I’m watching the kitties for my aunt and uncle, out of town for the weekend. The house cats are used to my visits and greet me as per normal. The outside kitties are such a treat! Blackjack has been a regular feral visitor in their yard for several years, coming and going on a rather regular basis. One day last fall he showed up with four kittens in tow. So they thought they ought to rename “him” to provide a more feminine name.
The kittens grew, as kittens do. They could be lost litter mates to my Bitty, though she is just a bit smaller. Near as we can tell, they must be about the same age. Aunt N shares the stories of their playing and growing in the back yard. She was determined to catch them this spring for neutering. After several attempts, she was able to get all of them captured for their operations. What a surprise to learn that Blackjack is male after all! Tomcats always have such a poor reputation for being mean, but he was determined to save his kittens (they are all almost exact replicas of him) after their mother apparently couldn’t. He knew just the right spot, the place he’d visited in Aunt N’s yard! Now he never leaves and the kittens are deeply rooted there. They play in the yard, eat rather well on the deck, and scoot under the gazebo at the slightest sign of danger.
While feeding them the past few days I’ve been surprised they let me get as close to them as I do. I talk, they listen, seem to appreciate my visits, but then, I am putting new food in clean dishes for them! Even Blackjack will allow me to talk to him. He hissed a bit at first, but I just opened my heart to him and he seems to accept me now. He lets the kittens eat first.