Feral Cats Foil Sensible Plans, Part 2

Franklin at home

Franklin, who will one day live with the kittens.

I haven’t been around kittens in a long time. They’re in perpetual motion, hard to photograph. I asked the hubs one day, do you ever go in and find them all sleeping, you know, like cats do?

I’ve never seen a litter with quite this much variation. All do have gold eyes, but we have a range of coat colors, patterns, face shapes, and fur lengths.

The kittens:

Spooky, cute overload!

Spooky, a girl, was caught by a friend a few weeks after Boss and Lynx. She’s one of the cutest little fluff-muffins I’ve ever seen, wearing her feral mom Groucho’s black and white tux. She’s named for her easily spooked nature. She had no fear of us and climbed up the hubs with the other kittens the first few weeks while Boss slapped at them all, and she enjoys untying my shoelaces. But she does not like to be petted or touched. I wonder if it’s just her feral heritage, or something neural. Since adopters usually favor outgoing kittens who don’t avoid being petted, we figured we’d need to keep her. I’ve seen her leaning up against Boss, and playing with all the other kittens. But at times while the other kittens play together, she sits in isolation, with a strange distant, un-engaged look about her. I figure she needs her siblings, they are a way towards contact with other beings. She might come around eventually and I’m willing to wait, or to be with her on her terms, always.

Stripey Kitten!

Stripey, another boy, and another girl were both caught by the hubs a week or so after Spooky. He’s a handsome mackerel tabby of the tawny sort, also sporting a tux he inherited from mom Groucho. He is actually the largest, weightiest of the kittens. He lies on his back and makes air biscuits, says the hubs. He’s friendly, big, and bold.

Moonpie shines in sun

Moonpie, the other girl, is all black like Boss. She’s exquisite and dainty. It’s hard to tell them apart unless you see them together; Boss is near twice her size. In profile you can sometimes tell because her forehead is more prominent and rounded. Her face is not quite as elongated as his. She’s smaller than any of her siblings. She’s also darker than Boss, but that doesn’t always show in pictures. In comparison, Franklin has the deepest, darkest black fur of the three black cats now in our houses. There aren’t as many pictures of Moonpie because she’s been shy, slow to get used to our presence. But she can be petted now, and will jump into a lap.

For all Spooky’s odd reticence towards touch, and Moonpie’s general shyness, both girls are really adventurous and great at climbing.

Stripey, Boss, and Moonpie

The Lynx

Young Lynx at about 4 months. He’ll be big!


Boss Aloft and Alert

The two black kittens, Boss and Moonpie, have the long, slim faces that suggest modern Siamese heritage, and Bluto the feral tom also has this face shape. Sasquatch the feral tom has a rounder head shape and may have some Persian in him. Bluto is also black. I haven’t been close enough to Bluto to determine if he’s dark black like Franklin or black with tabby stripes like Boss and Moonpie. Black fur, of course, could also have come from Groucho the mom.

The feral pals

Jack, Groucho, and Sasquatch.

Bluto, rambling feral visitor

Same pic as in Part 1. Bluto doesn’t come often and my new pictures of him are still in the camera.

So, do we have two dads for this litter? Except for Lynx, the definite son of Sasquatch, I have no fixed opinion, I think it could be either way. Is Sasquatch the dad of Lynx, Spooky, and Stripey, and Bluto the dad of Boss and Moonpie? Do we have the sweet romance of Groucho and Sasquatch, or a flamboyant love triangle?

Boss wants to know everything!

My favorite picture yet of Boss. Because he is the friendliest and snuggliest, I have the most pictures of him.

I am a 5-way foster fail. I’m captivated by this whole kit’n’kaboodle. I can’t part with any of them. They all need their brothers and sisters. The town is full of spring kittens needing homes, sigh. So the eventual plan is to bring all 5 home. Will Franklin accept the kittens? He is strong-willed and territorial. He will need to be watched when we try to introduce them, after having kittens and Franklin in two separate rooms exchanging scents. He’s young and active and I think he will actually enjoy having other young cats to run and play with, once the initial fireworks are over.

