Why is my neighbor's cat visiting me

Neighbor cat second home

Hello dear forum members

This is my first and probably a little longer contribution today. I've already used the search bar and think this story is a bit more extraordinary than some of the other cats around the neighborhood

My partner and I moved into a ground floor apartment with a patio door to the courtyard in December. The inner courtyard is small, it includes a small garden with other adjoining gardens from the surrounding houses, so everything is very close together.

From the first day we moved in, we had a visit from a beautiful little fortune cat while we were ventilating. She came in as a matter of course and looked at everything very carefully. From then on, the mouse kept coming back every day, when we ventilated, looked at everything, left again. At some point she started - she can't meow, by the way, but only make sweet squeaking noises every now and then - sitting on the window sills and "complaining" noiselessly when the door was closed. Little by little she stayed longer on her visits, at some point started to snuggle up on the couch and sleep extensively, often snuggled up to me on the couch, and so on. We haven't given her any treats, food, etc. for a very long time. However, when she started in the evening not to go when we wanted to go to bed around 11/12, we sometimes had to lure her out with a little lactose-free milk because I didn't want to keep it in there overnight - on the one hand because of the worries of the Owner, on the other hand, we didn't have a litter box, and as a total newbie to cats, I didn't know whether she was only going outside or how often.

Of course she got water from us. So it became normal that she was with us for more than half of the day, she became more and more familiar. Then we went to our neighbor, who had been living there for a long time, and asked if he knew who the cat belonged to. He continued to call me the house; whereupon I recited everything to the nice woman; however, it turned out that she only had a similar cat once, which sadly had passed away, and the neighbor had mistaken her for her. She then told me who she really belongs to; she is not sure whether she is really taking good care of the cat, and there has been trouble with the direct neighbor of the actual cat owner in the past because the little mouse has tried to stay there for a long time and the owner did not want to

From then on we were pretty lost, because even if it is the rightful owner of the little one - she visibly felt at home with us, we had never fed her ourselves (we now have dry food and water available, as well as wet food and treats from time to time etc), it was a matter of course for her to be and also to live here and we now absolutely loved her

I wrestle extremely with myself because I know that I have to talk to the owner. But what comes next - I had misunderstood the neighbor, who gave me the information to whom the cat really belongs, and thought that the cat "comes" from two houses further, out of our field of vision.
A few weeks ago, when we were standing in the garden playing with the mouse and laughing, a woman suddenly called out the name of the cat, which I was told. So the cat lives right after a few steps across the courtyard and a small garden directly across from us, I can look into the owner's garden and they should see our terrace. When the little mouse is outside, it is mostly in our courtyard or in our small garden, and especially now that it is warm, it runs in and out, always waits well when the terrace is closed. We always leave the window tilted at night, because at the moment she is always out and about at night in this weather and she often squeaks when she wants to come back in - I wake up like a mom - otherwise she comes every morning when we get up to sleep after the "wild" night - at least what I mean by that - the neighbor MUST have seen it. I have already seen her and her husband in the garden several times and meanwhile I call the cat, if we call her from the terrace she comes running straight away, no matter what time of day or night. She comes when she hears my car and it's embarrassing; the day the neighbor called her, she ran after us, not her. She must have noticed all of this over the many months, no owner can miss something like this. But still she never said anything. Do you think that suggests that we can agree that she officially lives with us as a second home?

The cat should be between 3 and 5, and of course we also have to find out if it has anything, etc. I always pay attention to the best food, and it probably eats mostly here, but it's important.
The owner has two other cats, our mouse may not like that and is therefore looking for shelter somewhere else?

I'm really in a fix. I can no longer imagine a life without the little one, as childish and dramatic as that sounds And the way she cuddles with us, greets us, lies in bed with me, is always with me when I have a migraine - I think it wouldn't do her any good either.

Do you have experiences with such "neighborly talks"?
We're going on holiday for 13 days in August, that's the next problem - she mostly eats here, and is used to being there and she is always allowed in or the door is open for her. It's time to talk about it. But I'm so scared that the woman forbids us to use the mouse

I almost lose my joy on vacation because I'm afraid that she will forget us in the two weeks and no longer feel at home here or that familiarity will be lost. How do cats tick?

For advice and experiences, I would be very, very grateful, despite the very long description. Thank you so much!

- And even if I sound like a little teen in this text, we are actually in our mid-twenties -