The area near the northeast corner of the parking lot was all overgrown. It was a bit of a waste land between the parking lot and the back of the lumberyard. It took me about 10 minutes to find the spot indicted in the note. I called "kitty, kitty" and eventually a very pretty little cat showed up. I would eventually name this kitty Ollie, not knowing at the time if the cat was an Oliver or an Olivia. Turns out she's a little female.
Ollie was almost always the first to come out to eat when I arrived each day. As the days went by more and more kitties made an appearance.
It was just a few days before February 14th when I first met Valentine. I knew immediately that this kitty was a girl kitty because she looked quite pregnant.
Next to feeding these cats regularly my biggest concern was the addition of kittens. I did not want this colony to grow. I also didn't know how to go about dealing with spaying and neutering these cats. Feeding them was easy. Providing a simple shelter in which to place food was also simple. But catching them and taking them in for "the operation" was not something I knew how to go about, not to mention the financial end of it.
Eventually, I found that there were quite a few cats. Some were regulars while others seemed to be just passing through. My core group of regulars consisted of 5 cats: Badger, Jag, Ollie, Valentine, Spirit.
In early April Valentine came out to have breakfast. After she was finished eating she coaxed her 3 kittens to come for food. I stood mezmerized as I watched Valentine teaching her babies where to go for food now that they were getting old enough. There was a little shorthaired black kitten (Jet) a long haired solid black kitten (F.J. which stood for Fluffy Jet) and a 3rd kitten with the same colouring as Valentine.
Over the next few weeks I enjoyed watching Valentine sitting patiently near a bowl of food while her babies came out to eat. The kittens were very skittish, the slightest sound or movement would send them scampering back to safety on the other side of the chain link fence and the pile of waste lumber.
I don't know what happened to the 3rd kitten but it just didn't come for food one day. Jet and FJ came every day with their mother and became a little more relaxed as the days passed but always kept a safe distance from me, as did all the cats in this colony.