In the days of past, when we often had pets, they would be in and out of our lives. I remember when I was a child we had a dog named Snookie who came and went as she pleased, following the neighborhood children and wandering about the neighborhood.
Even as a young married woman with children, our dog Babe, also wandered the neighborhood (even once getting stuck in a neighbors out-house and turning the hood into chaos with ALL the neighbors looking and posting signs, and with the help of the male lab in the hood....we found her in 3 hours) In her latter years she was known as "everyones dog".....
But with cats it's different (for me anyways)...after losing my childhood cat I believe to a bad neighbor with pigeons ( he was killed, the cat, not the neighbor ). And another cat to just getting lost (I noticed him years later living with people way down the road), that I just couldn't take loosing another to the wilds of the world. So I took to keeping my cats indoors for their safety and my piece of mind.
But then around 6 years ago I was on the recieving end of one of those kitties....he came to me via under the shed. Mike, my son was the first to notice him. With his body covered in huge mats and so afraid to come out from under the shed, I totally feared that he would starve. It took a week but we had him running and chasing us in the yard and I knew that he was gonna be a keeper. I knew he was something special. Mike named him Grunt and the named stuck. We cleaned him up sent him to live with my daughter and her then boyfriend Adrian until I could persuade my hubby to let another cat in the house.
Well to make a long story short....here he sits on my lap, purring so loud it makes his whiskers dance on his face.