At six months the kittens were all spayed and neutered. The boys went first, right as the news about Covid-19 was increasing. Before the shut-down orders, thankfully our vets were already doing everything remotely, you call upon arrival and place the carriers outside the door, a staff member comes out and picks up your cats, similar routine when you pick them back up; call and they bring out your cats (or dogs or other species). Later when we took the girls, the shut-down orders were in effect for some businesses, but vets were considered essential. I’m glad we were able to get all the kittens spayed and neutered under these circumstances. Unfortunately, we have not yet been able to get Sasquatch and Bluto TNRed. That’s going to have to wait. At least we’ve been able to get Groucho spayed. Bluto doesn’t come every day and he may be being fed by someone else. When he does come, he blinks at the hubs. His fur is growing back in on his nose and he’s right handsome.


Gorgeous Shelley!

Shelley was also a street kitten that we took in. She was adopted by our friend.

Franklin finally relents and looks, but sideways

Franklin now says selling the Catwoods book is a good idea if those Othercats are coming here! We’ll need lots more cat food!

So if you’d like to order a book, click on the link at the upper right for Amazon, or check the “Buy Catwoods Online” link below the banner of Franklin to find links directly to the publisher at Borgo Publishing, or Ernest and Hadley Booksellers. If you are outside the US, email easty@ernestandhadleybooks.com and they will arrange to get your book to you. The cats and I appreciate it!

About Leah

I'm Leah T. Alford, a writer fascinated by the natural world and animals, especially cats.
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64 Responses to Feral Cats Foil Sensible Plans, Part 2

  1. Oh! Bluto and Boss…❤❤❤

  2. Candace says:

    Wow, you’re adding 5 kitties to your house!!!!! You will have fun times ahead. Franklin better be prepared!!!! So nice of you to do that.

    • Catwoods says:

      It does sound like so many kitties, doesn’t it ?! We had five in the past at one time but they were older when they entered the house. This will be fun and games! Hopefully Franklin will enjoy some young cats that match his energy to play with.

  3. This article and the sets of pictures really made me happy. There are some great sweeties in that posts and of course for seasoned cat lovers like myself, all cats make me very happy. I am so glad that you do your best to keep these semi-feral or feral cats happy and entertained. I have no doubt in my mind that these sweeties appreciate your hard work as much as humans. Keep up the brilliant work. Once again, brilliant pictures. Best! Ashraf

    • Catwoods says:

      So happy you liked the pictures, Ashraf, and that you love cats so much! They are truly astonishing, fascinating animals! Meows from us (lots and lots of them), Leah

  4. We adore Spooky and would like to feature you in our upcoming “This Just In… Secret Pets.”

    • Catwoods says:

      Hi Elle, Spooky is indeed an adorable cutie pie, glad you like her! Thanks for commenting! I think your website is very well designed, and congratulations on getting your books published! In the past I watched a few Christopher Lee and Bela Lugosi films, but have not kept up with contemporary work in that genre. If you want to feature me I am curious as to how the presentation would be done and would like to know more. I hope you understand, but I view cats as natural animals and I am very particular as to how cats are portrayed in the media. If I anthropomorphize I still keep an eye on the science. I stay away from any super-natural connotations. Meows, Leah

      • Many many thank yous. We are glad you like our site and appreciate you taking a look around. You would be presented like the authors in our Undead Bride post with a feature card. The other parts of the video are articles that we write about our vampires with pets (like how you can’t hypnotize your dog and have to train them manually and how vampires get fixated on humans so they resort to sculpturing keepsakes of them). We would have a picture, an excerpt of your work, and your credits. Is there an email we could send your feature card to so you can pre-approve it?

  5. I am attracted by Lynx and Sasquatch. I like them big and long haired. 😺

  6. All the kittens are adorable. They’re lucky to have found you.

  7. chattykerry says:

    They are all so beautiful, Leah, and I particularly love Spooky. You are such a good soul to take on these lovely kitties.

