Acquired: Other (stray, given cat by friend etc.)
Posted Aug 17, 2015
After discovering a stray feral cat in my yard one day, I started to leave cans of cat food outside at night. The cat returned night after night and appeared to be gaining weight each and every time I saw her. It turned out that she was pregnant and ended up seeking shelter in my neighbor's garage to give birth to three kittens. My brothers and I decided to keep the orange kitten for ourselves and let our neighbor's keep the other two. We named our new cat Walter and were excited at the thought of owning a cat for the very first time.
It turns out that Walter inherited many (if not ALL) of his mother's feral traits. This means he could be held and pet for a grand total of 3 seconds before unleashing his claws into the petter's skin. Walter refused to be held or touched and was totally content being a safe distance from all humans. Eventually, he began to warm up to us and started enjoying limited amounts of affection. He was close with my brother and chose to sleep in his room nightly.
Though Walter was a real terror at times, he was a true self-sufficient survivor. He spent most of his days out in the woods behind the house and rarely required any attention from us. He liked to keep watch over the backyard while laying on the deck. We ended up getting 2 lab puppies when Walter was 4 or 5 years. To all of our surprise, he ended up behaving like a guardian to the dogs, and the 3 of them could often be seen laying out in the warm sun together. The dogs learned quickly to respect Walter and their friendship grew year after year. Having Walter as a pet was a surprise I never expected – he was a great addition to our family and he certainly changed my opinion of cats.