The kittens are home again, all four, safely corraled. Until they get their climbing legs under them, which should be in just a few days. With luck the new containment [and my nerves] will last through the rest of this work week. Mom cat continues to sneak over the wall for now.
Speaking of work, I went off to it this morning not knowing the fate of any of the five furries. Not knowing what to expect from the animal control side of the issue, I took off from work early today and went by the pound, just before they closed, just in case they had any new additions. None that I recognized, thank goodness.
Three long narrow rooms of just stray cats, floor-to-ceiling cages on each long wall, every cage filled, almost all of them with mom cats and their kittens. I wanted to take them all home with me. Not home home, just out of there. The survival statistics are grim and I will leave it to you to do the arithmetic, should you be so inclined.
The visit was heartening in one respect: the employee who took me on the look-for-your-impounded-pet tour is sympathetic to the plight of feral cats, and took down detailed descriptions of mom cat and the four kittens, promising to keep a special lookout for them and detailing everything I could do to maximize the chances for survival of my Fab Five, as I've come to think of them. Stray cats get 24 hours here and then pffft! that's it for them.
So now I feel like I have my very own mole in the animal control department. This appeals to the subversive in me. In keeping with the theme of subversion, I include this photo: dark, grainy, hard to make out. There really are five cats in there. The quote stenciled on the mat they're sleeping on: This is not a joke. If you ever want to see these people again, leave 5 lbs of fresh tuna in a plain brown bag. Signed, the cat.