Well, it looks like all the kittens have been born. We had 12 one week, 4 several weeks later and an unknown number a couple weeks after that. The last mamas had theirs outside and they were well-hidden.
The first dozen are now about 3 months old and doing well as outside cats. Our porch is their hangout and shelter in the heat and rain. The 4 Artemis had went outside to finish weaning (where her sisters had their litters). Unfortunately, they seem to have wandered off and one was found dead a few days ago. He’s in the pet cemetery, under a shade tree out back.
Same with her sisters. I haven’t seen their babies at all and haven’t heard them in their hidey-holes for nearly a week. I fear something may have happened but have seen no evidence of it, save for one left for dead in front of the barn.
That little guy, no more than a couple weeks or so old, was brought in and cleaned up. None of the mamas wanted anything to do with him, so I’ve been bottle feeding him. The good news is he’s doing well; eating better every day and getting increasingly vocal. Artemis even comes in and cleans him occasionally. She’d feed him but for her restlessness and his reluctance to latch on when she is laying still. My best friend suggested the name William the Conqueror, for his strength and courage. Another friend suggested Hercules. They know my affinity for historical/mythological names and both are under consideration.
The black male cat with a badly broken paw that’s been hanging around all spring (and fathered many of our black kittens, surely; the rest are likely Harley’s) has also not been seen for several days. He is sturdy and can hold his own well, messed up paw or not, so no clue where he wound up. 2 of our males, Garfield and Morris, are getting aggressive. This is balanced by the gentlemen of our brood – their daddy, Ginger, and Harley and Poto – acting as protectors of the mamas and babies. Ging and Poto have already been neutered; the rest are in need of it.
But, first things first…the ladies need spayed to prevent another huge wave of kittens. We have 6 of breeding age and can only afford to do 3 at a time (thank you CareCredit!). With any luck, no more litters in the meantime. We can’t afford too many – way past our limit now – and they are hard to find homes for.
Such are the worries of a crazy cat lady. 🙂