Fifteen years ago my parents were at my aunt's house one Saturday night. I kept hearing this noise. Eventually I spotted this black-and-white kitten crying at our neighbour's doorstep. I knew it didn't belong to them.
She wouldn't come near people, but would come from behind the garden shed for a few sardines and milk. Apparently she'd been born in an old garage further down the road, her mother was having another litter and was driving her away.
At the time there was a news programme we watched, which was often followed by a cartoon called "Bagpuss". So it just happened that we'd say things like, "Have you fed Bagpuss yet?"
It was autumn and I threw all caution to the winds and sat making meaowing noises on the lawn in front of the shed. "The neighbours will think you're crazy!" my mother said. But Bagpuss was encouraged and just came close enough to touch my outstretched hand.
By now her mother had a little black kitten in tow, which she used to lick, and Bagpuss would approach and be ignored. One day, Momma Cat (as my mother had called her) raised her paw and I raised my voice. We fed the mother but she didn't stay.
Bagpuss started to come in the house - but suddenly fled. TV terrified her. We finished with at least one programme over that. Before winter we'd got her to start sleeping in the house.
The little black kitten had meanwhile taken up residence UNDERNEATH our neighbour's shed, and spent the winter there, being fed outside and occasionally coming in. It always seemed the very last bit of independance they gave up, to start sleeping in.
Fifteen years have gone since that autumn and they've both got an armchair each as I type this!