It went like this:
J. [from the dining area] "How did the kitten get out?"
S. "The kitten is in his cage "
[Runs to stand beside J.]
There is [Groan. Sigh.] an "identical" kitten teetering along the cellarway retaining wall which runs past the newly fenced cat yard. Indignant resident felines peer through the wire bars at the tiny intruder.
This one was surprisingly easy to capture. She sprang across to the opposite side of the wall, into the herb garden and shot across the carport to disappear between the box hedge and the outside wall.
J. positioned himself at one end of the hedge; I crawled along the edge of the porch until I could block the other end. J. made shooing noises. The kitten paused halfway along the wall, and while she considered her options, I nabbed her by the scruff.
The cage by my desk is not really a comfortable fit for two kittens. "He" [we disagree on his name] is taking a nap in the clean litter box. "She" is curled up in a corner.
Tummies are full.
I could rant.
Animal rescue people plead for pet owners to spay and neuter.
Good vets offer their services at reduced prices during spay/neuter campaigns.
Those who prefer to "let nature take its course" always create a huge burden for others.
To be fair--how does one trace a population explosion of unwanted kittens back to the ultimate source?
"Barn cats" have always been lightly valued, easily replaced, scarcely lamented when their usually short lives end.
They simply "come up missing."
I could go on: about the possibility of a stray bringing unwanted disease to our pampered darlings.
There is the undeniable cost of providing for animals, the emotional wrench that can be part of caring.
There are those pet owners who, when faced with the arrival of a stray, sensibly and honestly state that another animal is not an option.
There are those who calmly shoot any unwanted creature who sets foot on their property.
And then--there are the born "suckers" who buy another sack of kibble, squeeze the budget for another trip to the vet.
At the moment, even as I ponder the above, I dare to hope this is the last of the current arrivals.