He was the boss of the neighbourhood, one of the many ferals we were feeding and providing shelters for. We fed him for six years, and managed to sneak in a stroke or pat every now and then. Then one icy February night, I found him crouched on our step, eyes running and his breath a wheeze. It is a measure of how sick he was that he let me scoop him up and take him inside to a warm bed and warm food in the basement. For weeks, the only sign there was a cat in the basement was the used litter box and the eaten food, but slowly he warmed to us. A few months later he began to come upstairs and has reached an accord with out other two rescues. It took a while longer for him to discover laps, but these days he has decided that my husband's lap is the place to be. His ears are ragged from frostbite and he has only a third of a tail, relics of a hard life. But he will have comfort for the rest of his days.
New Waterford, Canada