Iver Tails | The Story of a Sweet Feral Kitten, His Newly-Found Friend, and a Christmas Tree

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Iver Tails | The Story of a Sweet Feral Kitten, His Newly-Found Friend, and a Christmas Tree

Max Makes His Presence Known

Waking up from an afternoon nap, Iver yawned and looked about the tiny room. Safely nestled next to his little sister, he was grateful to be surrounded by a cozy blanket, fresh water, and a dish of kibble. Indeed, this would be the start to some of the warmest, happiest days of his life.   

“Do you think our brothers and sisters are okay?” Iver’s little sister asked.

“Mom trained us well, little sis. They’re going to be just fine this winter,” he assured her. His orange ears suddenly perked up and his blue eyes widened – something was approaching the door.

“Who is it?” Iver’s little sister panicked.

“I’m not sure,” he replied, but his instincts sensed another feral kitten and every hair on his body was charged to be on guard.

“Make yourself known,” Iver bravely commanded.

A massive grey and black paw appeared underneath the door. It moved back and forth at a rapid pace. They fixated on the unknown paw, when Iver – rather impulsively – found himself doing a “three-tapper” (*when a cat taps at another cat three times in quick motion). His little sister bounced backward, almost spilling the dish of kibble.

“Hey – I don’t mean any harm. The bearded man left a treat for me in front of the door,” the cat claimed. “You trapped? You stuck? You need help? I’ve got connections…”

“Who are you?” Iver inquired.

“They mostly call me Max. Though, sometimes, when I’m chasing my older sisters around the house, they call me ‘Maxwell’ or ‘Maxum’ or ‘Max-stop-doing-that.’ You? You got a name?”

“Um…we don’t have names,” Iver’s little sister stammered.

“Oh, well, ah…I’m sure you’ll get one soon. The beautiful lady really likes to hand them out,” he laughed. “But – ah – look. I gotta go. It’s bird time.”

“What’s that?” Iver asked.

“You know, bird time. Time we watch the birds.”

“Will you come back? To talk us? To tell us about the birds?”

“Yeah, I’ll be back…”

Iver mustered out the words, “It was really nice meeting you,” but Max was already gone.

NOTE: Curious about how to introduce a new kitten to your fur family? There is plenty of information out there. You can check out this article, “Simple Tips for Introducing Two New Cats.” 


A Special Visitor 

A day had passed. The two had many visits from the bearded man and the beautiful lady. Even Max had stopped by to give a brief bird report. Little did they know, today would bring big changes…

“Did you hear that? Is it the beautiful lady? The bearded man?” Iver’s little sister asked.

“I don’t think so,” Iver responded.

The door slowly crept open and a girl with big brown eyes and ringlet curls peaked her head inside.

“Hello,” she whispered. “My name is Ava. Ava Marie. Would you like to be my friend?” She cautiously bent down and extended the back of her hand to introduce the kittens to her scent, just as the bearded man had instructed. Iver’s little sister was immediately smitten and licked her hand.

“Did you see that, Dad?” Ava giggled. “She likes me! She really, really likes me!” she said, scooping her up and holding her close to her face. “Look at her big blueberry eyes! Can we take her out to play?”

The bearded man knelt beside Ava. “Maybe a little later tonight – we want to make sure they’re ready to meet Max face-to-face. He’s still a kitten and could use a new friend,” he said, gently petting the top of Iver’s pink nose.

“We have to be careful when introducing kittens to their new fur siblings,” the beautiful lady said.

“Why? Will the other cats be mean?”

“Well, we want to make sure they feel comfortable with a new cat in their home – cats can get very territorial about their space. But, they’ll come out to play, soon enough,” the beautiful lady assured her.

Our vets get a lot of questions about how to be a good pet owner to a new puppy or kitten. Take a few moments to read our most frequently asked questions in our blog, “10 Questions New Puppy and Kitten Owners Ask Their Vets” HERE

An Early Christmas Gift 

Now evening, Ava was helping the beautiful lady decorate the Christmas tree. Music filled the room as the white lights sparkled in her big brown eyes. A fire roared in the fireplace. Throughout the magic of it all, Ava couldn’t stop thinking about the kittens.

“Auntie, do your kittens have names?”

“Well, it’s funny you should ask. Come sit down with me for a moment.” The beautiful lady sat down in her rocking chair and Ava climbed onto her lap. “We are thinking to name the orange boy Iver.”


“You see, the name means ‘warrior’, which is fitting because he was so very brave when we found him outdoors. And, we were hoping you could name his little sister. She really seemed to like you.” 

“I really like her, too,” she gushed.

“Well, in that case, we have an early Christmas gift for you to open. Christopher? I think she’s ready for her present…”

The bearded man entered the room, holding a box with tiny holes and a big red bow. Ava’s eyes filled with curiosity as she leapt from her Aunt’s lap and hurried to find out what could be inside. She eagerly removed the bow, lifted the cover, and was hardly able to contain her amazement when she saw two purple eyes staring up her.

