I met Czarina in September of 2007. I’d moved into a new apartment and about a month after I was moved in, I caught sight of her sitting in the shade of a bush near the parking lot. I went to my apartment and got a can of food, and came back down to find her still there. I opened the food and slowly placed it near her. I left her eating. A few weeks went by and now and then I’d catch glimpses of her. When I’d see her, I’d go, get some food and bring it back down to her. After several months of this, I’d made friends with two of the maintenance men that work at the complex. They had also been feeding her now and then, so I told them I wanted to take her to the doctor and have her checked out and that I’d also be buying her food from now on. After feeding her for another couple of months, one of the neighbors started complaining about her dog was eating the food and he would die, because dogs could not eat cat food. I told the maintenance man, she didn’t know what she was talking about, as cat food is not poisonous to dogs, the worst that would happen is they might get fat, since cat food contained more protein due to the dietary needs of cats differing. Still, the woman kept complaining, and started throwing away the food we’d leave out. I made the decision to try and bring her indoors. By that time I’d already had four, and figured, what’s one more. I took her to the vet and she got a clean bill of health, which was rare for a cat that had lived outside for over 3 years. She didn’t even have a flea on her. I live in a loft apartment, and have no doors separating my upstairs bedroom to the rest of the apartment. The only doors being in the bathrooms. So, I decided I would give her an area in the hallway, which had the powder room. So she would have some room. I was ill prepared for bringing her in. It was one thing to bring home kittens, and then socialize them with the resident cats. It was an entirely different thing bringing in a stray who was not used to being around a lot of other cats. Czarina was stressed so much she began to foam at the mouth when the others approached her area, which I’d closed off with a bamboo screen. This went on for 2 weeks, until one day she got away from me when I got home from work. She ran outside and I followed her, but the closer I got, the further she walked from me. It upset me, but part of me knew she’d not been happy, and that’s why she left. The following day, I talked to the maintenance man, and he said he’d try to feed her in his office, so the nasty neighbor would not be able to complain. On the weekdays he’d feed her inside the office and on the weekends, he’d hide her food behind a bar and she’d eat there. This worked for a few months, until the neighbor lady started complaining again. Her dog yet again found the food. Her dog that, according to the rules must keep on a leash, yet she does not. The maintenance man was afraid Czarina would be poisoned, and so was I. So, I told him to wait a week before we did anything. I talked to the vet and we agreed to put her on medication, to help ease her transition. I then bought screen material, and closed off the pass through to the kitchen. I would use the bamboo screen to keep the others out as well, and I set up a litter box and bed for her. The kitchen would be her space. I once again, took her to the vet for a check up, which she again, passed with flying colors. In June of 2008 I brought her inside for the second time. I had her on Prozac for about five to six months. Little by little she began to trust me more and little by little she became more comfortable with her space. In September I began letting her out of the kitchen for an hour every night. Little by little I allowed her more and more time out. She would sleep in the kitchen solely for another few months. Around November I started allowing her to be out with the others all day and night. She’s an incredibly smart cat. She learned her name very quickly. She coos in place of a meow. She is the only one of my cats that will actively jump up and sit on my lap for a long period of time. She’s still got a temper on her, she gets easily annoyed and hisses at the others sometimes still. But she also plays quite a bit with Maks, who she seems to like quite a bit. Czarina was once someone’s cat. She’d already been spayed. She is a very loving cat, and I am very happy she is part of my little family.