My dear Readers, I apologise for my long absence from these pages. A whirlwind of Events overtook me, in the form of a gradual return to employment (which culminated in being made redundant) and many, many Kittehs.
So many times I've thought of blogging about something I've read or seen, but instead have let the idea disappear into the flow of thoughts, events and actions that burbles along from day to day.
And if I did write about a piece of fiction, or an Exciting Event in real life, it would most likely be a status update on Facebook, where friends would often respond with comments and stories of their own - a gratifying, interesting and enjoyable interaction that so far isn't happening on this blog.
So, since November I have kitnapped first one kitten, then a second (both of whom are still with me - we are now family); unsuccessfully attempted to kitnap another sibling of those two; successfully taken in, succoured, and then rehomed another; then taken four at once, who are currently with me but whom I hope to find good homes for soon.
In between those kitnappings (very gentle, loving kitnaps, I assure you, resulting in the kittens receiving good food, shelter, necessary medicines, and lots of cuddles) I also trapped (less gently, but still humanely) a number of cats aged between one year and (I estimate) approximately five years old - plus a four-month-old who managed to trap herself when I was trying to capture a pregnant one-year-old.
The four-month-old and all but one of the adult cats have been desexed and returned to their home territory; the exception was a heavily pregnant female who was very distressed by being trapped (she managed to get out of the trap while I was trying to put newspaper in to make it more comfortable, and bit & scratched me ferociously, poor girl) - she I took to the pound, where the vet nurse reassured me that many of the strays they received are rehomed rather than being put down.
Most days (usually at night) I've been feeding the street cats and getting to know them quite well. They certainly recognise me, expect me to produce food whenever they see me, and wait outside my flat at night for me to come and feed them (despite my having trapped, desexed & released about half of them). So that's the story so far (leaving out the various cat-loving, cat-hating, and cat-ignorant neighbours I've met, the issues with my landlady, and the War on Fleas).
The major recurring characters are:
Sandy (loving, friendly, slightly crazy young street cat who has adopted me as her human), a light-brown and white short-haired female with cream swirls in the shape of tie-died circles or parentheses;
Fern, Charlie, Lotty and Blanche, Sandy's kittens;
Shelly (wary of humans, the weakest & least confident of her litter, but very protective of Dragon's kittens), a light-brown and white short-haired female with faint striping, and Sandy's sister;
Dragon (hostile to humans, willing to accept food but will hiss at every interaction), a long-haired strawberry blonde with very faint stripes - another of Sandy's sisters;
Treasure and Rosy, my adopted kittens, offspring of Dragon;
Leo and Rufus, Dragon's kittens, missing presumed dead;
Cheyenne (wary of humans, but not hostile), a pale apricot long-haired cat, another of Sandy's litter-mates;
Wee Rufus and Mini-Leo, killed by cars, offspring of Cheyenne;
Joey, kitnapped & rehomed, and Petal, yet to be caught, both offspring of Cheyenne;
Tabitha (known as Tabby, semi-friendly but somewhat averse to being stroked), a medium-haired black & grey tabby/swirly cat, with clear circles/parentheses - also one of Sandy's sisters;
Tiger, Shadow, Tabitha, offspring of Tabby/Tabitha Sr;
Smoky (quite friendly but averse to being stroked), a long-haired grey & cream tabby/swirly cat with faint circles/parentheses - another of Sandy's sisters;
Spark, Ember, (maybe also Mischka), offspring of Smoky;
William (very friendly, high-ranking tom, loves being stroked, but a bit tetchy since being desexed), a big handsome dark orange & cream swirly/tabby cat with clear circles/parentheses, and mini angel wings on his shoulder blades - probably father of Dragon's first litter of four, Cheyenne's first litter of four, and Sandy's son Charlie;
Lenny (sweet-natured, wary of humans, woebegone-looking, low-ranking tom), short-legged stocky build, very wide face, black & grey tabby/swirls with white chest and paws - probable father of Smoky's kitten Spark, and of New Cat Selene's son New Kitten Sylvester.
Thomas (uninterested in humans), black & grey tabby/swirly tom with clear circle/parentheses - very probably father of Tabby's kittens, possible sibling of Lenny
Guy (extremely wary of humans and impossible to trap) ginger-tabby and white, tall elegant tom - father of Lotty and Blanche
New Cat Selene (very friendly to me) tall, elegant, narrow-faced grey-tabby & white female - clean & healthy, possibly a dumped pet
New Kitten Sylvester (very friendly & trusting with me, not keen on other kittens, quite trusting of adult cats, most of whom are likely to hiss at or hit him), silver-grey/black & white tabby/swirly baby tom - clean & healthy, possibly a dumped pet, son of Selene
Mischka (very poorly when found, malnourished & not eating, happy to be held) black/grey swirly cat, may be one of Smoky's kittens, or Selene's