Molly and her sister showed up outside my house — along with their mother — several years ago. I don’t know where they were from, but they were all skittish enough that I assume the mother was a stray. One day, the mother cat disappeared, leaving just two bewildered kittens mewing on my porch.
The picture on the top of the three to the right is the only one I have of the kittens with their mother, because I couldn’t get close enough to get anything better than this. When she disappeared, I didn’t know what to do, because the kittens wouldn’t even let me get close to them. Unfortunately, it was the time of year that it was starting to get cold outside. (You’ll notice a Halloween pumpkin at the bottom of the picture with their mother.)
I started feeding the kittens quickly, but I really started to get concerned when the mother didn’t return for several days. On the night when it was going to be the first freeze of the season around here, I couldn’t wait any longer. I had to try to catch them.
I’d like to say it was easy, but it was very difficult. I was able to lure them with food. I grabbed one of them while she was eating, but the other took off. (They look so much alike that I don’t know now which I caught first.) After a lot of luring and stealth, I caught the second one, but I ended up bloodied by pretty little teeth and claws.
The two kittens were pretty much identical except for the width of the white strip on their noses. Molly has a wide white vertical strip. Her sister, Bessie, has a narrow vertical strip. They were both small, but their mother was tiny, too. Even as adults, Molly and Bessie weigh only 5 pounds each.
I expected to find homes for them quickly and be out of the business of fostering kittens. After all, I already had enough of my own. I certainly wasn’t going to take it two more.