Oh crap. Crap crap crap crap crap.
You may recall a certain Kitten Situation I blogged about a couple years back; in short, a feral mommy-cat showed up with her three brand-new kittens in tow, and I couldn't turn them away. Given that it was all new to me and that the local charities were overwhelmed, by the time everyone got caught up with the spaying and neutering and adopting out I ended up taking in six cats (and Tara took one herself).
After that it settled in to a routine of taking care of the indoor guys while feeding the outdoor girls (whom I've been calling The Grrrls). It was a nice stable family unit out there and though here and there a tomcat or two (as well as an opossum or two) came by for a snack it was perfectly manageable. And yes, I feed The Grrrls; it keeps them safe in the back and out of the road.
One of the occasional tomcats was a stripey number who I dubbed The Interloper. No, I don't know why; probably because he was infiltrating the nice power-of-three family unit out there of Spot, Smudge, and Splotch. It's hard to tell with a stripey, since the coat pattern isn't sex-specific (unlike tortoiseshell or even marmalade), but from the glances I was able to steal it did look to be a boy under its tail.
Yeah, well, tonight The Interloper showed up looking distinctly round about the belly; it was also distinctly friendlier, which in a feral cat is usually a sign of counting down to kittens or I suppose rabies. The funny thing is that looking under its tail tonight if I had to guess I'd still say male. Maybe it's just patterning, or shadows?
If it is female, and it is pregnant (which barring a pretty hideous case of worms I imagine it is) then I'll have to start up the trap spay release stuff again. Thing is though that if the charities are anything like they were it may take me a couple months before someone will lend me a trap again. And by then the thing will have exploded in kittens and I'll be here trapping them and socializing them and getting them their distemper shots and giving them away through the shelter again, and besides not wanting to deal with the, shall I say, duplicitous person at the local place (I mean she did help me, but far too many times what she said and what she did were two completely different things), it really is just a lot of work.