Blog, Faith, Marriage, prayer, Stress

Our new cat Silas

Today has been an overcast, rainy day. It hasn’t been raining cats and dogs lately, or at least not dogs! Cats…well, we do have several strays in our neighborhood. About a month ago, I brought one in to stay! Here’s the story of Silas our new cat.

Our cat Silas

Our cat Silas

Although there are several strays roaming our neighborhood, this beautiful one came more frequently than the others. Of course, he especially did this when I began feeding him! My adopted black cat, Natalya (I adopted her several Christmases ago), watched him eating the Iam’s cat food and drinking the water on the patio outside, from our sunroom.

Initially, I thought the cat was a girl and I asked Ray to help me to name her. He had seen the cat from a distance several times outside, when he was leaving for work. He said, “Sophie,” which is a beautiful name. I even recorded a vlog on my YouTube channel about the cat with the name, “Sophie.” But the cat turned out to be a boy! (Neither of us looked too closely under the tail.)

Ray always thought he was a male from his broad chest and his behaviors, and the vet confirmed that the cat was a non-neutered male. Ray and I decided on his name together, “Silas,” which means “of the forest or wood” or “prayed for.”

Ray has been wanting his own cat, but he wanted a kitten to raise and then for it to become a “lap cat” (like my cat Natalya is with me. She loves sitting on my lap and following me around the house). But Silas is definitely NOT a lap cat; he’s never still! Even the vet said this about him.)

Silas has tabby markings, and the vet he saw for a wellness check said he also probably has a mixture of Persian and/or Siamese breed, due to his coloring and his bushy tail. The receptionist at the vet he saw today said he might possibly have a Maine Coon breed mixture as his tail is bushy and his paws are so big.

Initially, I thought the cat was a girl! I’ve always had female cats and only had one male cat, when I was a child. We simply called him “the tomcat.” He was midnight-black and prowled around our house and others in the south Georgian neighborhood where I lived growing up.

I’ve found out that male and female cats are QUITE different, physically and in behavior and personality! Males are definitely more assertive and/or aggressive – more territorial.

I had begun a habit of feeding the cat when suddenly, one week the cat went MIA. I fretted, worried, and obsessed for an entire week, thinking the cat had died. In our neighborhood, there are fast-driving cars, large barking dogs, and other cats, and Ray and I both have seen a couple of dead cats on the road as we drive to town. Ray thought someone had probably taken the cat into their home, and he, our daughters, and my sister Maria encouraged me that the cat was probably just fine. I began praying for the cat.

I made a decision that if the cat came back, I was going to take him in to live with us as OUR pet. He didn’t have a collar. While he acted partly feral, he did want me to pet him when I’d feed him and seemed to have interacted with human beings before. (He also knew how to use a litter box immediately when I took him in; I didn’t have to train him, thank God!) Other stray cats in the neighborhood ran away when they saw Ray or me or other people, but this cat seemed friendly.

One day when I went to get into my car to drive to see our daughters (in another city), he began walking toward me, meowing as if to say, “Don’t go!” My heart just went out to him! (This was before he went missing.)

I confess that I didn’t anticipate the problems we’d have when I brought in this stray. Two cats are a LOT more work than one! But I have no regrets! He’s such a handsome, sweet kitty!

For the first couple of nights, he slept in our main bedroom with Ray and the door shut, with his own food and water bowls and litter box (except he didn’t sleep at night – only in the daytime!). I knew I’d have to keep him and my adopted black cat Natalya separated, because I didn’t know if he had that fatal cat virus, FIV, or cat leukemia, or fleas, ticks, mites, etc. I didn’t want Natalya getting them.

At his wellness check later that week, the vet told me that was the smart thing to do. The very first day that I brought him in, I treated him with flea and tick medicine around the nape of his neck, just as a precaution! Initially, I hesitated to bring in a stray cat, due to the fatal virus or other things that Natalya possibly could be exposed to.

But before I even brought him in, Ray encouraged me to take him to the vet and get checked out, and said we’d go from there as to what to do with him. I’ve never brought in a stray animal before (other than a baby bird when I was a child, and it died!).

