Something Special about Leo



It was May 2009. My wife and I were living in a mobile home park at the time. After one couple was evicted, they left behind two cats, both grey with white bibs and feet. Having three indoor cats of our own already, taking them in would have been a challenge at best. The female cat we called "Miss Kitty." The male, everyone called "Smokey." The two cats were left to wander the park.

The two cats had totally different personalities, Miss Kitty being the friendly type. Unfortunately, the male cat, Smokey was notorious for attacking people without warning. He was mistreated by his owners and as a result he would never be the kind of cat you could take into your home. Although friendly for the most part, his behavior was very unpredictable.

I found out the hard way one day when Smokey attacked me as I walked up the front steps. He grabbed me from behind around the knee and dug me up pretty good. Understanding that this behavior was simply the result of being mistreated, I let it go and continued to feed him and Miss Kitty. In the month of May, Miss Kitty gave birth to four kittens. It was obvious that the father was Smokey judging by the colors and appearance of the four kittens.

Being cat lovers, my wife and I knew we had to do something. Miss Kitty and the four kittens were living under our home and 
although this was a fairly safe location for them at the moment, we knew we had to do something. We lived near a busy road and several cats had already been struck by cars. As time went by, we kept a close eye on the litter of kittens, making sure that they had food and water.

The kittens were shy, only peeking out from under the house occasionally, and going back into hiding if we tried to touch them. By mid-summer, we set up a screen house in our yard and it wasn't long before Miss Kitty and the kittens took up residence here during the daytime. Miss Kitty trusted my wife and I to interact with the kittens, even going so far as to leave the screen house to make her rounds, leaving us to tend to the kittens while she was gone.

Slowly, over time the kittens began to let us touch them. As the kittens grew and summer dragged on we could see their personalities develop, some being shyer than the others. One long haired kitten in particular caught my attention. He was different from the rest. I could see that he had his father's looks but had his mother's gentle behavior. I called him "Leo."

Leo was the first of the four that let me pick him up. He had long fur like his father, but had almost identical markings as his 
mother. I could tell that there was something special about Leo. It was now September, and the nights were getting cooler. By this time, Miss Kitty had turned over most of the responsibility of caring for the kittens to my wife and me.

One morning was particularly chilly. I looked outside and saw the kittens huddled together on our deck trying to stay warm. I opened the door to go out and feed them when all of a sudden, Leo ran past me into the house.

Leo wasn't a dummy; he knew where the heat was. The others picked up on this too and followed Leo into the house. Within seconds they all took a look around. There they were, the kittens looking at our three adult cats in the living room. Not knowing what to do now, the others quickly followed Leo, running into the front bedroom.

Surprisingly, our three adult cats seemed to take this all with a grain of salt, but I quickly closed the front bedroom door just to make sure our cats didn't give the kittens any trouble. OK, now what...? The room was vacant for the most part, so we decided to keep the kittens in there until we could adopt them out. As the others were adopted out, we had already made up our minds that Leo would be staying with us.
called "Smokey." The two cats were left to wander the park.

The two cats had totally different personalities, Miss Kitty being the friendly type. Unfortunately, the male cat, Smokey was notorious for attacking people without warning. He was mistreated by his owners and as a result he would never be the kind of cat you could take into your home. Although friendly for the most part, his behavior was very unpredictable.

I found out the hard way one day when Smokey attacked me as I walked up the front steps. He grabbed me from behind around the knee and dug me up pretty good. Understanding that this behavior was simply the result of being mistreated, I let it go and continued to feed him and Miss Kitty. In the month of May, Miss Kitty gave birth to four kittens. It was obvious that the father was Smokey judging by the colors and appearance of the four kittens.

Being cat lovers, my wife and I knew we had to do something. Miss Kitty and the four kittens were living under our home and although this was a fairly safe location for them at the moment, we knew we had to do something. We lived near a busy road and several cats had already been struck by cars. As time went by, we kept a close eye on the litter of kittens, making sure that they had food and water.

The kittens were shy, only peeking out from under the house occasionally, and going back into hiding if we tried to touch them. By mid-summer, we set up a screen house in our yard and it wasn't long before Miss Kitty and the kittens took up residence here during the daytime. Miss Kitty trusted my wife and I to interact with the kittens, even going so far as to leave the screen house to make her rounds, leaving us to tend to the kittens while she was gone.

Slowly, over time the kittens began to let us touch them. As the kittens grew and summer dragged on we could see their personalities develop, some being shyer than the others. One long haired kitten in particular caught my attention. He was different from the rest. I could see that he had his father's looks but had his mother's gentle behavior. I called him "Leo."

Leo was the first of the four that let me pick him up. He had long fur like his father, but had almost identical markings as his mother. I could tell that there was something special about Leo. It was now September, and the nights were getting cooler. By this time, Miss Kitty had turned over most of the responsibility of caring for the kittens to my wife and me.

One morning was particularly chilly. I looked outside and saw the kittens huddled together on our deck trying to stay warm. I opened the door to go out and feed them when all of a sudden, Leo ran past me into the house.

Leo wasn't a dummy; he knew where the heat was. The others picked up on this too and followed Leo into the house. Within seconds they all took a look around. There they were, the kittens looking at our three adult cats in the living room. Not knowing what to do now, the others quickly followed Leo, running into the front bedroom.

Surprisingly, our three adult cats seemed to take this all with a grain of salt, but I quickly closed the front bedroom door just to make sure our cats didn't give the kittens any trouble. OK, now what...? The room was vacant for the most part, so we decided to keep the kittens in there until we could adopt them out. As the others were adopted out, we had already made up our minds that Leo would be staying with us.

As for Miss Kitty, we let her in a few times to show her that her kittens were safe. This seemed to satisfy her and she went about her business as usual. Miss Kitty began to spend more time now at my sister's house next door. My sister made her a place to stay on her porch and started letting her inside as it got colder.
After adopting out the other kittens, Leo was settling in to his new home with us. The other three adults we already had took to him well. In 2011, we moved several miles away, taking Leo with us. My sister decided to keep Miss Kitty and made arrangements with a local organization to have Miss Kitty and the father of the kittens, "Smokey" fixed so they could not produce any more litters.

It is now 2014 and Miss Kitty still lives with my sister. Smokey, after being neutered and evaluated by the veterinarian was deemed as being too unpredictable and sadly, had to be released back into the park where he came from.

Scott Fidler




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