The kittens are now eight months old! This has been such an experience, deciding to keep all four of the kittens. An experience that has taught me so much about the interactions of mother cats with their young. We read or see on tv or videos how the large cat mothers usually keep their young with them for a year or longer. Hunting for and teaching them all the things they will need to know to fend for themselves when grown. From this experience I have seen an amazing dynamic between domestic cats and their young, that many might not be aware of. It really reinforced my decision to not break up the family. It also reinforced my personal soapbox rant to please spay and neuter your animals. You might just think to yourself, well I will just give away the kittens. Easier said than done for one thing, and for another, a grave injustice to both the mother and the kittens. You see, their mother just doesn’t nurse them 6 weeks and is done with them. I have found quite the opposite to be true…
still nursing at three months old
another where at three months of age, mama Peppermint would still call to them to come nurse.
and now eight months old, still the occasional suckle
They hang out and sleep all together….
Mama Peppermint and Lilac (note the toy mouse. more about it in a moment)
they sleep with the other cats. This is big Earl and Little Earl (EJ for short). Not father and son, but enough alike in looks and temperment, you would think so!
Poor little Lilac got very ill from a scratch her brother Mugwort gave her while playing. She just hugged the heater vent and our full figured gal Wisteria moved right on the blanket with her, mothering her and adding her warmth. Lilac is all recovered now
her brother EJ comforted her too.
Earl Jr. took a toy kitten out of the toy box and moved it into this box to play with
remember I said keep an eye out for the mouse?
Peppermint packs this mouse with her everywhere! I mean constantly all over the house, from the basement to every other space, this mouse is thrown, tossed, and carried! She will deliberately put it in hard to reach places, like around chair legs and places, to make it harder to “hunt”. No wonder her kittens raid the toy box for soft toys that they pack around also! She is “hiding” it under the legs of this stool in this photo.
a pile of kittens, Dandelion and Hyacith
we get a hoot out of watching EJ watch tv. If we have on a nature show with other animals, he parks right in front and just is mesmerized!
So Comfrey Cottage increased its cat population by five last year. Nothing we set out to do, but finding and little Peppermint and deciding to keep her kittens also is a decision we will never regret. We love them. We were able to have them spayed and neutered from a wonderful program the Animal Protection League offered, which was hosted by our local Humane Society. The price was ridiculously low and the cats were well treated and cared for. Just a side note, Peppermint did not go into heat until the kittens were 7 months old. I suppose being able to nurse so long helped delay it, but again, female cats usually have two litters of kittens a year. Spay and neuter your animals, please! Financial help is available if you just will ask your local vet or animal shelter, there is often times very low cost programs and some vets around our town even offer a yearly lottery and the winners (usually over a dozen) get the service for free! My daughters work even had one lady take the initiative to put a can up asking for donations to help her vet her animal. I was delighted when I heard of it and eagerly made a contribution also. Lets all work together to help all animals to be wanted and have homes, it starts with taking responsibility. Ok, off my soapbox.
Hugs to all who visit Comfrey Cottages xxx