I think it was the winter of 1978 that I first saw this very cold cat trying desperately to stay warm. He had crawled under the porch in the rear of the apartment house I was living in at the time in Babylon Village, NY. We must have had 16" of snow on the ground and this cat was trying his damnest to not get his feet stuck down into the drifts, it was a little comical ( I believe that was the first time he made me smile).
So I brought down the great persuader, food, and started to gain his trust. I took about 30 minutes of coaxing to get him to follow my around to the front door of the house. Once the door got closed, I picked him up and I had a cat. Thinking back on it, he should have been scared and clawing the heck out me. He just sort of sat back for the ride up the three flights of stairs to the apartment.
and realized he wasn't going to be dinner, he made it clear to everyone he was going to be in the warmth of this home and tried to be social to the other cats (who were quite alarmed that another cat was in THEIR territory). Everything calmed down to just a few hisses and he rubbed up next to me and purred. His purr rolled out of his tail and came up through him like a shiatsu massage. He boldly jumped up on the couch and into my lap to lay down (after doing the strechy claws thing to soften me up first).
and I knew he had me. Cat number three was in the house.