About a year and a half ago, a sweet young calico cat showed up on our front porch. I was having one of those awful-nothing is-working-for-me-bawl-your-eyes-out-pity-party days. Then this beautiful tortoise shell colored cat shows up at my door step like an angel sent directly from God. Grace named the new kitty "Leah."
Leah had two litters of kittens in 2005. The first litter (of four) was born in a box half full of tack strip in the rafters of the garage. Fortunately, I found them rather quickly before their little bodies were punctured by the sharp tack strip.
Later, three (one ran off) were given to my mom; one has since been "returned" to us.
Another little "angel" showed up on the front porch in the summer of 2005. "Charlie" was a sweet, long-haired yellow kitten with the personality of Casanova. We really enjoyed Charlie, but Leah barely tolerated him. Charlie never went more than 20 feet from the house, but one day we found him dead on the road . . .
One day later, Leah had the second litter (of four) on the table on the front porch at 2 am. I was asleep but my "inner doula" must have sensed something because I got up and went to the front door just in time to see Leah giving birth to them. I have heard the legend about fall kittens (called "stupple kats" by my Uncle George) not surviving. They did seem a little strange and made the most hideous wailing cries. It seemed that Leah did NOT want to feed them and I couldn't get them to drink anything either. Then about three weeks later, they all died on the same day (must have been a jealous tomcat).
Leah was promptly scheduled for a visit to the vet to be spayed. DH was not so thrilled about this idea #1 because of the cost and #2 because of the cost. I had her fixed anyway and was confident that she would stick around for many years and would not have to worry about any more babies.
This fall, my mother "returned" one of the kittens; she also left with us a possum-cat (it's pure white with weird eyes and the strangest "meow"). Leah tolerated these two as well...until about a week ago when she stopped coming to the house for the morning feeding. At first I thought that she was just out hunting (good kitty). But then we didn't see her for another day, and another...not good. Alas, are you beginning to sense my naivete about farm cats?
My neighbor came over last night and mentioned that they had a new "shop kitty" that looked a lot like Leah! And, "boy, is she fat!" Even though her father-in-law has taken a liking to "shop kitty" the neighbor promised that Leah would be returned promptly. Praise God.
I know I shouldn't get attached to a "farm cat", but I'll never forget the circumstances of the day on which she arrived. God is good . . . all the time.