Big Tom Cat Comes to a House for Food One Day, Changing the Course of His Life

A big tom cat came to a house for food one day, and it changed the course of his life.

RickyHelen Popham

At feeding time, Helen Popham, who cares for local community cats, came out with food for a few ferals who had chosen her yard as their haven. Among them, there was a new guy, a big tom cat named Ricky.

Ricky the tabby resembled a cross between a raccoon and a bobcat, with his giant cheeks as his prominent feature. He arrived as a surprise when Helen spotted him through her camera. He was very nervous around people and covered in battle wounds.

After contacting her local Cats Protection, Helen learned that Ricky had roamed the neighborhood for a few years, scrounging for food and shelter.

sweet tom cat cheeksHelen Popham

“As soon as we found out he was a stray and was getting so many injuries, we made it our mission to start taming him,” Helen told Love Meow.

As his visits became more frequent, Ricky, who had an insatiable appetite, grew more comfortable around his food provider. He snagged a morsel from Helen’s hand with such force, like he was in a battle. He devoured all his food and licked his bowl clean.

tom cat hissyHe was very hissy and nervous at firstHelen Popham

Helen tried to approach him for a gentle stroke but was vehemently denied with a warning hiss from the big man.

“One day, he came to us, and we noticed he had a very bad abscess from being bitten. We knew he needed vet treatment ASAP. Because he was feeling weaker, we were able to capture him.”

tabby cat strayHe had many battle woundsHelen Popham

They set up a quiet, comfy space in the garage for Ricky to recover. “We weren’t sure how he was going to respond. To our surprise, he adjusted very quickly, and every day, he started improving.”

It was this new sense of comfort and security that began whittling away his walls. Ricky was a softie underneath his big, puffy exterior.

sweet stray tom catRicky began improving and warming up to his peopleHelen Popham

With proper treatment, his wounds healed, his energy levels increased, and his appetite soared. He warmed up to Helen and gave the green light for head scratches, though he was still hissy at times.

Realizing the kitchen was the portal to his food, Ricky mustered the courage to step inside the house.

sweet tabby cat cheeksHe started to explore the houseHelen Popham

After each excursion, he rushed back into the garage and lay comfortably on his hay bale bed, charging up another day’s worth of courage for more indoor expeditions.

His confidence grew with each passing day. He began to seek head scratches and melted whenever he was combed. His stay inside the house lengthened until he no longer wanted to leave.

happy tabby catHelen Popham

“We were looking after him outside for about four months, and then after we got him inside, his trust grew even more. Within a couple of weeks, he was regularly after pats and got more and more affectionate.”

Ricky was no longer a stray as he officially became a permanent part of the family.

happy purring cat toyHelen Popham

“We got him neutered and microchipped, and all went well. The vet was amazed at how he has been so happy to stay indoors with us, considering how wild he was.”

Ricky was immediately drawn to catnip toys, grabbed one with his paws, and rubbed it against his face until he passed out in bliss.

cute tabby cat christmas hatRicky’s first Christmas with the familyHelen Popham

He had his first Christmas with his family and was dressed to impress.

Ricky finally decided to check out Helen’s room recently and discovered the bed. “Now, he’s found it. It’s his new favorite place to nap.”

cute tabby catHis new favorite napping place – his mom’s bedHelen Popham

He loves trailing his people around the house, supervising them, and napping by their side. He enjoys belly rubs and makes the sweetest biscuits, knowing he’s loved.

cat tabby paws biscuitsHelen Popham

Share this story with your friends. More on Ricky and Helen’s feral family and zoo on Instagram @ourferalfamily.

Related story: Cat Comes Home with Kind Person, Within 24 Hours, They Find Kittens Under Their Bed

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