Joy Magazine

Outside cat

"Look what followed me home," said my husband when he returned to the house one afternoon after working on the edges of our property. Behind him trailed a tiny, orange cat.

I fed it, gave it water, and it slept under our bushes near the house.

"It is an OUTSIDE cat," stated hubby. (We already had three indoor cats.)

Little by little, this cat allowed us to pet him and hold him, and soon he was "visiting" us indoors. Because we live out in the wilderness, I was worried a coyote or fox might enjoy him as a snack, so Skipper, as we called him, ended up indoors.

One problem, he had terrible gas! The vet checked him out, neutered him and told us the gas was from eating birds and lizards. With good cat food, he became acceptable. He was an exceptional cat — friendly, extremely vocal, curious and playful.

Our oldest cat, however, would not accept him. She hid in the closet, and I had to bring food and litter to her. After six months of this, I decided to find a better home for Skipper because Ditto, our oldest cat, deserved better.

I phoned friends and Committed Alliance to Strays (CATS) with no luck. I'm a retired teacher and took fliers to the schools, hoping some student would love this rascal. I finally put Skipper into a cat carrier and visited the humane society, crying the entire way. They could not accept him.

So I returned home, placed the open carrier in the yard and told Skipper he was going to have to be an outside cat!

A half-hour later, our neighbor phoned and asked, "Terri, do you have a little, orange cat? I opened my door, and he came right in and made himself at home. I've never had cats, but this one is so cute."

I quickly took some cat food and a litter box over to her, and Skipper found a new home. They renamed him Pumpkin to go with his coloring.

Pumpkin is so spoiled now — the best of food and toys, and they let him outside whenever he sits in the window and cries. So what does he do when they release him? He comes over here and visits!

He is here first thing in the morning, then he returns home for his morning nap. After lunch, he returns here and visits, again after dinner.

Aren't cats smart? They take part in their future by choosing the best homes and situations.


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