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It was a wet stormy night almost two years ago when I heard a cat crying at my door. I opened it and found a soaked, miserable looking feral cat sitting on the porch, swollen with kittens.

She had been around for a few years, sneaking food at the community food bowl when no one was around. If she saw me watching her from the window, she would disappear lickity split. Sometimes I wouldn’t see her for weeks at a time, and I would wonder what had happened to her but she always showed up again. She had evaded all my attempts at capturing her. She was extremely smart about such things as traps. I had almost given up on her when she showed up after weeks of being gone with an obviously broken leg. I was frantic to catch her, but she was a survivor and still managed to evade me, even with a broken leg.

I had seen her watching from afar as my tame cats entered and left the house at will. I could see the thinking going on behind her bright yellow green eyes as she tried to decide whether I was a human she could trust. With a belly full of babes and leg that had healed but still bothered her, she decided to take a chance on me that rainy night in April. She was smart enough to know she needed help.

I will never forget the look in her eyes that night. If she had spoken in a human voice she could not have spoken more clearly. Please help me, she said and so I invited her in and she walked through the door.

I sat up a birthing room in the spare bath and she settled down with obvious relief. By morning she had given birth to five kittens. The same day we found four newborns out in the patio belonging to another feral, and not wanting them to grow up wild, we took them in and placed them with the other new mother, whom I came to call Lady because she really was the perfect little lady. She adopted the new kittens without hesitation, although I could tell nine kittens was a little overwhelming for her. Within a few days, the feral mother was crying at the door for her missing babes so I lured her into the house and she took up residence in the kitten nursery with Lady. I called her Gracie, though I don’t know why because she was anything but graceful. She hated me with her whole heart and let me know it everyday.

Once the kittens were weaned, I sent both mothers to be spayed and I was happy to let Gracie return to the outside, but Lady chose to stay longer and teach the kittens good manners. She eventually returned to live outside, as that was her preference but she often came for visits to get pets and loved taking a nap on my bed. She also loved taking a nap on the neighbor’s bed! She had discovered the neighbor left her window cracked for her cat and so took advantage of it. Thankfully, the neighbor didn’t mind.

It’s been nearly two years since Lady walked into my house and heart. On February 12th she again walked into the house looking for my help. I knew immediately something was wrong as she wobbled into the living room and pulled herself into a favorite chair. She had been poisoned with anti-freeze, whether intentional or accident, I will never know. She was a little fighter to the very end. She lasted a week until her kidneys started shutting down and I had to make the decision to let her go.

I will never forget her. Her kittens brought joy to my heart again after losing two old dogs within a few months of each other. I still have four of the five that she gave birth to, as one of her daughters, Nellie also met the same fate as she. I also have the other four that was raised with them. They are my pride and joy.

She tamed herself, and no one who met her could believe she had once been so wild. She was intelligent and gentle, and a real little lady. She will be in my heart always.
 

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I'm so sorry to read this. It sounds like Lady was a beautiful, smart kitty and it's so sweet that she had her kittens in your bathroom and was willing to take on others. The cause of her death is so upsetting, but you showed her a lot of kindness and her life was better and easier because of it. You should be proud for everything you did for her.
 

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That was such a beautiful story with a very sad ending. Lady and you were lucky to have known each other.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
I was looking through my pics for one of Lady, but I guess this is all I have somehow. Here she is in the kitten nursery with the other mother Gracie. She is the cat behind the white/tabby cat giving me the evil eye. And these are my nine bratz.
 

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