Hi Jan, Nice to meet you - I just signed in for the first time too. I also have two adopted strays. Sneaker an American shorthair tabby mix was adopted in about 1995 and Monster KiKi in about 1998. Monster is Sneaker's third companion. I adopted another cat, Gray Tail Lady, about the same time as Sneaker, but she went out on the street and got run over.
Gray tail lady was a young adult when she came to us and joined the cat colony of 8 stray ferrals living in my backyard. We think she came from across the street and was going back for a visit when she was run over. We had just had her neutered and she was such a sweet little cat. I was so touched when climbed off the fence and sat in my lap and went to sleep the first time.
Then I adopted another cat, Cookie, (because she reminded me of the color of an Oreo cookie), but she got sick and I had to take her back to the Humane Society.
Cookie showed up a short time before Lady got killed. She had a breathing problem and perhaps had had s bone or something stuck in her throat or mouth at some point. She could not close her mouth all the way and her tongue protruded slightly all the time. I tamed her (which wasn't hard since she was a stray or abandoned cat not a feral cat). We had just taken her to the Humane Society for adoption when Lady got run over, so since Sneaker already knew and liked her, we went down and got her back. We had to pay, of course, for spaying and shots, but then she got sick from the shots (live virus used) and went down hill very fast after we got her back.
Sneaker's third companion came to us by way of the neighbor children who found him in a ditch (dirty, full of ear mites, and sick with cat flu). He was only about 6 weeks old - far to young to have been away from a mother cat. He didn't walk real well, but toddled. We had just lost Cookie, so we had a place for him. Sneaker hated him at first - his first two companions had been females and although he was neutered, he liked them immediately.
I had a comfortable cat cage already set up because Lady had been confined for about five weeks afer her surgery, so we made the baby comfortable in that and only had him out when we were with him for about the first two months (for his own protection). Then I started letting him out during the daytime and only locking him up at night. Finally one cool night I was going to put him to bed and found him in a box with Sneaker - they were keeping each other warm. He was a free cat after that. He grew up with Sneaker sitting on him half the time when they played, but I knew Sneaker would not hurt him at that point. It did make a tough little kitty out of him though. Without a mother he did not learn to climb out of the six foot fence until he was about six months old and then Sneaker must have past on the knowledge not to go out in the steet, because he does not cross it or go out in it that I am aware of.
These are my boys, my constant companion, helpmates when I am outside. If you are interested - I will tell you later about the cat colony I had and about my current stray endeavor. Nice to visit with you - hope I didn't bore you. My name is Gladys - I'm known on the boards I frequent as "TheDarland"