Saturday, June 13, 2009

KITTENS & Other Ramblings

A few days ago, noticed a mama cat in my back yard with a couple of kittens. Now, if you ask me, there's not much that's cuter than tiny little kittens romping, so of course I had to grab my camera. I took a few shots from inside the house, but being the cat person that I am, I just HAD to go outside. As long as I stayed on the patio, they eyed me warily, but didn't run to hide.
When I started to get a little closer, 2 of the kittens got inside some cinderblocks that are stacked on the platform at the back of my small shed, while the 3rd went to the side of the shed that's at the back of the yard, where it butts up near the fence. Mama went over to the corner behind the big shed. When I put my camera above the cinderblocks, the little grey kitten got quite ferocious, as I heard the tiniest little HISS coming from that opening.
Headed for safety You can't see us. Can you?? I'm sooo sleeeepy
Yesterday on my way home from running a few errands, I picked up some kitten chow, and when I went out to put it where they could get to it, Mama did lots of hissing, and stayed between the babies and me, but by the time I was back inside the house, she was gobbling down the food. Pretty soon the Tuxedo joined her, and in a few minutes, here came Grey. I never saw Creamy eating that day, other than nursing. Before they left the dish, they'd eaten every bite, and Mama had turned the dish over to make sure it was empty. This morning that scenario was repeated.
Naptime! Look at those little black toe pads!
This evening, I took out a different bowl, that is better suited to feeding and watering kittens. I saw everybody eat some, including Creamy, and there's still a pretty good bit left in the bowl. Perhaps Mama's decided that I won't take away what doesn't get eaten. They've moved from between the sheds to under the pool deck, which is closer to the food, and the kittens can get to the food without having to go across any of the open lawn, so I'm guessing that maybe she feels more secure there.
I have emailed Feral Friends and am hoping to work with them to trap all 4, socialize the kittens, have everybody spayed/neutered, and adopt out everyone who is deemed adoptable. I have a friend interested in Creamy, and another interested in Tuxedo, which just leaves Mama & Grey. I suspect, based on how quickly Mama seems to have accepted my presence, that she's a first generation feral, and I think she's not more than a year old, so perhaps she can be socialized (separately from her kittens) and be adopted as well, but we shall have to wait and see.
Tomorrow may be traumatic for everybody, as my landlord is coming to pump water off the cover of the pool, and in the evening I have friends coming over for a cookout. Hot as it is, though, I suspect that the only time there will be very many outside will be while we are actually cooking, and the 3 or 4 smokers will be in and out, I'm sure, but we are all animal people, and most of us familiar with ferals so I think we'll be able to ignore them and Mama won't freak out or anything.
My morning was a busy one, as I had to be in Arlington at 11 for a sorority meeting. It was my last meeting for awhile, as I've decided that I need to take a leave of absence. Beta Sigma Phi has been good for me, and frankly is largely the reason that I am the person that I am today. In 1990, when I pledged, I was 23, introverted, and had some self esteem issues. Seriously, when we were told to think about which offices we might be interested in, the following went through my head: "OK, President is out because I'm not pretty enough. Vice President is out because, well, that entails calling people I don't know and inviting them to a meeting NOT! Treasurer is out because I'm a math moron" I decided that I could be a pretty good secretary, whether it be Recording or Corresponding. Every time I had to call roll and read the minutes, I shook like a leaf, and was pretty sure my voice sounded all shaky. When it was my turn to lead the program, I thought I might faint. I spent a little over a year in that chapter before I moved away. It was several months before I found another chapter, but that is the chapter in which I blossomed. I think perhaps part of it was that I was the only chapter member (aside from our 2 Advisors) that had experienced Beta Sigma Phi from the standpoint of a member, rather than a legacy, as well as being the oldest (by a year or two) in the chapter, so the ladies looked to me for leadership. By the time I left that chapter several years later, my absolute favorite office to hold (and I'd held all of them by then) was Vice President, because I believed in the organization and what it stands for, and I loved being able to share it. I was not involved for several years, partially because of the circumstances under which I left, and partially because I had enough other stuff going on that I didn't feel I could devote the time that I felt I should. A few years ago notified International that I thought I would like to be involved again, and they put me on the transferee list that is sent to chapters in the area. I received calls from a couple of chapters in town and visited both. The first one I knew one of the ladies, because we'd been next door neighbors when I was living with Mom, and after she died, while I was still in her house. Unfortunately, at that time, she was the youngest in that chapter, and she was 15 years or so older than I am. The other chapter I visited had a wide age range, and I discovered that one of the ladies also enjoys Scarborough Faire. I joined that chapter and enjoyed it very much for several years. Like all groups of women, we had our fair share of drama and issues. Over the years, it seemed to escalate and I started feeling that most people were going along with what one or two wanted just to keep the peace. A few people transferred to another chapter in the area that they felt would better meet their needs, for whatever reasons. I stuck it out, probably longer than I should have, but last year, when I moved to my current house, I found myself about 15 miles from my nearest sorority sister, and easily an hour from the one who is the farthest from me. Gradually it became a chore for me to make it to meetings, and eventually, I was having to choose between making a meeting and getting up and making it to work the next day. My Leave of Absence is not a full and complete departure from the chapter, but rather a hiatus. I think that if I elect not to become active after a year's leave, I become a Member at Large. We'll see how I feel in 6 months or a year.
A couple of years ago, one of my sorority sisters introduced me the the International Wenches Guild and a whole new group of friends that have become very much like family to me. Now, if not for Beta Sigma Phi, I would not only have the confidence that I have, but I would not have found the IWG. Since I became a wench, I have again blossomed, and have really come to fully appreciate myself and all of my quirks.
that's enough random musing I think for tonite. Tomorrow's a busy day

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