“Oh, my goodness! It’s Blueberry!”   

“Blueberry? Is that what you’d like to call her?” her father asked.

“Yes – I think she really likes it!” Ava picked up her newest purring companion and kissed her Calico ears when she had a sudden realization. “Auntie…will Iver be okay without Blueberry?”

The beautiful lady and the bearded man exchanged a small glance as if neither knew exactly what to say.

“They might need some time to adjust, Ava. The truth is, if we could adopt every feral cat and give them a warm home, we would, but that would be…”

“A lot of cats,” laughed Ava.

“Yes, it would be…” the beautiful lady giggled.

“The thing is, Ava, while we know it’s hard to separate them, it’s the right thing to do,” the bearded man told her. “We need to make sure we’re responsible pet parents and, with three cats already, we think one more male kitten will complete our fur family.”

“Plus, I think Blueberry chose you to be her person. And, I think Iver might have chosen us to be his.”

“My person?”

“Don’t you know? When a cat chooses their person, that means you’ll have a special bond with them for life.”

Can a person have too many cats? The answer is yes. Responsible pet owners take into consideration the size of their home, finances, and the time they have to give to their fur babies. Want to learn more? Click HERE. Or – if you want to know if cats really “choose their person” click HERE


Hello, There. My Name is Iver. 

“Hey Man…I think you’re getting out.” It was Max, the bearer of the good news and gossip.

“What? What do you mean?” Iver asked.

“I overheard them talking to that little girl – they said I could use a new friend or something. Let’s hope it works out for the both us, eh?”

“Max, do you know where my little sister is?”

“Oh, ah, I’m sorry to tell you this, but I think she just went home with that curly headed kid,” he relayed.

Iver sat back on his blanket. His heart sank.

“If it makes any difference, she seemed really happy…”

It was true – and he knew it. Today was the first time he’d ever seen his little sister so happy. And, if he dug deep inside, something within him understood that she would be forever-contented with that little girl.

“Hey… they’re coming!” Max announced. “Be cool.”

“Who’s coming?”

The door suddenly opened…wider…wider…and all the way into a whole new world of windows, a fireplace with a mantel, fluffy rugs, and a magical Christmas tree. There – across the way – a chunky tabby sat, his green eyes blinking in approval.

“We’d like to introduce you to your new friend,” the beautiful lady said, holding the door. Little did she know, they’d met before – they’d even shaken paws. “Won’t you come join us, Iver?”

“Iver?” He looked up at the beautiful lady. “So that’s my name?” he thought fondly. “I have a name.”

Just then, Max stood and started to crisscross the room, leaving his scent on every piece of furniture he could – a deliberate maneuver, no doubt. Iver intently followed his every move across the hardwood floors.

“Good boy, Max,” the bearded man said. “You’re being such a gentleman.”

Finally, only a few feet apart, Max sat down. He sized up little Iver.

“Be brave,” Iver told himself. He took a deep breath and made his way over to Max. The two exchanged scent, and after a few moments, Iver said, “Hello, there. My name is Iver. It’s a real pleasure to finally meet you face-to-face.”

“So that’s what you look like…” Max marveled.

The bearded man and the beautiful lady watched the two boys study one another. They were amazed – meet and greets were tough – but this was a sublime first introduction with two feral kittens.     

“Any new bird report?” Iver eventually asked.

“No – it’s sort of scratchpad hour. Or, I can show you the ornaments on the Christmas tree – you just need be careful, the humans get really crazy if you play with any them.”

“Okay,” Iver agreed.

Later that Night…

Curled into a tiny ball, surrounded by the lights of the Christmas tree, little Iver slept. He was dreaming about the day before and his introduction to his newest fur brother, who was right next to his side.

The bearded man and the beautiful lady sat on the settee, sipping warm cocoa, adoring the kindred connection between their two boys who slept peacefully underneath the tree.

“I think this is my favorite Christmas,” the beautiful lady told the bearded man.

“Mine, too,” he smiled.

NOTE: The holidays can present some interesting challenges for pet parents and their fur babies. We travel. We have guests. We have different foods in the home. We deck the halls. Click HERE to learn “How to Keep Your Pet Safe this Holiday” from our team at Lakeside Animal Hospital.

Are You a New Pet Parent to a Feral Kitten?

Yes? We'd love to hear from you. Share your adoption story and a photo of your fur baby on our Facebook Page

And, make sure to schedule an appointment with your vet. If we're in your area, the team at Lakeside would love to take care of you and your new family member - we're all about pets and their people! 

About Iver Tails

Iver Tails was inspired by Lakeside's Hospital Administrator, Penn Engebose, who has a special place in her heart for feral kittens. Our author, Katy Corey of Filament Communication, is the proud pet parent of Iver. These co-collaborators can't wait for you to hear more about this sweet boy's adventures.    

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