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Having Kittens Over Kittens

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Kitten held up by its neck scruffOur local Romeo Tomcat has been visiting the two female cats we have. They made kittens together but now we can’t find them! We’re having kittens over kittens!

Lipstick And Star

Cats Lipstick and Star, curled up together on top of my bar.Many of you who follow this blog’s page on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter already know that, in addition to Hoku, the surviving cat we brought from Seattle, we now also have Lipstick and Star (green collar), the two cats that belonged to my nieces.

My nieces used to put the cats in little bags and bring them over whenever they visited. Somehow, it was decided that the cats would just live here instead of going home.

Except for a weird desire to come in the house and use Hoku’s litter box, they’re pretty good cats. They stay outdoors most of the time and chase away the rats and mice. They are also champion tabili (tree skink) killers.

They are great pals. They play together and groom each other. They’re more like sisters than friends. Yes, despite their colorings, they don’t have the same mother. Since they’re from the same neighborhood, though, they could have the same father!

Does This Collar Make Me Look Fat?

We feed Lipstick and Star, of course. They get store-bought cat food. Since they chased away all of the mice and rats, we thought they were getting lazy. They sure were getting fat!

My wife Menchu and I kept going back in forth in our discussions about the cats.

“They look so fat!”

“Maybe they’re pregnant!”

“Nah, they’re just fat.”

“Yeah, they keep chasing lizards. They’re just fat.”

Well, no. We finally realized that neither one of them was fat. BOTH of them were pregnant! And overnight on the night before Christmas Eve, Star gave birth to three kittens!

 

What a huge surprise! Star kind of looked fat but she didn’t look heavily pregnant. But she was.

She gave birth to three boy kittens. She made her “nest” inside the kubo where our dog Sandy couldn’t get through the bamboo door. My wife Menchu had put Hoku’s flight crate in the kubo with a soft cat bed inside. 

Disappearing Kittens

Then, something weird happened.

About a week after Star gave birth, one of her kittens disappeared. One morning, it was just gone.

My wife said she’d heard a lot of noise and commotion during the night but when she looked outside, she didn’t see anything happening.

All of the cats I’ve ever had were spayed or neutered. I have zero experience with cats having kittens. To the Google I went, searching for answers.

Google told me that father males don’t usually hurt kittens but that other males can. They do it to make the mother go into estrus faster so that they can be the Big Daddy. 

Google also told me that sometimes another pregnant female cat can take a kitten to where its prepared its nest just out of motherly instinct. This seemed to us to be what happened because we heard a kitten crying and Star began going nuts, trying to get up to the ceiling where the sound was coming from.

A Hole In The Roof

The ceiling? Yes.

The design of our house gave us three roof pieces. The main roof covers the living area. Another roof slips under that on one side of the house and covers the carport area. Another roof slips under the main roof at the back of the house to cover the patio area.

At its highest end, near the house, the patio roof is super close to the main roof slope. This was a big problem for the roofers. They could not reach under the main roof slope to attach the top end of the patio roof.

As you can see in the photo, that left about 5-inches or so of one short section of roof uncovered. There’s a piece of flashing laid over it but it’s still accessible to small animals.

I have to confess that I didn’t realize this. If I had known this was the case, I would have had them do something to cover that opening.

Having been a building maintenance engineer in Seattle and having dealt with my share of baby seagulls inside ceiling and roof leaks galore, I am nuts about sealing up the roof.

But we put 2 and 2 together and realized that the missing kitten was probably in the ceiling and since Lipstick was also absent from around the house a lot, she must be in there with Star’s kitten!

I kept wondering why the cats were climbing up our mango tree to get on the roof. “It’s hot on the roof,” I said. “Why would they go up there? Stupid cats!”

Well, now I know! They were going up there to get into the roof, probably to hunt all of the yucky things that had crawled in through the same opening!

Rest In Peace, Kittens

Sadly, a day or two after the first of Star’s kittens disappeared and we thought it was in the roof with Lipstick, the other two kittens disappeared as well.

I thought that maybe Star had moved them to be with the other kitten that we assume Lipstick moved. But there were no more meows coming from the ceiling.

To add to the sadness, Lipstick began to look like she was no longer pregnant. Soon after, she looked and felt like she had no milk.

We are now operating on the assumption that all of the kittens, from both cats, somehow died.

It’s been long enough for Star’s kittens to have opened their eyes and begun to explore. They would naturally head toward the opening in the roof and the mango tree that all of the cats climb.

With that knowledge, and with Star and Lipstick spending more and more time down on the ground, we can only assume the worst. I’d love it if three or more kittens would suddenly scramble down the old mango tree and run around the patio like nuts. But it’s not going to happen.

Kittens In The Future

The only real consolation for the tragedy of losing two litters of kittens to whatever happened is that the visiting Tomcat we call Whitey Boy is still visiting.

He shows up every night for the free food, singing his love songs to Lipstick and Star.

I imagine that it won’t be very long until we have a bunch of mewling kittens driving us crazy with their antics. Anyone local want a kitten?

A Final Word

Let me take this moment to say that I fully support the spaying and neutering of all pets.

While I would rather Star and Lipstick were spayed, the vets here have so little experience doing it, I’m almost afraid fo having it done. (People here just don’t have the money to desex their pets.)

We had our female dog, Sandy, spayed and it was traumatic for us and the dog. She came home with a huge, stapled incision down her belly and an old X-ray image fashioned into a cone collar to keep her away from the cut.

One of the reasons I was so happy that Star had kittens was that they were ALL males and would be much, much easier for the local vets to desex.

If anyone out there knows of a really good vet with good technique who can desex a cat without causing trauma, please get in touch with me! I will sing their praises to high Heaven!

 

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