Sunday, December 15, 2013

Kittens on the Farm

 Almost all of our animals are rescues: our three indoor kitties who we brought with us in the move from town; our original three hens and the additional six hens; our Leopard tortoise; three outdoor kittens we picked up our first spring on the farm. We're big on saving animals from local shelters or others who can't keep their pets anymore.

But the girls wanted to experience kittens and, really, what good is living on a farm if you can't at least experience ONE round of kittens? Plus, with so many rodents out here in the forest interface, I'm not sure you can ever have too many. So when we picked up the first batch of outdoor kitties, we had the boy and one of the girls fixed, but left one that had already learned the dangers of playing with moving vehicles to have a batch of kittens. The chances seemed slim anyhow; our neighbors neutered and spayed their three cats. Any willing male would have to be pretty tough to make it to our place through the forest and coyotes, hawks, owls and countless other natural hazards.

But on April 28, our kitten batch arrived.
They grew and flourished in the shelter of the garage, with the magnetic-lock cat door barrier keeping them safe. Until they could first reach, then learn to get out that door, they thrived in the garage where the adult cats came to rest, or from whence they fled the rambunctious kittens.

The "old" kitties (at one year) found other places to grow. Katrinka liked rolling in the mint pot best of all.
The girls named them Raven (black shorthair), Jag (black longhair), MG (grey), and, Grandma Lynn's favorite, the tortoise-shell kitten named Pi.

While having the batch of kittens was certainly fun, we do plan to go back into rescue mode. All of the kittens were spayed/neutered in due time. It will take some sort of miracle for newborn kittens to appear in our kitty space again.

We knew the kitties would suffer the slings and arrows of Mother Nature. Still, the loss of Katrinka, one of the kittens from our initial rescue batch (and the mint pot sleeper), this week is a bummer. She has been missing for two days and we suspect the coyotes, an owl or hawk got her. She was our most social cat, and my garden friend. I worked outside for quite some time Saturday, and she didn't come to join me. I've checked everywhere a cat might find herself locked,  but no Katrinka. We'll keep watching for her, but I'm not holding my breath.

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