We had two indoor cats, Harley and Ozzy, when we began noticing a stray cat hanging around our house and eating from our compost pile. She was interesting looking – all white with a brown and gray tiger striped head and tail, and the most amazing green eyes. We’d had some problems with too many chipmunks, and I thought having an outdoor cat would be a great idea. My husband wasn’t too crazy about another cat, but was a good sport about it and built her a nice, cozy house to live in on our deck. I named her Fiona, and started leaving food dishes at the compost pile for her. I kept moving them closer and closer to the house until we were feeding her on our deck. She was a very wild cat and wanted nothing to do with us at all. She knew the food was coming from us though, and she began to get up the courage to not run off into the woods when we walked out on the deck. I began giving her treats of canned tuna and chicken. In the beginning I would toss it out into the yard near her. She would watch me carefully as she made her way up to it, then grab it and run into the woods to eat it. When she finished, she’d come back to the edge of the woods and I’d toss another piece. After a few weeks of that, she trusted me enough to eat right there in the yard in front of me. After a month or so she began to stay on the deck while we were out there and soon after she would eat from my hand. Unfortunately, my husband and I left on a vacation and had a friend come and stay with our dog, Sam, and Harley and Ozzy. Fiona didn’t trust our friend, and she disappeared. When we came home a week later, our house sitter hadn’t seen her since the day we left. We were so sad.
About three months later she turned up again in the yard. She looked hungry and lonely, and seemed to have reverted back to her wild ways. She wanted us to feed her, but she didn’t want us to come near her. With patience and love, we earned her trust again. By this time it was early December and snowy and cold. For as much as he didn’t want to have another cat, my husband was falling in love with Fiona. He would bundle up in his Carhartts every morning and evening and sit outside in the snow on the deck with her while she drank a dish of warm milk. She began to love him as well.
One day we noticed a couple of other stray cats hanging around. And a few weeks later we noticed Fiona getting plump. We calculated that her kittens would be born in mid March. Neither of us could stand the thought of her having those precious babies out there in the cold, so with about 2 weeks to go she became an indoor cat. She loved it. Unfortunately she didn’t like Harley and Ozzy and there was a lot of tension between them. We kept Fiona in our bedroom separated from the boys. She slept on my stomach at night and loved having me rub her big belly. I loved feeling those little babies moving around inside. She woke me up at 2:00 a.m. one morning and I knew it was time. I had hoped she would be convinced to have her kittens in our jacuzzi tub. She wanted to have them in the back of our closet. I finally convinced her to stay in the tub. I laid down with her and petted her while she purred between her contractions. She was very brave and I felt so blessed to be there to witness such a wonderful event. She had 3 adorable kittens and was a great mommy to them.
It’s been three years now since she came to us. She and my husband are still in love with each other. She loves me too, but he is her favorite. She’s still a great hunter and keeps the chipmunks under control.