So, I had no luck finding the owners of the adorable, friendly little kitten who decided to adopt me. I put off taking her to the vet while I was trying to find her owners. I finally ended up making an appointment to get her shots and have her fixed (assuming she hasn't already been fixed - she was so healthy and well cared for that I was going to ask the vet to check for a scar when they shaved her, just in case).
Her vet appointment isn't until January 3rd, what with the holidays and all. And guess what? She went into heat last evening! AARRGGHHH! I've never had a cat in heat before, I've always gotten them fixed before they hit puberty, so this is a new one for me. I have discovered the joys of a cat spraying, which I hadn't realized comes with a cat in heat. I always thought it was just males who did that, and I've never had a problem since I have gotten mine fixed so young, before they ever started spraying.
So far she's been chirping constantly instead of yowling (thank goodness for that) but it was still hard to get much sleep last night. I may start shutting her in the bathroom at night with a litter box and a heating pad, that way there will be fewer places for her to spray and it will be easier to clean (and hopefully more incentive to use the litter box), but I can't keep her in there for several days straight. She seems to like to spray on plastic bags, and I'm frantically picking up everything that she might find attractive (oh crap, what if she decides to spray the presents under the Christmas tree?)
So far, she's not being too bad about trying to go outside - but I will have to be very careful. I live in a rural area and I know there are plenty of toms who would show up out of nowhere if she got out. Not only feral cats, but ones with homes - not all the pet owners around here are as responsible as they should be when it comes to spaying and neutering. Maybe I'll also put her in the bathroom when I go out, partly since I won't be here to follow her around to see where she sprays and clean it up immediately, but also so she can't try to zip past me and get outside.
Well, it could be worse. At first I was worried that she might be pregnant. Gotta keep an optimistic view - this will pass, although I might have lost what little sanity I have by the time it does. I'm sure the chirping will progress to yowling before long. But she's a sweetie, and I'm still glad she decided to move into my house.