Here on Insel Lyr Farm we had a visit from the dead-kitten fairy— lost two pretty kitties to ‘dead kitten disease’ which seems to be caused by mama cats marrying their brothers generation after generation. (I’m seriously thinking about getting a male ‘free kitten’ and letting him be the Head Tomcat in Charge.)
We lost mama cat Moxie’s two babies, though she seems happy enough nursing her sister’s only-child kitten Jon-with-Rice. He’s bigger than her two were so she thinks he’s better. But by the end of the day, Charybdis came walking down the driveway with two large kittens, both girls.
I no longer name newborn kittens unless it’s an auspicious saint’s day (that’s how girl-cat Norbert got her name— St. Norbert’s Day.) But these kittens are nearly as big as Jon, who’s getting to be a big boy and can climb into not-allowed places he wasn’t even aware of a few weeks ago.
Since the two kittens we lost almost got named Declan and Moira after writers Declan Finn and Moira Greyland, I was thinking of naming the two new ones Declan and Moira. But they are both calico kittens which means they are both girls. I have given out gender-inappropriate names before— Charybdis used to have a sister named Scylla who turned out to be a boy kitty. And Norbert got her boy’s name on purpose. I’m thinking of naming the second girl kitten Declanna instead of Declan, though. (If you will look at the picture you will see Declan/Declanna has one infected eye— we are taking care of that.)
Charybdis the mama is, like all the cats, a barn cat with ambitions to get promoted to house cat. And now she has kittens, she does get to stay in the house. I like to have the kittens indoors for their formative days so they get used to people and to using the litter box, in case some of the kittens need new homes someday. She has lived in the house before, Charybdis and her brother Boy-Scylla loved to lounge the day away in MY GOOD CHAIR. That’s where they were when I noticed Scylla had awfully big balls for a girl kitten.
I don’t know where Charybdis gave birth to the kittens or raised them to the stage they are now at, but I found the kittens in the long grass. So either the mama gave birth outdoors instead of in the barn, or she moved them outdoors so they could get rained on. Mama and both daughters seem happier to be in the house. Though all three tend to hiss at me and at the cats and kitten already living in the house.
Kitten Jon-with-Rice is a little bit unhappy with the new situation, though. He’s the son of Refrigerated Roxie, who got trapped in the refrigerator overnight as a kitten. He’s tried crawling in the fridge himself but I caught him both times, so he didn’t have an overnight stay. When he discovered his aunt Moxie’s two kittens, he absolutely refused to go back into his own kitten box and moved in with his cousins, who turned out to be his favorite chew toys. But now they are gone, he’s stuck with two replacement kittens who don’t know him, and all three of the grown-up kitties have been hissing a lot. Jon spend the night curled up on my neck so he’d be safe from all the hissers.
Jon-with-Rice was named after author Jon del Arroz, who is pretty cool about my claiming his name means ‘Jon with rice’ and is also OK with having a kitten named after him. Jon the kitten is a friendly little guy though he does tend to bite to show affection like one of my other cats, Eleanor. (That’s why Eleanor isn’t living in the house right now. I just can’t handle an ankle-biting cat first thing in the morning. Also, she hisses at Jon a lot.) He’s pretty sweet, otherwise, and he didn’t bite the other kittens too hard. They sometimes mewed a little but Moxie and Roxie came running to their rescue each time so Jon never overdid it lest his mommy and aunty might start to blame him for the kittens-in-distress. They never did figure that out, though.
NOTE: Animal rights advocates who want to bully me for being ‘cruel’ enough to have living cats at my place, be warned: I will eat an extra helping of MEAT for each bullying attempt. And since I am a person with Asperger’s Syndrome, bullying me should make you feel ashamed, anyway. Of course, so should any bullying, but that’s not the world we live in right now.