Tuesday, September 13, 2011


Just days before the most recent hurricane to smack the east coast, one of the little strays we feed gave birth to 5 kittens. We'd had flooding rains the weekend before. We were concerned that our ground was so saturated, that any rain from the hurricane would result in flooding. So, Phenom decided that we needed to turn one of our bathrooms into a nursery for the weekend.

We put them in a fluffy towel, in a box, in our bathroom and the mother spent about 24-hours hiding under our toilet. About midday, after the hurricane had passed, she finally got comfortable enough to crawl into the box with her babies. And, by then she didn't want to leave.

I think she would have happily become an indoor cat. But, we didn't need 6 more cats. And, we would have had to keep her isolated for several weeks from our cats. And, we needed to use that shower. So we put them back outside after the skies cleared.

Possum wasn't a particularly good mother. She seemed to have about a two week threshold for how long she put up with this motherhood gig. She abandoned her kittens when they were about 2 1/2 weeks old.

Today, we buried 4 of them. We don't know what happened to the 5th one. When Phenom called me today, to let me know I was going to have to dig another hole in our yard, he was really upset. He kept saying "animals are suppose to have an instinct for caring for their young." Sadly, I don't think that's always true for humans, and I don't think it's always true for animals. We would like to think it is. And that there are always happy endings. But, I'm learning that the world is a cold place, for animals and humans alike.


The Super Bongo said...

update, the one smack in the middle, facing the opposite direction from the others in the picture? He seems to have survived. He was the loudest and strongest, so now I'm thinking she decided which kitten was most likely to thrive and kept him.

The Super Bongo said...

Update two: the survivor has been claimed by a kindly grandmother type and will be going "home" next week.