Sunday, 17 May 2009

More on the Cats

My next post will be a GIVEAWAY and will coincide with my 400th post

My sequal to my post on aquiring our Siamese cats. The pics have been scanned from some very faded and almost 30 year old pictures which makes me realise how much I appreciate digital. There's also the horror of 70's decor which we thought was wonderful at the time.

Here is Misty looking regally at the camera as only cats can. Having resisted owning a cat for so long (see recent post) Misty won me over and became a loved member of our family. She never stopped surprising us with her interesting ways and being Siamese she was extremely talkative and loved to play hide and seek with us. She followed us around the house and would watch at the window when we went out, running to the door when she heard our car return. Janie who developed an allergy to cats insisted on letting her sleep on and sometimes in her bed. What happened to the rule about no cats upstairs!

She developed a liking for pink and would go in search of something pink and soft, particularly a woollen glove or sock and bring it to us and drop it at our feet. Janie who was quite young at the time started to make 'Faberge' eggs as a hobby. She made one particularly beautiful one in the shape of a baby's crib. The edges were studded with tiny pearls and the minature doll inside had a pink pillow and quilt. She left it out one day on the top of a chest of drawers and Misty seeing it, jumped up and brought it downstairs in her mouth as a gift to us. Now this was a very delicate egg shell and it was completely intact. How can a cat do that!

Time went by and the children were asking if we could mate her and have a kitten. Of course we gave in as I quite liked the idea myself and at 13 months old we took her to a stud.

She actually had 7 kittens and seen here above is Sandy the kitten we kept and the one I wrote the poem about.

Misty in labour and waiting for the birth to begin

We made a nest in this very large cardboard box (also featured in my poem) and placed it outside our bedroom door. When the time came Jane and I sat with her and could not believe it when yet another kitten appeared. We would run downstairs and tell Alan 'another one' to which he replied 'Oh! yeh' when Jane and I were beside ourselves with wonder and excitement. After a few hours there appeared to be six in all.

It was not until the next morning that we realised that there were 7, the last one being a runt. Interestingly shortly afterwards we had friends who were farmers staying with us and they insisted that in the wild the runt would be left to die. We could not bear the thought of this and fortunately we had a local friend who just loved these kind of challenges and he took the runt to his home and cared for her, feeding her drops of milk from a dropper every hour of the day and night. Once she was strong enough we brought her home and she developed into a beautiful Bluepoint cat. At 4 months old we gave her to the family who had cared for her where she had a loving home.
When the time came to take the kittens out of the nest I bought a secondhand wooden playpen and we packed the inside of the rails with cardboard and put it in the dining room. (seen here on the right) We carefully placed the kittens in and as soon as we left the room Misty obviously thought that we had stolen her babies because she removed them all and hid them under our bed.

Once she had accepted the change of residence here began a battle to keep the kittens in there at night. There would always be one who managed to escape. Once they were mobile and able to run around we would be woken every night with 7 kittens running helter skelter up and down the stairs. Who said cats were quiet!

When very young we found it easier to feed them on this bench where we could keep an eye on them.

Soon they were able to eat at floor level. Misty was an extremely good Mother and disiplined them well. One day I had fresh fish I needed to thaw out so put it high up on top of the wall cupboards in the kitchen. Misty somehow managed to climb up there, take the fish down and distribute it around the kitchen floor for her kittens. She never touched it herself.

Trying to watch TV

For 4 months we had kittens everywhere and could not get away from them.

Trying to cook

Trying to iron


Sleeping in the out/in baskets in Alan's home office. An interesting story here. One day we suddenly realised that we only had 4 kittens. Panic, panic where were the other 3? We checked every nook and cranny in the house and even scored the street and surrounding area, checked the garden and alerted the neighbours. No kittens. The next day still only 4 kittens. We were anxious and upset by now. How could they have managed to get out?
Twenty four hours later Alan was at his desk and heard a squeak. After investigating, there were the kittens, curled up in one of his desk drawers. The drawers in the homemade desk did not have a back to them and they had somehow climbed in and being next to a radiator they had promptly settled down and gone to sleep. What relief to find them.
By the time they were 4 months old I was ready to let them go. We loved them but they were disturbing our sleep and becoming very expensive to feed. Fresh fish and chicken was their daily diet, not to mention their vetinary fees and injections. We gave one away, kept one and sold 5.

