Grace Redmon and her father saw Athena for the first time when she was living with a family who stayed two doors below their home. The cat used to play right outside. She often spent long duration staring at birds in Redmon’s backyard. It didn’t take long for Grace to start noticing the lovely creature.
“She was very friendly and my dad would feed and pet her, so she would come around more often, especially right as he got home from work,” Redmon said. “She would be right outside his door waiting when he pulled in.”
The story seemed to be going smoothly until Athena’s family got two dogs. Unfortunately, the dogs didn’t get along with the cat. It was then that the family abandoned Athena.
The cat now had nowhere to turn to except the Redmond. She started sleeping in their porch. It was only after a few days that the father started seeing signs of Athena’s pregnancy.
“It was hard to tell, though, since she was so skinny,” Redmon said.
Once, he even heard meows of several cats in different pitches. But when he went outside to see if it was Athena with her kittens, he came up empty-handed. It looked like the cat had hidden them very safely, and very well.
Several weeks passed.
And Redmon’s dad was just outside in the yard, when he spotted them, Athena and her three small babies. It seemed like they were out for a walk in nature.
Taking up the opportunity, he immediately snapped a picture of the four of them together so he could show his daughter that Athena and her family were doing just fine. But her daughter had other ideas when she saw the picture. She wanted to be responsible for them instead.
It was no surprise that her father was quite hesitant about her choice. They already had two cats who were seniors and predicting how their response towards Athena and her children was quite impossible. It didn’t help that he didn’t have much space in his house either. But Grace worked her magic. She persuaded her father to take care of the family until all of them are old enough to take care of themselves.
“On probably the hottest and most humid day of the summer, I went over and wrangled her three kittens, who were very outraged at being caught and were likely 8 weeks old at that point,” Redmon said. “Athena followed us inside happily, and we set out some food for everyone. The kittens were very skittish but Athena was her normal loving and happy self.”
What surprised Redmon what Athena’s complete trust in him to take care of her family. She and her kittens settled in the man’s house with smooth delicacy and before the man knew it, they were already a part of the family.
Grace arranged the family to be spayed or neutered and vaccinated. At first, Athena and the three little kittens stayed in Redmon’s basement. They named little ones Zeus, Artemis and Apollo. Then the introduction with the other cats began slowly and steadily. Despite vigorous resistance, Grace’s father slowly started feelings affections for all the kittens.
However, the father-daughter duo couldn’t adopt the family because they already had two other senior citizens to care for, and Grace knew it. So she took the only chance she had to convince her father to keep Athena and her kittens with them.
“Initially my father wanted to only keep Athena and put the kittens up for adoption, then he wanted to keep Athena and Artemis, then wanted to keep Apollo as well,” Redmon said. “He wavered for a while but I finally said that it wasn’t fair to just send Zeus away. Admittedly, I laid the guilt trip on him pretty heavily, but I knew he wanted to keep them and was just putting up token resistance.”
It didn’t take long for her father to be convinced. Athena and the little ones were going to stay.
Now, the new addition to their family isn’t new anymore. The cats have been with Redmond for almost six months now and it looks like they’ve found their forever home after all. Fortunately, the older two cats seem to love the new members just as much as Grace and her father. The entire family is now a big, giant lop of satisfaction and happiness, but the happiest of them all is Athena.
“She still likes to look out the back to watch birds, but otherwise she is often on my dad’s lap sleeping or following him around the house,” Redmon said. “Athena is now a happy and healthy sweetheart — she didn’t lose any of her friendliness in the whole transition.”
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