Around lunch time, a neighbour came to our door and asked if we had a pregnant tortie. No, we don't.....
It turned out they saw a tortie run out of their shed when they were clearing it out, and in a corner they found a tiny kitten and a heap of maggots. Apparently, there had been more kittens, but this was the sole survivor.
The mother managed to dash back into the shed and grab her kitten, and disappeared into the shrubs.
I decided we were not going to solve this one by ourselves, so I called in Peter, the cat shelter volunteer we got 3 of our cats from. He came straight away, and we formed a ring around the shrubs. Peter approached the cat from where she had gone in, I approached her from behind, and hubby and the neighbour guarded the sides. I managed to shoo the mother in Peter's direction and grab the kitten, but the mother managed to get away. So Peter placed a trap in the shed and took the kitten home. He arranged an emergency placement at another volunteer, who had a mother cat with a litter the little one could be put in with till we caught the mother.
We were lucky, though. Within 15 minutes after Peter had left, the mother cat went into the trap, so I loaded her into the car and drove her straight to Peter. So mother and child have been reunited and can remain with Peter till the owner or a new slave can be found. It looks like the kitten is already spoken for, though, the neighbours have fallen in love with her.