At this point, Fabrice informed us he had found 3 more kittens under some plants, next to the wall in the yard. We hurried and put the fourth kitten back with his siblings and hoped the mother cat would return to feed her brood.
Sure enough, the little black mama cat came back and took care of the kittens. She is a feral cat so won't let us get near her, but we check up on the babies every day. We have been putting out cat food for the mama to eat, and we find the bowl licked clean every time.
On Tuesday night we had a big rain storm which soaked everything. Wednesday morning when we went out to check on the kittens, we found the mama cat had moved 2 of the 4 kittens. Maybe the place she had them did not offer enough protection against the rain. (?)
The mama cat didn't come back to visit the 2 kittens much on Wednesday. On Thursday, I located her new location in the yard where she and the 2 kittens had moved. By Thursday evening it looked like she wasn't going to take care of the kittens she had left behind. They had been crying at the top of their lungs a good part of the day Thursday, and they were still crying well after dark.
Early Friday morning they started their mewing again. We decided we needed to do something, so we took the abandoned kittens into the house. ( Does that make us catnappers?)
Such an unexpected twist in my daily life! I must admit, it is a happy twist for me because I do love kittens!