I received a text from my mother today that said, “Tell the boys to walk slowly when they come to the house tonight. There are two new kittens!”
My mother lives in town and puts food out to feed what she still calls “stray cats.” Personally, I think when you feed a cat for several years, regardless of whether or not the cat comes into your house, the cat is yours. My mother puts food out on her front porch and the neighborhood cats know they can usually find a good meal there. In return, the cats who frequent Mom’s porch also eat any mice and many of the bugs they find nearby. The boys have named the black female cat who consistently comes by Edwina, after Edwin the cat in the Olivia books, not after their father, Ed. Edwina has had multiple litters of kittens and their numbers are thinned in the way that outdoor kittens lives usually are. The stronger and faster survive. Mom maintains that Edwina’s kittens die so frequently because Edwina is an inattentive mother. Edwina often leaves her kittens deposited in a safe little hiding space or with one of her older kittens. I maintain that Edwina has to eat occasionally and she’s fortunate enough to have an occasional babysitter. Edwina is a medium sized black cat with a few stray white hairs. Her oldest offspring is also a black female cat whom the boys have yet to name. From the next litter is a black and white female named Laniana, who is around eight months old. Edwina has many amorous suitors and has a couple of litters per year. Edwina had been obviously pregnant several weeks ago and then stayed scarce until today. Mom thinks the kittens are about three weeks old. Edwina had deposited them on Mom’s front porch today, apparently feeling safe.
The boys were beyond excited. We drove over to her house and they got out of the car slowly (after being reminded). We walked up to the porch and Oma came out. Edwina was there with a tiny black kitten and a tiny brown striped kitten. They are so young they are still fuzzy and their tails have hardly any hair. Their eyes still look like the pupils aren’t really set in place. They have tiny little teeth and loud, insistent meows. I told they boys to pet them with one finger so as not to injure them. Edwina looked on, paying us no attention and being the inattentive mother she is. Trip decided naming the cats today sounded like a good idea. He named the black one Fermin and the brown striped kitten Suzy. Upon inspection, I declared both kittens to possibly be boys. It’s hard to tell with tiny kittens.
After washing our hands multiple times, we left for dinner. We had an uneventful dinner and when we came back, Fermin and Suzy were deposited by the front step and Edwina was nowhere in sight. Momma’s got to eat, but apparently, Momma also has to find out if the area is safe for her kittens.
Fermin the cat.
Fermin and Suzy the boy kittens.
And a closing picture of Suzy.