Back when I first met my husband I had my two dogs Danny and Dylan and he had two cats, the brothers, Trevor and Nigel. When we decided to get married it was like we were some kind of furry Brady bunch. When we moved in together we were two adults and four animals trying to live together peacefully in my 650 square foot apartment. It was nerve wracking at first, these were dogs and cats that had never lived with cats and dogs before. We had a couple of fights to break up but really the worst of it was trying to keep the dogs from sneaking cat poop out of the litter box. Just like candy! When we finally moved ourselves into the country it meant we could finally give everyone the space they needed. Glenn built a heated house for the cats out in the garage so they could have free reign during the day. Trevor took full advantage of his new environment and even though he had been an apartment cat for over 7 years he quickly became a proficient hunter. He had a 1 to 2 mole-a-day habit for a while. So the years went on and sadly we lost Dylan at the age of 14 a couple of months before Piper was born. Danny followed later that summer. We were a two cat family for quite a while after that. The guys both seemed quite happy and healthy even though they were getting on in years. Trevor got sick in 2006 and needed surgery to relieve a blocked intestine which he fully recovered from. Then in the spring of 2008 it seemed like Trevor’s problems had returned. He was gone by the end of June. Nigel held on until right after Christmas this past year. He had become a mostly indoor cat and would only go out to his garage house to sleep at night. It was very sad to lose our last pet. I first got Dylan in 1989 so Nigel’s death meant the end to 20 years of continuous pet ownership. It still feels strange to go to the grocery store and not have to visit the pet food aisle. As much as they were a pain in the butt sometimes I can’t imagine my life without having had them in it. I guess that now since our home is free of animal presence both dog and cat we seem to be getting some visits from some “neighbors” that we had never met before. There is a little black female cat that my daughter calls Pumpkin (because she says she looks like a “Halloween thing”) but our favorite is this little cross-eyed gray cat we call Quarter. We were outside in the back yard for most of the day yesterday and he was out there with us almost the whole time. We can’t tell if he is a stray or not because he looks well taken care of but has no collar. He did seem very hungry yesterday – he was trying to get at an orange that Glenn was eating. We still had some of Nigel’s cat food left over so we gave him some. He is obviously still a silly kitten and will chase anything that moves. Glenn and I watched him almost snatch a large bumble bee out of the air, 3 feet up in the air that is. I really enjoyed watching him and Piper play together too. We don’t know what this little guy’s status is but if we could be sure he was a stray I would seriously think about keeping him. Right now however it is a good situation for us. We get to enjoy the company of an adorable cat without any of the responsibility for him. I’d be heartbroken if anything happened to him and I’d miss him if he stopped coming around.