Once upon a time there was a little boy kitty named Edward. He lived in an old barn with his sister Fluffy, where he stayed warm and dry when the winter storms raged. One day a girl named Laura happened upon these two and, being the animal lover that she was, she determined to befriend the set. They were both quite cautious and shy at first, and would hide under the floor of the barn if Laura got too close. Soon, however, the lure of food for their tummies proved too much to resist and upon realizing that Laura meant them no harm, they started to spend more time in her presence and less time hiding, and even allowed her to gently stroke their fur every so often. Edward was much quicker to respond and Laura was finally able to coax him into her lap for short periods of time.
When Laura’s parents found out that she was feeding stray kitties in the barn, they voiced their objection, but felt sorry for the little orphans and couldn’t stand to starve them to death, so the meals continued.
Time passed, and Edward and Fluffy decided to start visiting the “big house” each morning and evening, peering into the windows, enticing someone to come out and scatter food on the patio for them. They were still scared and cautious of most of the family, and would run back to the barn whenever someone went outside, but they slowly grew accustomed to “the people” and decided to move their residence from the barn to the patio, causing the family to change their name from the Barn Cats to the Patio Cats. A blanket was placed in an unused doghouse on the patio and the little ones would curl up and sleep there each night.
Interacting with the kitties through the patio door became a favorite activity of the children each day, and every so often the felines would take a step through the door, look around and then scurry back outside. Edward was always more amiable than Fluffy, who had a habit of hissing at anyone who got too close. Everyone in the family was becoming a bit attached, although it was not spoken aloud.
Things might have gone on like that for awhile, but there were some problems. For one thing, Edward and Fluffy were getting older, and the parents began to wonder if they might end up with way more than two patio cats before too long. Another problem was the fact that these two kitties had decided that Mom’s patio kitchen garden was the perfect cat box – they were digging up the seeds that she tried to plant there, not to mention that it didn’t sound very appetizing to have them “doing their business” amongst the vegies that the family intended to eat. Probably the biggest problem of all was that the more the children interacted with them, the more concerned the mother got about the fact that these kitties might be carrying something that could be passed to the children. Oh, and then there was the bird catching at the bird feeders! . . .
Finally, with great reluctance, the parents decided that it was time to make a decision about whether to keep the kitties or not. Already having four dogs and two (indoor) cats made it hard to vote for keeping them – there is just so much pet cost and care that this mother was able to stand. The decision was made that the kitties would have to go.
On a Friday, they were captured, crated and delivered to a local shelter, where they would be held for five days. If they were judged adoptable, they would be moved to the SPCA, where they would await new homes with loving families. Back at home the grieving process began – even if somewhat silently. There wasn’t a single family member who didn’t look out the patio door every time they passed, expecting to see a little face staring back. A few times, the question was posed -“why did they have to go away?”
By Sunday night, the tears started to flow – Laura’s – and a long talk ensued about the situation. Being the one who had spent the most time with them, especially Edward, she was hurting the most and felt as though she had given up a cherished pet. Strangely enough, it seemed that everyone was really mostly attached to Edward, including the parents, and so after discussing it with Dad the next morning, the decision was made to bring Edward back home, and make him a house cat – cheers all around! They hoped that Fluffy would find a good home as well, which they were fairly confident of due to her beautiful golden coat.
That night Edward was safely back in the family, although a bit perplexed about his new surroundings. Remember, he was used to living on the patio, but certainly this was much better than the little cage he’d been living in at the shelter.
The next morning Laura and Dad took Edward to visit the vet for shots, deworming and check-up. He got along wonderfully with the vet, who decided that he looked to be close to a year old. He was scheduled to be neutered and declawed in the afternoon, so they left him there to spend the night.
The next day the entire family went to pick up Edward and bring him home. He was feeling fine and was happy to see everyone. Back at home, he spent his time relaxing, exploring his new home and getting to know his new furry siblings. He was so glad to have a family to love and care for him.
And he lived happily ever after . . .