Isn’t he a beauty! Cats are always an important part of the landscape on the farm. They have an important job to do. Without them we would be overrun with mice and grasshoppers. The nice thing about cats is their independent natures. They manage by themselves, want attention in their own time and their own way, and really just hang out most of the time.
On our little farm, it has been an educational experience to watch the cat population eb and flow. This past year we had our 4th litter of kittens born on the farm, some from stray cats that are abandon out here and others from cats we purchased or came by ourselves. For the most part, our mother cats have been amazing in how dedicated they are to their young. They worry over them all the time, moving them from place to place if they think there is a threat.Its fascinating to watch them teach their kittens about hunting, bringing them back live mouse to play with and then later eat. They diligently groom their little brood until the kittens seems as big as they are. Then, suddenly, one day they decide to take off. I don’t know when they make the decision to take off, but they do. The kittens are left to themselves and its a good thing they have each other.
Its at this time they start seeking human attention and they really get close to one another. Sometimes Mom will come back, but she is never friendly. I guess its natures way of creating independent cats. They have to fend for themselves. She doesn’t want them nuzzling up to her anymore. She hisses and bats them with her paw. It can be hard to watch as the poor little kittens can’t understand what has happened to Mom.
Currently there are 12 kittens on the farm. Two sets of 6 kittens were born in the spring. Both Mom’s have taken off. We were fortunate enough to bring one of the Mom’s in to have her kittens. You can watch the birth of those kittens here. We held those kittens from the beginning and they are very tame, friendly cats. The other Mom snuck off a bit earlier than we were prepared for. We didn’t see those kittens until they were old enough to be very afraid of us. Those kittens are wild today. We don’t prefer that.
Its always a dilemma as to whether we spay and neuter or not. They seem to stay at home more if you take care of that. But, then there is always a need to keep one who can have kittens. Cats don’t seem to have nine lives on the farm. They are such curious creatures that they get themselves in situations that bring an early end to their lives and it seems they frequently try to cross the street at just the wrong time. We have so many “cat tragedies” out here that we pretty much know not to get too hooked to any of them. Their time with us is short at best, but we do enjoy them as friends and partners in keeping the place rodent free. It’s also really nice when the litter is a beautiful as this one. My favorite thing about the cats is watching my 13 year old daughter and all my grandchildren enjoy so much time with the kittens as they grow.