Tuesday, May 8, 2012

This years new Kitties!

Our mum cat, Barb, is the most incredible mum!  She lived here before we did, and has delivered and looked after a litter of kittens every year since we moved here.  We say she is part feral as she lives outside, or in the barns, stables etc, she certainly is not domesticated.   This year however is the first year she has felt comfortable enough around us, to let us stroke her!  We do feed the cats, most days, not everyday as she hunts, and what a hunter!  We have never once seen a rat or even mouse here, and we have spotted her with tiny snakes before.

Usually we know immediately her kittens have been born, as she straight away looks slimmer, all be it a little saggy, bless her.  This year Alan and I were feeding the alpacas, and we heard her loudly meowing at us.  She looked a little slimmer than she had that morning but we were both unsure if she had in fact had the kittens or not.  We called her and she continued to meow loudly.  Looking at her we noticed a little blood down her back legs and she was a little wet!  So I said "Have you had your kittens, Barb?  Come on show us where they are."  Well low and behold she took us around by the pool and to an area of weeds and, well junk if I'm honest, and walked down a very steep bank.  The bank has a high chain link fence around it and an old cupboard door pushed against it, as Carlos the dog likes to escape occasionally through gaps in fence.  Alan carefully followed to where she was going, and there, sure enough, were two tiny kittens, just a matter of minutes old!  She still meowed very loudly and we were a little worried, every year apart from last year she has had 3 kittens, and we really felt there was another to come, by looking at her, and she seemed very uncomfortable.  So we gave her some milk and food, and kept an eye on her.  She seemed more comfortable, after eating and we had to hope everything would be ok!

The following morning we woke up to find a third kitten and a much happier and contended Barb.  Luckily the weather was pretty good at that time and she was happy to leave the kittens there, even though they were outside and completely exposed to the elements, for about two weeks.  It amazes me the way she encourages them to be as independent as they can be, as soon as possible.  From day 1 she allows them to feed every couple of hours then she goes off for some time alone, or with last years kittens Xavi and Messi.  She is incredible!  Well done Barb, another beautiful litter!

The kittens were born down the steep bank, by the door on the right!

One of the first photos of the 3 of them

A week or so later, still in the "hole" eyes just open!

Introducing "Pedro"

"Silva" (David) also known as Smokey Joe 

and "Iker"  (Casillas)

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