April Fiet believed a little rat or even a raccoon was making the noises when she heard them skittering in her attic. After all, it was winter, and the attic looked like a comfortable spot to escape the chilly weather.
The sounds, however, were not those that a mouse would produce.
“My husband heard meowing in the middle of the night,” Fiet told The Dodo. “When I woke up the next morning, he said to me, ‘You’re not going to believe this, but I think there’s a cat in our attic.’”
Fiet called animal control, who provided a humane trap and cat food to help lure the animal into the open. Meanwhile, she posted the bizarre happenings on social media, which prompted her to add a security camera.
“An hour later we had security camera footage of this beautiful cat eating the food we had provided,” Fiet said.
Fiet discovered the cat, whom she called Atticus, in the trap in the morning and hurried him to the doctor for a thorough examination.
Fiet remarked, “He was a lovely black cat with big eyes, and he was very little. “[The doctor] said we could take him home and hope that with time and affection, Atticus would come to trust us.”
Everything seemed wonderful, but Fiet’s kid, whose favorite animals are cats, has a cat allergy. In addition, Atticus didn’t appear to yet trust anyone.
“But Atticus was in a desperate situation,” Fiet said. “He had no home to go to. It was winter and terribly cold outside. So we decided to take care of him and see what might happen.”
They placed Atticus in their laundry room, which was large enough for him to roam and feel safe. He quickly discovered a cubbyhole behind the washing machine and made that his favorite hiding place.
“He lived back there for over two months,” Fiet said. “He only came out when we weren’t in the room, but we got pictures and videos of his movement from the security camera we placed in there. He would hide the moment he heard us come into the room.”
To gain the cat’s trust, Fiet went to the room three times every day carrying snacks. Even using a back scratcher to pet him until he warmed to human contact was a last resort.
He eventually gained enough confidence in me to eat a squeeze treat while I was holding it, according to Fiet. And then he came and sat on my lap more than two months after we initially discovered him in our attic.
Now, the “playful and curious” cat is an estimated year old and enjoys “stealing things from around the house and bringing them to his cubbyhole,” but also getting regular pets from his new family.
“Finding him has added so much more love and joy to our home,” Fiet said. “We were delighted to discover that my son is not allergic to Atticus at all. Both of my kids love spending time with Atticus and playing with him. We are making little bits of progress every day.”