Backyard Visitor

Soon after we moved into this house, we noticed a cat sitting in the back of our yard, some afternoons. Of course I tried to make friends with him, but he doesn’t let anyone get too close. We (ok, I) named him Mocha.

He has gotten braver. This fall he started coming up on our deck in the mornings and peering in our back door. This causes our (indoor) cat Gracie all kinds of stress. She does not want anyone else on the deck. (Our other cat Zoe doesn’t mind at all. She’s a bit more mellow about such things.)

One morning I saw him drinking from a puddle on the deck, so I put water out for him. After that, he’d come 2 or 3 times some days, just to get a drink. So when the weather got cold, of course I had to get a heated bird bath so that he (and the birds) could have water all winter long.

He seems to like it here. Sometimes he even comes and sits on our window ledges and looks in.

Did I mention that Gracie doesn’t like him hanging around?

He comes as early as 6:30 am to drink, and the other night I saw him getting water on the porch at 9:30 pm. I’m getting worried that he has no home and sleeps under our deck. What will happen when it gets really cold? Paul assures me that he probably has a cat door in his home, where he is free to come and go. But I think I had better worry about him all winter long. You know, because worrying is so effective.

So far I have refrained from buying an outdoor heated cat house, and putting food out for him. So far. But I’m still worried about him.

Sheri istherea”bleedingheart”signonmyhouse


  1. Sheri, He looks like a Himalayan? (Is that the breed that has long hair and the same markings as a Siamese? Sorry cat people, don’t mean to offend!!) Anyway, I rescued a Siamese about 20 years ago. His story was almost identical to Mocha’s. He lived in my horse’s barn. When I would come in, he would run. I started leaving food and water for him. Finally one day, just before a bad ice/ snow storm, he finally started to give me the famous LOUD Siamese meow and warmed up to me. I convinced my parents to let me bring him in the house. He lived with my parents for about 17 years after that. I posted signs around town, nobody claimed him. He truly was the best cat ever. He spoke to you with his loud purring and even louder meows. Apparently Siamese can be tempermental. I never saw that in Newton aka Nude Tude the Dude. My Dad even cried the day he died. I hope Mocha is there to stay! 🙂

  2. Oh dear, Siamese cats are so sensitive to cold! If you want to find the warmest spot in a house, just follow the Siamese.

    Why not ask after him with your neighbors? Talk about an ice breaker!

  3. this is how we came to aquire “stalker kitty”. I converted a little deck greenhouse with a cat bed in the bottom, waterproof and the sun warms it up. She loves it, but now does come and go inside the house after 4 years. enjoy!

  4. Today is the one year anniversary that the outdoor stray became an indoor cat!! I, too, went through th same worries. – started with water, went to food, then a cat house with a heated bed to a visit to the vet to get shots and be fixed to an indoor/outdoor to a permanent indoor cat a year ago today. Yup, I’d say you’re on track!!!!!!

  5. As a foster parent, I’d first be tempted to take the kitty to the vet. Only to get checked out, see if there’s a microchip, and spayed/neutered (if necessary). Colorado winters can get very cold and, although they have survival skills, it still can’t be fun for them to have to find somewhere warm to curl up. If the kitty continues to hang out, I’d buy the heated cat house or a small doghouse with a heated pad. You’ll rest easier…and so will Mocha!

  6. When I go out to get my mail, there is a huge orange tabby that often comes running to greet me and get a good petting. He obviously belongs to one of my neighbors because is he well fed and groomed, and very much a sweetheart. And he would very much like to come inside to visit — and my indoor cat is very much against that idea. If she sees him, even if he is just sitting on the sidewalk and she sees him out the door as I come in, she expresses her displeasure with a very loud hiss. So I think she and Gracie would be soul sisters!

    And though it wouldn’t be heated, you can make a nice insulated cat house out of a couple of plastic containers with insulation between the layers. We kept some strays nice and warm in one we made that way when we lived out in the country in Nebraska.

  7. Ha Ha! Great story…kitties are the best of friends. Just be careful this one might sneak its way into your heart and not just onto your porch.

  8. One of my friends has a cat come by her house for food and affection. She figured out the cat belongs to a group of rowdy and constantly partying frat boys who leave down the street. They keep it outside most of the time. She thinks it doesn’t get much affection at its home or peace and quiet so she leaves food out and lets it sleep on the screened porch. Sometimes having a home doesn’t mean a pet has a happy home.

  9. Maybe try putting a box with an old blanket in it under your deck. It’ll shelter him from the weather and keep him warm. Don’t put food by it though or you’ll have other visitors that might not be so welcome!

  10. I’m with catspaw above. This worked well for us when it was our cat who moved outdoors. He loved his box (not too big, just enough so he could warm it up with his own body warmth) with a remnant of polar fleece inside, on the front porch out of the wind. He even chose it over the fancy cat house my husband bought him.

  11. I just had to laugh at your comment about worrying being so effective. When I ask my husband, “Should I worry about (insert current issue here)?” he always tells me to go ahead and worry, if I want to!