  8. Charlee: “So many gorgeous cats! We ferals sure do keep things interesting for the humans, don’t we?”
    Lulu: “What do you mean ‘we’ ferals?”
    Chaplin: “Charlee and I were feral kittens.”
    Charlee: “Yes, we were born on the mean streets of San Diego before we ended up at the shelter.”
    Lulu: “San Diego has mean streets?”
    Chaplin: “Sure sure. And that’s why we are so streetwise.”
    Lulu: “Oh, yeah, you two are a couple of Travis Bickles for sure.”

    • Catwoods says:

      Almost all of our cats, and my mother’s cats, came from the streets or the woods, Charlee and Chaplin and Lulu! Ferals and strays, and even the ferals became sweet and civilized with time. But they still kept their street smarts or woods smarts, Chaplin is right about that!

  9. So many catss who need you Miss Leah!! Franklin mee thinkss yore needed to bee an Unkell to efurryone…iss a purrty guud job…..
    An you are lookin mitey hansum tonite Franklin!
    (Miss Leah maybee if wee butter Franklin up hee will bee happy to bee an Unkell) 😉
    **purrss** BellaDharma

    • Catwoods says:

      Ahahahaha that’s an excellent suggestion, BellaDharma, and Franklin is very flattered by your comment, so you are getting us off to a great start! We shall commence praising Franklin at every opportunity! Purrs and Meows!

  10. Charles Huss says:

    So many cute photos. I like how Stripy has a spot of gold.

  11. Fun and beautiful.

  12. Beautiful kittens, Spooky and Lynx have such nice coats!

  13. They are all so beautiful. 🙂

  14. DS Levy says:

    Geez, Leah, I am so sorry I’ve been behind in my blog reading – in all reading, actually. Looks like your life is very exciting right now!!! Boy oh boy, will Franklin have plenty of playmates, and I’m sure he’ll get along just fine with them. Our youngest cat, Kenzie, is finally starting to warm up to us (she just turned 4), and she plays well with the other cats and gives a Charlie, our dog, a wide berth. ☺️🐶 I really do owe you an email, Leah. We’ve spent a lot of time in Michigan, in the woods, during the worst of the pandemic, but we’ll soon go back and I hope to get my a new iPad keyboard (my broke as soon as we got up here). I’ve had to type much correspondence with 1 finger, which has driven me crazy! Well, Leah, I’ll sign off here (cramped finger 👆🏻😂), but I just have to say lovely, lovely photos and writing, as per your usual. You all stay safe down there (that goes for those darn spring twisters, too). Hugs to you & all, Deb 🌳

    • Catwoods says:

      Deb, good to see you here and good to know you’ve been in the wilds of Michigan during the pandemic. We stay pretty much out here in the wilds too, but we do go to the house in town where the kittens are, which has also been practicing extreme social distancing since last fall’s flu season began. Good to know that Kenzie is coming around! We’ve had kitties who took a really long time to become friendly too. Thanks so much for all your kind words about the pictures and writing, it really means a lot to me! I’m so sorry I haven’t written a review of your book yet, but life is more hectic now than before the pandemic, and I’m just weakening a bit. I can get through the day all right but I used to read and compose writing at night, and now I’m just too tired by the time night rolls around. Need to re-organize my schedule. Frequent visits to the kittens are taking up lots of my time too, LOL. It’s refreshing AND draining. Hopefully severe weather is over for us until November, if it would just get hot and stay hot we’d likely be ok till then. We are the only region in the world that has a secondary tornado season in Nov. – Dec., lucky us … Purrs, meows, hugs!

      • DS Levy says:

        No need to write a review, Leah – I just thank you from the bottom of my heart for buying a copy. I’ll write more re: publishing in an email, but suffice it to say, I don’t know which way to turn anymore. I think you just write the book you’d like to read – and then see what happens. Kittens are so much fun – I envy you! We volunteer one Saturday a month at PetSmart for our local SPCA, but for now we’re “on hold.” Yes, the woods area great place to be! The scenery is gorgeous, and it’s so quiet! I’ll write more soon! Deb

        • Catwoods says:

          I’ve been so grateful for all the kind people who have purchased and read my book and said nice things, but some aspects of being published have been really difficult for me.

