Yesterday before dusk, I noticed my cats were all acting strange, pacing back and forth from the dining room picture window to the back door. That usually means one thing: there is an animal outside. I decided to follow them to the back door to see what all the fuss is about. Sammy’s nub was all bushy (he lost his tail in 2009) and when that happens, it usually means there is a cat on the property (my cats do not go outside). As I approached the back door, there on the steps was a beautiful fluffy cat. I called out, “Hey baby! Hey Sweetie… are you ok? Who do you belong to?” She didn’t run away which is a good sign – it means she’s not a feral. I slowly opened the screen door and spoke to the cat in a very soothing tone while I approached. The cat seemed to relax. I crouched down and put out my hand to which she gave a head-butt. I gently stroked the top of her head as she moved closer towards me. Once she was almost parallel to me, I ran both my hands down the sides of her body and was horrified by what I felt: SKIN AND BONES. I immediately stood up, went back into the house, scooped up a cup of dry food and plated a dish of wet food. I brought both out to her and she gobbled up the wet food and then proceeded to eat up the dry. All the while she was eating, she had a very intent audience: me and my five cats – we all stared out of curiosity. I should probably mention I felt something else when I stroked her body: enlarged nipples. She either has a litter of kittens or had a litter. If her litter is still alive, it means they are outside somewhere and she’s been trying to care for them (and herself).
I took some photos of the cat: Don’t let all that fur fool you this sweet female is a bag of bones. I put some food out this morning but I have not seen her. I do not want to trap her in the event she is caring for a litter. Thankfully she and I have the weather on our side – the days are growing slowly warmer (as will the nights – eventually). For now I am going to continue feeding her… if I can gain her trust, maybe she will lead me to her babies – or her babies to my foods source – that is, if a litter even exists.
I decided to name this cat *Hope* because I told her, now that she has found me, I will make sure she is cared for.
Everyone, meet Hope: