Caramel the Calico Kitty

Sometime in October 2008, Crawl and I started noticing a stray calico kitty wandering around our apartment complex. One morning, I was leaving for work and it was walking around my feet, meowing like it was hungry. Later that night, I stopped at a grocery store on the way home and bought some cat food and food bowls. I put food out for it that night, but did not see it.

The following day, we saw her outside our sliding window/doors eating from the bowl of food. I put out another bowl with water (which she's drinking from in this picture). I was surprised she did not try to run. In fact, when I went to close the door, she put her paw in the opening in an attempt to keep it from closing. She wanted in. But I had no litterbox so I couldn't let her in at this time.

After it got dark, Crawl and I heard her growling outside. I looked out and noticed she was huddled behind part of an old wooden desk that was sitting up against the window/doors. That's where she chose to sleep for the next few nights.

She would often get around by walking along the fences. Here's a picture Crawl snapped before he went to work.

Several days later, on November 1st, since it was a Saturday and I had time to watch her, I finally let her into our (messy) apartment. She strolled all around, exploring, and purring very audibly the entire time.

In this picture, you can see how scrawny and raggedy she looked from being outdoors. (She was also quite dirty.) We thought her paws looked abnormally large, and it turns out she's a polydactyl cat (which means "many fingers"). Cats are supposed to only have four toes and a dewclaw on their front feet, but where her dewclaws are, she has a full set of thumbs. These types of cats are also known as Hemingways because the author Ernest Hemingway had a fondness for them.

The very first day we let her in, she climbed up into the bed and snuggled with Crawl for awhile. At this point it was becoming quite obvious that this was no feral cat. She must have belonged to someone and either ran away or was abandoned.

Our computer chair has become one of her favorite sleeping spots. I think there are a couple of reasons. (1) She must like the butt-shaped depression in the seat, which she snugly curls into. (2) She might like the warmth from its proximity to the computer equipment.

She can use it when we aren't, but I kind of need that chair to work on the computer. I have another office chair that isn't very stable (but it's okay for a cat - it's just that a human can't lean back in it without it tipping over). I brought that downstairs for her to use. She likes it, but still likes our main chair more.

Here she is sleeping on the other chair. I call that the "Rocking Horse Pose", because she looks like a tipped-over rocking horse.

We also got her a carpeted "Cat Castle". It took her a few days to really discover it, but she sometimes gets inside of it now...

And peeks out of it...

But she mostly likes sleeping on top of it.

With or without a blanket.

Snuggling with me in the bed. Crawl eventually named her "Caramel".

I set up part of the old wooden desk upstairs with a blanket and pillow over it so that she can jump on top of it and look out the windows. This picture was taken from outside. She's watching a flock of robins and doves in the trees.

She likes to play with toys. Here she has a toy goose and a sock with a bell.

Here she is on her cat castle playing with a remote controlled mouse. (It's the brown thing flipping into the air near her right leg.)

She chews on it...

And throws it down to the floor.

Eventually, we took her to the vet to get her vaccines and spayed. She does NOT like being transported in the cat carrier. She howls the entire time.

But she does look cute in it. And she was extremely well-behaved at the vet's office. The vet said we were lucky to get a stray that as friendly as she is.

She likes to hide in a pile of plastic bags.

Yeah, we got her one of those tower things.

She sees the toy dangling from it...

And goes after it...

And later takes a nap in the house part.

More pictures of Caramel in the tower:


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