Well, the day has finally come.
The barrier in the sun room door could no longer keep the kittens in.
Once a couple of kittens discovered they could not get past the box flaps that had been in their way when we used them to increase the height of the barricade, there was no stopping them.
So we took out the box and moved the barricade enough for them to leave without having to jump (and potentially hurt themselves).
Soon, they were all over the place in the area in front of, and around, the sun room.
Butterscotch even started calling some of them to follow her! The ones that started to, soon doubled back to the house.
After a while, I took Dave and Keith over to the little bowls where I have been leaving food for their mom and sibling. She and her baby were in the old barrel planter, half hidden in the bushes. I saw her baby disappear, but she was watching me closely.
It took a little while, but she came to check things out, skirting around the other side of the lilacs from me, and soon she was reunited with her babies.
She eventually lead them to the barrel planter (she loves to lounge in there) and the last I saw, they were still together, and very excited to be reunited. I expect their sibling to join them, too.
I’m not sure how this will work out at night. Dave and Keith love their people attention, have two other moms they’ve gotten used to, and 8 cousins to play with. I’m hoping their comfort around us will help us to socialize their sibling and their mom.
We still plan to bring Dave indoors permanently, and will continue to wash his eyes regularly, but I’m glad they’ll get to spend time with their mom and sibling again. I had hoped she would come into the sun room to see them, but she is just too shy, and had another baby to care for.
Letting the kittens out is a risk for them, but the sun room has been their home for so long, with toys, food, water and soft beds to sleep on, so I do expect them to keep coming back. We will just have to be more careful about counting them when we close things up at night.