My Unique Brown Tabby

by MBC

This is the story of finding a feral cat and deciding to bring him home.

Back in July, 2013 I was picking up some mail at a friends' place. That friend lives out of state and 20 years ago I got my current cat Kisser from his property when Kisser was just 6 weeks old or so. While I was at his place getting the mail on this July trip a very pretty cat came out of hiding and started crying. My assumption was that it was a feral cat and it was hungry. It was about 20 feet away howling. But when I started to step toward it, it disappeared. This pretty much confirmed my theory.

When my friend, Howard, arrived on the plane I told him to keep his eyes open because I thought there was a feral cat living at his place. Howard loves cats and makes friends easily with them.

Handsome was 18 months old, just a kitten really, before I decided it was time to bring him home, up to that point he had been feral. But I had another cat named Kisser. Kisser had never taken to other cats (I had tried before to bring him playmates unsuccessfully). Kisser was quite old, 21 years, when I introduced Handsome to the family. One of the pressing reasons I brought Handsome home when I did (3-4 months after I first found him) was that it was October and was starting to snow and was reaching below zero at night, so I had mercy on him.

All photos were taken by me, Marsha Camblin, and are copyrighted unless otherwise credited. Please do not use them without written permission. Thanks.

Making Friends at First with Howard

Howard was here in Colorado for about one month. During that time he made friends with this beautiful feral cat. I also petted him and talked to him. Then Howard left the state again. So now I started feeding the cat who I have decided to call Handsome, because he is, don’t you think?

But Handsome had not been neutered and he was getting pretty old. My guess from his size was Handsome was approximately 9 months old at that time. So I have decided to investigate getting him fixed. We don’t need to end up with a feral cat colony. I believe in birth control. I think this Tom cat will live longer and get in fewer fights if he is neutered. We should limit the number of stray cats because we have an over population problem. Alley cats have never been popular.

I also wanted to get him vaccinated so he would not spread or catch diseases.

I was hoping that Handsome would have a long and happy life. One thing that did concern me was that I had seen coyotes in this area. But Handsome is a smart cat! He survived our major Colorado floods that year (2013) when he was still living outdoors. He was missing for about 3 days after the flooding but showed up unhurt! So he is a survivor.  When I did take Handsome to be neutered the vet estimated him to be about 18 months old, so I celebrate his birthday as April 1, 2012.
National Cat Day is on October 29th. Check out this page for a list of events in your area:

My Cat, Kisser, Was Very Near Death at the Time

My Russian Blue CatKisser had been a great companion for the last 21 years. Unfortunately he was suffering from both diabetes and cancer. He used to weigh about 18 pounds, but he is down to only 3 pounds. I know it will be time for his transition soon. Update: I did lose my sweet Kisser in March 2014 – may he reincarnate soon!

Kisser was a very territorial cat. Several years ago I was volunteering at the local animal shelter and there was a litter that was too young to put up for adoption. They needed fostering. So I volunteered and brought these young ones home.

Unfortunately, Kisser got so stressed out by the kittens that he got sick. So I was very reluctant to bring in another animal while Kisser was still alive. None-the-less it was October now and Kisser was still with me, and Handsome needed to get inside (in Colorado it gets pretty cold at night this time of year). I had already waited 4 months and couldn't wait any longer.

So I brought Handsome home and at first kept him isolated in his own room.


Brown Tabby Cat Canvas Print

When I first met Handsome He Really Needed a Shelter

At one time during the fall, I decided it was getting too cold at night to leave Handsome without shelter.  So I used my imagination and the materials that were on the property.  There was a large cooler which I turned on it's side.  Then I created a roof and some sides from scraps and added an old air mattress and a towel.  I'm not sure if he ever slept in it, but I did feed him in there so I assumed that if he needed to get out of the weather, he might notice that it was warmer inside the cooler.  Here's a photo of his temporary home.


Photo by Marsha Camblin, Please Honor my Copyright

Is Trap - Neuter - Return the Way to Go or Not?

Open Sewer


I just noticed that the utility company needs to replace some wiring to our condo units.  The problem is that Handsome, being from a feral environment, is very hard to keep inside.  They will be working down in the manholes for the next 3 weeks.  I'm lucky to keep my kitty inside for 4 hours at a time and last time they did open them Handsome jumped right down there and found a dead rat and brought it home as a gift!  I worry that he might get down there and then they could close the manhole cover and I might never see him again.

What works for you to keep your kitty inside for a long period of time?

Handsome is a Real Character

Tabby Cat in the Bath Tub

Handsome is the best cat I ever had!  He has lived with me now for several years.  He sleeps in the bathtub. Don't ask me why. I would understand it if it was summer or I lived in a hot climate because it's cool in the tub. But I live in Colorado where it is pretty cold in the winter.

He opens doors. He is a very large cat and is tall enough to reach the door knob. Don't ask me how he manages to grip the handle, but he does manage to get into the bathroom while I'm showering - at the same time he lets in the cold air from the hallway. Brrr!

Check back with us, we will be continuing Handsome's saga.

Peeking out of the shower curtain
Peeking out of the shower curtain
Copyrighted by Marsha Camblin

Here is Handsome Having Fun Playing in his Tube Toy

Handsome Playing in His Tube
Handsome Playing in His Tube

Cats Will Play with Anything - even if it does Not move!

Does Your Cat Like to Play in Empty Boxes?

Here is Handsome in a Box
Handsome Playing in a Box
Handsome Playing in a Box
Personal photo

A Perfect Birthday Card for Any Cat Lover

Updated: 10/13/2016, MBC
Thank you! Would you like to post a comment now?

Let me know you visited - Are You a Cat Person?

MBC on 10/26/2015

He's such a character I'm sure I'll have more stories to come.

MBC on 10/26/2015

Don't you love them too? Thanks for visiting.

CruiseReady on 10/25/2015

Very enjoyable! I'd love to hear more about Handsome.

frankbeswick on 10/24/2015

My late mother would have loved this post, as she loved cats.

MBC on 10/24/2015

Aren't they fun to watch what they will come up with next?

candy47 on 10/24/2015

I had a cat who liked the bathtub, he slept there and sometimes he just walked around inside the tub. I like Handsome's idea of hiding between the two shower curtains...very cat-like!!

MBC on 07/02/2015

Thanks Lybrah

Guest on 06/19/2015

So cute! I loved your story. I love picture of your cat in the bathtub. Cute!

DerdriuMarriner on 12/13/2014

MBC, Your comment below about rescuing another stray cat which you came across on your friend's property is interesting as another example of the property as a magnet for stray cats -- especially for ones who want to be found, perhaps? I am relieved that the timing was perfect for your meeting up with this latest kittycat, who is either still safe in the shelter or happily safe with an adopted family. Either way that kittycat does not have to worry about freezing outdoors as temperatures plummet. Thank you!

MBC on 12/01/2014

Thanks sweetie. Over time I will add more of his antics.

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