Cat Number 4?

Several months ago during a bad thunderstorm, I heard a loud, repeated thunking on the side of my condo. After the worst of the storm had passed, I went outside to investigate. Tucked behind the a/c, up against the side of the building, was a pile of kittens. We spotted each other at about the same time, and they took off under the fence.

I know the mama cat. I often catch her hunting in my bird feeders. I’d investigated trapping her to get her spayed and released, but before I got around to doing it, I noticed her ear was tipped. Someone had beaten me to it. (When feral cats are caught and spayed, they cut the tip off one ear so you can tell they’ve been taken care of.) Whenever I catch the mama hunting, I tap on the window and she takes off. She’s frightened of people, so it doesn’t take much to shoo her away.

Several weeks ago, I spotted a small gray and white kitty harassing the birds and squirrels. She looked to be about four months old, and I’m fairly certain she was one of the kittens that had been piled up behind the a/c. Like her mama, her ear has been tipped. When I tapped on the window, she looked at me and carried on sitting on the fence in stealth mode. I opened the door, thinking the moment I did, she’d take off. She didn’t. Instead, she jumped off the fence and came to me.Β  She wasn’t the least bit frightened of me. She meowed and begged for petting, which she got. I brought her bowls of kibble and water, and she seemed to eat hungrily. But she wasn’t thin. In fact, she looked quite healthy.

Since then, she comes around often. She tries to talk to Sadie through the glass in the back door. Sadie gets a bit agitated, but the little kitty is friendly and not the least bit aggressive. Today, I captured some images of her through the back door.

Aren't I pretty?
Aren’t I pretty?
Let me in!
Let me in!
I promise I'll be a nice kitty. You could call me Stella.
I promise I’ll be a nice kitty. You could call me Stella.

Today, I did let her in. Sadie hissed at her a few times, and little kitty looked quite perplexed, as if wondering how anyone could hiss at a kitty as sweet and cute as herself. I suspect little kitty would get along with Sally and Sadie much better than Sophie (the stray I took in nearly three years ago) has. First, because she is quite young, and also, because she’s not a scrappy aggressive little nutter, like Sophie is. (Sophie is lucky I didn’t put her back out on the streets years ago. Okay, not really. I would never do that. But she is a pill.)

So here I am, in danger of taking on Cat Number 4. Because she seems to be healthy and well-fed (perhaps the Buddhist monks at the temple that adjoins my property are looking out for her), I don’t feel any urgency. Other than I don’t like the idea of the little kitten living outside. But Sadie doesn’t need any added stress right now. (Sadie’s test results last week improved once again. Her BUN was down to 32—within the range of normal. Her creatinine was down from 4.0 to 3.6. Still room for improvement, but better.) And as Sophie often reminds us, there is hardly room for three cats in my 1500-square-foot condo, let alone this adolescent interloper. (Not to mention, at some point, my mother’s kitty will need a loving home.) So I’ll keep an eye on her, and act if things take a negative turn. Meanwhile, I’ll give her lots of pets and make sure she remains healthy and well-fed.

Is more room for cats a bad reason to move from a condo into a larger house? I’m thinking something in the country, so as to keep expenses low, and not derail my early-retirement plan.


  • So glad to hear that Sadie’s test results are improving! If you and 4 adopt each other, it will be easy for us blog-followers to tell her from the others ;-)))


  • I think your approach is perfect. This seems to be a “community cat”, and probably multiple people enjoy interacting with her and caring for her. Finding out who is caring for the colony and offering to help with future vet bills might be a great way to connect with the human community as well. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 3 people

  • I’m terrible. I’d keep her in a heartbeat. She looks just like a friend’s female who happened to be friends with my Gizzie until we moved to Michigan. Gizzie misses her and would make friends with this one immediately.

    Liked by 2 people

  • You’re about “this far” from being one of those little ole ladies raided by animal control and/or social services who are living with 3,000 cats and one room filled with sacks of Kibbles, and the entire house filled with a disagreeable odor, which is why neighbors reported you in the first place.

    Of course, you’re not — say you — in the “old” category yet, but it’s headed down the highway toward you as it is toward all of us. Get a grip. Three cats is enough, perhaps too many, already.

    Buying a house in the country to deal with this cat thing will just put you further away from the early-retirement dream.

    Liked by 1 person

  • This kitten is so cute.

