Bryan F. Irrera (bfirrera) wrote,
Bryan F. Irrera
bfirrera

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Kittens Kittens Everywhere!

This post from my friend, kevinduran reminds me of my extended family outside...

inside we have "T.C." (That Cat)...her middle initial is "F" and it doesn't stand for Fabulous...

..I love her dearly, but I wish she would let me take another cat inside (she's very territorial).
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A few years ago, when we moved into this house, the feral cats and kittens (who live in our yard, Paul's mother's yard and the empty yard between us (plus the woods behind our house and the many sheds and Paul's mom's garage, etc.) started to gravitate towards our house. It happened slowly. There were a number of cats that I'd named and spoke to, but they would all run away from me.

The one adult cat had recently had a pair of kittens. I'd started talking to the kittens and very occasionally got to pet them every so often as they grew up (They were named Muffin and Puffball). I named their mother simply "Mommy Kitty".



Muffin and Puffball are long gone (they have gone away either way back into the woods or someone has since adopted them...that was at least six years ago). However, Mommy Kitty is still very much around. After her next litter (of four, all of which Paul's mother took in...two of them are still around...the other two had cancer at various stages of their life). We fixed Mommy Kitty soon after.

Mommy Kitty's sister (I think that's their relationship, since they are very close and share the matriarchal duties) is Pal.

Pal has certainly been around the block a few times. She's black and white (sort of like a Holstein cow). She's been in a number of scrapes and is blind in one eye. Every time we think she's on her last leg and won't survive another pregnancy, she surprises us and makes it through her next litter.

Pal started showing up and rubbing on my leg when I was outside (sort of flirting with me)...not only does she like the food I put out on the porch, but I honestly think she adopted ME. She likes the attention from me.

She'd had a litter right around the time we'd moved into the house as well (later that same year)...in that litter was Autumn (so named, because I first saw her when she was scampering out of a pile of leaves (and I nearly didn't see her, 'cause she was the same colors as the leaves).

Autumn also had a litter of three kittens taken in by Paul's mom. We had Autumn fixed when they were born.
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About three years ago, we knew that Pal was pregnant. She'd disappeared for about a week or so. She started coming by soon after and we could see that she'd had the babies. Once they were able to walk, she brought them to me up onto the porch. We'd named them Domino and Blackjack (they were both black and white, but different patterns from Pal). Blackjack got hit by a car later that year and during the following summer (about a year after she was born) Domino disappeared.

At the same time, Autumn disappeared. I was apoplectic. Autumn had become, truly, my favorite. Autumn was very affectionate to me, like her mother, but not as mean as her mother is to the other cats (though she's been very protective of her family in the past). At the time, Pal was pregnant again. She had three little cuties (and again, surprised me by just showing up with them on the porch one morning). Prince (originally named Princess until we sexed him), Keyops and Tiny (named for characters on "Battle of the Planets"/"Gatchaman"). Prince and Keyops are/were male, Tiny female.

While the three were still kittens, about six weeks after the other two had disappeared, I heard a kitten crying and went outside to see who it was (Keyops at the time would sometimes cry simply because he was lonely if the others went off to hunt or play). I looked at the kittens and could see it wasn't any of them. I began to realize that the crying was coming from the side of the house. I turned to find that it was Autumn. I ran to her and she came up to me. She looked like heck. She'd gone a little gray just above one eye. She was famished. I quickly put out tons of food for her and pet her and comforted her. To this day, I don't know where she was.
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Keyops got hit by a car the next winter. Prince, a long hair gray cat is now pretty much the alpha male (and he's pretty huge). Tiny is still fairly petite. She lives more over at Linda's house (I think behind her garage), but will come over quite often to visit and grab some grub.

Last year, around Easter, Pal gave birth to four. Vinnie, Ernie, Bertha and Hermione. She found a GREAT spot along the side of the house, that was protected by bushes...

Vinnie (male) and Ernie (female) disappeared around March or so when the girls started going into heat, but, Vinnie recently returned to visit (I gather he was out in the back somewhere in the woods and the hurricane had brought him back...it was the day(s) of the storm and about a week and a half after that he was back). Bertha died last winter when she went into heat (I hate to think about it, but I guess she was gang-banged to death).

Meanwhile, in late April of this year, Pal gave birth to four (under a car that has been sitting in the yard). A week later, Hermione gave birth to her three kittens (my grandkittens) on our front porch, on May 4th. I woke up to find her in one of the cardboard boxes we keep on our covered porch (which we put old clothes and towels in for them to cuddle up in), to find three little lumps of fur in there with her.

The mother and grandmother soon found out about each other's news...see these two posts here and here.
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Postscript:

During this past summer, soon after that, Pal moved to live under the porch for a few weeks and eventually, once they were all ambulatory, the two sets of kittens all met each other properly.

Very soon after moving to the porch, Pal abandoned that same kitten. At this point, we could see there was something not quite right with her (she was malshaped). We hated doing it, but we had to let nature take it's course, knowing that it was best to let it die. I'd named her Mimi ('cause she was a screaming Mimi...she was constantly crying...it's possible she was blind or deaf).

The other three (of Pal's) looked almost exactly alike, but were three different sizes. I named them (in ascending order): Rose, Orchid and Dahlia. Orchid ran into the road and got hit by a car. Rose has since gotten a bit of a growth spurt and is now actually bigger than Dahlia (who is a bit petite).

The two of them live happily with Dusty, Oreo and Peanut Butter (Hermione's kittens). They've also been joined by Princess and Marcus (Prince's kittens with a female named Shadow...we don't know whether she's related or not...I think that Shadow may have been one of Autumn's siblings since she seemed to show up around the same time...). Princess looks exactly like her father (though very MUCH female).

The only other addition to the family, recently, seems to be the Daddy Kitty (I haven't come up with any other name for him)...he's the obvious father of Pal's two this past time...he's pitch black (they are primarily black) and his head and Dahlia's head are shaped exactly the same.
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Soon after the kittens were all born, Autumn disappeared again...this time for good. Soon after that, I had a dream about her and I just felt from that dream that it was her spirit telling me goodbye.
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So, that's our family as it stands today: Pal, the proud grandmother, Hermione, the mother, Mommy Kitty, the great aunt, Prince, the uncle, Tiny, the aunt, Vinnie, the estranged uncle, Rose and Dahlia, the little sisters, Shadow, the aunt (maybe by marraige, maybe for real), and all five of the grandkitties: Dusty, Oreo, Peanut Butter, Princess and Marcus!
Tags: pets/pal_and_her_kitties, pets/t.c.
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