Kittens Galore

While the concept of “too much is never enough,” may apply to love, I’m less sure about that where kittens are concerned.

My daughter Isabella came across a young stray cat a little while back. It wasn’t terribly big. We found out later from the vet that she was between 1 and 2 years old. The cat was pregnant, and the weather was not being particularly kind at that time.

My spouse Maia and Isabella had taken to leaving food out for the little critter. The cat was quite friendly to all the humans in our household. It was apparent that if this little cat was left to fend for itself, she would end up having her litter of kittens in a drainage pipe outside.

With the water that flowed through there after rains, prospects were unlikely those kittens would survive such a welcoming into the world. Isabella was beside herself at the prospect of any kittens potentially dying.

So upon returning home one day it was thrust upon me that we would be taking in this stray. She was given the name Lilly, but in actuality we all referred to her as Mama cat or Mamacita.

The critter was quarantined in Isabella’s room. The poor cat wasn’t feeling too spry anyway, but turned out, once inside our home, she was quite the feral creature.

We already owned two adult female cats, Sookie and Nina. Additionally, Isabella received a male Himalayan kitten, Theodore Parker, the month prior for her 8th birthday.

As soon as Mamacita saw any of our other three cats there was immediate violence. We’re not talking typical cat fighting, where they hiss and lightly claw at one another.

No, Mamacita would run full bore at the unsuspecting feline(s), tackle them in a cacophony of cat howls, fur flying everywhere as they rolled off the bed. God help if you stuck your fleshy hand in there to break it up.

I tried it once. Mamacita took a chunk out of my arm and clawed me into a bloody mess. At which point I about threw said cat into a wall, but managed to settle the beast down.

I appreciated my daughter’s sentimentality. None of us wanted to see harm come to any of our furry friends.

Mamacita with her three new kittens.

Early one morning, we awoke to a strange cawing/mewing noise. Mamacita had begun the birthing process. Three kittens were born in our house. Each distinct and different.

There was a long-haired gray male named Ceasar, a short-haired tabby female named Cleopatra and a short-haired white male named Magellan. All born healthy and amazingly cute.

This meant that within a two month period, I went from two adult cats, to three cats with the addition of Theodore Parker, to seven cats total. And let’s not forget the Guinea pig!

It’s a lot to take in, and quite a few litter boxes to keep clean.

Theodore Parker has become the kitten’s big brother and chief bather. Being he has grown exponentially, the Himalayan is three times the size of the kittens, and sort of splashes down on top of them to lick each clean.

Mind you our two adult females still dislike all of them, but Sookie and Nina are becoming more passive about the situation.

Cleopatra in all her glory.

I need to give a shout out to the Franklin County Humane Society. Through its Myrna Mitchell Spay/Neuter Program I was able to fix our five new cats and secure rabies vaccinations for essentially a $10 licensing fee for each animal. Mad props to all their staff!

Mamacita has since returned to the wild. She comes in at night, but still has to be quarantined for the sanctity of a peaceful household.

I was originally sold on the idea of taking Mamacita in with the caveat that we would offload the kittens to other families. That never happened.

It’s a little unconventional no doubt – seven cats. But life has been hard enough in 2020 with Covid-19 keeping us all squirreled away from our normal pursuits. Consider it therapy. We’re keeping our ‘pandemic kitties’ close. Like a security blanket. There’s nothing like little furry creatures playfully purring to improve one’s day.

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