we immediately drew a genetic comparison between jack and this mystery kitten. doc said he wanted to catch it and try to adopt it, or at least get its shots and fixed before setting it free. so we started putting out food, and bought a humane trap. we started putting the food into the trap, but before the trigger, to get the black kitten used to the trap. around this time we named it fred. we figured it was good for a girl or boy. i liked "sue", but only if it was a boy.
we baited the trap a couple of times, but never caught a cat. fred learned to pull the can of food out of the trap to eat it. we seemed defeated.
then, this monday morning past, doc woke me up early to tell me we'd caught a cat. we went out to get it and it was fred. we transferred her to a kennel and eventually the bathroom. we found out through a cursory exam that she was female and very pregnant and very young. she was also very friendly toward doc and i, though not the other cats. so she was abandoned, she had known human love. she vocalized to doc's voice and snuggled on his tummy.
we took her to the vet and had her tested for all the yucky stuff that the vet could think of. then we scheduled the hard part, the spay and euthanasia of the fetal kittens. it was an ugly decision, but it had to be made. we would never find good homes for the kittens in the apartment complex world we live surrounded by.
the spay is done now. the vet made me feel better about it the day we brought her in to have the procedure done. now fred is resting comfortably in a cat bed next to me on the couch, watching me raptly as i type out the story of her. so much human stuff is new to her. the sound of the vacuum, the noise the coffee maker makes.
i know not everyone can take in a stray cat like we did, but it is important to support your local shelters and have your pets spayed or neutered as early as you can, so if something should go wrong and the pet runs away or you have to leave it behind, it doesn't become an early progenitor. a spay could have saved fred her kittenhood.
and that is the story of fred the cat. who now has a forever home.