Always a strong advocate for adoption and DOWN with buying from pet stores, my cats were all strays of one kind or another.
Precious showed up one day out of the blue, a little skinny and a lot of attitude. Began feeding her on the porch and finally got close enough to grab her in a blanket to get her to the vet. She used to LOVE sleeping on the hearth with a roaring fire at her back, turned her into a hot, black cat.
My mother was at an aquarium supply store, procuring fish accoutrements, when a small, poofy, black kitten gently climbed her leg and draped himself around her neck. She decided then and there she MUST bring him home, especially while his motor kept running and he was so sweet and loving. He was a much better match for my sister, as Precious was not too fond of her and my mother didn't want my sister to be afraid of animals.
As for Romeow, a few months after Fuzzy finding us, I noticed a pitiful mewling coming from under our porch. Discovered a thin, scraggly, BIG framed tom cowering and hiding. I spent hours on my belly, looking into the darkness, bribing and coaxing him with food. Finally, he figured out we weren't there to hurt him and came out. We were horrified with the condition he was in and rushed him to the vet.
Though they caused much strife and grief, laughter and sadness, I am so grateful they were in my life and I will always wish I'd had more time with them.