This was a big step of faith for me, because I love my cat Natalya very much! Below is a pic of my cat Natalya on “her” soft blanket. She’s a beautiful, black, sweet, calm, quiet cat with green eyes (Silas’ eyes are green, too.) She’s a domestic short-hair cat, and he’s a domestic long-hair (with tabby markings and possibly Persian and/or Siamese mixture). 

The first week with Silas was something else! Basically, Ray and I haven’t had any sleep for an entire month now. (More on that later!) Ray was here at home the first couple of nights, with Silas staying in the bedroom with him. I stayed in a separate bedroom with Natalya (she always sleeps with me), to keep them separate and kept that door shut, too. I just couldn’t take the chance of her possibly getting a virus or something else from Silas.

Then that weekend, Ray had to work his paramedic shifts in another town, and I was here at the house alone with Silas and Natalya. I decided to sleep in the main bedroom with Silas, as I figured he was so scared and confused about what was going on. I felt bad for Natalya being alone and cooped up, too, but I knew it was all temporary!

For an entire week, we kept Silas in either our master bedroom and/or the downstairs bathroom with the doors closed. He and Natalya did sniff each other under the doors, which you are supposed to do anyway to SLOWLY introduce cats to each other when one is new to the household. You can’t just throw them together or they WILL fight (for dominance)!

My bright idea of bringing in a partly feral cat into our household!

Ray began telling people at work that his wife was trying to domesticate a feral cat and they would laugh. As I shared before, he wasn’t completely feral. I know that he’s been roaming our neighborhood for quite awhile, although I’m not sure how long.

I’ve seen him walking around on the streets numerous times. I didn’t think that he had an owner due to having no collar. As it turned out, he didn’t have a chip either (the vet checked), to identify a possible owner of him. Ray thinks he’s had multiple “owners” –people who, like me, have mercy on feral cats (or dogs or other animals) and feed them! He kept joking that Silas had a “system” down to where he was going from house to house in our neighborhood every day to get free, good food!

When Ray was at his paramedic job that first weekend and I was on night watch, Silas would go from one of our bedroom windows to another window to look outside. He constantly meowed and yowled. This is what has kept Ray and me awake most of the night since I brought him in! We’ve gotten very little sleep as a result!

Our daughter Leah and I googled on YouTube and discovered that his constant yowling was the sound of a male mating call. Then this week, suddenly he began trying to mate with my cat Natalya, who has been fixed and is NOT in heat! Naturally, she fought him! Or she’d jump up to the top of the kitchen cabinets or her cat tree to escape him (thinking he couldn’t do the same…Silas just chose to not jump.)

Up to this point, they were adjusting to each other and getting along–even chasing each other in a playful way. They sat in our sunroom together, which Natalya and I love, to watch the birds and the squirrels outside.

The first night he stayed inside our house with Ray in our main bedroom (with the door shut), Silas tried to climb UP our bedroom windows on the window blinds. The blinds on the left window were already torn (we needed new ones anyway), but he managed to tear them down completely, as well as bending the curtain rod and knocking down the black curtains by climbing to the top of the windows!

This definitely seemed the feral side of him! He was trying to ESCAPE, because he wanted to go back outside and roam around at night.

That first night I was with Silas alone in the main bedroom, he went from window to window, constantly meowing and yowling. This picture below makes me laugh every time I look at it, although it wasn’t funny at all at the time, because I was so exhausted from no sleep and baby-sitting a cat. He’s sitting on the top of our bed, looking outside the window and has this hysterical expression on his face, haha!

The only thing Silas could sit on was the top of the bed frame. In this picture below, he’s wrapped up inside the black curtain, using it sort of like a hammock to keep looking outside (at night!). I’m not sure what he was seeing out there, but he wanted OUT! It now cracks me up to look at this (but it’s been a trial!). 

I finally decided to get two of our tall kitchen stools, and put them beside the windows, pulling up the blinds and the curtains back. That way he could look outside to his heart’s content, day or night, without going outside and being in the dangers of the fast cars, the many large dogs, and other feral cats around our neighborhood.

