This morning I was leaving my apt & I heard a cat crying & meowing. It sounded like it was a young cat, so I paused to try to find where it was coming from. I checked the garbage dumpster, thinking maybe the cat was trapped or had been thrown in the garbage. But the cat wasn't in there. Then I saw a little gray cat nearby. I tried to coax him over but he didn't want to come over, so I left.
When I came back, the gray cat was hanging by my apt stairs. I tried again to coax him over, but he was scared & hid under the stairs. I went up to my apt & got a bowl of food & water & brought them outside for the cat. I set them down near where the cat was hiding & then went & sat a bit away from the food.
Eventually, the cat crept out of hiding & went over to the bowls & began eating the food. I waited for the cat to finish eating. I sat there until he was done & then he slowly began to make his way towards me. I reached my hand out & waited for him to come over. He carefully & cautiously came over by me & sniffed my hand. After a couple of minutes, he started to headbutt my hand & legs. Then he started to purr & rub against me.
He let me pet him for a bit & was rolling around, purring & making happy noises. I was able to get him to let me pick him up & bring him inside the apt building. It was obvious he was a stray, since he wasn't fixed, he was very skinny, & his fur was dirty. He also had a big open wound on the base of his tail that looked painful & like it could get infected if it wasn't treated. He also looked young, probably no more than a year old. So, I brought him inside to get warm & to get some more food.
He was purring the whole time I carried him in. I was a bit nervous he might freak out & claw or bite me, but he was very calm. I set out another set of bowls of food & water & a makeshift litter box for him. I got a few of my cats' toys, a box of bath wipes, & a brush & brought them into the hall. I didn't want to bring him in my actual apt since I didn't know if he had anything contagious that he might pass on to Ward & Hubert, so I brought everything in the hall.
I sat down & let him explore for a bit. Then he came over to me & started rubbing his face on me. He let me brush him & use the wipes to clean him up a bit. He was super affectionate & snuggly & kept purring loudly. Any time I walked through the hall, he would follow right by feet. He seemed to know I was the one who was responsible for getting him warm & fed & was trying to show me his appreciation.
I decided to call him Simon. He is currently hanging out in the hall for the evening. I go out periodically to visit him & make sure he is doing ok. I will have to bring him to the vet to have his injury checked out & make sure he is otherwise healthy. He is incredibly sweet & very loving.
If the vet gives Simon a clean bill of health, no contagious diseases or other long-term problems, I might just keep him. I know that having 3 cats breaks my own rule about the amount of cats I can have w/o becoming a crazy cat lady. But I didn't seek out this cat; he found me. And he seems very attached to me already so he basically chose me. He is just such a sweetie, I don't know that I could give him up to a shelter now.
So, I am probably damning myself to a life of single spinsterhood by owning 3 cats (not to mention seriously limiting my housing options) but I am not sure that I care. He is might be worth the spinster life.