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My husband and I discovered a small colony of feral cats living near our garage apartment soon after we moved in. Being animal lovers, and already having two cats, we befriended them and kept food out for them. One of them, a beat-up female with a useless tail who we called Butternut, became very friendly with us, eventually even coming inside the apartment.

One night, a few weeks before we moved out, there was a huge storm, and the noise woke me up. I went out to the couch to get comfortable, but was soon disturbed by another noise. I opened the front door, and there was a tiny kitten on the doorstep. Butternut was sitting behind her, looking up at me. The kitten was still too small to walk, so I picked her up gently and put her in a small box with a soft towel next to the couch. Butternut went back out into the storm. A couple of hours later, I heard another sound, and opened the door to find an orange furball on the doorstep. I scooped him up and put him in the box with his sister. He was feisty; although he couldn't even stand up or walk, he spat at me and tried to look as menacing as a mango-sized animal can look. Butternut came back later to nurse the kittens, then left again. She did this for over a week as we prepared to move. On the day of our move, we had a painful choice to make. We couldn't take all three. We tried putting the kittens outside, but Butternut brought them back in again. Finally, she allowed the female to be outside, but she would not allow the male to leave the apartment. We decided to take him with us.

We gave him kitten formula and he grew quickly. He is still feisty and has become a huge, fluffy boy who is healthy and loves to play with the other cats. We have never regretted our accidental rescue boy, Dexter. Talk about a special delivery!

Columbia, SC

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