Wednesday, June 24, 2015

It Takes a Village

Frankie was born last spring, so now it was her turn to have babies of her own. She had them, but I didn't know where until I heard kitties squalling on Sunday, June 14. I followed the pathetic cries and found four little ones behind this piece of tin.
I feed a whole passel of cats and kittens inside this shed.
I brought them to Mama, who was inside the shed, but she didn't take much notice of them. Over the next two days, she moved them from one place to another, and it didn't seem like she was taking good care of them. They had that hungry cry whenever I came to feed the other cats.

Tuesday evening, I was elated to see them nursing mama.
Unfortunately, they were trying to attach themselves to Grandma Freddie. That didn't last long.

Seen from above, the four babies and Mama Frankie. Frankie is just as black as her mom Freddie, but the flash makes them all look rather washed out.
Wednesday morning and evening, Pat and Weldon skimmed cream from the cows' milk and gave it to the babies. Honestly, I didn't feel like trying to keep them alive. I had lots of things on my calendar and I figured they'd all die anyway. Who wants to deal with that crap?

But, I caved. On Thursday I started giving the little ones kitten milk replacer, morning and evening, via a little syringe. They eagerly sucked it down and, within two days, their yowls were replaced with gentle kitty squeaks.
Cap'n Jack taking a syringe of milk.
I went to give Frankie's babies their milk on Saturday day night. No Frankie. One baby. I called and hunted and called some more. Nothing. So, I gave the little one two or three syringes of milk and went home.

Sunday morning, mom and all four babies came to greet me! Monday evening, Mom and two babies. Tuesday morning, Mom and two babies. Tuesday evening, Mom and two babies. My hunting was futile and my sweetest kitty-cat voice didn't avail. BUT ...

When I continued to the hay barn to feed the cats out there, I was surprised to see Rosemary coming around the bales from the rear of the barn. Hmmm. She didn't usually hang out in the hay barn. She hadn't been "lucky" with her very recent batch of babies, but she had previously proven herself adept at kitty-snatching. As she ate, I walked through the barn. "Where are the kitties? Come on, babies. Where are you?"

I had almost reached the back when I saw little Heddy waddling my way, and there came Tippy. Happy tears ran down my cheeks as I picked them up and snuggled them. Since Rosemary had milk and Frankie wasn't doing so well in the nursing department, I decided to let them stay where they were. Perhaps Rosemary's thievery will pay off this time.
This is Frankie, mother of four.
These are the two who are still with her: Cap'n Jack and Barbossa.
Here's Rosemary with Frankie's other two babes:
Heddy and Tippy
Tonight Pat lay on her belly to look under the pile of lumber where Rosemary has settled in with her adopted babies. And what to her wondering eyes should appear? Four more kittens! We're guessing they belong to LaPli, since she was the only other cat hanging around back there. I checked her undercarriage and she seems to have milk, so maybe she's sharing with Heddy and Tippy, too. The village continues its magic.


  1. Anonymous9:17 PM

    what a cute story!Gotta love those babies!

  2. I'm glad that the babies are finding milk and still hanging in there! I don't know how you keep all their names straight. Can you imagine creating a family tree of all the kitties you've seen on the farm?!

    1. Maria, I'm afraid a cat family tree would end up looking like a ball of yarn :)