Several years ago, our resident shop cat, Lil' Mama, showed up at our old Quonset hut with seven little ones in tow. They made a nest for themselves on the second tier of a wooden shelf and got ferally comfortable lounging on furnis by day and hunting by night. Mice and puddles were soon replaced by Meow Mix and bowled water. Beth wisely recognized that this tiny colony had the potential to grow exponentially so she and Pam took on the tough task of trapping and transporting to Animal Trustees of Austin. Lil'Mama provided the biggest challenge. She was the last to go, and when she was returned to us post surgery, immediately took off. What little trust was there had been broken.
Over time, the remaining seven dwindled. Most disappearances were a mystery though we know poor little Blanco was unintentionally delivered on a job. Grey and Half & Half made the move to stage one, and we thought that would be all of our cat population. A year later though, Lil' Mama waltzed into the new space and acted as if nothing happened. She was tight lipped and told no tales of her adventures.
Grey sadly met his maker by what we thought might have been poison and Half ... well, Half just disappeared. (Maybe she'll return to us, too. If you're out there Half, come on home.) Lil' Mama remains our semi-feral shop kitty who hates other cats, loves an overflowing bowl of food, and might just let you pet her if she's hungry and you move at quarter speed. She is still most comfortable on a furni, though summer often finds her stretched out on the pop-out cake. Contrary to popular thought, she is not pregnant, just well fed...much like myself. We love her.