Fifteen years ago, a lonely unwanted cat gave birth in a wood pile. The days were warm and sunny, and she soon brought her 5 charges out to frolic in the fresh air. She never allowed them to stray very far from her side because the world is a big scary place.
We began to notice them around 6 weeks of age. Momma was smart and protective and would spirit them away if we got too close.
But we have a humane trap.
They were tiny, scared, and fierce. There were two dark longhaired Maine Coon-ish ones. One was the self-appointed leader and protector, hissing and biting; the other had huge eyes and ears and was sickly. The only female was a cute orange calico. The fourth was a shorthaired tiger who looked completely unrelated.
The fifth kitten was too wily for the trap.
We read about taming feral kittens, and then we went about the process. There was lots of cuddling and hissing. It was the start of something big. Hundreds of kittens have passed through our home en route to loving homes of their own. The feral colony is managed and thriving under a private trap/neuter/release program.