          • DS Levy says:

            Sadly, I think that’s the feeling many writers have these days. If these are truly revolutionary days, and I hope they are, publishing as we know it ought to get a good overhauling. 😉

  15. 15andmeowing says:

    SO much cuteness. They are all adorable. I hope you can get those boys fixed so they can stop fathering kittens. I ordered your book last week and it just came in. I hope to write about it next Monday.

    • Catwoods says:

      The kittens and ferals and I thank you, Ellen, we appreciate it! And thanks so much for getting my book! We do intend to have the feral boys neutered, we’ve just got some health problems, and are busier than we were before the virus escalation complicated life. Fortunately we haven’t seen any other cats around the neighborhood at this time. It’s now mostly empty plains (due to the tornado) or multi-unit apartments, so our yard offers scarce cover and food and is favored by ferals. We’d probably know if there were any other females out there. Sasquatch pretty much stays with us, as does Groucho. Bluto does roam. Ear-tipped Jack was TNRed long ago. We might try to get help safe-trapping and transporting to the vet from some of the local feral feeders. Purrs and meows! XO

  16. iamthesunking says:

    Cats? Foiling plans? *Faints with shock*

  17. Thoroughly enjoy your posts … and I’m a bit envious that you will be bringing the kittens to stay with you indefinitely. Sending patience vibes to Franklin …

    • Catwoods says:

      Jazz, thank you so much, I’m happy you like my posts, and I enjoy yours also! I wish you could have some kittens too … though these won’t be kittens much longer, they are growing really fast and time is flying. Franklin’s going to need those vibes, so we appreciate that very much!

  18. Hi. You’ve got some winning photos here. I especially like the one of the three cats on a window ledge.

    Take care. Bye till next time.

    Neil S.

    • Catwoods says:

      Hey Neil, I’m happy you enjoyed the photos! There are lots of those cats in windows pics, of 2, 3, and even 4 at times. We’ll slowly post those as time goes on. Take care and stay safe, meows and purrs, Leah

  19. They’re all so awwdorable and we loved the three in a row pictures, so cute😺Clean Pawkisses for a Happy Tuesday. Stay Safe Healthy and Yourselfie🙏🐾😽💞

    • Catwoods says:

      Thanks Little Binky, we are happy you enjoyed the pictures. There are a lot of those three in a window pics we’ll get around to posting as we go along. Many hopes and wishes that you and your folks stay safe and healthy too, Purrs and Meows!

  20. You do have a gorgeous set of kittens!! Foster fail, MOL, MOL!
    Hope they all will become loving purr machines that want to be cuddled and scritched.

    We brought in kittens when our Mancat Groucho was elderly, and he loved and mentored all three of them…but it wasn’t all at once, it was over a few years.

    I hope Franklin will have a lot of fun with all those youngsters, eventually!

    • Catwoods says:

      Thanks for your kind and encouraging words, Meezer’sMews&TerrieristicalWoofs! I’m not surprised your older cat Groucho loved the kittens, I’ve found older kitties to be really sweet in every way. We’ll see what happens with Franklin, we may end up with a ‘timeshare” situation, lol.

  21. They are all beautiful!!

  22. What beautiful kitties.

  23. Brian says:

    Boy are the all cuties. We now have 3 kittens outside. Their Mama is here but she is good at disappearing with them, she’s done it before. We’ve never been able to trap this sweet Mama.

    • Catwoods says:

      The kitties and I thank you Brian! The kittens have been so much fun for us. Those ferals are often so wily and won’t go into traps, I know!

  24. Lavinia Ross says:

    They are all gorgeous, Leah. I do think kitties need their siblings, or at least some of them, to help them through. I remember reading at one time human adoption agencies thought it was best to break up families. That proved to not be the case, and was often harmful.

    • Catwoods says:

      The kitties and I thank you, Lavinia! Interesting about the human adoptions, and I can’t imagine what they were thinking! Fortunately, ideas do change and evolve as knowledge, study, and the contributions of more enlightened thinkers, go on over the years.

  25. Timothy Price says:

    They were all beautiful kitties.

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