Five years ago, when we first saw a big Tabby feral Mancat wandering our neighborhood, we began leaving food out for him. He wouldn’t come closer than 40 or 50 feet of us. A good friend built him a winter warming box that we installed on our front porch and keep heated year around.
Four years ago, as he skitterishly lay on our doorstep with what might have been torn ligaments, we began the attempt to win his trust. We named him Geoffrey after another feral boy we cared for, and left us all too briefly, a decade and a half ago.
Three years ago, we were finally able to touch Geoffrey. He began perking up to the sound of our calls.
Two years ago, we could brush Geoffrey, albeit lightly. We think we touched his belly once or twice.
One year ago, our world revolved around making sure every day we were up at a decent hour to serve him breakfast and brushies on the front porch and home by evening time to serve him dinner and praise. We worried about traffic and bad, cat-hating neighbors and raccoons and he taught us he was much smarter than all that.
We never grumbled when he marked as his territory our house, our bushes, our front door and porch and from time-to-time, that warming box he came to like so much.
He enjoyed scattering his food whenever he ate and staking out comfortable napping spots in our front yard.
He loved catnips pillows and laying on the cool sidewalk and the feel of sunshine on his belly furs. And sometimes, he liked us to sit with him, but only for a little while because, as a wanderer, a fighter and a lover, he had places to go and things to do.
And because life is short. And FIP makes life shorter still.
Thank you, Geoffrey, for letting us be your friend. We’re so sorry but we’re also so thankful we were here for you when you really needed someone. Until we meet again…