    And here, I have six “porch” cats – all related – and I feed them daily and have an old upholstered chair on the porch – quite the eyesore – but we live in the country, back from the road – and the cats like to snuggle in it all winter. And I’ve put out boxes stuffed with wool other years that they could sleep in. And I don’t even like cats – well, that’s what I tell people!

  12. Mocha looks like a Ragdoll to me, which are on the spendy side. So he might have a home. But…the thing about Ragdolls and similar breeds is that their fur is so plush that you can’t really tell until you touch them if they’re matted or not. My mama cat, Clara, gets terrible mats but looks perfectly lovely. Anyway, I’m one of those people who thinks cats need to stay indoors (they live much longer), but some people disagree and let their kitties wander. I suspect he has a home, but you never know–with so many foreclosures, some people have left their homes and pets behind. It’s worth getting him at least a snuggly box and a food dish. You won’t worry so much then.

  13. Buy the heated cat house. (It will save time and worry trying to find one on Christmas Day.) Put out water. Bring him in if it gets really cold. Don’t feel bad– the rest of the cats find my house.

  14. That is a purebred cat. It could be Birman but I would swear on my life that it is a Ragdoll. I have 2 of them-one is a seal mitted (similar to the cat you see but she has white feet) & believe it or not her name is Mocha My other is Chandler, who is a blue mitted (gray w/ white mittens). You can see them on my Rav page (id: muffinknits).
    This breed is not supposed to be let outside. It is not because of the cost of the animal (which is spendy as someone mentioned above but because they are overly docile and don’t do well with defending themselves to any “enemies”. I had lost a few cats to outside predators when we lived in Vermont so even before I got my Ragdolls, I learned to keep my cats inside. If I were you, I would try to get the kitty inside to see if it has a name tag. It definitely deserves to be kept safe & warm inside!

  15. I, for one, would try to lure him into the house and keep him forever. He is tooo beautiful to be spending so much time alone and outside. If he has a home, maybe he is chipped and your vet could find his owners. I agree with Elizabeth. He looks alot like Wendy’s kitty and she is a ragdoll. Really just a doll, right? 😉 It is the season of giving, and giving Mocha a new home might make everyone a little happier. Well, maybe not everyone. Sorry, Gracie. Merry Christmas!

  16. I saw Wendy’s comment – and that was the first thing I thought too! I’m glad I’m not the only one who has made worrying an art form. My family has said they count on me to worry, so they don’t have to.

  17. I swear, we have a magical blinking sign on top of our house that only stray kitties can see – “Come one, come all…nice lady with awesome kitty food and clean water lives here!” 🙂 In the 11 years we have been here, we have been through 5-6 stray cats. Most have chosen to stay outside and eventually wander away, but our cat, Missy, who came to use as a shaggy bag of bones and light as a feather has now taken up residence in the house and usually has no desire to go outside. She would much rather curl up in the dog’s bed and nap all day! Why anyone would go to the expense to have a cat spayed and then abandon it is beyond me, but we sure ended up with the sweetest, most laid back kitty in the world who loves giving kitty kisses and has taken on the job of being chief groomer for out 85 lb. lab!

  18. A heating pad under some soft towels and blankets = one happy outside kitty. If you can’t take him inside, at least you won’t have to worry about him staying warm! It sounds like he is getting pretty comfy already..

  19. I have a stray thats been coming aroud for his 4th year now. This summer he decided we could touch him But on his terms only as he is a scratcher and has tried to nip also. In the winter he has a Big Beautiful Coat to help keep him warm. But not warm enough. This year he has a box in the garage with a heat lamp with to fleece blankets and a wool(pure wool) blanket I knit him out of a ball of wool I had left over As up here in Winnipeg its gets very cold. I give hin fresh water 2x a day he has dry food and wet food for breakfast. He comes and goes as he pleases. In the spring as he starts to loose his wintr coat he looks absolutely terrible …like he has a disease or something. His fur comes out in clumps right down to the skin leaving him bald in spots till mid july. As long as he is out of the elements especially the wind he should be fine. Mine doesn’t even have frost bitten ers. Which is surprising as the first year he showed up it was -50 celcius. some days. But he seems to be very smart and has survived this long .
    Good Luck with him

  20. I have more outdoor cats than I care to admit. They adopted me and almost all are spayed and neutered. My husband has built a collection of homes for them and they are all happy ( including the husband!),

  21. I agree, poll the neighbors. I wonder if maybe he once lived there, and was left behind by the former owners. If nothing else, it gives you a chance to meet the neighbors and maybe make a new cat-loving friend or two.

  22. Hi Sheri and the Elves(and Roger) I have scads ofdrop-in yardies. There are girls and boys and babies etc. We love them all but our neighbors don’t. They have given us an immense amount of trouble about them to the extent that we have had to get my best friend’s husband, a lawyer and former judge, to go to court for us. He has won every time. When it gets cold they can get into the attic or under the house and that seems to work for them. We feed them twice daily and leave water out which also seems to work. They are almost all fixed now, thanks to the neighbors so no more cute kittens which I hate. They are all sweet but not madly friendly. We feel like we have an array of 30;s hobo signs across the alley so everyone knows to come here. In addition to the cats we have possums, raccoons, squirrels, and bitds. It’s like living in the country instead of a surburb of Dallas!.

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