My dad installed a hinged pet door in the basement door. Our cats would walk through to the litter box that was in the basement/first floor. They eventually died and we were left cat-less for quite a while.
Then a cat started appearing on our first/second floor. Mewing a plaintive cry, my parents had no idea where it was coming from. We were still in mourning so they would toss it out the back door. Re-appearing each morning, the cat was insistent. Still, a firm no and out the door.
My dad happened to be in the basement/first floor when he saw the cat emerge from a crawl space that was between our house and the one down the street.
They finally locked the door out of desperation to keep the cat outside. It worked for two days. On the third day, there was the cat, standing in the hallway. The cat door – a metal configuration – was bent outward. My mother decided that since the cat wanted in our house so much that it could stay. Named Smokey for its ash colored hair, that cat was a joy to my mother. It was a great mouser and would often lay its offering at the feet of my mother.
Of sweat pants – my mother would use the restroom when she would get back from the run. Not one to be left outside, Smokey would grab the string of her sweatpants and run like crazy. She was very happy when she found sweatpants with an elastic waist.
Smokey was a great cat. He left one year – as suddenly as he had entered our lives. His memory, however, lingers on.