Meet The Cats

Here are some highlights of our nine cats. Each cat brings us joy in its own way!

Their names below are links to an individual page providing more information about them and their story.

The Indoor Cats

Lina and Kilala

We adopted our first 2 cats (Lina and Kilala) in Spring 2003 from a friend’s barn. Their stories will focus on their life since moving in with us.

Lina: Alpha cat, born without a tail, has allergies, sister of Kilala. Lina died in January 2021.

Kilala: Sister of Lina, passed away in April 2019.


On January 18, 2011, we took in Buster from our yard. He was our first rescue from the yard. Buster died on February 22, 2024.

Read: Buster’s Rescue Story 

Read: Buster’s Final Story: My Favorite Cat Has Died

Violet and the Twins

In July of 2014, Violet brought 5 kittens to our yard. We took her in keeping 2 of the kittens (Jake and Elwood) and found homes for the other 3 kittens. We had to socialize the kittens!

Violet: Originally known as Cat Mom, rescued from the yard. Her story includes the story of Other Buster, a feral cat we fed for a couple of years.

Jake: Son of Violet, purrs easily, likes to sit on the couch with the humans.

Elwood: Son of Violet, afraid of anything loud, likes to eat treats

Jake and Elwood’s story of coming to live with us the same and they are also twins. As a twin myself (I have a twin brother), I felt it was important for them to have their own page instead of grouping them together. We sometimes refer to them as “the twins” or “the kittens”. 


Taco is our seventh cat and is another rescue. He was found when about 2 months old in my sister’s yard by her dog in November 2016. He had a terrible eye infection.


Nacho, cat 8, was born in the yard to a feral cat named Chloe in the Summer of 2017. Nacho and her 4 siblings were socialized after they were weaned. We kept Nacho, and the other 4 were rehomed by our local Humane Society.

Chloe died on Christmas Day on 2018 from a prolapsed rectum (long story). She changed my life in a few ways.


Charlotte became our ninth cat as a foster fail in the summer of 2018. My friend was moving and unable to take Charlotte.

The plan was for Charlotte to go to a barn, but that didn’t work out. I decided to foster Charlotte in my garage in a pet playpen. After just two days, Ted (my husband) decided we would keep her.

The Outdoor Cats

We currently have 2 cats in the yard coming for food. Pork Chop and Winter. They receive food and shelter, including a cat shed.

Midnight and Charcoal were regulars for over four years. Charcoal passed away in January 2022, followed by Midnight in May 2022.

There have been many other cats that have been in the yard since I learned how to do TNR in 2017. Midnight was already ear-tipped when he showed up and didn’t have canine teeth!

In November 2021, a feral teenage cat appeared in the yard. I was not able to trap the cat before the weather was too cold. So, we’ve named the cat Winter, not knowing if the cat is male or female. When he was TNR’d in the spring, we learned that he was male.

Read Next: How Heidi Bender Became a Cat lady


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Heidi Bender is the writer and founder of the Joy of Cats. She enjoys sharing cat information and providing helpful cat tips. She considers herself a cat lady and currently cares for eight cats.