This stray cat begged to enter this man’s house during a polar vortex
This year’s winter in North America was particularly harsh. It arrived early, vanished for a moment, and then came roaring back. While working from home in February, Nathaniel Styer witnessed a blizzard that was bringing down strong winds and a significant amount of snow. The “snow squall,” an intense blizzard spawned by the polar vortex, had started to cover his Brooklyn neighborhood in a tumultuous white.
Despite how comfortable Nathaniel felt in his apartment, going about his daily routine as the storm raged outside, he was grateful to be warm. But in addition to the large, white flurries buzzing around, Nathaniel couldn’t help but notice something else. A visitor from the neighborhood sat in his window, feeling uneasy on the familiar streets.
The cat belonged to the Chunk Chunk colony of stray cats that was located close by, according to Nathaniel. The tabby cat had climbed up onto the window ledge and appeared to be pleading for entry. In fact, Styer claimed that “she was 100% demanding to be let in” in an interview with The Dodo. Styer was familiar with the cat and thought she was going through a difficult time, saying:
“I’ve never seen her react this way before. It was clear that she didn’t know what to do in the storm”.
Styer acknowledged that he hasn’t always had the biggest affection for the neighborhood’s stray cats, but his fiancée Renee Becerra was a big fan. She commits all of her time to the colony and works to maintain the health of every cat. Chunk Chunk had only recently joined the colony, sometime around Fall. Her inability to handle the severe weather may have had a role in this.
Styer explained “I’ve always been pretty reticent about bringing the cats inside, but I knew Renee would really want me to help Chunk Chunk out. I love Renee and I knew helping Chunk Chunk was the right thing to do.”
In order to protect Chunk Chunk from the freezing weather, Styer opened the window. The prior timid cat appeared to be unsure of what to do after she was secure and comfortable.
“She allowed me to pick her up, which is unusual for our community cats. When I set her down, she instantly ran around the house and tried to run out through another window. She learned it was closed when she ran into it.”
Chunk Chunk was put in the bathroom, appropriately far from their dog, by Nathaniel. She finally found her place. She was at peace when Becerra got home.
On her end? She was not shocked to find out who their new home visitor was!
“From the first time she appeared at our window, she’s been one of the friendliest community cats that I’ve ever come across. She’s always asking for pets and starts purring within seconds”.
The couple has only resided in their flat for two years, but during that period they have been fostering stray cats and have lived close to the stray community. According to Rebecca, they have assisted in finding forever homes for multiple litters of kittens! Becerra intends to capture as many adults as she can in the spring in order to neuter/spay them and release them again, helping to keep the stray population from expanding.
Chunk Chunk has already been spayed, as evidenced by her trimmed ear! Becerra encouraged others to do the same as she did, but she spent the majority of the unexpected cold spell aiding the cats in her neighborhood.
Winter is the hardest time of year [for these cats]. I’ve built three winter shelters and regularly provide food. Winter shelters can be bought from some cat rescues but they’re also really easy to make… If you have the space or a safe quiet spot in your neighborhood, I would definitely recommend putting some out.
Then there is Chunk Chunk. Becerra suggests that there is a chance for a long life indoors:
We’re still figuring out what’s next for Chunk Chunk, but in the meantime, she’ll be staying with us. Chunk Chunk seems to be more suited for life indoors versus outdoors, so I’ll be reaching out to our contacts at the ASPCA to see if they can assist me in finding her a home.
Nevertheless, after a few months, it appears that Chunk Chunk may have found her everlasting home with Rebecca and Nathaniel. True to form, the cat picks you!