It was a beautiful spring day, when Don came in and said, "Honey, you've got to come look to see what's out back!" He was standing at the window in our living room that looks out over our yard. Of course, I dropped everything and went to look.
Oh, my goodness! There was the sweetest mama cat with four little kittens just lying around in the grass.
I took photos through the window.
They would eat and then play.
I know I have more pictures somewhere. I'll add them later.
And then they finally curled up to sleep.
They were so cute. But when I tried to go out the back door, they were gone! We were pretty sure they scooted under our deck but they were so fast we weren't positive. We even became convinced they were actually born under the deck.
These little babies stayed with us all summer. Probably because I started feeding them. I decided they needed some regular, healthy food. They looked old enough, maybe 6-8 weeks. And they loved it. And I knew it would be good for their nursing mama.
I really didn't think much more about the future. Just that I was taking care of these little cuties for now. They were all tabbys. Two were dark, with lots of black striping. We named them Blackie and Mikey. Mikey had a very predominant "M" on the face. Then the other two were lighter grey tabbys. The darker one we called Smoke and the lighter one, Ash. Mama was Mama. And even though Mama appreciated the food, she would hiss at me every time I came outside to feed them. And the babies wouldn't come out until I went back inside. So I had to be content to just watch from the back door.
Mama would come and go out of our fenced-in backyard and as the babies grew, they would follow her. They found holes in the fence and would crawl under and Mama would jump up and go over. We never got close. They were as wild as squirrels. I kept feeding them and put out clean water and of course, they kept coming back. I think someone told me that they were feral cats but I really didn't do any research to find out any more about them. I still hadn't thought too much about winter or anything else until . . .
Don called me one day, "Honey, you've got to come look. You're not going to believe it!"