    I have a friend who lives near a temple. She loves to hear them chant.

    Nice to hear Sadie is doing well.

    I don’t think “more room for cats” is a “bad” reason to move to a larger place as long as you can afford it and you are not stressing yourself out financially. However, if you move to a larger place will that just mean MORE (more than 3/4) cats? If so, then it might be a bad IDEA. πŸ™‚

    Liked by 1 person

    • I love to listen to them chant, too. It’s lovely to sit on the patio and watch the birds while they do their prayers.

      The house is on the radar at some point. Not just for more cat room. I’d love more green space. I didn’t think I’d ever have more than two (three tops!) cats. If only they’d stop showing up on my doorstep.

      Sadie is doing fantastic. She’s due for a post all her own. I wish I could take photos and give fluids at the same time. I’ll just have to use my words to paint the picture.

      Liked by 2 people

  • You should definitely keep this little cat. Cats like this are always sent for a reason.


    • Currently she’s a community indoor-outdoor cat. She is so sweet, I expect someone is going to make her a full-time indoor cat. I’m not ready to take on another kitty right now due to Sadie’s kidney disease. I don’t think the stress of another interloper would be good for her. With that said, I feed her and let her in from time to time. My neighbor next door lets her in often, when they are not off traveling. They’ve taken to calling her Maize.


      • Well I’m glad she will be taken care of. Have you tried offering Sadie a raw or at least mostly canned diet? I had a kitty once who developed kidney issues and I attribute it to the kibble diet. My cats have all been on raw/canned since then and do very well on it. has been a great wealth of information on cat nutrition for me. Feel better Sadie! πŸ™‚


        • Sadie has been off the kibble since her diagnosis. She’s now eating sardines and poached chicken, as well as canned (RX mature) when I can get her to eat it for taurine. She also likes raw egg yolk. I get eggs from my cleaner, who has yard hens. I’ll look at for more ideas. I need them! Thank you!


          • Great! You can buy taurine at health food shops to sprinkle on her food if you think she’s not getting enough. I also know that a dusting of nutritional yeast is also a great way to get many cats to eat. It tastes like parmesan cheese! πŸ™‚

            Liked by 1 person

  • I have three male indoor cats. But one day Fedora came. I was forced to find an alternative (my mother did not want another cat inside on the sofa), so I transformed the pantry/laundry in her space: warm and safe. Summer and winter for three years. Unfortunately, Fedora had a cancer and died last february.
    I’m happy you take care of that lovely, super-cute kitty πŸ˜€


    • That’s pretty clever, Sid. Fedora had a nice, warm space, and lots of love. Luckily we’ve had a warm winter this year. It did not freeze once. So Stella/Maize hasn’t had to deal with the cold. A retired couple who live next door to me have grown quite fond of her and let her in for snacks and pets. The trouble is, they travel often so can’t keep her full-time. I’m looking out for her while they’re gone and it is so hard to see that little face in my window and not add her to the family.

      Liked by 2 people

  • I’ve made many a housing decision based on the welfare of my cats. I chose two houses because they had screened-in patios and I wanted them to have some safe outdoor space to play and relax in. This also benefited me of course. Recently I sold a house because it was far too big and becoming very costly because of its age and increasingly needed maintenance.

    I’m renting a loft in the city now and while it’s an amazing location with even more amazing views, it doesn’t feel right to me personally. I miss all the trees and wide-open green spaces surrounding me, and the quiet. I’m sure some of this has to do being an introvert.

    I think your approach to cat #4 makes sense, but no one would blame you for taking her in. I ended up with five at one time, but am now down to two. As seems to be the case with you, I’m not really bothered by any stereotypes. I’ve also found that many men I’ve met seem to be into cats. My brother has three himself and he’s a single dad. Also glad to hear Sadie’s holding her own!

    Liked by 1 person

    • It sounds like you and I agree on the perfect home, Janzi. A screened catio and lots of trees and green space. That’s the retirement home I envision. Right now in a 1500 sf condo, going beyond three cats would be a little dicey. Particularly since the stray I took in three years ago doesn’t get along well with my resident cats. I’m also trying to reserve a space for my mom’s cat, who will need a home at some point in the not-too-distant future. At that point I’d have three females and my mom’s male. I wonder how that’s going to go. That may force me into a larger space, and then I’ll have room for Stella. I could end up with five, like you did!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Holey cats (so to speak)! You’ve been posting like mad! The new kitty is ADORABLE. Your wait-and-see plan sounds like your usual, sensible self.
    I love your someday-dream of the house in the country. I have a similar dream, and I think dreaming about it it is the stage after wanting itβ€”and the must-do stage before getting it. If you decide you truly want it, you’re well set up, and it’s only a matter of time.


