My Tom
(Stray Orange Tabby Cat)

by Diane Allen

Tom was a stray orange, tabby cat that came to my house to feed one day and he wouldn't leave. Since I always fed stray cats that looked hungry and had no home, I continued to feed him for about two weeks.

Every morning he would be at my back door waiting to be fed and every evening when I returned from work, he was still there.

So, I called the Cat Action Team and they came to get him with their spay, neuter and return program.

When they asked me for his name, I told them I didn’t know what it was since he was not my cat. I suggested they call him "Tom" since he was a tomcat and very territorial, for during that time he chased every other cat away from my home that tried to eat the food I left out.

I asked them not to return Tom to me since they had other volunteer workers to handle stray cats. I already had 4 cats and figured that was enough to handle.

I went to work that day and near the end of my shift, I got a call from C.A.T. asking me to pick up Tom from the vets and they would come by to collect him later on.

orange cat's head

I think there was some conspiracy there for they never showed up for three weeks, knowing full well I would get attached to him.

Three weeks later they came to take Tom and I couldn't let him go. His personality won me over. I never had a cat that would play with me. I'd let him out the bathroom window downstairs in my raised ranch home.

When it came time to call him in, since there was only about a fifteen-inch drop to the ground, my Tom would hide there, knowing I was just above him looking out the open window. Then, he would jump up and scare me, playfully patting my face with his paw.

Or, he'd hide up on top of the refrigerator, and when I'd walk by, he's reach out his paw and "bat" my head. Or, he'd sit on my lounge chair up on back and bite at my hair.

Outside, he would stay with me in the garden, helping me plant veggies, pull weeds, come running when I called him. He had a personality plus!

Tom is still with me and does all these things. He doesn't like staying out for long periods of time as he likes the comforts of a warm and cozy home in the winter and a cool one in the summer.

As of this writing, Dec. 2005, he is about 4 years old.My hobby is writing poetry and I've many odes to my cats over 50 years.

My Tom. (Stray Orange Tabby Cat.)

Oh, my Tom, my beautiful boy!
You came to my house for my food to enjoy
While still a young cat about 9 months old,
For somehow someone had left you out in the cold.
I swore I'd not own another cat
For my years are many - they'd outlive me, at that!
But, you persisted and would not go away,
So, now I own you - come what may!
You loved being in the warmth of my home,
So, I gave you the den, all for your own.
I never had a cat that always played with me,
Even while outside, you always stayed with me.
While on my knees, yanking weeds and such,
You'd pounce on my hands and playfully touch
Me with your paws then run away
Only to return for some more frisky play.
And in the house, on top of the "Frigidaire",
I'd pass by and you'd bat my hair.
And you certainly knew where the catnip was,
When I wasn't looking, with your cute little paws
You'd sneak in the cupboard and bat at it,
And down on the floor I'd find the rest of it.
You'd sit on the back of my reclining chair
And with your teeth you'd grab a hank of my hair.
Then you'd give it a yank and I'd let out a yell!
I'd make you stop, but I could tell
You wanted to play some more,
But I made you stop for my head was sore.
When I'd talk to you, you'd half close your eyes,
And, of course, I knew, (‘twas no surprise),
It was your way of saying; "I love you, Mom."
So, I'd return the compliment; "I love you, Tom."
You certainly were jealous of any outside cat.
You'd chase them off and put an end to that!
On my porch, if some cat came up to eat,
Whether they were just hungry or wanted a treat,
You'd let out a howl from behind the glass door,
As though to say, "Don't come here any more!
This is my territory and you'll certainly pay
For daring to trespass when I get out today!"
When you were out and I'd call you to come,
You'd hear my voice and come home on the run.
Well, you're still with me and now 4 years old,
And still a loving cat, but somewhat bold!
I really don't know where you ever came from,
But to me you'll always be my special "Tom"! 

 Cat Body Language : What your cat's body communicates.
If you share your life with a cat you probably know more about cat body language than you think you do. Do you know when your cat is feeling angry, fearful, contented or at ease?

My Tom