So Shadowcat seems to be expecting again. I was basing it on how oddly she was acting, initially.
The current batch of kittens were weaned about two weeks ago.
Then suddenly all kittens (Oreo, 'Violet, DustBunny) were nursing again. They shouldn't be. They're three months old!
Around 14-August, Shadow and the three kittens vanished.
She and one [Ultraviolet/Violet] showed up later that night. They both seemed to be fine.
Sunday morning (21-August) DustBunny, aka Dusty, reappeared. He was really happy to see me. I stood at the doorwall, talking to him, while he ate.
[ He's the grey boy-kitten; his two sisters were both black and white. ]
He sniffed my fingers -- none of them have let me do that before. I haven't tried simply because half-tame cats may be happy for their food, and to be fed, but I know they aren't house cats. I didn't try petting them.
Dusty also flirted his tail at me, so I touched the tip very gently twice.
Then Shadow showed up, and he bounced over to her happily, very definitely all "Hiiiii, Mommy!" They sniffed noses...
She hissed at him. I exclaimed, and Shadow ran away.
Poor Dusty began meowing for her. I meowed at him, hoping he'd come to me (which didn't work) but he came back to the steps. I threw him some treats, and Shadow ran up again -- then it all repeated: he tried to approach her, she hissed, and ran off.
He meowed again, but she didn't come to him. Poor baby.
Now I know what happened. Shadowcat must've realized that she couldn't share milk between newborns and older kittens. She tried to abandon them somewhere (or, alternately, she was trying to put them out of her territory, which isn't precisely the same thing). Either Violet didn't go with them, or she could keep up with her mother.
Because Shadow has been letting Vee nurse, grooming her a lot, as if she's practicing on her. Maybe Shadowcat thought she could keep just one, I couldn't say.
That day (still 21-August) I didn't see Shadow again, but then Vee clearly had her world change. I'm betting Shadow hissed and/or drove Vee off. Her whole body language says "The world is a horrible scary place" and she's afraid.
Vee is hissing at Dusty, and acts like he's not the sibling she was play-fighting with all her life. Or even just days ago! She won't eat by him; they are taking turns eating. He doesn't understand why she's acting like this.
I watched him try to play with her twice, and she hissed him away.
The kittens were only apart perhaps
ETA 4-Sept-2016: A few days after his return, Vee would let Dusty play-wrestle with her if she initiated it. If he did, she'd run away and/or hiss. I'd say this whole life-change has made Vee a control freak. "I need to be in charge to feel safe." Yeah, I understand that, my girl-kitten. =hugs=
Their granddam Jessica Jones was a house cat. She was dumped here a year ago October with three kittens. Those kittens were Fluffy Treewalker (who vanished on St. Patrick's Day 2016), and her two black-panther siblings, Chaosium (KayKay) and Shadowcat.
I hope wherever Oreo is -- and my lost Fluffy -- that they both were adopted by good people. That's very likely with Fluffy, who was a very friendly cat. Be well, my sweethearts. All of you.