    • Little kitty just came around for snacks. I let her wander in, and Sadie watched her warily from the back of the sofa. I then picked Sadie up, and held her for little kitty to have a look. Little kitty gave out a little-kitty hiss. Sadie hissed back. Little kitty scampered back outside. It was much more civilized than early interactions between Sadie the Sophie-the-former-stray. Sophie does not care for other cats and would be quite content to be an only cat.

      Yes, the country does beckon. I’d love to get out of the hipster cluster that is now Austin. Does your dream include baby goats?


      • Yes, it does sound much more civilized than the Sadie/Sophie beginnings of days past. Perhaps after practicing on Sophie, Sadie is more resigned to additions. Not happy, but perhaps resigned.
        God, hipster-cluster, do I ever hear that. I live in the midst of San Francisco’s version of that. I loathe it, and wish you much success in getting the heck away.
        My own personal dream doesn’t include baby goats, although I’ve been asked often enough if it included sheep. After giving it some thought I decided no, because that’s animal husbandry, not textiles. It would likely be cool and fun, but it would steal time from my personal main event.
        Are YOU dreaming of baby goats?! Do I see milk and cheese in your future?


        • Those were some tense days. Sadie has a notch in her ear to show for it. Sophie would probably notch the gray kitty, given the opportunity.

          I am dreaming of other people’s baby goats. I keep suggesting to my niece that she needs a pair. But now she’s pregnant, so I expect baby goats are on hold.

          Liked by 1 person

  • “Stella” is *SO* cute. She looks a lot like my late Pandora. They could certainly be sisters.

    Frankly, I think you’re going to end up with four cats whether you like it or not. Perhaps even five. But if Stella’s an outdoor cat, that’s not so bad. You don’t exactly live in an inhospitable climate. Sure, it gets hot, but kitties just tend to find a spot in the shade and snooze. I certainly don’t think you should move to a bigger house. (Not that you asked, haha.) Moving’s stressful (and you’ve got plenty now) and expensive. So I’d stay put. Worst case? Build an air-conditioned cat house on your patio; it’ll cost way less than even just closing costs on a new house.

    I miss my kitties! I find myself stopping to pet random cats and dogs these days as I walk around Mexico City. Alas, it will be a long time before I can get another pet.

    Meanwhile, I’ll live vicariously through your blog.


    Kim G
    DF, MΓ©xico
    Where even the dogs can be surprisingly shy. Not a good sign.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Hola, Kim. You’re right, the weather in Central Texas is not inhospitable. We’ve not had a single freeze this winter. If I do move into a house, it won’t be a lot bigger. And it won’t be for several more years. No room for a catio here. I’ve got a tiny little postage-stamp garden and the HOA won’t allow me to add on to the structure.

      I often wonder whether the stray dogs and cats in Mexico would break my heart daily. Keep petting them!

      Liked by 1 person

  • Stella looks like a charmer – you may have already been chosen. With luck she’s already claimed the community, but then again, you as her very own person? She might decide that’s too hard to refuse.
    It’s good you aren’t close to us. She’s darling.
    We’ve actually talked about moving to more land – for space to breath as well as room for Molly to run. It’s not totally nuts. Some places out of the city are actually more economical to live – especially if you garden, can entertain yourself, learn to do small repairs, and hey, less fancy clothes and shoes! Doesn’t hurt to look – and do some hard math.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Stella is not that far from you…. It sounds like you and I have done the same analysis about the economics. Another benefit to me would be to get away from the sky-high property taxes in Travis County. I am all for Molly having room to run! As for less fancy clothes and shoes, I could have a small income selling all the crap in my closet once I ditch the corporate world and the city.

      Liked by 1 person

  • “When a cat chooses you, well …”,/em>

    It seems you may not have a choice. πŸ™‚
    Glad to know Sadie’s values have improved.


    • So far, she seems to have chosen all of us who feed her and let her inside. She’s got several guardians, all of whom are smitten. Sadie just had more blood work, and has once again improved. The subcutaneous fluids are amazing.


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