The little photo is Mooch when I first noticed her last July. I admit I feed all the cats and possums that stroll thru my back yard. No biggie. Those cats and possums leave. The difference about Mooch: she was a kitten. I wondered what in the world a kitten was doing running around, with dogs (all sides of my house, my neighbors have dogs) and cars everywhere. And the kitten kept coming back--daily. I was surprised because the other, older cats showed up whenever.
Then there was the day, my shed doors were opened some. I saw Mooch come out. I didn't think any thing of it. I wound up closing the twin doors. That's when I saw Mooch walk past the closed doors and look up. Hmm. I wondered. I could jar the door open, just enough for her (and a possum). Mooch moved in. I caught her on the top of these metal shelves--sleep. Long story in all of this...and yes, I put a bed and blankets out there for her. Cat people do these things. :)
I have no idea how long Mooch has been really in my shed. There was really nothing in the shed, so I pretty much ignored it. I noticed Mooch in July. Not until December, did Mooch let me close enough to touch without running--too far. Cat people know it can take a while for a cat to trust you. Even in December, she kept me at arms length to pet her--then Mooch would just walk away from my touch. Nonetheless, I noticed Mooch coming in and out of my shed, resting in my patio chair, resting my backyard lawn, and peaking at me as I stood in the door. One night, I peaked out at midnight and Mooch sat in front of the shed. When I went outside, she ran up to me--about two feet and just sat. That was our game, until...
I got confirmation Mooch was indeed a girl. I noticed the older neighborhood cats were in my yard. I thought, "Oh, how cute!" Then I saw one of the neighborhood cats--a big, ol' frumpy lookin' one, have his manly way with Mooch. I opened the door and shoo'd them away. Mooch ran AFTER them. I'm like, "Naw, we ain't havin' this."
Had to figure out to catch her. She barely let me touch her, yet was having a party in my shed. I saw four tomcats run out when I walked toward the shed. I thought about closing it and having Mooch fend for herself. I almost...ALMOST did that, however I couldn't. Did the people who did have her care? Did they even miss her? If Mooch wanted to live in the shed--fine. Having babies in the shed--uh, NO. I tried to scoop her up a couple times, when I thought I caught her off guard.-Spastic, struggled, howl'd. Either I let her go or get an eye clawed out. What to do? Turns out a co-worker had a cat trap and she let me borrow it.
After I finally figured how to use it (thanks You Tube!), I set the trap out on the patio. Mooch waited to be fed. She saw where her food was--in the trap. Her belly won out. I caught her in about five minutes. That was on a Monday. I gave her a few days to get use to me, the pride of cats that already live here, as he stayed in my room with the PC. All the while I looked up to schedule to get her spay'd.
On Friday, March 2--Mooch got her shaved belly. She loves to purr and be petted. Still won't let me pick her up. We're working on that. My other cats watch and kind of ignore her all the same time--except, my other female feline. I think it's a Queen versus Princess there. No attacks--just air jabs and hisses--mainly from Mooch.
So on this Saturday, Mooch is still her name. If we had bonded when she was kitten, Mooch's name was going to be "Verte"---for green, because her eyes are gorgeous emeralds. Her name may change. Maybe. Maybe not.
She did mooch off me for the shed as she worked right into my heart.