The "Kittahs." There was the male that I fed for a couple of months. He was hanging around. He needed food. We called him Boots. An all black cat with white feet and legs. Boots seemed appropriate and fitting. He was clearly a male cat. Then, about a month ago - probably longer - Boots started hanging out down the street. Fine by us. We knew he was never going to be one of The Kids, but if you have two, then what's another. Besides, isn't it all the rage to "adopt" from overseas? Both The Boy and The Baby are from the States. Boots is from the Sandbox. There you go. A happy diversified family. Yeah. Not really, but kind of sort of, right?
In Boots place a young "kittah" started hanging around. Kitten, not little small kitten, but not a full-grown cat, either. Related to Boots? Maybe. Off-spring, perhaps. Black. Same green eyes. A single white foot. And a perfect white stripe up its nose. We started calling the kitten Stripe. I went to let The Boy outside in the back yard a couple of weeks ago and had NO idea Stripe was out there. Don't 'cha know The Boy spotted Stripe RIGHT away and raced to "attack." This was like a week after The Boy had been attacked by a "Killer Kittah" two blocks behind us when we were all out for a daily walk one morning. From out of nowhere - whoosh - The Boy was being attacked! Did he learn his lesson? Apparently not. I screamed. "NNOOOOOO!!" and Stripe darted underneath the gate to safety. We double check now, before letting either of The Kids outside, to make sure that the back yard is cat free. A few days ago, as I was getting ready to let The Boy out in the morning, I watched Stripe scale the cement wall to get outside of the yard. Stripe no longer fits underneath the gate.
Two days ago, I went out to feed Stripe. Stripe doensn't wander far from the yard and has taken to sitting on our front stoop in the morning in anticipation of breakfast. I finally figured out what gender Stripe is - female - and noticed that she has been putting on weight. Quite a bit of weight, actually. I think there are going to be Baby Furballs in the near future. This says that pregnancy in cats becomes noticeable in about the fifth week. Full gestation is 63 - 65 days. Well, if I've noticed... And it was this week that I noticed... Let's say Stripe is five weeks pregnant. She has another five weeks and couple days, more or less, before this young cat becomes a Mommy herself. [No we certainly were not planning on a teenage pregnancy, here. Caught us a bit off guard. To say the least.]
Great. Just what the Sandbox needs. More unplanned "ferel" kittahs. Stripe wants to be part of the family. And, we'd be willing to have her if we could get her in a cage and I could get her to a vet to get her shots, and flea treatment, etc. I am a bit worried about her condition, though. Perhaps she will find somewhere else to have her kittens. I don't know. There is not a "dark" safe place outside the house for her to do this. I've considered a box - upside down - with a hole cut in it so that she can freely enter and exit [heck, I'll cut windows in it for "light" if she wants it...] I've considered opening up the garage just enough so that she can come and go freely. The problem with that is that it faces the road - a busy street - and I do NOT want kittens roaming the street. It is a dilemma.
I have no idea what we are going to do about this situation. If anyone has any suggestions, they would be more than welcome! The kittens - if they are born in our yard - will definitely have to be caught and taken to PAWS [as if PAWS doesn't already have enough of a "cat" problem!], or to the kennel, here. Perhaps kittens could all find home. I don't know. But I also know that we do not need or want more than one cat to "diversify" our family...
What to do. What to do. I could be really wrong about Stripe being pregnant. Although DH said to me yesterday, "I think you're right about Stripe." Hmmm. I think I am too. Worms? Could worms make a small cat - not much older than a kitten herself - wide around the middle? Why? Why do I have to have such a big heart where animals are concerned? I can't just let them go hungry... This isn't the first episode with stray cats, here. Last year when there were a few of them around I was putting food out and then I called PAWS and borrowed one of their have-a-heart traps. As soon as we baited the trap and put it out - all three cats disappeared - not a single one of them went into the trap. But that did take care of the cat problem, at our house. They just went somewhere else to be a problem.
Baby Furballs. Probably in about five weeks.