Thanks to everyone who offered advice. I went the shelter route and yesterday adopted a girl and a boy - 5 and 6 months old -- who were plucked from a 30-cat feral colony as kittens and foster-raised by a local rescue group called Kitty Angels, who also get them all their neutering, shots, etc. They are very sweet and very tractable - I have no trouble picking them up and handling them. They have different mothers but from the looks of them I'm guessing the same father. They totally cling to each other and mimic each others behavior. Today I found out how the girl likes to be petted to make a loud purr and as soon as her motor got going the boy, who was just watching, started purring in unison!
They're very timid, partly because of their feral background and partly because of this sudden change. I don't look or sound anything like their foster mom; I have a big open-concept house with no other animals or people; I'm sure everything smells and sounds different, too.
I've been keeping them in spare bedroom to acclimate but tonight I let them out to explore the part of the house near their room, which unfortunately has an indoor balcony with a sheer 13' drop to a ceramic tile floor below so they jumped up on the balcony for the view. The idea of them on that balcony scares me to death but I have no idea what to do (I'm starting a separate thread on this so if you have any thoughts please post to that).
Last edited by marie73; 02-24-2013 at 11:56 PM.