02/16/01 - The "Momma Cat" Project - “Momma Cat” is a local stray who happened by Susan’s domicile over a year ago. Originally she brought with her one kitten who was adopted by a friend and became her Mr. Right. Never since has “Momma Cat” brought any of her kittens to see us…and it wasn’t for lack of being pregnant =).

For several months, both Susan and I patiently waited on the front porch with food nearby in an attempt to coax a free petting from the stray cat. At first, it would take over fifteen minutes for “Momma” to give into her hunger pangs and eat from the nearby bowl. Even then, she would immediately flee as soon as Susan or I touched her.

After several months of this routine, “Momma” began to let us pet her while eating without much effort on our part. Eventually, she would pretty much let us do what we wanted to her as long as we didn’t pick her up or take her food away. This is when we decided to make our move.

Susan and I decided to try and capture “Momma” and have her spayed (about 2 unseen litters later). This was also done in hopes that the cat might warm up to us a little if we forced her into captivity for a short time. Fortunately, she was easy to capture (we simply put food in a cat carrier and closed the door behind her). Unfortunately, spending a week at The Cat Clinic in the care of Susan and Dr. Cowell didn’t make “Momma” any more comfortable with either Susan or me. As soon as she was returned to the inside of Susan’s residence, “Momma” immediately expressed her desire to go outside by climbing the walls (how does she do that?).

Nevertheless, “Momma Cat” now has all of her vaccinations and will no longer be adding to the cat population of Stillwater (thanks to Susan’s veterinary talent). Hopefully she will continue on her slow process of allowing us to treat her like part of our family of cats. In the meantime, Susan and I have to settle for her meowing for attention and her running out to our cars to greet us. In addition, she still continues to let us pet her as long as we have a little food for her tummy.

On a side note, Susan and I have chosen a name for “Momma Cat”. From now on I will attempt to refer to her by her new name, Charm. A perfect name for a cat that has such a charming personality =).

- Nathan