Gerrie and Loki have a huge catio that they love to play around and hang out in as they watch the world go by outside. One day, a new cat wandered up to the catio to say hello. The cats’ parents figured he was someone in the neighborhood’s cat and didn’t think too much about it until he came around again, and a neighbor mentioned that he was a stray who had lived in the area for years.

As soon as they heard that, they named him Ziggy and immediately started trying to win him over.

Ziggy started coming by twice a day for food, but was much too scared to be touched at first. His new friends wanted to find a way for him to feel safe each time he stopped by, so they decided to build him his own little house. They figured if he was still being standoffish as the colder months approached, then he would also have a warm place to stay, and they started feeding him in there to get him used to it.

Ziggy definitely appreciated the house and very, very slowly started warming up to the couple, but it was clear he still had a long way to go.

“After a few weeks of feeding, I could finally touch him while he was eating,” Renee, the cats’ mom (who asked that her last name not be included), told The Dodo. “But as soon as he finished his food, he didn’t want to be touched.”

The couple was still trying to figure out what they were going to do about Ziggy — if they should just keep feeding him outside until he was more comfortable or try and take him inside — until one day, they found him curled up in his little house, injured and in need of help. They quickly rushed him to the vet and got him the surgery he needed, and after that, they took him home.

“After he had surgery, we kept him in a separated room for a few days,” Renee said. “After a few days, we let him meet Gerrie and Loki again. Luckily they still got along, so we decided to keep Ziggy with us.”

The couple had built Ziggy a little outdoor house so he’d have his very own space to feel safe in — but in the end, it was their home where he truly found safety and comfort in the form of a brand-new forever family.

It took a little time, but Ziggy is now completely settled into his new home and loving life. After his new parents helped him heal and took such good care of him, it seems he decided they weren’t so scary after all. His favorite activities now include laying near the warm dishwasher and stretching out next to the window. He still likes to hang out outside with his new siblings — but instead of having his own little house, he now gets to share the great, big catio with Gerrie and Loki.