Something has changed in Piggy Peggy in the year I didn’t see her. Now that I’m back at work again, she has clearly missed me and is showing it in some very surprising ways.
It was obvious that she had recently weaned another litter of kittens when I first saw her again, in April. She had the remnants of milk still, the poor thing. Soon, I found missing fur on the back of her neck and initially thought it was mange. It was not. The baldness was from mating. Cats aren’t very romantic.
Soon Peggy disappeared for long weeks. I knew she’d had more babies.
I’ve been looking for the kittens ever since.
And I’ve found them, living in a dense garden hedge that borders my workplace. The company put up a fence a few years ago along that line, and the homeowners keep it nicely trimmed even on the side they can’t see. It’s thick, and it’s chock-full of cats.
Six, I thought. Piggy Peggy, a mostly black teenage daughter from the spring I’m calling Vickie, and four kittens, one all black and the rest black and white. Then I spotted what I believe is a male teenager, all black. Seven, Then I met who I expect is daddy Tomcat, pure white and stunning. Eight. Then I saw a fifth kitten! Nine. Oh no, no no.
Piggy and Vickie.
For now there are nine. I say for now, because I’ve seen two dead black and white cats in the road across from this house. How many have died there that I didn’t see? It could be dozens by now. I saved just one, Iggy (who is still happy and healthy and beloved). But he cost me a lot of money. If she is having at least 4 kittens 3 times a year… this is awful. They die. They die horribly.
I know it’s hard to see, but there are two kittens in this picture. Taken 7 October. This is where they are living, in the bushes.
At the same time, it’s amazing to see them interacting. And also how my efforts to make friends are working, but it’s Piggy Peggy who is the one teaching not only her kittens, her teenager, but me.
She kept me away, and kept them away and safe as a good momma does. But they are bounding about now and exploring, and I am not making this up but she is trying like hell to teach the little ones, and her teenage daughter, that I am safe. I am honoured.
I’m also feeding them all!
Next post is about how she is educating her babies, including Vickie, and some surprises.
Last picture is as close as I could get to the kittens on 11 October. Notice Piggy Peggy is watching over them, and watching me also.