It was exactly one week after Marvin was in the house that Stellar appeared. It was June 2013. I could not believe it. Shadow was just getting used to being back on the deck and feeling safe again. Fortunately from what I could tell this cat did not pose a threat. I felt very strongly at the time that I just could not deal with another cat. The drama with Marvin had left me feeling exhausted. I told my husband that if this cat decided to stick around, I would have to trap it and take it to the Humane Society.
By the end of June 2013, this black kitty was coming every night and looking for food. I have surveillance cameras on my deck to keep an eye on the cat(s). Each morning I would check to see what happened overnight. This black kitty appeared over and over. I never leave food out during the summer so the cat was not finding anything. I did notice the cat getting into the grill. The cat appeared skinny, but it was hard to tell. One evening around 7pm, I looked out and there in one of the feeding stations was this black cat. There wasn’t much food left, but the cat was very hungry. When the cat finished eating, it sat in the middle of my deck and cried. It was pitiful. Shadow came running and the two rubbed noses. I decided to feed the cat, but I also decided to do so out in the yard. The cat gobbled a huge bowl of dry food and 2 cans of wet food. Shadow stood guard the entire time.
Of course the cat did not leave and after a week of feeding the cat in the yard, I allowed it to eat on the deck. Shadow and this kitty shared a feeding station and seemed to really like each other. This cat was so skinny and disheveled. I was certain this cat was female as the energy to me felt female so I named her Stella (after Stella Luna). I also had not seen any fuzzy male parts! When I would come out to feed, this kitty would hide behind a flower pot, but not leave the deck. I could not get very close, but did get to see the cat up close. She had the most wild looking eyes.
I knew I had to get this cat checked out and see about a spay/neuter. I went away on vacation for a few days and when I returned this new kitty had a huge wound on its neck. Now trapping was a must. Stella appeared on occasion in the mornings and I took a chance one morning and got up early to see if she would come. Sure enough she did. Trapping was interesting. I decided to just set it on the deck and I figured it would be easy since she was so food motivated. Well, Shadow had a fit. Each time Stella went near the trap, Shadow would push her out of the way. This went on and on. Finally I decided to tie the door open and just have her get used to it. I also didn’t want to trap Shadow! As soon as I tied it open, in she went right to the back. Shadow seemed content. I decided to give it one more shot. I reset the trap and instead of yummy tuna, I just put a small bowl of dry food in the back. She immediately went in! She was quiet and did very well in the trap.
Later that day I went to retrieve her. To my surprise, she is not a she! Yes, another male. He was young and estimated to be around one year old. He was very thin. The good news was that the wound was healing well and didn’t need any treatment. Once home, I kept him in the trap in the basement for overnight recovery. I released him first thing in the morning. That evening my husband spotted him in the neighbors yard trotting our way. I called out to him and Shadow came running. The two had quit a greeting. He had only been gone for 12 hours. I knew I had better change the name so Stella became Stellar.
Once again this cat was probably an owned cat turned feral. He is petrified of any human besides myself and my family members. Any loud noise frightens him too. Yet, after 2 months of being with me, I could pet him as he would do anything for food. He made so much quick progress. I think he would have made a fabulous house cat. Yet he and Shadow are so very bonded. Their relationship is magical. They curl up together each night and have rowdy play sessions during the day. I could never separate the two.
I remark almost daily that I am so fortunate to have Stellar. He is a magical soul who has a unique energy that surrounds him. When he comes into the yard, he lopes and bounces. Even with all of his fears, he has a sense of peace and calm to him. He now allows me to pick him up and will also sit in my lap. He will occasionally come inside the house for quick visits, but is spooked very easily. I also must leave the door open. I always hold onto to hope that Shadow and Stellar will some day live inside the house. Here he is after being with me for about 2 months and then his present day picture. Additional pictures of Stellar are available on my Flickr site.