These have become his “spots” in our house and he loves looking out the windows, as well as being in the sunroom when I have my hot, creamy (decaf mostly) coffee or tea in the morning and in the afternoons with Natalya…a habit we had before Silas came into our home. Natalya loves it in there, and so do I.

Natalya has now started jumping onto whichever stool he’s not using at the time, and looking outside, too. (Only she doesn’t climb window blinds!) Her normal  favorite “spot” is our front entry room, where she lays on the window sill in the sunshine or gets up in her cat tree in there, a gift from our daughter Leah (who has two cats, Jax and Astrid). Natalya does occasionally try to run out our back door when we have it open, but she’s an inside cat only, as Silas will be.) Here’s a pic below of Leah with her sweet cats, Astrid and Jax.

Leah and her 2 sweet cats Astrid & Jax

Leah and her 2 sweet cats Astrid & Jax

Here is a picture of Silas at his “spot,” sitting on a stool and looking out at the big, exciting, dangerous world. He’s meowing at me, lol. It reminds me of how people always want to do things that are dangerous (sinful) and not listen to God!

Silas did start settling in after about a week. Here’s a picture of him laying on our bed, spread out on the blue comforter and with the soft, little blanket I bought him at the Dollar Tree with cute black paws on it. He likes the blanket and some catnip toy mice that I bought him, which he and Natalya play with together (she already had some, but he’s more of a kitten age, so he plays with them more).

I wanted to give Silas a routine so he’d feel less confused and scared about what was going on, and to be more comfortable. But he winded up training Ray and me –by constantly meowing and yowling a lot at night and making sure we were up by either 3 a.m. or 5 a.m. to feed him!

I am SO not a morning person, but I do get up much earlier than usual now to refill his and Natalya’s food and water bowls. Natalya is a much older cat (she’s 10 years old and the vet said he’s about 1 1/2 years old – still a kitten). So Natalya sleeps a lot more than Silas. But I’m actually falling asleep much sooner now at night…but Silas wakes up Ray and me in the night! Sometimes I have fallen back asleep, and on some nights, I haven’t. Ray has slept hardly at all! (Please pray for us both!)

Because of this and Silas trying to climb up the window blinds, breaking them, I eventually moved him downstairs to the bathroom with blankets, his food and water bowls, and his litter box. He did NOT like this and began hissing when I went to put him into the room. I wasn’t going to let him free until I found out for sure that he was negative for the fatal cat virus and other things, in order to protect Natalya. The vet agreed with my decision, but this was very stressful and exhausting for all of us.

That is the bathroom Ray uses to get ready for work in the morning (where he showers, shaves, etc.). I had to keep moving the litter box up and down our stairs, and his bowls initially, from the bathroom to the bedroom and back, to keep Natalya from using his litter box (and vice versa) or from eating and drinking out of his dishes. At that time, I didn’t know if he had the fatal cat virus or not, so I took extra precautions. I was worn out from the work!

I did leave some (Iam’s) cat food and water in his bowls in the bedroom day and night, when he was staying in there (or the bathroom downstairs), but he always wanted MORE food, MORE cat treats, more morsels from whatever Ray or I were eating. He eats like a HORSE! Maybe that is because he’s been a stray for a long time, and has just been hungry! At night, the meowing and yowling has been constant!

A funny thing that Silas did the first few nights here was to stare at the black curtains blowing from the fans in our bedroom. I thought this was hilarious! My cats amuse me. (Do I need more of a LIFE?!)


After Silas tested negative for the fatal cat virus, cat leukemia, and the vet didn’t see any fleas, ticks, mites, worms, or parasites, I slowly began introducing Natalya and Silas to each other face to face. The vet advised me to do this for very short periods of time.

He also told me NOT to get in the middle of them if they did start fighting, as cats can have nasty scratches and bites! I asked what I should do if they did, and he said to spray water on them. I’ve had to use this water sprayer numerous times lately with Silas trying to mate with Natalya! I don’t know why they were getting along okay, and then suddenly he wanted to mate with her. Of course, Natalya is beautiful, so naturally he’d find her irresistible, haha! (Even if she is much older than him!)

It was especially puzzling to me, because Natalya is fixed and not in heat, but Ray says it is his instincts.

