Lessons Learned from Homeless Cats

When Rumpy and I are out for walks, the homeless cats remain still until we pass by. 

This homeless kitty sits quietly as we pass by. Of course she was in a tree, so little to fear from us.


It’s a smart strategy. When afraid, most animals either fight or flee. But being still throws a predator off guard. “Hmmm…. not afraid? Maybe I should keep looking.”

When I’m afraid, I tend to start running my mouth. Perhaps instead I could simply be still and let things happen.

What other lessons have homeless cats taught me?

Sam napped beneath the tree until our neighbor cleared out the overgrown brush. Now he sleeps by the back door or beneath a tree in the front yard.

There are those who will heap upon you ridicule and scorn, while others simply look the other way. But there are also those who will notice you and offer you help, be it food, water, or a space to safely sleep. Stick with those who help you, and avoid the others.

Get some rest. I suffer from insomnia, and it’s of course most acute on the days I work. Meanwhile the homeless cat Sam sleeps in the yard in broad daylight. Many times I’ve come home at lunchtime and he’d hardly budge until I got out of my car. We all need to maintain our heath, and we can’t do that without adequate rest. I’m taking steps to alleviate my insomnia. If Sam can make it work, so can I.

Explore all options. I’ve told you before about Beth’s Diner where the homeless cats get a free meal. But I recently learned there’s another kind soul in our area, a man whose vehicle’s shocks are shot but drives around several nights a week and puts out food for the cats. You have to be out there to learn about what’s available, so I’m pushing against my comfort zone and putting myself out there to make some positive changes in my life.

my cat
Yes, I am lying on your car, but you weren’t using it!

Even when times are tough, find some good mates and take time to play. Homeless cats may seem solitary creatures, but those of us who watch them often see them hanging out in twos or threes. In addition to companionship it’s also a more safe situation. Don’t sit at home! Grab a mate and go!

What have homeless cats taught you?


15 thoughts on “Lessons Learned from Homeless Cats

      1. A lesson i am learning as we speak..loss of our precious Forrest has me having to learn a new normal life..adapt even when i do not want to…

      2. Absolutely..we still have Doc to support…so we adapt…we add new routines to old..keep his mind active and finding new things to focus on..in doing so we are getting through..today we bought our boys ashes home…a walk in the park cleared my head until 2 off leash dogs decided to charge..my inner feral took over…no longer meek and hurting but fierce and tough…woman was lucky they did not hurt our poor old guy..she would have been duck food in the lake…

      3. I hear ya. I will say that Rumpy and I have become so much closer since DeDe died two years ago. Wow, has it really been two years?

      4. Again I am so sorry for your loss. I know how it hurts. Sadly many people don’t know what it feels like to share their life with a companion animal, but those of us that do know it’s a devastating loss when they leave us.

  1. We have a “condo cat” who is technically homeless. There are several who would take him in, but he does not want to be inside. He was abandoned here years ago and by the time people realized he was a stray he’d made a life for himself in the complex. He lives around the pool area. People set out food for him (he is so fat he has problems walking), one neighbor has made him a shelter from a large plastic box for bad weather that also enables him to have a lookout from the second floor. Another has created a lean-to for him. During the worst weather he will ask to be let in and Janice will gladly welcome him, but as soon as the ice storm is over he is crazy to get outside. People each chip in a few dollars for his yearly exam at the vet. He drinks from the swimming pool or from the pools of water left by the daily sprinklers or from the bowls left out for him. He lies on the grass on sunny mornings, soaking up the rays. He never runs. Dogs pretty much leave him alone. Everyone has a kind word for him. He acknowledges “Good morning, Garfield” with a regal nod of his head. You may pet him if you like, but not for long. “Elvis has left the building.” Janice and I wish he’d accept an inside home. He never will.

  2. my cats taught me how to block everything out and curl up and nap. where bj could be in a deep sleep and i said the word cookie, he would be up and at my feet. that never happened with cats.

  3. I’m relieved to hear that holeless cats who hang aound in your neighbourhood are ok. Since I read about their stories, I’m worried if they have safe place to sleep or enough food to have….of course, you mentioned about food station, so that help them to survive.

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