This is Terry, and she's come to live with us!
Terry was born into a feral colony that makes it's home near my friend Nancy's house in West Virginia. Nancy feeds the kitties, keeps track of who comes for which meals, and who the kittens' mommies are. Terry lost her mother VERY early, and decided that the food provider (Nancy) would have to substitute.
Unlike most feral cats, Terry bonded with her human friend. She is friendly, playful, and has an instant "on" button for her purr box the minute she's in contact with humans. In return for that trust, Nancy provided special petting and playtime when Terry showed up twice daily for her meals.
Over the time that Nancy has been feeding the cats, she's had 31 little feral friends. This past spring there were 19 coming for meals. Last week there were only 8! Some serious attrition, probably due to predators in the nearby woods (and it seems that another kitten has recently disappeared). Terry's mother was among the first to disappear this spring, and her sibilings followed, the last one just a week before I arrived for a visit and paddling trip.
Terry instantly won my heart with her playful affection and non-stop purring. I couldn't bear the thought of her becoming a meal for an owl or coyote. I've also been thinking that BC needs a playmate. So Terry came home with us on Sunday, and we're in the process of integrating her into the household.
BC is unaware that Terry will be a fun companion. Hissing seems to be the communication of the day. Still, she's intently interested in Terry when I allow her freedom to play upstairs, and possibly even a little afraid of the fearless kitten. The "big girls" (Summer and Baby Kitty) haven't been in the house when Terry was out and about (I'm keeping her separated and gradually getting everyone used to the new arrangement). So we shall see how long it takes for everyone to make the necessary accomodations.
In other developments, we found that our dehumidifier had quit working in our absence, giving mildew a chance to crop up in the basement - where I have most of my books, fabric and yarn!! So in addition to the planned and necessary housework, the recovery from 9 days away on a paddling trip, and integrating the kitten, I had some frantic cleanup going in the basement. We turned the AC on right away, and have purchased and installed a new dehumidifier. I'm back on track, and should be able to answer my e-mail and phone calls soon! I apologize to my friends that I am behind on that score. I wanted everyone to know about the new baby, though, so I blogged first.