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Mama-Cat and Her Descendants
[photo at right shows four cats from three different litters]

An ordinary-looking striped tabby female paid us a visit…. undoubtedly looking for a handout. Of course we felt sorry for her and provided her with free dinners. . . . after all, you could easily see that was a nursing mother. While she barely trusted us at first, over time she became more comfortable in our presence and eventually she considered this “home” and brought her offspring with her for a free handout for them, too. In return for our friendly generosity, she presented us with gifts of kittens…over and over again. As the kittens became independent of their mother, we caught them and found them suitable homes. Any that weren’t adopted, managed to stay here with us. From just about every litter, we adopted one or two more kittens.

That led to an abundance of cats, but, more importantly, giving birth to and caring for so many kittens was hard on Mama. The next-to-last litter that she brought here consisted of four or five kittens but apparently she felt that was too much and she pushed the orange striped one away constantly. In fact, he would wait on the side and only sneak over to nurse once she closed her eyes. It seemed so mean and we felt so sorry for him that we took him in and vowed to do something about all these kittens she was producing. We called the kitten Sherbit. He was a nice cat who would live with us for almost 18-years.

Eventually, though, Mama-Cat would have to be spayed. Catching her in between litters presented a problem as she always had her babies away from our property and we didn’t know where her den was. We certainly couldn’t take her while she was caring for babies. She would necessarily be confined after the procedure…for several days, in fact. Out of the question when she had babies somewhere. Then, for her last litter, she decided to make her nursery in a box under the steps to our side door. We would conveniently be able to catch her, take her to the veterinarian to be spayed and even leave her there for her total recuperation since we could easily take the kittens indoors to be cared for by us. The four from that last litter were born on the first day of Spring 1994 and they stayed with us for their entire lives. Bubba was the last of the line.