Missy has had to put up and mother several kitties around here these days. We are learning how to care for, and manage barn cats which have turned out to be an essential part of our farm, as the mice and rats started taking over there for awhile, even to the point of the nasty rodents bringing the poison we had planted for them into our house to nest, for the kids to find. It was then that we decided to get cats a few years back. We have tried not to go above 8 cats, and finding homes for extras we have. However, this last year we have realized that 8 may not be enough to manage the amount of land we have around our house, especially with the large grain bins right here. I’m still deciding how many of these litters we will keep, though keeping them all is on the table of discussion.
The first litter we had this year was from our mama cat, Boots. Boots gave birth to 2 kittens, one orange, and one black. We gave her some space, as we have learned it’s good not to handle the kittens when the mama doesn’t like it. We actually have a hands off policy for the first week. We also have a nursing mom’s don’t have to hunt policy, and give her extra food where she decides to nest so she doesn’t have to leave her kittens to hunt. Sadly, we peeked in on the mama 2 or 3 days after birth, only to find both kittens had been abandoned by their mama and had died. It was really, really, hard on the kids.
The second litter was from our mama cat, Midnight. Midnight gave birth to 3 orange kitties, and 1 black kitten. Again, we kept away for a whole week. On day 3 we realized that Midnight had been repeatedly pushing away the black kitten from nursing, and the kitten died not long after that, leaving the 3 healthy orange cats.
These 3 remaining kittens have been the most docile and cuddly that we have ever met. They are more tame and easygoing of any cats. Ingrid’s favorite thing to do is go down to the barn and snuggle the kitties, which they seem to enjoy just as much.
These 3 kittens were named Simba, Sailor, and Sunshine. Then we realized Simba was a girl, and the kids renamed her to Nala.
Then to our surprise, Boots had a second litter. This time, she had 5 cats. 4 of them were darker markings, and 1 orange one. I named my first cat. She’s by far my favorite, and she’s named “Turtle.” I’m not a cat person, and seriously, no kitten has ever made me consider having an indoor cat as Turtle has. I cannot put her down.
Ingrid talking to the mama cat, Boots, on the first day Boots brought her kittens outside.
The funny thing about these 2 litters, one in the barn, and one in the summer kitchen, is that Midnight, (the black mama cat down in the barn who pushed away and neglected her black kitten that died, and nursed only her 3 orange cats) has now stolen the 1 fully orange kitten of Boots, and nurses her as well. So all of the 4 orange kittens are being nursed by Midnight in the barn, and the 4 blackish kittens are being nursed by Boots in the summer kitchen. This arrangement happened without our interference a little over a week ago, and both Boots and Midnight seem happy with it.
At any rate, I think we are at our limit now, and will maybe consider finding homes for a few of the kittens, though it may rip our hearts out to choose. Turtle for sure will forever be mine. Who knew there was a cat lady buried deep in me? No one is more surprised than me.