It was a sad evening here. Mr. Blueberry discovered that there was a dead kitten in the backyard. It was smaller than the one pictured, with short hair this color (solid gray). I didn't know this kitten, I know several of them within a half-block by name. I don't know what happened to it, it didn't look injured. It may have been bitten by something (spider, scorpion, snake... who knows?), or maybe it had a disease or was poisoned.
We've been visited by a tortie from across the street and her new kitten, and I suspect that she had more than one. Cats really love our yard, it's dog-free, kid-free, and is chock full of birdies, butterflies and geckos (who never seem to get to grow very big). There are soooo many cats in a block radius or so - just count them taking a walk or a drive - one, two, three, four, five, six... all outdoors. At night coming home, we drive really slowly and count the "high-beams", the shining cat's eyes. So many people around here just seem to let their cats go completely untended, no spay/neuter, no vaccinations, no flea remedies, walking around with injuries, hanging out down in the storm sewer with snakes, garbage and broken beer bottles.
The tortie was a replacement cat for a kitten that went missing about 2 years ago, and now they've probably lost another kitten. Outdoor cats have a life expectancy of only 2-3 years, so I think that people must just not expect any more out of them. It goes missing, it's easy to replace. The people right next door have an unspayed female who has given birth to 8 kittens this year -- 2 of which I have featured here at Texas Oasis, Heart and Claw. There was a cat carrier sitting in their driveway today and I suspect they are going to give the mom and her new litter to someone - for all I know it's the kill shelter.
Anyway, I hope that this precious little sweetie will be missed by someone. It deserves at least that.