Stray Lingering in Yard Becomes Pet Cat Who Loves Being Leashed for Walks

The following story is a finalist in the Pawsitively Picture Perfect photo contest. The top three finishers will receive $500 in cash, as well as $2,000 in cash and supplies for their favorite shelter. Voting runs through June 1. To read more stories and cast your vote, click here!

As usual, as most of our pets do, Jasmine came to us. I was sitting outside my southwest winter home in a senior community after my early morning bike ride. I heard a meow and saw a small short-haired white and grey kitty, the kind that looks like a bandit. It had huge gold eyes, the color my wife loves.


I don’t know what got into me, but it was love at first sight. I went inside and told my wife. She took one look at me and said, “Well, go feed it!” That was all it took. She hung around our house after that. That was a good thing because our park does not like stray cats and my wife is very adamantly against cats being left outside. She knows there are so many dangers out there.


To make a long story short, it took my wife, who is a very experienced cat lover, three months to get our other cat and the new one to just plain get along. It turned out that the new one was a female like our other. Our other had been an only cat for the last couple of years and before that, came to us as a kitten when we had grown up lovable brothers who immediately loved and spoiled her.


Jasmine would have been labeled a cat that did not get along with other cats. My wife said it was probably only because she was brought up in a one-cat household and didn’t know how to play with other cats. She certainly was very loving with humans and loved any and all attention from them. My wife discovered early on she had separation anxiety because she stayed by the door when I left and meowed until I came back. After she finally adjusted, we noticed that her fur was growing longer so had to change her description from short hair to medium. After having trouble with a couple clumps, we think she is now long-haired.

Since she seemed to want to come with me when I went bumming, we trained her to accept a halter and leash. She took to it right away and now will wait on the counter beside the outside door for her halter to be put on when she wants to go outside. I always carry her out but she is allowed to walk back in after our end of the night walk. That way she never dodges the door and never tries to sneak out. Each evening, we will go outside and meet the many people that come to the clubhouse to pick up their mail as we live right across from it. I don’t know who enjoys it more!


But the strange thing is when we took her to our Wisconsin summer home out in the country and set her on the grass, she didn’t like it and wanted to go back inside. She has never since asked to go outside or tried to rush the door. We do have a three-story with every window set up with trees, bushes and birdies to watch, so maybe she is very content that way. I don’t know which home she likes better, as each offers her something she likes. She loves zooming up and down the stairs here. And interacting outside with people at our winter home.

This story was submitted by Dick Todd-Barth in support of Neenah Animal Shelter. To read other stories from the Pawsitively Picture Perfect photo contest, and to cast your vote for your favorite, click here!

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