So you really want to know how to acquire 5 cats in less than two years huh? First, you need the right equipment. Two dogs will do ... preferably small ... take them for walks around the neighbourhood, and let them outback frequently. Cats will come running to live with you ... well .. .maybe not ... but in this case ... it really did happen that way.

Jim and I were walking our two dogs one evening ... Sampson, a 6 year old lhasapoo, and Delilah, a 4 year old cockapoo, when out of nowhere this little grey cat came running up to Sampson, and just started rubbing herself all over him. We stooped down to pet her, but she wanted Sampson ... she followed us all the while we walked ... then followed us to our house. I put a little food out for her that night and the next day, she was still there. We took her to the vets, had her tested, and had her shots done … thus ... Endura became a part of our little family. And the dogs were happy to welcome her into their home.

She was kitty number three. Sabrina, my 14-year-old longhaired, grey and white kitty, had been dumped on the farm in Virginia I worked at, and Sabastian, my 12-year-old Siamese kitty, was dumped in an ally behind my house in Philadelphia. They both lived in harmony for 10 years until we slowly but surely started adding kitties to our repertoire.

Well, the word must've gotten out that it was fun to live in the Weigle household. About a week later, a ginger coloured cat showed up in our backyard. He was a bit fearful of us, but not to worry! Delilah went right out and just started licking him all over!! I was slowly beginning to figure out that my dogs were just not normal. They just LOVED cats!! Well after Delilah tamed this new kitty enough for us to pet him, another trip to the vet was in order. Dubbed Benji, this ginger coloured cat informed me that he heard how much fun it was to live in the Weigle household, and would we mind ever so much if he moved right in. He promised to be a good kitty, and we thought perhaps he would keep Endura company. Benji was tested and given his shots, and our kitty population went up to 4! After all ... how much harder could it be to raise 4 kitties instead of 3? Endura and Benji became fast friends, with Sampson and Delilah overseeing them, and keeping them in line, playing, sleeping and always washing each other!

A few weeks later, we were beginning to wonder if there was an underground tunnel for cats leading straight to our backyard. We've had strays come and go, and then one of the kitties out there had kittens. She wanted nothing to do with us and the dogs, but this did not stop Sampson and Delilah from trying!! They anxiously watched over the kittens as they grew, and quickly gained their trust. As far as Jim and I were concerned, they wanted nothing to do with us. The kittens just adored Sampson and Delilah, and the feelings were definitely mutual. They were always begging to go outside to check on "their" babies, and as they grew and played, we loved to go out on the back porch, and just sit and watch Sampson, Delilah, and the kittens play. It was really a site to see. They were so gentle with these kittens. They chased, and rolled, and groomed, and cared for them, as if they were their own babies. Eventually one of them slowly started to trust us. I couldn't believe that two dogs had tamed a feral cat enough to trust humans to pet him! Well, Delilah kept asking if Joey (a very thick, long haired, multi coloured cat), could come into her home, to play, (if only I could get her a job at taming kitties), but I told her that we already had 4 cats, and we just didn't have the room, but she was a persistent little madam, so I thought ... how hard could it be to add another one to the ever growing cat population in my home.

By that winter, Joey got his first trip up to the vets for his testing and shots. The indoor cat population rose to five ... sigh ... but they were a lot of fun to watch, they all loved to snuggle, and Delilah showed her gratitude, by giving me kisses and hugs. Joey and Delilah became fast friends, playing together, and grooming each other. It's touching to see how much they dote on each other.

Within a few months all the other kitties outback had moved on except for Joey's sister who stayed behind. A few months later, she had a litter. The dogs hadn't been able to tame her enough for us to get close to her, and Joey became an uncle ... and the dogs were ecstatic!! Especially Delilah!

Every morning, the dogs rose quickly to go out to check on their babies, play with them, and chide them gently if they scratched too hard. Eventually Johnnie, as we now call him, would sit at the kitchen window, and watch all the fun the indoor kitties were having. I would open the window just a little and put little pieces of chicken out for him. I got into this habit, because Sampson and Delilah get fresh chicken in their meals, and whenever I opened a can of food, the indoor kitties all came running for their fair share. I was amazed that Johnnie, a long haired black cat, who is Joey's nephew, would be all the way at the other end of the yard, and could hear the electric can opener 1/4 acre away, with the window closed.  He'd come running up to get his daily dose of chicken, and eventually, he let me open the window more and more, and he let me pet him. Sampson and Delilah once again had tamed another cat ... enough so that I too could pet him.

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Dogs Come when Called

"Dogs come when called. Cats take a message and get back to you."

"Of course, every cat is really the most beautiful woman in the room."

Edward Verrall Luca (essayist)

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