We have always been suckers for animals. In the past we have taken in dogs, cats, small rats, wounded birds, raccoons and possums. We have always been a soft touch for a furry face. We love Gods creatures, and quite often that love is returned to us.
A very pleasant lady lived next door to us who was the victim of an abusive marriage. Her husband hated cats, and wouldn't let her keep any. After a number of years she finally got enough nerve to shed him and get herself a cat. The cat was a cute calico female, and a delight to be around. Unfortunately, this animal had one short coming, it was not spayed. When a cat is not fixed, things happen and my neighbor was presented with a litter of beautiful kittens.
I asked her if she was going to give them away.
She told me that they were just too cute.
They were cute too; too cute to stay kittens, and after the passage of some time, stopped being kittens. My neighbor loved them and thought it much too cruel to spay them, at least until they had a litter of kittens or two. Unbelievable, as it may seem, these additional cats also grew into adults and had kittens of their own. Cats are polyestrus, which means females can have many heat periods in each breeding season. It's not uncommon for a cat to have more than one litter a year.
It really doesn't take much imagination to see what happens when you don't spay. She ended up having lots and lots of cats. She had too many cats and the animals no longer identified with people. They identified with other cats; consequently most of them were less than tame, and many disliked being around people altogether.
Fortunately, this situation did not continue, and with the help of her daughter, the neighbors and the Humane Society, the animals found new homes, became neutered and spayed. Some of her cats did not care to be around other cats, and found their way next door to our home. I can't say that we encouraged the cats, but we weren't exactly inhospitable to them either. I like to think that they just liked us because we were willing to pay more attention to them. There may even be some truth in this statement, if you consider that both my wife and I (without the others knowledge) would surreptitiously sneak them food.
We presently, have 4 semi feral cats. Two of them are indoor animals and the other two live outside. One cat lives in our garage, and the other in our upstairs bathroom. The garage cat is a Main Coon Cat. He is a gorgeous thing and has a very loving nature. We named him Huggy Bear because he loved to be hugged. We used to allow him to roam outside, until my wife discovered that he had no "car sense." He had no fear of cars, and would often pick the center of a warm asphalt road to take a quick cat nap. He seemed to think that cars would drive around him. Neither my wife nor I agreed with his automotive assessment and decided that it might be much safer just keep him in the house.
Huggy enjoyed being a house cat, he was good at using a litter box and pretty much had the run of the house. His big problem was that he loved to get into things. He enjoyed eating our house plants, he would open cupboards, and sometimes tear open packages and sample their contents. We discovered that he required close supervision. The end result is that he was given unsupervised domain of our "automotive free" two car garage.
Our garage is not something that I am proud of. It contains our washer, dryer, deep freeze, a work bench and a multitude of boxes of "important stuff" that we have accumulated over our lifetimes. Huggy still is allowed into our house, but only under the closest of supervision.
Our other indoor cat is Panther. Panther is actually our oldest cat. She was one of the calicos first kittens, and she always seemed to like us. My wife decided that she was getting too old to brave the winter weather, so she took her in. Panther liked being an indoor cat, and was relatively good with most things, except for potted plants. She seemed to think that a potted plant was just another type of cat box, and no amount of reason could dissuade her from this concept. She was finally relegated to our upstairs bathroom. With the arrival of Spring, my wife Claudia put her back outside. This appeared to be a mistake. The poor kitty was afraid of other cats, and was not up to defending herself from them. My wife decided that she was just too old and frail to live outdoors, and henceforth would become a permanent resident of our house and our upstairs bathroom.