I took this photo around three-and-a-half years ago, one day after my lovely cat, Honey Mouse, had given birth to her three tiny kittens.
Her pregnancy was something of a shock. Having found her as a stray, we didn’t know whether she had been neutered or not. Our vet reliably informed us that there was no sure way to tell, other than to do an operation to have a look. There was no way I was going to put Honey Mouse through all that pain and recuperation, only to find that it had all been unnecessary, so we decided that the best option was to put her on the pill. (Yes! They do indeed have the contraceptive pill for cats, but it’s by far better, not to mention safer, to have them neutered)
Around five weeks later, I had a sneaking suspicion that the pill was somewhat redundant where Honey Mouse was concerned. Her swollen tummy meant that she was either gorging herself on food when I wasn’t looking, or she was pregnant. Another trip to the vets and I was informed that she was indeed pregnant. Seeing as I already had twelve cats (they are all rescue cats. Honestly, I’m not some crazy cat lady who simply hoards cats! But, if they turn up at my door, I won’t turn them away), I gingerly asked how many she thought she might be having.
“Three, I think,” she replied, feeling Honey Mouse’s tummy, “although there may be another one hiding somewhere.”
“Three? OK. And when do you think she’ll have them?”
She felt Honey Mouse’s tummy again.
“In about a week, I think.”
Sure enough, one week later, at 1 a.m., Honey Mouse gave birth to three healthy and adorable teeny, tiny kittens: Alfie (in the middle), Ringo (right) and Dusty (left). One reason I love this photo is the position of Dusty. She’s attached to her mummy’s nipple like a limpet! She was the last to be born, and for around ten minutes, she wouldn’t suckle. My head was awash with nightmare visions of me having to hand raise her. Finally, it seemed to dawn on her what she was supposed to do, and she began suckle. I swear, she didn’t come up for air for what seemed like an eternity! If you happen to have read my other article, A Numpty Apocalypse, you’ll know that Dusty is the cat who will only eat cooked chicken and raw, pure beef beefburgers. At 4.5 kg (9.9 pounds), it isn’t doing her any harm though!
Honey Mouse suckled her babies for 5 months! Even when she had no milk left, she still allowed them to suckle. Today the kittens are three-and-a-half years old, and yet Honey Mouse still comes running if any of them cry. Woe betide the cat that comes between Honey Mouse and her babies!