While putting the kibble out this morning, Rosencrantz was actually letting me pet her, and not attacking me at the same time. I think that made a big difference, because this little guy seemed more relaxed beside her.
What a little cutie! He (she?) even let me pet him when he wasn’t eating. Not only that, but his tortie sibling came closer than ever before, without running away. Not close enough to touch, but still progress.
This entire litter is getting more exploratory and bold. I’m seeing them at the kibble house, and even inside the cat shelter. I think the pump shack kittens are starting to come closer to the house, too, but they run off so fast, I can’t tell for sure.
We still don’t know how many yard cats we now have in total! 😁
My husband took the compost bucket our for me last night, leaving the sun room door open behind him. When he got back, the sun room was full of kittens, so he left the door open.
I went out last night to close it, and there was at least half a dozen kittens on the swing bench, and others running around, freaking out because I’d walked into the room.
The kibble was out, so I topped up all the trays, including the one in the sun room. I didn’t want to risk trapping kittens in there overnight, so I left the inner and outer doors slightly open, so they could go in and out still.
Before heading out this morning, I looked out the bathroom window and there were so many kittens on the swing bench, I could hardly see the seat.
Of course, the more feral ones ran off as soon as they heard the old kitchen doors as I started heading out, but not all of them disappeared.
The calico ran off a moment after I got the shot, then the black and white one ran into the mini greenhouse shelf. The third one is one of the two that are the most socialized. I was able to pick it up and cuddle it. The other black and white that lets us hold it was nearby, and for a while, I was sitting on the bench holding both of them.
So it looks like we won’t be able to close the sun room door for a while! I’ll have to put the rope/knob system back. Basically, the knobs for the two doors are tied to each other, with the rope going through the arm bar in the door frame. This allows me to have the doors almost closed, and the wind (or rough housing critters) can’t open them all the way.
Hopefully, their curiosity about the sun room will also have them getting more used to our presence, and help with socialization.
There are actually six kittens in this photo. There’s the four in the kibble house, Junk Pile Jr at the other kibble tray outside the kibble out, and there’s a grey tabby behind her. You can just barely see the top of it’s back.
Nosencrantz actually stayed in the kibble house with her cousins, while Toesencrantz and her mother used their own private dining area under the shrine. Potato Beetle as hanging out as well, though he walked out of frame as I was taking this picture. 😀 I also saw flashes of the other three kittens, wanting to come and eat, but still too nervous with me around. The little tuxedo actually stayed close, and didn’t even leave the kibble house when I went around the other side to fill the kibble tray on the ground. 🙂
I was able to get a whole bunch of kitten pictures this evening.
Only three of Butterscotch’s 4 kittens were visible while I was nearby.
Butterscotch’s expression is just too funny. 😀
I’ve been slowly trying to lure the kittens closer, so I can finally touch them, but it’s a little more difficult while sitting in a chair. My younger daughter can sit on the ground, and she has been able to get some of them to come close enough to touch. 🙂
That stripe on the calico’s nose is just hilarious! 😀
This little lady almost came close though to touch. 😀
Later on, I spotted one of Rosencrantz’s babies, taking a drink, so I move a camp chair near their food and water bowls, too.
This one’s face bears a strong resemblance to Nicky the Nose. Particularly that tragic expression!
Yeah, I’m pretty sure this is another spawn of Nicky the Nose! 😀
The little orange one is quite a bit shier than its sibling. Rosencrantz, at least, is tolerant, if not friendly, and will once in a while let me pet her.
I’ve seen Junk Pile cat around today, but no sign of her two kittens. I do hope she brings them around again!
When things started cooling down, I headed outside and checked on the old kitchen garden. I started to pull out some weeds I missed this morning, when I heard a noise.
I had startled Junk Pile cat, who was lying on the beets by the retaining wall.
She wasn’t alone!
What a cutie!!
I saw another one dash around the tree, so I started carefully moving around to the side of the garden…
Only to startle more critters.
I certainly wasn’t going to begrudge the skunks a drink of water, so I let them be (the water bottles had been frozen, earlier) and kept moving slowly though the side of the garden.
This confused the skunks, as usually we never go between them and the storage house. We usually go to the other side and use the hose to chase them that way, instead.
This baby was so confused, it started to follow me! 😀
On the far side of the retaining wall, I found the kitten.
It just froze there, watching me.
The other one came bounding over, playing in the mosquito netting, until it realized I was there, then it ran off into the maple grove. The first one stayed frozen for a while longer before it ran off.
I am so glad Junk Pile finally brought her kittens over! From how many teats I could see were in use, I had thought she had more. I don’t know if these are the only ones that were brave enough to follow her, or if they are the only survivors left.
As I headed around the kibble house – which got its second coat of paint yesterday – I spotted Rosencrantz’s babies.
This little one was hiding behind the pedestal, watching me, before coming out for a drink.
It’s sibling was watching me, too, while lounging on some scrap carpet in the junk pile.
I had been wondering how the kittens were getting through the fence. The ground rises slightly here and, between that and the junk, there is no gap at the bottom. This morning, I saw how. They are still small enough to fit through the chain link… but just barely! Pretty soon, they’ll have to go around to another part of the fence, where there is a gap underneath, to get through.
So that’s three litters of kittens we’ve seen now. Butterscotch and her four, and Rosencrantz and Junk Pile’s, with two each. That leaves Ghost Baby, assuming Ghost Baby is actually female and has a litter. We still don’t know, but are kind of assuming.
Hopefully, we will be able to socialize some of them, but if they just become comfortable enough to come to the house for food and water, I will be happy.
While heading out to start the evening watering, I spotted Butterscotch’s babies coming out to play.
Or should I say, my daughter spotted them. I’d gone out to help my mother with errands, then did a few of my own, so I pulled up to the house to unload the car. My daughter later parked it for me, and spotted them while returning to the house. She plunked herself down on the ground with a long stick to wiggle at them, and they were very interested! 😀 Not enough to come close, though, but she’s working on it!
While we were finishing up the evening watering, I happened to see movement in the junk pile by the chain link fence.
Rosencrantz had brought her babies!
I didn’t dare get too close, so zooming in with my phone was the best I could do.
It looks like she only has the two of them. They are so adorable! I don’t know where she has her “nest”, other than it was not in the junk pile, so I am glad that she is starting to bring them closer to the house.
So this is now two litters accounted for. I know Junk Pile cat has had a litter, and from the looks of her teats, I’d say she has a litter of six. Until she starts bringing them to the yard, we won’t know if she has six surviving kittens. There’s also Ghost Baby, who is too feral for us to even know if she’s female. We’re just assuming she is, and that there is another litter somewhere for us to discover.
Last night, I came out of the house to find I had an audience, watching me. 🙂
When I came out this morning to refill their food containers, Braveheart came running right up to me – but not enough to let me pet her! 😀
Her brother, on the other hand, actually let me pet him!
His fur is soooo soft. 😀
Now, it would be because I had the scoop of food in my hands, and had just added some to the container – he was far more interested in the food than in me! When he did finally seem to notice I was petting him, he sort of moved away, but then went right back and let me pet him some more.
I honestly expected this level of progress with Braveheart, not Tabby!