Yesterday morning we had 11 new puppies. Yesterday afternoon we had 10. We suspect that one of the puppies died (we hope it wasn't in the mouth of a coyote) and that Blackie disposed of it. It's sad, but somehow not surprising. Blackie doesn't have enough teats to feed them all, and a few of them are really scrawny.
And while I was at work last night, Mr. P. encountered a new arrival - a tiny black and white kitten who was crying somewhere in our asparagus patch. He put out water and kibble for it. We are hoping this kitten is a girl, so our resident male cat (Smoky, a.k.a. Cat Cat) won't kill it out of a territorial imperative, and are calling her/it Miss Kitty (until gender is proven otherwise). When I got home from work today, Mr. P., Blackie, Smoky and I went out looking for Miss Kitty and found her lurking under the front steps. With some coaxing, she ventured out to inspect a bumblebee that was doing the backstroke in her water dish and to sniff Blackie (who is about 1000 times bigger). Smoky just squatted in the distance and monitored everything.
Miss Kitty is much tinier than, and just as brave, as Smoky was when he arrived. Based on the way Mr. P. acts with her, we now have another mouth to feed. Outdoors.