She might have gone too far west, where the main road presents traffic hazards, or she might have gone south into the orchard, which is sometimes visited by coyotes. There are coyotes to the north as well, and eastward there is a notorious local cat hater who has been known to poison strays. There is also the danger of being picked up by animal control just about anywhere, though their visits are infrequent due to budget constraints.
As she has always been the least fearful of her litter, she might also have found some other source of handouts, at some house where she doesn't have to share with so many other cats. For the last few weeks she has been increasingly hostile to her litter-mates, growling and hissing at them whenever they tried to eat from the same bowl she was using. She also didn't much like the tom cats who have been visiting— especially the black kitty who has been sleeping in the chair on the back porch almost every night. He now thinks that this is his territory, and Timmy was obviously put out at his presumption. She would swat at him every time he dared to get close to her.
I suppose she might turn up again at any time, but I won't be surprised if I never see her again. You don't really get to keep feral cats. They have minds of their own, and a tremendous ignorance of the dangers that lurk in the world. I'll miss her if she never returns, just as I still miss Alger, who vanished a few days after Timmy was born. I've never found out what became of him, and I might never find out what has become of Timmy, either. So long, little temp cat.
No sooner had I posted this entry than I went to the kitchen and, looking out the window, saw Timmy munching the scraps of the food I'd put out for the other cats an hour ago. I guess she's had an adventure of some sort. Farah was there and kept sniffing her, as though she'd picked up some exotic scent while she was away. She looks none the worse for wear, though she's not as fat as she was last time I saw her.
I doubt she'll be giving me any clues to where she was, but Farah appears downright envious. I sure hope she didn't slaughter and eat that bunny I saw hopping up the street a few days ago. Well, she probably didn't. Devouring a bunny would have made her fatter. I guess her adventure is just one more story I'll never know. Cats are full of secrets.