Last winter was the first time that she actually spent the first of many winter nights in my house. Because I believe she was living in the old abandoned house across the street, once someone bought the property and tore it down to build a new one, I was so afraid she'd never survive a winter without a roof over her head. After that I was on a mission. I had to get her into my house and stay in my spare bedroom. Not an easy task when you're talking about a feral cat, either. Since I'd been feeding her every day for a long time she was regularly a fixture on my front porch when I got home from work. But with my new plan in mind, instead of the front porch, I moved her bowl to the windowsill of the spare bedroom. She was reluctant about the new location, of course, but once she figured that it was dinner there or not at all, she decided in favor of the windowsill. That went on for about a week, then I opened the window and put the bowl on the windowsill inside the house. Though she spent a lot of time pouting, pacing, and loudly meowing about this new dilemma, the hungry tummy won out and she moved again. Couple of weeks after that, I moved the dish to the floor of the bedroom, right underneath the windowsill. This whole process of getting her to trust me enough to come inside the house took at least a couple of months and by then it was getting really cold. Although at first she would just eat quickly, then bolt out of the window as soon as she was done, she eventually began to hang out for longer periods of time in the room, where I sat just tapping away on the computer or surfing the internet - and wearing a coat(!), because I'd keep the window open so she could leave anytime she felt stressed about this new situation. It probably wasn't until late December that I was able to close the window and she didn't freak out about it. Boy, the things you do for love!
|Margie's former home|
I'm really glad she finally came to her senses because as it turns out, we had one of the worst winters in history, and a record amount of snow in Maryland. I don't believe Margie would have survived all the snow we got. She stayed in the spare bedroom from about January to March and went out very little during that time. I was surprised when I put a litter box in the room and she knew just what to do - there were never any accidents. So glad about that!