We had seen him around the cottage for several months. Always just a glimpse and he was gone. Usually all we saw was a black streak disappearing around the corner. Of course we wondered who he belonged to. There are several new families in the neighborhood and we assumed he belonged to one of them and was just an “outside” cat on the prowl.
Last Sunday afternoon my husband and I decided to take advantage of the warm day to sit on the front patio and get a little sun.
Suddenly, the stranger cat, who was so afraid of us, came walking up to the patio and rubbed against my leg. He was skin and bones under that long coat. He had a cold, complete with snotty nose and runny eyes. He made no sound when he mewed. Terribly congested, dirty and starving he had at last summoned up the courage to make contact. I’m sure he knew it was now or never. Starvation had overcome his fear and distrust.
We petted him and I offered him food and water. He ate in gulps, barely chewing the food, stopping only for a drink of water and to get petted before attacking the dish of food once again.
After the first hunger pains were diminished, he took turns visiting each of our laps and being petted. He purred, between sneezing and coughing fits. His fur was so dirty and matted it was impossible to determine gender that first day.
Sunday night, and ever night since, he has slept in the porch rocker. I have added a comfy blanket to the cushion so he can snuggle up and stay warm.
That night, I put his picture on Face Book with the word ‘ten’ so our friends would know a tenth kitty had arrived at Shady Hollow. From that moment on, we have called him Ten, so I suppose that is his new name. He seems to like it.
His cold is getting better, although he still has a runny eye and chest congestion. He seems to have gained a bit of weight now that he has a constant food supply. He spent a great deal of time grooming that first day and looks much better. The pictures here were taken Monday, the second day he was here. We have determined he is an altered male (I’m not 100% sure, but close enough). Hopefully Dr. Kevin will be able to give us an idea as to his age.
Whenever I go outside, Ten is right beside me everywhere I go. It’s hard to believe that less than a week ago he would run like the wind if he thought I saw him. I’ll post more pictures as time goes by and let you know how he’s doing. Something keeps drifting through my mind though…
Five years ago, my Pretty passed away. She was a long-haired black cat who was for all intents and purposes, my soul-mate for over 16 years. I was offered cats and kittens by friends (I already had 3 other cats at the time ). I declined their offers and told them when the right one came along, I would know. “But, how will you find it”, a friend asked. I replied I didn’t know, it might just walk up to the door one day; when the time was right. I wonder……