Sometime in 2007, an emaciated black cat showed up at our neighbor's house.
They are animal lovers with several dogs, so they provided a place for the cat to sleep in their shed and began feeding her. She thanked them by having a litter of kittens!
Here she is prowling around in the summer. After kittens. Looking pretty strong and healthy.
On Christmas Eve 2007, late, a black cat jumped onto our kitchen window sill. It was our neighborhood friend.
We put out a little dog food, which she ate, and dared a quick pet through the open window.
Over the course of 2008, she warmed up to us bit by bit. She approached me in the yard and let me pet her. She was a little more apprehensive around the kids.
Then, this winter, she visited our window more and more (including on Christmas Day!). One faction in our house (Aine and our younger daughter) started calling her Holly. Another faction (me and our older daughter) named her Meow Meow. One fateful day, we actually brought her into the house. Pretty soon, we were feeding her every day and letting her nap in the warmth for the evening. Then, heartbreakingly, we would put her out into the cold.
You know where this is leading, right??
Anyway, Aine talked to our neighbor and learned that she wasn't bringing any of the cats in the house because of the dogs. In fact, she was taking them to the Cat Angel Network and was trying to get them adopted. However, as of yet, no luck.
Well, that did it.
Meow Meow (aka Holly) is the newest member of our household. Neither of us ever owned a cat, so it was new territory. Happily, she was already litter trained and has really been a treat. I think it's in no small part that she chose us rather than the other way around.
Welcome, Meow Meow. Enjoy your stay. :)