12. “One Cat Just Leads to Another”

12. “One cat just leads to another.”
Ernest Hemingway

And….that brings me to Juliet.

Juliet came to us a little differently than the other cats we have. We had seen her in the yard a few times and thought she had to be a male; she was so big. I said to Craig, “I spotted a large male in the back yard, better get the trap ready.” It was a few more days before I saw her again and this time she was looking a bit scruffy. I put out food and water for her and left her to eat in peace.

While driving home one day, I saw her again, but she was farther away from our home. I continued to put out food and water, which is our usual habit.

One day in the late afternoon on a very warm day, the doorbell rang. I answered the door and there was one of the little girls in the neighborhood who keeps an eye out for cats and will often ring the doorbell to let us know she spotted a feral here or there. Outstretched across her arms was laying this very large, scruffy looking cat that I recognized as the “male” we had been feeding in the back yard. She “presented” the cat to me and said, “Take this cat; we found her in the road and she is going to get killed.” How do you resist such a plea?

I took her and she just snuggled in and started purring. I knew immediately this was not your ordinary (if you can describe ANY cat as ordinary) feral cat. She was friendly and very healthy looking, with no signs of abuse or maltreatment. She was a little disheveled from spending a week or so outside, but other than that, she looked fine and ate very well. I put her down and she acted as if she owned the place, normal behavior for a cat!

We called the vet to get her in for neutering. Within an hour of dropping her off, the vet called to say that not only was the cat a female, she was already spayed and that she was declawed on all four paws! Well, that sealed the deal. We couldn’t put her back outside with no claws for defense. So, Juliet was added to the family.

She has found it somewhat difficult being accepted by the other cats. For some reason, none of the other cats like her and we can trace some of the other unwanted cat behavior (marking) to her arrival. That does not deter her. She will make her way around the house and get the choice spots for sunning and sleeping. And just because there are other cats who think they are the king (or queen) of the bed, she will jump right up between Craig and me and defy anyone to move her.

She is quite the talker. She makes some of the cutest noises, especially when she wants to be petted. She can also get rather vocal when it’s feeding time. She knows that she will get her food first if she makes more noise than the others. Boy, does she have us trained!

We have had Juliet in the family for 3 years and she continues to thrive. We suspect she comes from a very good family and that she had trained them very well. Maybe they felt guilty for cutting her feet. I hope they did. She seems to be sensitive about her feet and for that reason we lift her down from higher spots so she doesn’t have to perform a hard landing. Yes. Yes, we do coddle her!

Juliet is obviously a breed that is larger than the average American Shorthair. She does not have any of the characteristics of a Maine Coon or some of the bigger breeds, but she is a big girl who is a healthy weight of 23 pounds as of the last vet visit. She will be with us for the rest of her life, which we hope will be a good long life.


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