Readers my be aware of my love of pussy cats. I have lived quite happily with my boys Marmite and Twiglet in darkest Essex. They get on very well and love to play fight and chase each other around the flat, shedding fur (Marmite) and knocking stuff over (Twiglet).
I have lived at the flat for about two and a half years and for all of that time a rather large female cat has either hung around in the garden or has snuck in when no one is looking to nick food. All the neighbours around me have wondered where she belongs. She is fit and healthy, with a lovely shiny coat but from her actions it seems she belongs to nobody.
Over the last year or so she has become bolder. I'd find her asleep on my kitchen table when I got up in the morning or when I got home from work. She wouldn't venture any further than the kitchen and was happy to cadge a bit of food if she could. I tried forcibly to chuck her out on many occasions but she showed her displeasure by hissing and moaning at me. The neighbours still often asked who the fat tabby with white feet belonged to because she obviously was trying it on with them too.
About three months ago I tried to see if she would come further into the flat. She was very weary of coming further than the doorway to the lounge. Then one weekend when Lily and Sybil were staying she decided that she wanted to come a see Sybs (who was on the computer). She trotted into the lounge and settled down on the floor for a sleep. That was a turning point. She pops about for a quick wander like the boys but has decided she likes living in Chez Marmite and is now a permanent fixture. She sleeps on the bed with me at night and loves being fussed and curling up to whoever is available on the sofa. Twiglet get s along very well with her and Marmite is getting used to her but likes to tell her who is boss a couple of times a day. She has been named Podge due to her immense girth. It seems she was very adept at begging for food.
Obviously I was still a bit concerned about just who, if anyone, she belongs to. The friend I bought the flat from assures me that she was around as a kitten with two others about 5 years ago so it seems she has been dumped. The other two have long since disappeared (probably by the same tactics as Podge).
I am, therefore, a three cat family and when Lily and I move in together (which will hopefully happen next year) we will be a six cat family. Which is a lot of Felix I can tell you.