Three years ago, one of my cats, Honey Mouse, had kittens. She was a stray when we found her (actually, she found us…she simply wandered into the garden and decided she lived with us), and so we had no idea if she’d been sterilised or not. Well, we soon found that she hadn’t been. I happened to look at her one day and thought, “She’s an odd shape.” So, we took her to the vet who told us she was pregnant with possibly three kittens…”there may be one hiding behind another” said, as she felt Honey Mouse’s tummy, “so it could be four.”
“Oh, OK,” I said, a little stunned, “How long until she has them?”
The vet felt again and said, “Oh, about a week.”
“A week?!” Our number of rescued cats was to increase from 11 to 14 or 15 in a week! Oh well, we’ll manage.
Sure enough, a week later, at 01:00 a.m Honey Mouse went into labour. By 06:00 a.m she’d had them all. Two boys and a girl, named Alfie, Ringo and Dusty. Watching my lovely fur baby girl give birth, comforting her through the contractions and then watching as she cleaned her babies and helped them suckle, was a time of pure adoration and wonder.
Over the coming days and weeks, I saw how pure her love for her babies was. She would leave her nest (tucked away in the corner behind the sofa) to come for food, but if any of her little ones made the slightest noise, she immediately ran as fast as she could back over to them. The only time she relaxed slightly, was if I sat in the corner with the kittens while she ate.
One particular day, Monkey, one of our other cats got a little curious and decided to stand on the back of the sofa to take a look. My placid little Honey Mouse turned into a demon spawned from the mouth of hell! She flew at Monkey, and one the dust and fur had settled, the unscathed Honey Mouse returned to her babies, while Monkey sat washing the blood from his nose. The pure, raw power of the protective maternal instinct.
Honey Mouse was the most devoted mother I have ever seen. She nursed her babies until they were five months old! Even now, at their still tender age of three years, she still comes running if any of them cry. The bond is still so pure, unadulterated and strong.