The Stray Cat Who Stole my HeartPublished March 30, 2012
Stray cats can easily weave their way into a cat lover’s heart.
Years ago, when I lived in New York I was blessed with a remarkable relationship with an unforgettable kitty.
Resembling a cross between a small black bear and panther, the huge tom cat leisurely strolled down my driveway, appearing out of nowhere. His muscles rippled under his thick winter coat, his eyes glowed like golden embers. Not wanting to frighten him, I stopped dead in my tracks watching him in awe, wondering where he came from.
Being an avid cat lover, the first thing I thought of was perhaps he was hungry and thirsty. Moving cautiously, I went inside to get some cat food and a bowl of water. When I returned he was patiently waiting on the doorstep and as I placed the offerings on the sidewalk, he rubbed against my legs, purring loudly.
After finishing his meal and a drink of water, he paused only long enough to clean himself. Tail high up in the air, this gorgeous stray cat leapt off the porch steps and quickly disappeared into the woods, leaving me with so many unanswered questions. Our brief encounter was mysterious.
At approximately the same time the next morning, the big black cat once again arrived at my doorstep. And once again, thinking he was a hungry stray cat, I gave him food and water. But this time he didn’t leave. He found a sunny spot on the sidewalk and curled up for a nap. But an hour later he was gone.
Later that afternoon, our daily feeding rituals continued. This time, as I sat on the porch watching him finish, he jumped into my lap, and fell asleep. I soon realized that I was falling in love with a purrfect stranger. Since he appeared from out of the rocky woods, I named him Dunstan and for the next three years he was a constant visitor.
While Dunstan and I shared many adventures over the years, one is unforgettable. As I was falling asleep surrounded by my indoor kitties, all of a sudden I heard the bedroom door open followed by a loud “thump.” It was unmistakably the sound of a cat landing on the floor.
Knowing all our cats were with me, I jumped up in a flash. There was Dunstan standing at the edge of the bed. Eyeing the indoor cats, his back began to arch. Nemesis, my black indoor cat, started making threatening noises. With trembling hands, I quickly grabbed Dunstan, ran down the stairs and put him back outside.
Apparently, my ex-husband, who was working downstairs and getting inebriated, had caught a glimpse of Dunstan outside the window. In his drunken stupor he assumed Nemesis had somehow escaped. So he “rescued” the stray cat and dropped him into the bedroom. It’s beyond me how he mistook Dunstan for Nemesis, since they bore no resemblance.
I was heartbroken when we moved; unable to take Dunstan with us. Fortunately a neighbor agreed to continue caring for him. I often think of the big beautiful black stray whose paw prints will forever remain on my heart.
Have you ever fallen in love with a stray cat? Tell us about it with a comment.