Actually, that was my nefarious plan all along.
These kittens are not receptive to people. The dog has been very patient, and after many hours he has convinced them that he is [mostly] harmless. They will now all, mom cat too, walk up to the dog, even going so far as to touch noses with him.
Me, they run from. And hide. For ages after I walk out onto the porch, bearing food and water. Tiny fluffy cute little ingrates. But every evening, as I sit here in front of the computer blogging all things kitten, or lie on the sofa reading all things Agatha, I've left the door open between the porch and the living room. Mom cat was the first to cave. Because of this, I think it's possible that she's not truly feral, but a pet that was dumped when the owners moved.
Anyways, Mom cat has made several forays into and around the living room, streaking out of here in a flash of blue-cat lightning if I so much as turn the page in my book. Ttyping doesn't bother her, though. Maybe it's because reading is quiet, punctuated by a sudden move [hand reaches up to corner of page], accompanied by a sudden sound [sound of page turning]. Typing on the other hand, is a steady[-ish] stream of white noise [punctuated by the occasional muttered four-letter word], accompanied by a steady stream of white-noise-like movements.
Difficult to know what goes on inside their furry little heads, though. Probably Schrodinger equations [forgive the lack of umlaut].
Patches kitten was the first to follow mom cat's lead and step foot over the threshold. Got both front feet inside, planted on the carpet, and froze, as though wondering how the heck to get one's feet back off the carpet. Evidently, picking up one paw to return it to the outdoors puts too much weight on the paw that's still on the carpet. Careful, dude! That paw might sink irretrievably into those fibers!
The problem was solved by rocking back on the hindquarters and simultaneously lifting both front paws, followed by a pirouette to freedom.
Sofas are irresistible though, and patches kitten was back last night, bounding over the threshold, around the door jamb, and behind the sofa. Then out from under the sofa. Then around the legs of the coffee table, under the sofa, back our from behind the sofa, around the door jamb, followed by a final leap from the carpet of the indoors to the concrete of the outdoors. Do... While...
What signal is it that travels through a school of fish, a flock of birds, a herd of horses, where all individuals suddenly move as one organism? I don't know, but I saw it in action tonight: all four kittens burst through the doorway, all at once, all lined up for the start of the Preakness, and stampeded into the living room, heading for the sofa.
The dog is thrilled. The kittens have now come to see him! All those hours he has patiently lain here just inside the door, or slowly and gently stepped out onto the porch have paid off. Unfortunately he got into the spirit of things a bit too enthusiastically and ran out onto the porch when the kittens did. Mom cat took this badly and fluffed up to three times her size. I've called the dog back inside, and closed the door, but I can still hear mom cat's fur crackling from here.
No photos tonight. Too much fun just watching.