This lovely little thing just followed us home one day. The next morning, she let herself in and was helping herself to our cat's food! She hasn't left yet. Apparently, she followed our neighbor home the week before, and she put up some posters but nobody has called. One day this week when the kids and I went for a walk, to our surprise the kitten tried to go with us! When we got to the busy street, she got very freaked out by the cars, but instead of going back she just tried to keep coming with us, but then kept running into peoples' yards to hide. I'm pretty sure this is how she got lost in the first place. I'm betting that she went for a walk with her original owners (perhaps without their knowing she was following) and then ran off to hide. Well, this time I didn't want her to get squashed by a car so I tried carrying her back home. She does not like being carried. I had to carry her by the scruff of her neck like her mama cat would've done. In any case, she's safely at our house and now that a week has passed with no phone calls from previous owners, we told the kids they could get her a collar and we'll order a tag for her. That way at least if she gets lost again, anyone who finds her will be able to give us a call.
She has been named Patches, and other than not liking being held is a very sweet little thing. She has even slept on the bed with us once! She is pretty thin and was obviously very hungry, so she's in the kitchen under my feet a lot and is a very accomplished little beggar (being fed by the first person who wakes up, then pretending she has not been fed for the next successive people who appear in the kitchen). But she's plumping up a little bit. We definitely have to keep her away from our cat Noggin's food while he's eating as he is now fourteen and a grumpy old man, and he's given her a piece of his mind when she gets too close to his food.
Other than that, Noggin is adjusting remarkably well. Previous attempts at introducing other cats (such as when my sister stayed with us and brought her cat with her) have not gone well, but he seems to tolerate this little newcomer with remarkably good graces. Perhaps he can sense that she needs us too. Or perhaps since the kitten is not a lap cat, he doesn't feel that his territory has been too encroached upon. Whatever the reason, he's doing fine and so we are now officially a two-cat household.