One way I did try to help them get used to each other and bond them more (without mating!) was to feed them treats at the same time, a couple of feet away from each other (separate from their regular food bowls).This is soft cat food, in salmon, chicken, and other flavors. Natalya and Silas both know the word, “treat.” They both love them, too! I usually give them one to entice them to come OUT of the sunroom (they want to stay in there all day long! It’s Natalya’s TV entertainment room.)

Silas always wants to eat something. The first week, Ray was eating a sandwich in bed and Silas was right in his face, meowing for some. He not only ate the meat that Ray gave him, but the bun, tomato, and lettuce! Whenever we go into the kitchen, he begs for more food (yes, I feed him good). Because of that, and the fact that he has such big paws, Ray and I both think he’s going to grow a lot and be a big cat. Here’s a pic of Silas and Natalya eating their treat in our kitchen.


At his wellness check, the vet’s staff made his appointment to be neutered in late August this year. While I felt that was a very long time to deal with his constant meowing and yowling (and Ray and me not sleeping), when he started trying to mate with Natalya this week and they began actually fighting (clawing and trying to bite each other), I knew that we couldn’t wait. I called to ask for a rescheduled time, but they didn’t have any other openings. So I called another vet in town. Silas went into that vet today to be neutered.

I set out his cat carrier a couple of days before for him to sniff it and be used to it, and to practice putting a treat in it to entice him to go inside it. Here’s a pic of him by the carrier and his cute, little paws blanket that I took for him to have after his procedure.

He couldn’t eat or drink anything past midnight last night. I had to put his food and water away, and set Natalya’s in the other bedroom with the door shut. I knew this would be a challenge for him, so I prayed for God’s grace for him this morning! I went to Sonic before the appointment to buy a large water (for me!) as I had a few minutes before his scheduled time at the vet. 

I was so thankful that he went easily into the cat carrier, by me offering him a tiny treat. I was able to shut and lock the carrier door right away. Praise God! I was anxious about this the night before. Can you see that I look a little worried in the pic below, in the drive-through line at Sonic? The carrier is covered by a green blanket, so he wouldn’t get dizzy driving in the car, looking out.

His procedure was about 10:30 a.m. today. I called after that to check on him, and it went well. I was so relieved! When I called a second time about 3 p.m., he was still groggy from anesthesia, but the staff person said that Silas was doing fine and also told me how beautiful he is. 🙂 Yes, he is!

When the staff person told me today that I’d done a great job raising him, I explained that he was a stray who I’d taken in about a month ago. He said, “Isn’t that something? Well, he knew who to come to!” (Meaning for a good, loving home!) I hope that our home can be a safe, loving haven for him (and Natalya).

Tomorrow (Friday, July 28, 2023), I’m supposed to pick up Silas at the vet. They keep them overnight for observation after being neutered. Not all vets offer this, but I think this is a good idea, and it gives me more peace so they can watch him to make sure that he’s okay.

I called again this evening to check on him, but nobody answered the phone (about 8 p.m.). I’m sure he’s doing okay. I will get him tomorrow and look forward to spending time in the sunroom with him and Natalya!

Ray and I are praying that he won’t try to mate with Natalya again and that the constant meowing and yowling will stop (or at least, greatly decrease).  We need some sleep! We prayed tonight about these things for Silas and that he and Natalya will become best friends! Amen!

At any rate, we now have another cat. Other than the yowling and trying to mate with Natalya, he’s been a very sweet kitty! He comes up to me often to be petted (or is it for just more food? Haha! Maybe both!).

Another stray cat who looks very similar to Silas has started hanging around here, too. Ray and I think it’s Silas’ sibling as he has strong tabby markings and a bushy tail, too. But I can’t take him in, also!

My sister Maria joked that pretty soon the word is going to spread among the stray cats in our neighborhood and that soon I’ll have to call animal control, LOL. I have started feeding the other cat out of mercy and giving him water, but someone else will need to take him in. Maybe it is you! 🙂 

“You can not look at a sleeping cat and feel tense.” –Jane Pauley

Are you a cat person? Have you ever taken in a stray cat (or another animal)? Please leave your comments below. 



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