Several summers ago, we noticed a stray cat in our backyard. On sight, we tried to chase it away. We are avid squirrel and bird lovers, and had an occurrence several years prior with an abandoned cat that we tried to friend. It had ended very badly.
Our studio has two walls of glass (full length windows and a glass door) so it was very easy to see if we were around. Seeing our movement inside, this cat started a new hobby of finding a comfortable and safe place to observe us from a distance. The cat would hide or dart away if went outside and approached it, but it would soon re-emerge from the shrubs or from under our shed and return to his reserved seating.
As we sat outside on the warm evenings, the cat started to come a little closer. When we would go in for the night, he would sit on our garden deck in front of our glass door with one paw up, as if asking if he could come inside too. Now that we could get a closer view, we noticed that he had a clipped ear, a sign that he was a TNR (Trap-Neuter-Return) cat.
This fact completely changed our point of view. His ear showed that someone out there cared. It would have been just as easy to have him trapped and euthanized as many people feel is the thing to do with feral cats, considering them nuisances. Instead, out of compassion, someone wanted this cat to live and have a life of his own, and without adding to the homeless cat population.
Shortly after, we discovered that the people at Highlands West Dental were responsible in helping a feral mother cat and her litter, feeding them, then trapping them and having them fixed. This cat was one from that litter! We are so grateful to the kindness and forethought of Highlands West Dental for giving him a chance.
“Lio” won our hearts and is now a part of our family. He is extremely sweet, trusting and well behaved. He is very happy living indoors with us and since the first day of moving in, has never expressed any interest in returning to the outdoors. He is one lucky and exceptional cat!