Charlotte had died very suddenly the previous month, and I had decided wait a few months before getting another cat. I was living with my sister, and her cats were there so I didn't think I needed a cat. Then Cheryl brought me a picture of "Snickers."
One of these days I'll find the picture and scan it!
She was a little thing, mostly dark tortoiseshell, with one tan paw, and half a tan face. She was standing outside Cheryl's doorway, eating cat chow. I agreed that this cat needed a home, and it should be with me.
When Harley came to my house, I put down a litterbox and food and water. She sniffed at the litter and the food, then took a drink of water. Then she drank and drank and drank. I realized that although Cheryl and others fed the feral cats, they hadn't put out fresh water. In all likelihood, Harley had never tasted fresh water before and it broke my heart to think of her drinking out of hot, dirty puddles. Harley ignored the food for a couple days, but she loved the water!
Another thing she loved was the bed. After several hours exploring the bedroom, she jumped up on the bed and walked around. Very slowly, she lowered herself -- it was almost like she sank down into the mattress. It was obviously much more comfortable than the pointy Texas grass.
And finally -- she also loved Simon. My sister's other cat, Schuster, was not happy to see another cat, but Simon likes making new friends and he welcomed her. It got even more interesting a couple weeks later when Harley went into heat! Simon had, of course, been fixed for years and was obviously confused by Harley's prancing and howling. It was absolutely hilarious. Every once in a while, it seemed like Simon had a tiny notion of what she wanted, but of course he had no way of acting on it!
Harley has gotten used to being an indoor cat and, in fact, makes no effort to go outside. Like many formerly feral cats, she worries about where her next meal might come from, so she eats too much. She won't sit on my lap and hates to be picked up. But she sleeps on the bed at night and visits me in the bathroom every time I go in. She'll never be a lap cat, but she purrs (like a Harley!) and grooms my hair and I think she likes living me with, too!