Tom Tom's story is interesting. He was here at this house when we bought it and before it was "Rosehaven Cottage". As I wrote in a previous entry:
"Tom Tom was a wild tomcat... and he had the reputation for being the fighter in the neighborhood as well as being the father of most litters in the feral cat colony that existed for years before we came. We didn't like him at first because he was such a bully. But Tom Tom and I called a truce late one night on our front porch (initiated by him) over some cat food. My husband was able to pet him shortly thereafter, and he slowly rubbed and purred his way into our hearts. A couple of years after we moved in, Tom Tom went missing for about a week and then showed up in our driveway with badly infected leg and ear wounds that appeared to be from a large animal attack. We rushed him to the emergency vet where he tested negative for feline HIV and was immediately put on antibiotics and fluids to save his life. While in the vet's care, we asked that he be neutered. We also asked the vet his approximate age. The vet determined that based on the size of his jowls (his head is the size of a softball!) he was quite mature--probably 3 to 5 years old. Tom Tom "retired" from his street life after that and now lives inside with the other kitties."Tom Tom does not in any way take his new life for granted. He is always grateful for what he has. It's as if the rough existence he had for the first few years of his life is cemented firmly in his kitty memory.
Tom Tom appreciates the satin tassled pillows that he's allowed to lean on in the living room; the laps that are available to him just about every evening; the warm spot next to our feet at night on our bed; and the social network that he's a part of with the other kitties in the house. He is always very willing to show that gratitude openly.
Tom Tom also has an innate sense of propriety which we call "good kitty etiquette". He is thoughtful about when he climbs up on our lap. When he realizes we're busy doing something, he calmly walks about 2 feet away, sits with his back to the person he approached, and waits with eyes half closed until he's invited back.
Tom Tom has always recognized that he was brought in to an existing kitty colony hierarchy so he has been respectful of it and shed his territorial tendencies from outside immediately upon being allowed in the house. He's polite about sharing the food dish and water fountains with the other kitties as well.
It has often puzzled us how a feral cat could become such a loving, sweet, and well-mannered kitty. It has taught us a valuable lesson as well. He is the perfect example of what we are certain many feral cats could become if given the chance to have the love and affection they deserve. If you have a place in your heart and in your home, consider adopting an adult cat that needs a good home. We have never been sorry that we opened our home up to this sweet gentleman of a mancat, Tom Tom Mau Fang Whiskasmutz.