ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

Gypsy - the Stray Cat Who Came to Stay

Updated on May 13, 2019
Virginia Allain profile image

Birds and wildlife fascinate me. I enjoy observing them and photographing them wherever I go. I share what I learn with my readers.

It took a little while to gain her confidence.
It took a little while to gain her confidence. | Source

Gypsy Is Gone Now, But I Wanted to Share Her Story with You

Gypsy was a wild cat. Well, not actually a wildcat, but one who had been abandoned. She lived a desperate life in the alleys and yards of Baltimore; finding food and shelter wherever she could.

When she came into my life, her multi-colored fur was matted, lack-luster and dirty. She was thin and fearful of people. Her tail, a short stub, might indicate abuse or perhaps an accident during her stray cat days.

Photo by Virginia Allain.


Did I Need Another Cat?

I already had two cats at the time that Gypsy came into my life. It would have been sensible to have given her some food and sent her on her way. I was going through a divorce at the time and feeling overwhelmed and unwanted.

How could I turn away a cat who was in a much worse situation than I was? I had a roof over my head and plenty of food to eat, so Gypsy was invited into my house.

The First Meeting with Gypsy the Stray Cat

First I had to entice her from under the bush where she crouched in the alley. A neighbor had spotted her there and called out, "Hey, there's a cat over here." Then he noticed her stubby tail and scruffy looks and said warningly, "it's a wild cat."

I called, "here, kitty, kitty." She didn't run, but she didn't come out from the safety of the scrubby bush. From her small size and shape, I was sure she was a domestic cat and not a wildcat, though the colors of her coat and the stub of a tail looked a little like a bobcat. The fact that she hadn't bolted, told me that at some time she had been a pet. A feral cat would have been long gone.

Despite the length of time she must have been on the street and any mistreatment she had suffered, she still remembered the food and comfort of a home with humans. I was able to lure her out with a dish of cat food. Once she had eaten, she trusted me enough to be taken into the house.

The stray cat that I took in and named Gypsy.
The stray cat that I took in and named Gypsy. | Source

Need Help Naming Your Cat?

Sometimes a cat comes with a name already attached. My cats often get a name that references their appearance.

We took in one stray cat that alternated between being nice and then seriously trying to hurt us. His name became Jekyll after Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. Jekyll eventually had to go to the animal shelter as he was too dangerous to have around us or the other cats, not to mention terrorizing the humans.

Ask at your public library for a book of pet names or do an online search if you can't think of anything on your own.

The Cat Just Looked Like a Gypsy

How she got her name

Because she had been living a rambling life, the name "Gypsy" came to my mind. Her many-patterned coat also reminded me of the colorful clothes a gypsy might wear. In addition, she had a somewhat wild, untamed look to her that seemed similar to the unconventional look of a gypsy.

Feeling Safe And Cozy Under the Covers


It Took Time for Gypsy to Feel Comfortable around People

Gypsy spent the first few months looking for good hiding places around the house. When visitors came, she disappeared under the sofa, behind the drapes or down the stairs to the basement.

She is looking a little fearful in this photo.

Gypsy the Cat Had a "Coat of Many Colors" - Just Like Dolly Parton's Song

This song always touches me. Gypsy was a tabby, but had blends of orange in with the grays and browns in her coat. This Coat of Many Colors song makes me think of Gypsy's patchy colors.

I Taught Her How to Play Again - Gypsy learns to trust again after being a stray cat

Kittens instinctively pounce on anything that moves. People love playing with them with feathers or a string, just to see them leap after it. Of course, it is behavior that over the centuries provided the cat with food as they pounced on mice and other small prey.

Even though housecats don't need to hunt for their food, most cats keep that playful pounce into adulthood. At first, it puzzled me that Gypsy wouldn't follow a piece of yarn or bat at some enticing cat toy dangled for her. Then I realized that she was too busy watching me and the other cats with fearful eyes to participate in playful behavior. It took weeks and even months of feeding, stroking and soft talk to build up her confidence.

This is an old photo of Gypsy that I finally found

This is an old photo of Gypsy that I finally found
This is an old photo of Gypsy that I finally found

I felt real elation the first time Gypsy felt safe enough to bat at a piece of yarn that I wiggled teasingly in front of her.

Photos of My Cat, Gypsy - From my own album

Click thumbnail to view full-size

A Cat Tree Lets the Cat Exercise and Perch up High

Cats really like being up where they can see what's going on or what's sneaking up on them. This kind of cat tree gives them that kind of place so maybe they will leave the sofa alone.

I tried to discourage the cats from sleeping on the sofa. It was a real chore getting the fur off of it. They found it hard to understand my shooing them off the sofa which seemed perfect to them for a day of lounging around while I was at work.

Go Pet Club 62-Inch Cat Tree, Beige, 38" W x 27" L x 62" H (F67)
Go Pet Club 62-Inch Cat Tree, Beige, 38" W x 27" L x 62" H (F67)
I wish I'd had something like this for my cats to exercise on and to have a safe spot to retreat to. My sister has one and when I see how much fun her cats are having climbing, romping from level-to-level, and then curling up in one of the alcoves, it makes me want one for my cats. I'm saving up for it.
The two cats aren't totally comfortable together, so it wasn't easy getting a Christmas photo with them together.
The two cats aren't totally comfortable together, so it wasn't easy getting a Christmas photo with them together. | Source

Gypsy finally gained confidence that she was loved and had found a safe haven. She often curled up on my lap as I read a book.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2010 Virginia Allain


This website uses cookies

As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

Show Details
HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)