A while back our neighbor across the street, who we'll call Steve, because that's his name, found a bunch of kittens in his backyard. We were glad it was in his backyard this time because we've found our share of kittens in our backyard and didn't want to have to deal with what to do with them. His girlfriend at the time took two of the kittens and he just kind of let the others grow up wild in his yard. So, when wild kittens grow up, what happens? They run around the neighborhood and eventually produce new wild kittens of their own.
A few weeks ago a little very very skinny all black cat shows up in our front yard, looking completely emaciated and very very hungry. Keith, being the big softy that he is, got her some food, and she actually let him touch her. Well, wild cats being the smart little foragers that they are, she started to come around a few times a day, giving us her poor me big eyed looks, and hanging around until we gave her some food. She lets us pet her, and in doing so, we realized that she must have just had a litter of kittens, what with her nipples hanging down and her incredible appetite. We've been feeding her about 4 times a day and she hangs around on the front patio, driving our cats nuts because they want to know how come this black cat gets to go outside, and what the heck is she doing outside their window, anyway.
We never saw any kittens, though, up until Friday night when Keith heard all this frantic mewing coming from the direction of Steve's front yard. Mama cat had stuffed her kittens under the bushes by his front door and the sprinklers had come on and soaked them, and they were crying for Mama to come and save them. Keith went to investigate and finds these kittens covered in mud and fleas huddled under the scratchy spiky bushes.
The next morning Keith went over to check out the kittens and tried to wash them up a bit, then got mama cat to nurse them by nuzzling them up to her. They look like they are just about 3 weeks old, born about the time that she first came over to our house, and apparently she's been trying to take care of them, but she's so young that I had thought that her litter probably hadn't survived. So, here are these poor little kittens stuffed under a bush, with a not so bright mama cat, and what do we do with these little guys? I'm all for letting nature take it's course and just leaving mama to take care of them, mainly because we just can't afford to foster another litter of kittens until they're old enough to give away.
The next evening, Steve went out drinking with his buddies (something he does every weekend), and when he came stumbling up his sidewalk after his evening of beer guzzling, here was mama cat and four kittens in his doorway. This was his reaction:
GODDAMMIT! MORE CATS ON MY SIDEWALK! GODDAMMIT!
Opens door, slams door, opens door again with a bag of cat chow, pours cat chow on the sidewalk, throws a handful at mama cat.
GODDAMMIT GET OUT OF HERE!
Slams door shut.
Keith happened to be out front when all this happened, laughing the whole time.
Then the next morning mama cat didn't come over to get her breakfast, and we see her and the kittens laying by Steve's front door, so we go over to check on them. Apparently mama cat had her fill of cat chow and was now laying in the middle of the sidewalk with cat chow dregs all around her, plus flies and ants that had also discovered the cat chow.
Keith was thinking about moving the kittens over to our yard and even got out some plastic milk crates to make them a little fort, but mama cat has moved her kittens somewhere else and we don't know where, yet. So, we will soon have even more stray cats running around the neighborhood unless we can find these kittens and get them all tamed so we can try to give them away, not that kittens aren't a dime a dozen and it might be hard to find some takers. The SPCA has a sign on their door to not even bother bringing any animals over there, they have no room, so the only other alternative is the county shelter. So, we'll see what happens here.
Oh, and it was 105 STINKING HOT degrees here yesterday. And will be in the 100's all week.