It was a lovely evening to do my evening rounds last night, so I found myself sitting in the sunroom, Potato Beetle curled up on the swing bench beside me, fiddling with my phone and enjoying the quiet.
When I suddenly realized there was a tiny tabby in front of me!
One of Junk Pile’s kittens was exploring through the open door, saw me, saw Potato Beetle and ran off, before I could get a photo.
With where the bench is set up, the open inner door blocks my view of where the cat food is set up, but I could hear some crunching – and an almost non-stop, low growl.
That would be Junk Pile. Even as she sometimes comes a bit closer to give us a sniff, she keeps up that growl.
I ended up moving to the steps of the storage house to see if I could lure some kitties closer – or at least get them more used to me.
The food bowl I’ve put there for them was empty, but the ones by the house still had kibble in them, so I didn’t add more. I wanted to encourage them to go to the house.
Little Braveheart and her tabby sibling were willing to come out and play nearby. More Braveheart than Tabby, who often ran back into the spirea.
Unfortunately, Rosencrantz was in there, too, and she does not like Junk Pile’s babies. Any time one of the kittens went in there, I could hear her growling at them.
In the end, I think they felt my presence was safer!
Little Braveheart was even almost-kinda-justabout-willing to play with the stick I was wiggling around.
After a while, the kittens took to ignoring me and just running around and playing – which, in itself, is progress – before going to the house to eat.
Junk Pile, however, has three kittens.
Eventually, I spotted the shy one, peeking at me from the spirea. It never came all the way out, so I left, so as not to stress it too much.
Instead, I went into the sun room and dug up a baggie with a few cat toys in it, tossing some outside for the babies. Potato Beetle was with me again, and he went running after the toys, too. I was pleased to see that he and the kittens would sometimes play with the same toy together, with no animosity between them!
As I was walking back and forth around the front of the house, the kittens stopped running away immediately, and would either just ignore me, or pause to watch.
Meanwhile, I went over to the junk pile, and was happy to see and hear some of Butterscotch’s kittens. She came out for pets, too. Earlier in the day, though the living room window, I saw one of her orange babies playing in the collapsed wine barrel that I’d cleared beside. I had hoped they would find it a good place to play, and they have! Now, when they do, we can see them from the house. 🙂
It will take time, but I am hoping we can socialize these babies better than we were able to with Junk Pile and Rosencrantz. The biggest problem with working on that, however, is mosquitoes. I was being eaten alive while out there! I didn’t want to put on bug spray, as I’m sure the smell would be unpleasant for the kittens. Unfortunately, the times when the kittens seem to come out the most are also the times when the mosquitoes come out, too!
We’re working on it, though! 🙂