Here's an inventory of all the cats we have inside the house right now. It's sort of in chronological order.
Decatur. My first and only shelter cat, I adopted her from BARC in 2000. She's put up with a lot, but deals with it gracefully. In the past year she had all of her teeth out due to stomatitis, but has had a full recovery and can and will eat everything. Hobbies include walking on our heads while we're sleeping.
Freddie. She was a cat in my backyard in Clinton Hill who we kidnapped to bring to Bushwick. She is at least 14 years old so we decided to bring her inside last year after a life outside. She seems to like it. We are pretty sure she's gone completely deaf, but she may just be ignoring us.
Lucy. She brought us into the world of cat rescue by showing up at our door hugely pregnant in 2007. The kittens have long gone but she's sticking around. Find her napping on top of the kitchen cabinets.
Flossie. Possibly Lucy's mother, definitely the mother of a number of the local cats. With that behind her, she is a friendly ambassador to new fosters. Except for kittens, whom she hates. She also had all of her teeth out in the last year due to stomatitis and still has some ongoing dental issues. But she still manages to eat more than her share.
Marbles. Still technically a foster, her curmudgeonly personality and weird allergies makes her a hard sell. But she can be great fun and would probably be happier in a home without so many cats. So we hold out hope someone will see what we see in her someday.
Augie. First thought to be feral, he's now our main Kitten Wrangler and food tester. He's also technically a foster but who's counting? He has had some weird eye issues in the past year but that mostly has cleared up and he can focus on irritating the other cats who don't want to play right now.
Jefe. The boss is still sequestered while we work on both his weight and behavior issues. He is doing well with his pal Stymie, and we hope to reintroduce him to the household soon. In the last 6 months he's lost 3 pounds so he's on his way! Only six more pounds to go :/
Stymie. The 'indoor feral' we've been working with to get him to tame down a little. He has improved immensely over the past year (I can now pet him as long as food is in the area). Jefe does his best to model correct behavior for him. He's gone from totallt hands-off to allowing pets as long as food is in the offering. He's much more comfortable around humans now, but he may never be a lapcat.
Gilda. Our eldest cat, Gilda has kidney disease and requires daily fluids and general pampering. She has been trucking along with us for over 3 years and actually seems better now than in the past. She gets daily IV fluids and eats whatever she wants. She and Freddie share the Old Ladycats Room.
Mabel. The Six Million Dollar Cat. Almost. She required a number of operations to correct ear polyps and nasal stenosis. As you can see, she's better than ever now! Just keep the kittens away, please. Mabel can be grouchy but she loves to play so much she is starting to play with the other cats. Augie may finally have a playmate who doesn't immediately get adopted and leave!
Effie. Our foster girl, we would love to find her a home away from all these cats who bully her, but she's gotten pretty tough and can give as good as she gets these days. Effie has some health issues which kind of make her a target in the household, but she has been doing well lately. She is getting more self-confidence and is a much more active member of the home than in the past.
Belmont. This poor guy came to us after his foster person died. During the confusion he was left on her fire escape for over 24 hours! Consequently he's very shy with new people but he is super affectionate once he's sure you won't lock him on the roof. He briefly had an adoptive home but his humans turned out to be duds. He will find a superior home soon.
Checkey. One of three orange/white tabbies that showed up at our house this summer. Not sure what's going on but he was conveniently already fixed when we got him. He is incredibly playful and sweet, but he doesn't get along with the other cats so he has made our spare bedroom his home for now until he too finds a home.
Grey Boy. Yep, this once-feral guy is now indoors 24/7. He hails from the Bronx and though he was born inside, he was never socialized. We assimilated him into our feral colony and he was very happy there. But he's recently asked for an upgrade and after some growing pains has become a bone fides member of the indoor staff. His next mission: getting into the upper echelon of the housecat world: the bed.
After a summer with a lot of rough spots, I was looking forward to a calmer fall. No such luck of course, although the tone of our days has changed a bit. This summer was successful in many respects but we also lost a few good cats along the way. Here's who we lost (this kind of goes on for a while).