy strays would seek shelter on our back porch. At the time, my dog Libby was getting older, growing ever more sick; ultimately she would die. I wrote about that journey and the aftermath – I didn’t really need anything else on my plate.
The boys kept showing up and looking hungry, so of course I fed them. Bandit does not know a stranger and would beg to be held. Smokey is more wary around people, but he and Bandit are mostly inseparable. One day, I left the back door open without realizing it and we have been a family since then.
Bandit naturally always fit in. He would socialize with visitors and would not stop until he got the requisite amount of petting and belly rubs. Smokey, not so much. My shy boy at first would not naturally come to me except when he wanted food. He did not want to be petted, and snuggling was absolutely out of the question. Socializing with strangers was also absolutely out of the question.
It took time and a multitude of snuggles for our bond to become natural. Now he loves to be petted and snuggled and generally makes an appearance when company is around. On occasion, he deigns to allow strangers to pet him and/or rub his belly; treats are always welcomed.
My little baby Iggy came to us in a similar, but yet remarkably different fashion. Momma cat brought the runt of her litter to our back porch, and stayed with her until I came outside and found her. Here was this little grey ball of fur, mostly skin and bones, incredibly malnourished, and on the verge of death. I took her in immediately, nourished her to health and then released her after a couple of weeks to Momma who regularly came to check for her.
About two weeks later, she was back, once again malnourished and on the brink of death. Nursing her back to health this time was oddly different and took longer. It no longer seemed practical or humane to release her so she joined our family.