Monday, May 17, 2010
Okay, there’s no such word as grandkittens; made it up to suit my needs. Our Hobo Kitties have had kittens so this it third generation Hobo Kittens, grandkittens. We’re not sure which kittens belong to which Hobo Kitty; to be honest, don’t think they know either.
Before continuing I should include a brief history of the Hobo Kitty saga, starting with our first encounter with Nefertiti , the original Hobo Kitty followed by her offspring . We have never been certain of their ‘family history’, calling some of the kittens ‘Cousin’ since they appear to be a week or so younger than the others; the challenges of parenthood. Brother , Other Brother and Princess may have been from Nefertiti; but as I said, we never knew for sure. We haven’t seen the Brother kitties for quite some time; they disappeared about the time the neighborhood Toms were assaulting the fertile young sisters and cousin kitties. Princess was hit by a car not long after adopting us as I wrote back in January; the only Hobo Kitty to cross the invisible barrier from feral to domesticated so far.
All three female Hobo Kitties had their kittens about the same time; one day they were swollen and could hardly make it between the bars of our wrought iron fence and the next day they were thinned down. They didn’t act like ‘Mama kitties’ as they lazed around as if nothing had changed. We were concerned that perhaps their litters had been still-born or abandoned; their being not much more than kittens themselves.
A friend of ours explained how feral cats would eventually bring their kittens out into the open; for us not to worry. Headbuttr’ gave every appearance of having nursed, her belly swollen with milk one moment and then empty a while later. Silver Bubba and Afraid of Own Shadow (Shadow) were less obvious; but no doubt thin again.
Last week Lucy was out putting something in the compost pile and heard a noise on the back side of the garage. We have some junk lumber and strips of Hardy Plank piled up next to the fence. A sorry excuse for a tree juts up between the garbage lumber, one which needs to be cut down as it will be nothing but trouble where it has decided to grow.
There’s a hollowed out spot where the tree comes up and Lucy spotted an orange fuzz ball of a kitten dart down into the hollow. All excited and full of energy Lucy came running into the house, “I found one of the kittens!” I followed Lucy back out; but instead of one kitten there were two nearly identical orange fuzz balls sitting on the stack of wood, turns out there are three orange fuzz balls. They were about four weeks old and immediately ran for safety, an awkward reverse climb into the hole; more falling than climbing. There was no keeping Lucy out of the back yard from that point on; grandmother instincts had taken over, her grandkittens needed her.
We heard a second set of kitten type noises in the garage coming from the hole over the freezer, the hole our Hobo Kitties used to gain entrance to the crawl space during the winter months to keep warm. Add that to the list of jobs; fix the hole in sheet rock, get rid of junk lumber, spay and neuter any and all creatures.
Lucy heard a ‘thud’ and noticed a dark colored fuzz ball had fallen from the hole onto a shelf next to the freezer. I went out to see and found a second dark fuzz ball hiding behind the boxed up Christmas tree. We later found a black fuzz ball that has little white streaks, almost like whiskers, along its flanks.
Lucy put the soft green cat bed up on the shelf after clearing a spot for it. Later in the afternoon the grandkittens were sleeping in the soft bed and I brought them down to ground level where they were reunited with a ‘Mama kitty’; as mentioned before, we’re not sure which ‘Mama’ kitty is responsible for any particular fuzz ball. I guess it’s true; it takes a village to raise a kitty.
The two dark fuzz balls followed Headbuttr’ to a pile of tree limbs, another chore that will be added to the never ending list of things to get rid of. There’s a considerable amount of activity going on in there; grandkittens and Mama Kittens getting together for feeding time and attention. Once in awhile we catch a glimpse of them as they stray outside the safety of the branches.
I surprised these two with the digital camera this morning, two dark grey fuzz balls in between the wrought iron fence and our back door neighbor’s wooden fence. If you want a free kitten I know where you can obtain one or two; get a matched set it you like.
Posted by T. F. Stern at 9:34 AM