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Grew up with (over time) four cats. Indoor/outdoor variety -- Dusty, Tiger, Mietzi, and Smokey. Was married just a year when my wife and I were going to get a rescue cat from Baltimore. I was pressing for two, so they would keep each other company while we worked, but we settled on one. We got to this cat rescuer's house and my wife said we were there to get two rescue kittens. What a surprise! Sophie and Nigel. A few years later, Claudia joined us as a torty farm cat decided she wanted us more than the orange boy we thought we were going home with. A couple years later, Rosey showed up right outside of our apartment and stared straight up at our open window and meowed relentlessly and loudly until we took her inside. Moved to our house, lost Rosey to a bad heart, and the orange boy, Gustav, joined us. Nigel departed after a bout with lymphoma. Then the Patio Cats sort of entered our lives. The first one to join us inside was Lorenzo. After Claudia died of cancer, we took in a yearling long haired torty persian mix named Mathilde. Then later, miss June came inside from the Patio (she is the mom of Enzo). We had a rotating group of foster Patio Cats that we placed over the years with homes, but two stuck with us, Beatrix and Fernando. At that point we were up to seven cats and it was beyond our limit. But within the year, Sophie passed after a bout with cancer as well. We were going to stay at 6 and let things settle down, when Gracie, sister of Lorenzo and daughter of June, decided to come in. So we're back at 7. Pictures coming, but 7 is our limit and I expect will drift slowly down to a more manageable number.
About eight and a half years ago, a much loved cat of mine, Nigel, passed away far too young from lymphoma. We buried him in our yard. That evening, my wife and I were sitting on the patio (it was October) and toasting him with a beer. Nigel loved beer. Anyway, we were in a moment, thinking of him, glad that he was free, and I looked up and where the edge of our house roofline met the sky, I saw a fuzzy mottled dark tabby staring back at me. On the roof. She disappeared shortly thereafter and my wife and I were just laughing about it and astonished. We went inside. The next early evening, this cat showed up on the patio, looking in out back glass door. I got some food to put out for her (no collar, no tags) and she backed away. I went back inside. She ate a little and went out of the field of view. A minute or two later, with much meowing, all from her, she brought 5 kittens along with her, probably 7 or 8 weeks old. This was the beginning of The Patio Cats. <Stay tuned for more adventures of the Patio Cats in the coming days, weeks, months>