Rascal's mom found her a home with us

Rascal was 6-8 weeks old when she arrived in August 2015 at our back door with her mom and a littermate. After years of rescuing community cats, I knew what to do. Out went the food and water for Mom and some kitten milk and gruel for the little ones. After about a week, I was able to catch Mom and have her spayed. Her kittens scattered when I caught her, but they were very glad to return when she came back outdoors to them. Eventually, after weeks of feeding them all, I was able to stroke the forehead of one kitten, our soon-to-be housemate.
As it got colder into the fall, I put out beds with warmers for them all, but Mom and one kitten stopped coming around. I looked for them in the neighborhood but they seem to have gone to ground. But Rascal kept coming so I kept feeding her and freshening her bedding. We got all the way to Thanksgiving but she still wouldn't let me do more than touch her forehead with two fingers.
One night in early Dec we had a cold snap and I couldn't sleep thinking about Rascal out there in the cold. So I went downstairs and warmed up some milk. I put the dish of milk just inside my back door, near the woodpile where Rascal was sheltering, and waited. She crept out, put her front paws up on the door sill to reach the warm milk, and I scooped her into the house. She startled but then happily settled down to drinking her milk in the warm room.
From that day to this, she's been our joy. I really regret not being able to rescue the other two, but Rascal seemed like she was choosing to stay with us when they chose another path. To this day, whenever Rascal gets scared (like by the house alarm she occasionally sets off!) stroking her forehead with two fingers calms her right down.

Sharon Ann Holt