For the past month, we’ve had a visitor. Not someone that we could readily invite into the house and make welcome, because the visitor is one of the neighborhood cats. Though this cat has become a bit more different than the others that come to our backyard and romp and play in front of the windows, the cameras, and us.
‘Mama Kitty’ is a female orange and white tabby. We’ve called her that because of her distended belly that I originally thought indicated she was pregnant. Over the next couple of weeks I pretty much determined that she’s not actually, she just has a very prominent ‘apron’, something older female cats can get after having more than a few litters. It doesn’t make her any less affectionate, or clingy. But that seems to have become a bit of a problem lately.
We’re not certain if she’s a stray, or she lives somewhere nearby, or she might have been dumped or abandoned recently. This is the first year that we’ve seen her around. For the first couple of weeks, she was aloof and when one of us would come into the backyard when she was in it, she would shy away and run off. My wife was actually the first one to have physical contact with her, by being forward and determining to walk up to her and then allow her to make the next move, ie getting a rub. After that, she warmed up to us both and would greet us with mews and asking for rubs when we encountered her around the property. Which has been all well and good, though we’ve been careful not to feed her. For the most part, come nightfall she would make her way through the backyard fence (the previous owners of the property specifically made allowances in the fence for animals to go back and forth) and possibly go home. She wouldn’t reappear until the next day unless it was raining.
Tuesday evening, she didn’t go home as usual. She stayed around the perimeter of the house after dark, and I could hear her going to the various windows on the ground floor and mewing incessantly. I didn’t actually go to bed until almost 2 am on Wednesday and she was still around the front of the house, making noise. By morning, she was gone, however. Except that didn’t last very long. By the afternoon she had returned, and I heard her talking at the windows off of the living room. During the course of the day, I spotted her beyond the fence at our neighbors to the north, where she was unable to get to the backyard due to another neighborhood cat blocking the entrance through the fence. About an hour later she was back at the window, meowing for either attention or the vain hope that she’d be let in. Already having one cat, and being unsure of her disposition, letting her in isn’t and won’t be an option.
Trying a different tactic, I posted on a local ‘Lost and Found’ group on Facebook that encompasses the county that I live in. The post I made gave the basic details I’ve listed here, along with these two pictures and a couple of others I’ve taken of her in the time she’s been around. While there have been about a dozen shares, widening the reach of the post, there haven’t been any hits locally, anyone saying “Yes, I’ve seen her and know who her humans are.” or anything else in that vein. Since it was raining most of today, she hasn’t been around. So I suppose in a way, that’s not a bad thing.
With the weather getting colder, it’s caused a bit more concern for us as to her welfare. We know that there are several feral cats in the neighborhood, and there are others that live in and around the houses as well, but frequent our backyard and property. Mama Kitty seems to be of a different category. We’re hoping for a happy ending here. Or just a happy result.