Back in April, a cat gave birth to three kittens underneath our house: one grey, two orange and white. We named them Mac, Goldie, and Nutmeg. Two days later, the mother (Callie) took her kittens and moved them into the forest, and we wouldn’t see them again.
Or so we thought.
You can read about the beginning of our adventures here. The only thing about that post though, is that I failed to take any pictures of our kittens. Back in April, we only caught a glimpse of our new-born kittens, but they were so. darn. cute. You could hear their little “mew”s, and they would climb over each other, blind, while their mother would watch from a distance (heavily aware of our presence). All I wanted at that moment was to pick up baby Mac (whom I claimed as my own), or otherwise see him cross our yard as he grew up.
I felt personally responsible for scaring Callie away back in April, and for causing my sisters much despair. Now, I realize, the kittens needed a truly hidden spot to mature, and eventually they would grow large enough to roam around on their own.
Knowing that Summer Break was coming to an end, in Late August all we would think about was preparing for school. Since April, the kittens had begun to escape our thoughts. But the evening of August 18th would change everything. I’ll get to that soon enough.
Since then, I’ve gained so much writing material (and taken so many pictures) about our kittens, I’m saving a lot of content for a part 3 that will release come October. Let’s just say, Mac and Cali have become regular yard-cats.
I’m going to set this post up in a journal format from each day of kitten encounters, complete with stories and PICTURES! Just one thing to note- the pictures featured are the property of 12 and Beyond and I ask that they not be used for any commercial purposes without my permission.
So, let’s start with the evening of August 18, 2017 and see where this adventure takes us.
We were returning from a local baseball game, and it was pouring. We were ready to get into pajamas and wrap ourselves in blankets to watch Big Brother, when our car headlights illuminated a golden/white cat clawing at a tree in our backyard.
I’m not sure as to whether it was Goldie or Nutmeg, but I’ll let my sisters dispute that. It was a miracle that happened again- and so we sat ourselves out in the pouring rain and watched her as she traversed herself nearer to the shed. That was when we noticed another golden/white kitten sitting on the log next to our shed- and my baby Mac was sitting in the shadows, barely visible. They had grown so much!
It was so hard to see them (and thus hard to take pictures of them), but it was a reassurance that our time with the kittens was far from end. And so we started feeding them. We purchased a box of cat food, and left a bowl of it and water out in front of the shed door. Back in April, we had tried to leave out Tuna, but being it too close to where the cats were located, they wouldn’t touch it. But by putting it near the shed, it would be easily accessible but not close to the habitats of the kittens (we knew the general area of where they lived). As a teaser for the October edition, that food didn’t keep out other wildlife, however: quite the contrary.
It was so special to see all three of them together- but even more special, just to see Baby Mac! At this point, they had grown so much and were probably apart from their mother. Again, Baby Mac!
There’s one more member of the cat family that I haven’t yet mentioned: Daddy Mac. Or at least, that’s what I like to call him (he looks EXACTLY like Baby Mac). Even before any of this had started, we had noticed him by our birdbath early in the morning, pretty much every day, getting his fill of water before laying down in his usual sunny spot.
Unfortunately, he obviously separated himself from the rest of his family (as most male cats do), so he provided no sign that the kittens were around, nor did we see him eat any of the food we put out. August 21st was the first day we took pictures of him. Sorry if they are blurry- we tried to keep our distance, and thus were separated by windows.
Someone was eating our food, at least. We (correctly) presumed that it was the kittens, but that they only came out at night. Each night, we would refill the bowls, and by the next morning, they would be empty. Even though the kittens hadn’t made any appearances, we found much comfort that they were actually accepting our food.
And I can’t say that that adoption hadn’t crossed our minds, but were hopeful that we could at least get our kittens accustomed to humans before they became truly feral.
Nearing dusk, our dad arrived home from work. To our surprise, he rushed in and quickly pointed out the cat who was presently eating our food. Victory!
We think it was Callie- but you never know. I think I chose the right cat- no sibling disputes about who’s is who’s!
Oh, and in that 3rd picture is our resident Bunny, Cadbury. She’s friends with our pet bunny, Ginger, and was hanging out near Callie. Callie was eating (and she had no qualms about eating the entire bowl of food), but she knew we were there.
Believe me, you never want to make eye contact with a cat. (Pictures 6,7,8) It was kind of creepy. She was just staring us down- and knowing how nervous she was around us last time, it made us wary of being in her line of vision.
But, as we would later find, that didn’t deter her in any way- and I believe she was only overly paranoid because she was trying to protect her kittens. Now that they were on their own, she was free to do whatever she wanted. We weren’t about to attempt anything with her, though: she was still feral, after all.
For today, I want to leave it at that. Even at the time of writing, so much more has happened- including something that almost led us to making another mistake we would have regretted for years to come.
But rest assured- the kittens have returned daily for their snack (we’ve also seen Daddy Mac capture a bird, right as my younger sisters were watching. 😬), even during the daytime. Over this past weekend, I’ve seen both Mac and Callie return at least twice a day. And we continue to feed them- all is well.
I still have lots to share though, but you’ll have to wait for the October edition to release. If you have any questions about any particular kitten sightings, or if you want me to clarify anything, feel free to ask in the comments.
And if you want, I’ll leave you to ponder this (blurry) photo before all is revealed in October:
For now, thanks so much for reading. Have a great weekend!