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 Our First Litter

 

Spot’s first litter of kittens began the cat saga  

 

 

Three cats came with the farm - Spot and her two off-spring - both males.

Spot met me the first day I arrived. Telling me in no uncertain terms that she was hungry. From that time on she never failed to let me know when the cat bowl was getting low on food. The kitchen door still has scratch marks where she would jump up to the glass, hang there by her claws and meow for breakfast.

The two males stayed only a short time. One disappeared just after I moved in, the other stayed until we got our first dog. Think he just wasn’t happy with the new arrival, struck out on his own, only returned occasionally to visit.

Spot’s first litter of kittens began the cat saga. Each spring brings new litters - each litter brings new cats and more cat stories. Our population has neared 30 a time or two. Generally less than 20 are around. The females stay but most of the males leave or are run off by the dominant male at the time. Predators take a heavy toll too.

They do their share. Help to keep the rodent and reptile populations low. Plus they are fascinating to watch. Each has a distinct personality. All are a never ending source of amusement.

I’m getting ahead of myself, back to Spot’s first litter. Had been on the farm about three months when she had her kittens in the basement. Remember, because they were tiny when the Blizzard of ‘93 hit, March of that year. She had them on the only dry place in the basement - a concrete square where a coal furnace once stood. As soon as we found them we took her a bale of hay - a nice warm dry place for her new family. Four little balls of fur shared the hay with her - 2 black and white, one yellow and one all black except for the white patch on it’s belly. Spot was a pale colored yellow spotted calico.

They fared well during the last blasts of Winter, right up into Spring. Spot was a good mother. We fed them and checked on them daily, but didn’t spend a lot of time handling them - the kittens grew a little wild.

As warmer weather set in, a distinct cat odor could be smelled upstairs. It got progressively worse, until we finally decide the cats had to come out of the basement.

This proved to be easier said than done. Try as we may, it was impossible to round them all up. The kittens ran in all directions, climbing in any cubby hole they could find. Spot wasn’t about to leave her kittens. When I did manage to catch one black and white kitten it bit me. We finally resorted to the garden hose. Spraying water did the trick. We were able to capture one at a time in a plastic garbage can. The captured one was taken to the barn, their new home. Five trips later we had all safely tucked away at the barn. The basement door was closed and all possible entrances blocked off - we did not want to repeat this chore.

They stayed in the barn less than a week. Spot decided the wood pile was a better place - closer to home. Which was just as well. The kittens became a lot friendlier with time and attention. Scotty, Beauty, Bro, and Tux grew up to have new adventures of their own.

Bro, the bad boy that bit me, turned out to be one of my favorites.

 

 

Last updated 23 February 2010

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