img alt="fpi_glasses.jpg" src="http://www.bookcase.com/~claudia/mt/archives/fpi_glasses.jpg" width="50" height="50" border="0" /> We got 'em. Lot of cats in our neighborhood. They range from someone's pet to purely feral, with most sort of in between. Last year we found a couple of young kittens in our yard. We took them in and tried to keep them alive, but it didn't work out. So. But there are still plenty of cats around. Our neighborhood is really designed for them... lots of trees, lots of walls and fences, lots of low houses that are close together. Invisible cat highways crisscross our yard and our roof.
-- Here's a thing about our house. It's not a very big house, but it's very much a thing of parts. It began as a bungalow, back in the Khrushchev years, a place to escape the worst heat of the summer. Then decade by decade people added rooms, and it gradually grew into a real house. This is one reason the heating, plumbing and electrical systems are weird... they weren't planned, they just sort of grew. Also, the house has some odd spaces: a lumber room under the porch, a second floor bathroom that protrudes like a nose, a couple of strange crawl spaces. I heard the mewling while giving Jacob his bath. Finished putting him to bed, then went downstairs and got the flashlight. The mother is this long-haired grey cat from next door. She's a tough creature, half wild, but I think I gave her the shock of her life. They're in the crawlspace over the stairs, behind the front balcony. It's open to the outside; I can see where she got in, there's a sort of long hole under the eaves. You get into the crawlspace through a little hobbit-sized door with a latch. She had the kittens in the corner right next to the door, probably for the warmth that leaks out from the house. So when I opened it, they were literally at my feet. Mom cat response: RUN from the stranger with the blazing light, take two steps, then FREEZE at the realization that he's RIGHT OVER THE KITTENS, turn around eyes wide -- I stepped back and shut the door. Poor thing! It's quiet now. I hope she hasn't taken them away.