We had a number of local children from our house church come to visit the kittens every day and they hated to see them go.

Sandy in the Crab apple tree

Sandy learning to be a cat!
Sandy lived for 13 years and her Mother Misty outlived her by 2 years


Elizabethd said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Elizabethd said...

Start again! With hopefully correct spellings this time.
Your photos of the kittens sleeping in the trays were so sweet, and reminded me of my cat, who always found somewhere odd to roost. She lived to be 18, and I still miss her.

Anonymous said...

Your photo story was delightful. I love the old pictures. You know a lot about cats, obviously. Is it true that when a cat is near death it will go to a place that is near to their caregiver to die? My daughter had a cat "Whiskers", grew very old and ill. One morning my Dau.went to pull out of her garage and hit the cat, who had nestled up near the rear tire. My dau. cried and cried and I told her I read that a cat will get as near as possible to their loved one to die. I told her Whiskers had died there, she did not kill it.

Sara at Come Away With Me said...

I can imagine how amazing all this was to someone who had not grown up with cats! You certainly took on a lot!

These are beautiful cats. I'm sure you discovered they each have their own little personalities too, by the time they were 4 months old.

Susie said...

I so enjoyed reading about Misty and her kittens! However, the part I found most interesting was her fascination with pink and her ability to fetch. I've never had a cat do that!
Fun post!

Susan said...

Loved the kitten pictures. Especially the ones with all of them and their saucers.

Aqeela said...

i really enjoyed reading this post & looking at the old photos - ive loved siamese cats since watching 'lady and the tramp' and would love to own one some day.

Aqeela xx

Vee said...

You've documented this so well. That's quite amazing that Sandy lived so long and her mother outlived her by another two years. I don't know how you dared to put your foot down with all those kittens...such an incredible lot of them! Beautiful Siamese, though. I love the one where even Mama Kitty looks freaked by them all. Ha! Could be made into one of those funny cards..."What's a Mother to Do?"

Anonymous said...

Oh I love the pictures! I love the babies all lined up at their plates munching!

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Stan Gibbs said...

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Anonymous said...

LOL Oh my what fun you had with the kittens! I can just imagine how lovely it was to have them, but just as any mother would be, you know when the time is right to let them go. I love Sandy's eyes- just like blue topaz.

zetor said...

What a wonderful post. You cats are adorable.

Isobel said...

Hi dear Barbara, I'm loving the posts about your cats. So sweet!! The kittens sleeping in the mail tray is the cutest picture ever!
Take care.

Linda said...

Wow, 7 kittens. That would be a lot of work. I had a cat who had three kittens once. I so enjoyed watching them play.

Betty said...

You bring back so many memories...when our two girls were young we always had several cats because when a little was born the girls didn't want to part with any of them....they could track down new babies almost we have three and they are growing old...

Your pictures are very good...I like the ones in Alan's in and out boxes especially....


Kate said...

Oh you had some fun there - we had a seal point siamese boy when I was young and he was such a character... he would get us all up every morning then settle in the bed of the last person to rise!

Have you read the Doreen Tovey books?

Lavinia said...

Wow. What an experience! The photo of the kittens at their dishes is priceless, as is the one of kitty investigating at the piano. Cute as the dickens but my, alot of work and expense as you stated. Glad they all found good homes. Quite funny about the 70's parents had a horrid burnt-orange shag carpet in the living room that we all thought was the bees knees at the time. Ditto the wallpaper with the knotty pine pattern. Ugh.

Thank you Barbara for this stroll down feline memory lane!

Andrea said...

I enjoyed this beautiful story of the sweet kittens. How patient and loving you are to have taken such good care of them. They were all so pretty, and look so content.

Blessings to you, Barbara.


Bishop Stone said...

This story just takes me back to my childhood. I had a lilac point while I was growing up. She was the kindest, gentlest cat in the world. With the loudest purr ever heard. She moved out of home with me and travelled with me. She went on walks with me.She lived to an old age. I decided not to have cats where we live but one day about 6 years ago a stray turned up. He has the same personality and gentle nature as my beloved cat. No one knows where our new cat came from but I do beleive it was ment to be. He chose us and we love him to bits.

a woman who is said...

Oh my gosh I can't get over the kittens in the in/out box all snuggled sound asleep. So many of them. What a cute story about your adventure of raising such cute little babies.