The first time I spotted her was on a fencepost within 30 feet of the Denver-Boulder turnpike. I continued to see her in the same small area almost daily as I used that busy bike/walking path. Some days she'd be hunting mice between the turnpike and the fence, just a few feet from the turnpike. Sometimes she'd be back on her fencepost. Her "home" bordered a large, open grassy field known to be inhabited by foxes.
One day, I met a young couple carrying her "back from their apartment" because they'd taken her home to feed her. They didn't know where she "lived" so I carried her back to her fencepost. Every time I saw her I'd stop, she'd come to me, and she'd roll in the dirt. It became apparent that she was out there most of the time, a friendly cat barely weighing three pounds, living life dangerously and fearlessly.
Another person I spoke to said they'd harbored her in their garage during -10F winter nights a couple months ago. She was grateful and brought dead mice to their front doorstep afterwards, I was told.
After a month of observing her and worrying about her, I was successful at seeking out her owner and obtaining permission from him to "rescue" her. She's three years old and her first known history was as a Humane Society sponsored adoption from Petsmart, a year ago, for her current owner's grandchild. A month ago, she was again turned in to the Humane Society but she's microchipped and her owner retrieved her.
She's exotic, ethereal and mysterious and I wish I didn't fall in love so easily. I never thought we'd have three cats. Some things you don't question. You just do them.
And that is the story of how Nutkin came to be the newest member of the staff here at "big picture agriculture."