The Gift of Rescue

We at It's a Wonderpurr Life have a special relationship with homeless cats and their secret histories. 
Over time some of the histories become obvious, like KC who had such a fear of people, he avoided me for two years while living in my backyard. He would leave every time I stepped outside to feed him. I used a live trap to have him neutered, but the vet staff never told me he wasn't feral. So I released him. And it took almost two more years before I realized he wasn't feral, but had lost his faith in humanity.

Frank was a similar case where he'd not only lost faith, but had developed severe anger issues where he lashed out and bit anyone who tried to befriend him. To keep him from killing a sickly stray, I had to sweep him back with a broom. He soon turned on me and exhausted himself trying to attack me. But after he shuddered and collapsed in defeat, I asked if he was hungry, and he merrily followed me to the porch for lunch.

Both cats are my poster children for taking a chance on questionable rescues. KC clearly was once an indoor cat. He's very friendly, very touchy-feely. But he's a tripper, throwing himself in front of my feet as I walk. He can't unlearn this dangerous behavior, because I feel it is linked to his desperate need to touch and be touched. While he was living in my yard I would watch him rub affectionately against my raccoons. Thankfully they were a great bunch of yard puppies who kind of adopted him before I was able to bring him indoors. In fact, it was a raccoon named Honeybear who showed KC that I was friendly. I remember him standing back, watching Honeybear and I (who hadn't seen each other in weeks) greet each other while I fed her peanuts and dog kibble. That one act right there broke through his fear of me. The next day he didn't run from the yard, and soon approached me when I offered food.

Frank, at age four I suspect, had been around the block enough to know how to play the game. He bit me, he bit Ray, he bit our pet sitter... and then charmed all three of us into instant forgiveness. In fact, the Christmas after we adopted Frank, he convinced our petsitter that he was allowed to come inside the house. She had no idea that I was still on the fence about trusting him to mingle with Herman, Dori, and ChauncieMarie. So when I returned from my vacation and Frank casually brushed past me into the house... and Dori ran with tail high in the air to greet him, I was stunned. Further stunned when all of my cats treated Frank like he'd always been a part of the Gang. After that Frank never bit anyone, or caused me a moment of regret that I trusted him to behave.

With Rabbit as the sole exception, I prefer to adopt the cats who appear in our yard, clearly having been on the road for a long time. They are wary from living a hard life, and there are some who never totally let down their guard. Jack, who we lost to cancer this past year, was one of them. Feral until the day he passed, but he lived indoors with us for eleven years (due to a mysterious head injury the vet suspected was caused by being struck) and never once made us regret our decision to adopt him.

Bless all of you who open your hearts to the cats with unknown histories. You are most likely the only source of Comfort and Joy they've ever known.



  1. Awwww what nice stories!! Thank you for sharing. It brings joy to my heart! 💗

  2. Bringing the outside cats inside is often a "wait and see" proposition; one just never knows.
    Our Sweetie was standoffish and 'feral' acting for years, then learned to be social when Celestial Paddy O'Malley showed up.
    Now, she's been an inside-only cat for over 2-1/2 years, and while she stays in her apartment, separated from Da Boyz, it's for her protection. Those two just overwhelm her; she's near 15 years old, with most of her life spent on the streets.
    This is a wonderful post; thank you for telling us about your kitties.

    1. Thank yoo for sharing yoor story. I sympathize with Sweetie. Wabbit stwesses meowt, so I live apart from him. Time share the house. I hope Sweetie enjoys a very long life with yoor family.

  3. yoo r all purrfect! Merry Christmas to yoo all

  4. Aw, what a lovely post. So precious.

    I linked this post to Feline Friday.

    • ★ Merry ★* 。 • ˚ ˚ ˛ ˚ ˛ •
    •。★ Christmas ★。* 。
    ° 。 ° ˛˚˛ * _Π_____*。*˚
    ˚ ˛ •˛•˚ */______/~\。˚ ˚ ˛
    ˚ ˛ •˛• ˚| 田田 |門| ˚
    * Joy to all! ♫•*¨* Peace on Earth ♪♫•*¨*

  5. Such a beautiful post. I had more than one tear n my eye as I read it.

  6. I agree, that was beautiful. We've had some rescues with challenges too over the years and we totally loved each and every one of them. Merry Christmas gang.

  7. Most of my cats now and in the past have just shown up in our yard or a friend's. I am glad you open your heart to them too. They all deserve love. XO

  8. Those precious strays get into your heart and stay there, all of ours were stray or shelter cats, or bottle babies we raised for the shelter.

    SissyCat was taken off the street at 3 months by a friend up the street. She was half feral and all mean, biting and scratching sometimes, living both indoors and out. She lost a leg in a fight with a German shepherd when she was five, and went back to being mean and cranky and bitey once she recovered (which was amazingly fast.)

    That friend had to move and asked my son to take Tripod SissyCat in for a few weeks while they got settled. He said yes, and i told him she'd never be back for the cat as she'd gotten more afraid of the cat as the years went by. She didn't come back for her, and the first year Tripod SissyCat was here she bit, and scratched, and fought with everyone, and was mean, and we told her over and over we loved her and nothing she could do was going to make us get rid of her.

    At the end of that year, she escaped the house and ran back to her old house to find no one there. She came back here, meekly came in the house, and has been an absolute love bug ever since. We let her on the porch to sun herself and she doesn't run off, she sleeps in our bed, no more bitey and scratchy and meanness.

    She's 16 now and has no physical trouble, even with only 3 legs. If you keep telling them you love them, and prove it, sooner or later, i think, they believe you. She even gets along with my daughter's German shepherd!

    1. SissyCat sounds like she was taught to behave badly. Sometimes we kitties try to please our people by behaving badly because they give us attention. When SissyCat realized she'd been abandoned, she returned to yoo and behaved the way yoo treated her. I'm so happy she's enjoying a wonderpurr life with yoo.


Your comments make us purr. Thank you for taking the time to tell us what you think.