Several months ago during a bad thunderstorm, I heard a loud, repeated thunking on the side of my condo. After the worst of the storm had passed, I went outside to investigate. Tucked behind the a/c, up against the side of the building, was a pile of kittens. We spotted each other at about the same time, and they took off under the fence.
I know the mama cat. I often catch her hunting in my bird feeders. I’d investigated trapping her to get her spayed and released, but before I got around to doing it, I noticed her ear was tipped. Someone had beaten me to it. (When feral cats are caught and spayed, they cut the tip off one ear so you can tell they’ve been taken care of.) Whenever I catch the mama hunting, I tap on the window and she takes off. She’s frightened of people, so it doesn’t take much to shoo her away.
Several weeks ago, I spotted a small gray and white kitty harassing the birds and squirrels. She looked to be about four months old, and I’m fairly certain she was one of the kittens that had been piled up behind the a/c. Like her mama, her ear has been tipped. When I tapped on the window, she looked at me and carried on sitting on the fence in stealth mode. I opened the door, thinking the moment I did, she’d take off. She didn’t. Instead, she jumped off the fence and came to me. She wasn’t the least bit frightened of me. She meowed and begged for petting, which she got. I brought her bowls of kibble and water, and she seemed to eat hungrily. But she wasn’t thin. In fact, she looked quite healthy.
Since then, she comes around often. She tries to talk to Sadie through the glass in the back door. Sadie gets a bit agitated, but the little kitty is friendly and not the least bit aggressive. Today, I captured some images of her through the back door.
Today, I did let her in. Sadie hissed at her a few times, and little kitty looked quite perplexed, as if wondering how anyone could hiss at a kitty as sweet and cute as herself. I suspect little kitty would get along with Sally and Sadie much better than Sophie (the stray I took in nearly three years ago) has. First, because she is quite young, and also, because she’s not a scrappy aggressive little nutter, like Sophie is. (Sophie is lucky I didn’t put her back out on the streets years ago. Okay, not really. I would never do that. But she is a pill.)
So here I am, in danger of taking on Cat Number 4. Because she seems to be healthy and well-fed (perhaps the Buddhist monks at the temple that adjoins my property are looking out for her), I don’t feel any urgency. Other than I don’t like the idea of the little kitten living outside. But Sadie doesn’t need any added stress right now. (Sadie’s test results last week improved once again. Her BUN was down to 32—within the range of normal. Her creatinine was down from 4.0 to 3.6. Still room for improvement, but better.) And as Sophie often reminds us, there is hardly room for three cats in my 1500-square-foot condo, let alone this adolescent interloper. (Not to mention, at some point, my mother’s kitty will need a loving home.) So I’ll keep an eye on her, and act if things take a negative turn. Meanwhile, I’ll give her lots of pets and make sure she remains healthy and well-fed.
Is more room for cats a bad reason to move from a condo into a larger house? I’m thinking something in the country, so as to keep expenses low, and not derail my early-retirement plan.