If I do say so myself. I think I can see a light at the end of the tunnel.
Tonight I caught the last of the kittens, thanks to the local shelter letting me borrow a smallish trap. She (at least I've been assuming it's a she; I still don't really know) is in the dining room right now with her two brothers, Rory and the one I've been calling Flufius Maximus. (Latin, you know; in the Greek it's μεγαφλωφιος, if you're wondering.)
I'd caught the second one a couple weeks ago now. He was quite shy at first, enough that I wondered if he was ever going to warm up to me; but over time he saw Rory running to greet me purring like crazy and came to the conclusion that I was probably all right. Plus, I had ham.
So he, too, warmed up to me little by little until now he sits at my feet and mews at me to pick him up so he can also purr like crazy.
I took them in for their first round of shots &c at the shelter yesterday. They were very good with the car, and I am grateful.
Hopefully the two of them will be able to convince their younger sibling that I am okay in the same way. I don't know; this one has unavoidably been left till last and is probably older than is ideal. But I'm going to make a go at it.
I don't have a picture of the new little fluffy one, but I do have one to show you of her fluffy brother, Flufius Max, a.k.a. Fizgig, a.k.a. Young Scratch:
So with any luck, that should be about it for the feral cat situation around here, or at least as good as it's going to get. In theory, there shouldn't be any more unspayed mommy-cats showing up on my doorstep, since the ones that are here are an established family group and this is their territory. With luck.
ETA: Also, the three smaller ones we took in, Ratty, Danny, and Maurice are all neutered as of last week, so that part is done, too, yay.
But do you want to see something strange? I noticed about that time that Danny had two fangs on one side of his mouth, the top right side. I got a picture, even:
Well that's weird, I thought. Then I went and checked Maurice and Ratty, his littermates, and sure enough each one of them also had two fangs on the upper right. My guess is that it's a baby tooth thing and the grown-up teeth are replacing the littler fangs. It would make sense that keeping the fangs working at all times, even as they are being replaced would be a priority in a predator; lose one fang and maybe not make it through the winter, you know? I don't think it's some kind of shared genetic mutation; they are since back to one fang each in that spot. Still, who knew?