Janet at Writing in the Blackberry Patch posted a photo of a kitten on her blog about two months ago. The kitty was apparently a stray that took up residence on her porch. Janet had cats; she didn't need another. So this one was headed to the animal shelter when I read Janet's blog.
"Hold up!" I wrote. "I'll take it!"
We had had a cat recently, a feral cat found by my daughter-in-law. She brought it to our house and over time he became somewhat friendly, although we never once got close enough to pet him. We liked him very much, though--he had beautiful eyes. But on Easter he disappeared, and Larry found his body in the woods a few weeks later. We still don't know what happened to him, but where we live there are many wild critters---coyotes, feral dogs, raccoons, foxes---that could easily overcome a cat. It's one of the dangers of living in the country.
So you can see that we picked up Janet's stray with a little trepidation. It would be hard to get attached to another cat and have something happen to it. But at least it would have a chance; the local animal shelter is pretty much a free ride out of life.
Janet's stray was almost feral. We didn't see it for two weeks, and then it only came out at night when we were at the firepit. Eventually it let us pet it. We didn't know if it was a boy or girl because we never got close enough to know. We named it Charley Marmalade, after Janet's husband and its orange color.
Then a big tomcat started hanging around. Uh-oh. Girl cat, and needed to be fixed. By this time she was a little more friendly, so Larry packed her up and took her to the vet. Where we learned, for $80, that she'd already been spayed!
Now Charley the outside cat is very friendly indeed. She likes to come inside from time but her chosen spot is on the porch, on a cushion on the rocking chair.
Other favorite place? Napping on the back of the little couch. I'm pretty allergic to cats, so even though I take my meds Charley can only stay in for brief periods.
But there is nothing quite as comforting as a cat on your lap in front of the fire, is there? Which seems to be another of her favorite places.