2 teenage half starved kitties ran across the street in my neighborhood and hid under a truck. They were identical grey twins.

I fed the stray and homeless kitties in my condo project. On the 26 acres there were 3 different cats that owned the turf. Fights were a regular part of a cats evening, beginning at dusk and ending at dawn. They always had cuts and wounds.

I rarely saw the 2 teenagers, and then one day there was only one kitty. The identical twin had gone wandering for females and disappeared for the next 2 years.

The next thing I knew, Winkie – the gray kitty left behind – was on my roof and living on my deck. He would go out at night for food and show up in the morning for breakfast, but he was a feral kitty who was terrified of humans, and couldn’t even look me in the eyes. He was scrawny and malnourished, his back was swayed and he had one lazy eye that winked.

2 years later I trapped Winkie and brought him inside as I had promised him I would. He was a match to my favorite kitty – Cash – who died 5 years before. We already had one kitty – Cali – and a parrot – ,Zazu, so there were no rooms left at the “inn”.  But Winkie and Cali became soul mates – more like grama and grand-kid – and best friends, and soon Winkie got his own room at the inn.

The next 4 month’s were rough, and at one point I wondered if I had gone mad bringing a feral cat into my home. At the 5 month mark Winkie began to open up, and his nervous demeanor diminished over time. By the 3rd year as an inside boy he loved to sit on my lap and get scratches. He was still nervous and jumpy, and a bit wooden when he walked, left over from his swayed back now straight and healthy.

His wink wasn’t as prominent either, and Winkie’s life was looking up. Little by little he came out of his shell. He learned to play and loved his toys – he tackled play time like he did everything else . . . wooden and stiff, over doing then pulling back, never sure of his place in the world.

He loves other kitties, and he is his siblings favorite friend. Even the new baby adores him, and Winkie adores Sammy, too. Winkie acts like Sammy’s momma.

Due to high coyote activity in my neighborhood, Winkie never goes outside anymore, but he has a plethora of toys to entertain him, and kitty friends to share his life. Gone are the days of getting the snot beat out of him by marauding tom cats, replaced instead with a kitty palace beyond his wildest dreams.

I do not know if cats have dreams, but I know they want a happy, safe, fun home and forever parents who love them – finally Winkie’s dreams came true.