Paw prints in the snow

About two years ago it was a snowy winter & while walking my dog around my neighborhood I noticed little paw prints going up to each & every door and then leading away. It was so cold & it broke my heart to think that a fur-baby was alone & looking for help from anywhere, so I started setting out some food at night. Soon a skinny little orange & white kitty became a nightly visitor. I would peer out the window & try to see if the kitty was doing ok. Over time I began calling my visitor "Stan". I contacted a rescue & tried using humane traps to capture Stan but he was too clever to be tricked & I eventually gave up. Over the course of the next year I slowly built up enough trust with him for me to gently scratch his head and at one point remove a thorn stuck between his lil teeth. Last winter we had a streak of nights when the temp dropped to -18 (with windchill) and I managed to grab Stan & wrangle him into a spare room until the temps heated up. Stan liked his cozy room & the throne I made him out of a dog bed so he decided to move in for good. I let him go back out when the neighborhood thawed but every night there he was at the door, waiting to be escorted back in. So- now we're stuck with each other. No complaints on my end- he's a great snuggler & he keeps me warm. Not so skinny now! It turns out he has a heart murmur which may become a very serious issue in the future, but for now the three of us are just enjoying being a family.
Anonymous
Columbus, OH