The Cats in the Cradle

We have new neighbors! A family of cats living on the side of our house.

A few weeks ago, we started seeing a black and gray stripped tabby cat wandering around outside our house. I even saw her cruising around our backyard. I didn’t think much of it, other than she must be a stray because she didn’t have any collar.

Well last week she began making herself known a bit more. As I continued to befriend her, she grew less afraid of me. She eventually approached me and rubbing her body against my leg, all the the while giving a quiet “meow.” Soon enough, she then began doing the same with Sophie and Bryan.

Well last Thursday when I watched the cat dart back to the side of our house, I noticed a few little fur balls under our fence. KITTENS! Once I left the scene, two of them emerged. Later that day, I counted three. When Bryan got home, he confirmed six. Six adorable little kittens living on the side of our house.

Now I’m not a cat person. I never grew up with cats and they’re a bit aloof for my taste. But I will admit this little family is just precious! The mom – that Bryan named Tess – is the most affectionate cat I’ve seen. She loves coming up to us as if she wants to come in the house and be a part of our family. Okay, maybe she just sees us as a meal ticket. At least she knows that affection gets food.

Poor Mama Tess is extremely skinny. We’re trying to fatten her up by giving her milk and cat food supplied by Bryan’s mom. The babies seem to be well-fed since the mother is still nursing her young. We’ve seen this a few times and it’s amazing to watch.

We’re not sure what we’re eventually doing with this family. Once the kittens are a few weeks older, we’ll probably see who wants them before they become feral. I’d like to keep Tess around if she’ll join our family. Since she came along, our fruit trees have born fruit (translation: no rats). And even the dogs like her. But for now, it’s been a wonderful addition to our family life and we’ve so enjoyed watching these little creatures.

Tess on the fence looking pretty
Tess drinking milk. I’ve since learned cats don’t really drink milk. Well, this one does.
Tess walking with Sophie. Pay no attention to the dead grass, please.
Sophie and Tess
The Mishpocha (Yiddish word for “family”). Five kittens enjoying hot dogs from Bryan.
Two of the kittens make their way out of hiding.
This one looks like trouble.
The Little Guy
Sophie making friends with one of the kittens.
Poor Casey just wants to play with the little guys.

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