Last night, my daughters heard the sounds of a kitten meowing outside. It was dark and raining, so we went out to check.
What we found, barely visible in the shadows, was a kitten on the patio blocks in front of the shelf shelter. It appeared that a cat was moving her kittens into the shelf! By the time I got out, there was no sign of the mother, but I saw the kibble trays were all empty. After topping those up, I quickly scooped up the cold, wet kitten – it was even smaller than the last kitten we found in the lawn! – and tucked it into the bottom shelf shelter. I just wanted to get it out of the rain, and it would be easy for the mama to find.
When I came out of the sun room to do my morning rounds, one of the ‘iccuses exploded out of the shelf shelter. I came prepared, though. I grabbed a scoop of kibble, along with my usual container full, and quickly poured some into both shelves that are insulated and enclosed, then filled the rest of the kibble trays. Potato Beetle emerged from the cats’ house while I did, but he preferred to follow me into the sun room to eat there. Aside from him, I saw only 3 other yard cats, and I think they were all mamas.
While going past the shelf after setting out some bird seed (we have no feeders out right now, because of the racoons, so it’s a daily toss onto the ground), I quickly stuck my phone into the openings and got pictures.
There were kittens in the higher shelf. It was terribly out of focus, but I could see three kittens.
Just a little while ago, I went out to chase a pair of skunks out of the kibble house. The mama ran out of the shelter shelf and hid around the back of the kibble house, so I quickly tried to take another picture.
I was wrong! There are four kittens. 🙂
I hope the mama is willing to let her litter stay here. We will try to avoid using the sun room door as much as we can, since it’s right next to the shelf. Good thing my brother did a quick fix on the main entry door! It’s still a high traffic area, though. Not only is the kibble and bird seed store in there, so are many of our yard and garden tools and supplies and, of course, the transplants in the sun room, with the outside platform we put them next to it, too. The fact that she actually brought her kittens so this shelf anyway suggests maybe her previous location got rained out or something.
I believe this is now the third litter we’ve seen kittens from, though the other two have been moved twice now. Broccoli has her litter around somewhere, too, and I’m sure Ghost Baby must have a litter. How many will survive long enough to start coming to the kibble house with their moms, we won’t know for probably at least another month, maybe two. The shyer mothers tend to keep their babies away longer, but after a while, they start coming over on their own.
Hopefully, these ones will do well in their new home.