I got divorced about 2 years ago. I don't keep in touch with the ex, or his family (not that I don't like them, just figure they're all mad at me for ditching him). He took his cat, a tortoise-shell named Xanthe, and I kept my cat Paizly.
Since then, I have adopted Nebula, and therefore reaching my (legal) limit on cats. Even if it wasn't for the law, my dad (who I live with) doesn't really want more indoors anyway. Says if I rescue/keep any more, they gotta stay outside... and I don't really believe in outdoor cats, so stay satisfied with only 2.
A couple weeks ago, at dusk, a dark cat was meowing at the back door and butting against it to get inside. I was shocked at how Nebula had gotten out, as I'm usually very careful to not let her slip between my feet. I opened the door to let the cat in, and once inside with the light, realized it was a tortie!
I called the director of the rescue organization I volunteer for, to see if I could bring her in to have her scanned for an ID chip. Meanwhile, I put an ad on the local internet classifieds about having found a tortie and to call to identify with a description of exact markings (I didn't want somebody just randomly claiming to own her!).
This cat had come inside, wandered around and sniffed for a bit, but didn't seem at all afraid. So I figured she was somebody's lost pet. Completely ignoring Paizly (and Paizly ignored her, which is astonishing - Paizly is afraid of EVERYTHING!), but hissed and growled a little at Nebula. At least there were no real fights, so I figured she could stay the night inside.
The next day, as I was taking her to the shelter to be chip scanned, I noticed my ex's van in the driveway of his parent's house. He always liked torties, and I wondered if maybe he was back in town and his cat was wandering the neighborhood. Well, I was sort of right. It was the cat he took with him at the time of the divorce - but he's in North Dakota (I'm in Utah) to train to work in the oil fields. So I drop off Xanthe at his parents, who say they're taking care of her until my ex gets settled into a place and can take care of the cat better.
The next night, she's back. So I let her in - hadn't yet cleaned up the extra litter box and food/water dishes I had set out for her, which I guess was a good thing. While in bed, I got to thinking how many times she would try to come "home"... so the next day, I went to my ex's parents without her, and told the dad she's back again. We agreed that I should take care of her, rather than risking her getting hit by a car trying to cross the road all the time to get "home" (ex in-laws live across the street and down a couple houses from my house).
So... for now I have 3 cats, and hopefully the law will make allowances for the "baby-sitting" issue! I do let her out when she meows at the door to go chase the squirrels (which my dad wants the feral cats to get anyway). And then she either comes in when I'm going through the doorway, or the big softie that I am will let her back in at night... there's some awfully big raccoons out there!
Xanthe and Nebula sort of avoid each other for the most part. Good because they're not fighting, and bad because poor Nebula keeps trying to get Paizly to play with her... I kinda hoped Nebbie had finally gotten a play-mate! Oh well, it's only been a week...maybe later...