I'll get the bad news over with first: Matt's mom called today with the very sad news that two of Bella's kittens have died. Which is horrible but not entirely unexpected. I was astounded that she managed to even fit four babies inside her to begin with, and while of course hoping they would all live once they were born, I was not optimistic that they would all make it past the critical 2-week period. I never really know what to say about this sort of thing other than reporting the facts and acknowledging how sad those facts are, but believe me, despite their short lives I will not ever forget those tiny cats. I am glad they at least got to smell the dirt and the leaves under the blackberry bramble and to know the warmth of nestling with their siblings.
Okay before I start crying my eyes out here...I'll get to the good news. Which is that Matt's mom has managed to coax Bella into the house! She is there in the same fostering crate that Jack used when he was a baby -- with her two remaining offspring. Who by all accounts are doing well and "nursing constantly". I will get to go see them tomorrow evening and provided nothing changes between now and then, there will hopefully be more pictures of adorableness to behold. I am really, really rooting for this little family, and quite relieved that despite RRRRRR-ing at all approaching humans, Bella is reportedly eating a lot and starting to relax. We will let her nurse the babies and otherwise care for them without being bothered for at least a few weeks, and then bring her in for spaying. Then will come the task of finding adoptive homes for the babies -- the person who originally expressed interest has backed out, but I am determined that we will find the right person or people to take on these little ones.