I've now had Newt (my walk-in, adopted stray) for about 9 1/2 weeks, and her kittens for 7 1/2 weeks - I've named them Duke, Duchess & Baby Newt/Newt Jr.
At this point, I haven't made any firm decisions on whether I'm keeping Newt, or how many of the kittens I'll be giving up for adoption, although my preference at present is to keep Newt and at least one of the little ones.
Newt has settled down to a degree, but things aren't quite at the stage that I would consider routine. There are some evenings where she will be completely relaxed and content. Other days, she will be begging to go outside. Although even at her whiniest, it's nowhere hear as bad as it used to be. One noticeable improvement has been with her walks, which I still take her on once or twice a week. She's a little more relaxed with a harness on, and I think we both have a better understanding of her (and my) limits as far as what she is and isn't allowed to do, so hardly any forceful leash pulling or harness wrestling goes on. As a matter of fact, walking her is approaching quasi-pleasant experience
something I would never in a million years have imagined possible. One really nice thing she does is she will speed up to a fast trot when we're on our way back home, and she will run back into the house when I open the door, like she actually wants to go back inside; it's the complete opposite of what used to happen, where I would have to practically drag her back kicking and screaming.
Having said that, on the days when she is screaming to go out and I either can't (or won't) let her, she'll usually quite whining after about an hour. Unless, that is, the kittens are bugging her, in which case she will be a little more insistent. On other days, even when she seems content staying inside, it's hard for me to tell what her mood is. Is she truly happy being inside? It would put my mind at ease if I knew that she wanted to say, instead of sticking around because that's simply the way things are. Am I over-thinking things?
Onto food... Newt has a bad habit of begging for human food. When it's just me, I can control her behaviour to a certain degree. Even then, it's a challenge. I brought home McDonald's chicken nuggets last night, and when Newt caught a smell of it, it was like trying to keep a bottle of whiskey from an alchoholic, she just went bonkers. When I have guests over and we're having lunch/dinner, it's worse as she doesn't seem to respect their food as much as mine, and she will steal/pilfer a piece of meat given the smallest opportunity. I've resorted to locking her in a spare room while we eat. I really need to get this under control if I'm going to keep her.
The kittens... they're a handful... when not sleeping (or eating), the kittens are filled with uncontrollable, boundless energy. They have graduated to using the big litter box (yay!) as well as eating both wet and dry food, although they still nurse for brief periods several times daily. I now go through 3-4 cans of 5.5oz moist food a day - that's over 100 cans a month. - this does not include dry food or treats. So the cost keeping them around is really adding up! I love them to bits and will be conflicted once I give them up, but I have to admit that my wallet will certainly be happier
I've also noticed that Newt will on occasion intentionally use the small litter box - I have no idea why. Even when the big litter box is clean and the kittens aren't using it (which shouldn't be an issue as it's big enough for all of them to fit).
So as I mentioned, the kittens are just all over the place, and there are nights when I don't get much sleep because of it. I don't always close my bedroom door because one of Newt's favourite lounging spots is my dresser drawer (which the kittens can't get to.... yet). I'd like to somehow be able to let Newt in, but not the Kittens. I guess I should also be careful about what I give them to play with. I had bought a water fountain and left the box on the floor, which has provided for countless of hours of entertainment for them, which is fine by me, but there are times when they can get pretty loud doing lord-knows-what to that box. All 3 have distinct personalities. Duke is by far the least mischievous, well-behaved kitten of the 3. If I do end up keeping one of them, he's at the top of my list!