Okay, I kept thinking, "A Tale of Two Kitties" for the title, but it was just too darn cheesy. We always called them the woodpile kitties, anyway, because that's where they were born. My honey and I lived in a cozy cottage in the suburbs- as suburban as you can get in rural towns. There were a few streetlights, but no sidewalks. My sister, visiting from the city, once remarked in suprise as we took an evening stroll, "It's so dark here!". Lawns were few, and while the place we rented had one, it also had a forgotten woodpile, half overgrown with blackberry canes. One day as I puttered in the back yard I saw a skinny cat I'd never seen before. Light gray,with cream splotches. Pheonix and Lilly were indoor cats at the time, as the street we lived on was usually driven on at least 10 miles over the limit. This new cat had a collar, but was scrawny, scared, and a little depserate. She eyed me, but wouldn't come too close when I made my "I love cats lets be friends" sounds. I went for a popular tactic and went inside for some food. I put it out for her, and then went back in, closing the screen door and watching from there as she snorked down the whole plate in 2.3 seconds. Can you believe what happened next? She stuck around. I know, who'da thunk it? Only, the next time I sat outside, and when she was done eating, she approached me, growling. Growling! I was honestly scared, thinking she would attack me, but she jumped into my lap and rubbed her head against me, so I tenatively pet her. She loooved it, and I petted her more and more, and yet she kept growling. It was a bit unnerving, to say the least. That's when I noticed her collar was pretty much choking her- she must have run away or been abondoned as a teen, and grown too big for it. I carefully stood, being as polite as I could about booting her from my lap, and got some skissors. She let me cut off the collar, growled her thanks, and ran off to the berry bushes. The next day, when I saw she was still around, I put out some food. I went back about my buisiness, and when I glanced out at the food dish, I saw four tiny kittens. Can you say, heart skipping a beat and caught in your throat? So many times over the years I've met people who just found a kiten, and secretly, it was always my wish it would happen to me. I mean, that's like winning the lottery! Not to mention, and as much as I fully wholeheartedly vouch for and believe in inner beauty, I had always, always wanted an orang cat. There were two orange kittens, a black one, and a gray one. I absolutely would have taken them all anyway, heck, I'd take the ugliest kitten you ever saw and love it like my own child. Digression alert. I helped feed almost twenty foster kittens once, and there was one with matted, mangy hair, one eye, and leaking fluids. It could barely wobble around it's littermates and friends, and it was the second to smallest one. All the others scampered around, using it as their toy, its own healthy sibs twice it's size. There was every color, there were feisty kittens, cudly kittens, all playful and all friendly kittens. But when I was asked which I would pick, I of course picked the mangy, oozy, one eyed kitten. It was indeed ugly, but it needed love and as far as cats go, I have an unending supply of that. I couldn't actually take it, not having my own place, but I wanted to, so badly. Okay, I wasn't trying to sound all martyr-ee and tootin my own horn. Just hoping to illustrate my borderline psychotic love of all things feline. And boy oh boy let me tell you, the love was in overdrive when I saw those tiny kittens on my back porch.