MerowwwwwwWWWWWwwww, one of them will say. MerowwwWWWWWWWWWWwwwwwww, the other will reply. MerowwwwWWWWWWWWWWWWWWWwwwwwww, they'll say in unison, having reached an apparent accord. I think it has something to do with mating, as my spaded-and-noodled indoor cats aren't even remotely intrigued by the cat sounds coming from outside. I did hold Martha up to the window so she could see, in an oddly sadistic experiment (or masochistic, considering whose arms she'd shred should she decide to take a leap) and all she did was go "grrr" very softly and then look away. I suppose it meant "Aw come on, you guys, get a room" (Cana suggested that Martha was saying "Sheesh, kids these days...")
One of the cats is a grey tabby, slightly plump but very stray-looking. The other is a black-and-white tuxedo cat, quite gaunt and stray indeed. I am forcing myself not to even remotely consider giving them names as that will only make the problem worse. If you give the cat a name, it's yours, brother, so if you want to give them names, that's fine by me, but I won't use them. (I know someone whose parents once had a stray grey cat visit their backyard regularly but they were adamant that they not adopt the cat, as they didn't want a cat, so it was never allowed inside. Feeding it outside, however, was A-OK, and so they came to regularly keep kitty in constant supply of cat food and water -- but, following the naming logic, it wasn't their cat because they never named it. It was known simply as "that old grey cat", as in "Oh look, that old grey cat is back in the yard again.")
So these two cats have figured out that my deck is a swell hangout. This does not mean that I will be naming them, or even leaving food out for them, even if that black-and-white kitty is lookin mighty thin indeed in these lean winter times. I can't. Not even leftovers. I already have two cats; I can't support more. If they decide to regularly stay around here, it won't be on my invitation. The grey tabby runs if I unlock the deck door and open it up, but the black-and-white cat stays and stares at me. I have yet to actually open the screen door and make as if to step out on the deck, so we haven't fully tested the cat's human interaction threshold. And again, making contact with these strays is not a good idea.
I'm just glad I haven't heard them actually getting down to the heart of the matter yet. That's yowling that I will interrupt, dangit.