Scarecrows of Nevermore
Fergus never wanted anything more than to be left alone. He built himself a cabin in the woods far enough from town to never cross paths with anyone, but close enough to pick up supplies or sell his carvings when he needed coin.
One day a beautiful young woman showed up at his door. She said she also lived in the woods and had watched him for some time. She wanted to get to know him better.
Fergus rebuffed her advances fairly gruffly. Unfortunately for him, this young woman was a powerful witch who was determined to have Fergus as a companion. She gave the woodsman one more chance, and when he brushed her off again, she cursed him by turning him into a black cat.
She took him to her cottage deep in the forest, and he has lived there in a cage ever since. That is, until a band of adventurers showed up and freed him. Fergus now travels with them.