When I started out feeding the neighborhood cats, I swore I’d only give them leftovers, when I had food that was about to spoil, and that I wouldn’t actually buy cat food. But by Valentine’s Day, this gorgeously patterned cat, often accompanied by Calico Lady, was stopping by regularly and to avoid giving them my own food I was buying tins of cheap mackerel.
I love that in this photo even though Calico Lady is enjoying a massive fish party, she’s still glaring at me for taking her picture.
As the winter stretched on, I got to know more of the neighborhood’s feline residents.
We met this Black and White Tuxedo Cat:
There was this raccoon-like fellow, with a coat so thick that his body heat didn’t even melt the snow on top of him:
And of course Big Orange Cat kept coming back around…
While sometimes they fought, sometimes all three cats got along just fine:
Even in fresh, deep snow, this cat knew to make it here for a good meal.
And that’s where things stood. Outside cats were outside cats and that was that.
Then one day, our hallway smelled strongly of cat. I went down to the basement, and it smelled even more strongly of male cat. “Joe, there’s a cat in this house,” I said, to Joe, well obviously. He went into the back room, and lo and behold, yes, there was a cat.
The door was closed so how he got into the back room of the basement was a mystery, but it was in fact a very injured cat. Somehow he dragged himself into the basement and fell into the depression in the floor for the sewage trap. He was hurt and scared and had sprayed up a storm.
Joe got the cat into a box and, not knowing where else to go, brought the cat to Sean Casey Animal Rescue. This amazing animal rescue in Brooklyn is the only provider of medical attention for the wildlife of our borough. Incredibly, they took him right away. They promised they would get him to a vet and if he could be fixed up, he’d be either put up for adoption if he seemed friendly, or neutered and ear-tipped and brought to a nearby cat colony.
While we wanted to remain somewhat uninvolved with these cats, we couldn’t let an animal suffer needlessly. Clearly, we were on the road to many more adventures with the cats of our backyard.