05 October 2011

How we got the Itty Bitty Kitteh Committee!

So, back in mid-July, we discussed getting a couple of kittens, as a friend of mine was breaking up housekeeping due to personal reasons, and had a number of young cats and kittens that she wanted good homes for. My son and I went to see them, with intent to bring home two of them, both males.
However, when we got there, we found a third kitten that I felt very sorry for. He was older than the 8 week old kittens, about 6 months, and he was sad because his brother had been adopted without him. So, we came home with three little cats, all males. Or so we thought. You know where this is going, don't you?

Longsuffering spouse thought the older kitten was an odd shape. I thought it was cool how quickly he adopted the two younger kittens, and seemed to mother them. We named him Pixel, for the cat in Robert Heinlein's book The Cat Who Walks Through Walls. The little black and white tuxedo shorthair became Loki, and his fluff ball brother was nicknamed Sweetums for a bit til he showed more of his personality.

Pixel was gentle and affectionate, but very nervous because of his traumatic separation. Or so I thought...
...until he had kittens.

Yup. Although red and cream cats are often male, in this case, he was a she, and was with child when we adopted her. Ooops. Suddenly three new arrivals became 5. In fairness, the kittens weren't born for a couple more weeks, and I had sorta figured it all out before that, but...hey, both the orange 'males' were very fluffy in strategic locations, and I thought there was more than fluff there. It had been years since I'd sexed a kitten...

And I was out of practice, because Sweetums? Also a female. Happily, not pregnant, of course.
Originally, the plan was to find homes for the IBKC, or the Itty Bitty Kitteh Committee, as the two babies quickly became known. That plan worked til they opened their eyes and began being charming and loving and playful and hilarious. I resisted naming them for a month, just referring to them as the pudgies.
Pretty soon Pudgy One, the bobtailed male, became Timbit, because he looked remarkably like the now-neutered patriarch of my friend's cat family. His brother, Pudgy Two, became Snickerdoodle...just because. And yes, they really, really are both males. I had no problem figuring that out when they were still newborns, pre-fluff.

Because they were all new to the family, and I wasn't sure how the older cats would react, especially to the itty-bitties, we kept them in the 'nursery' for quite some time. But what was interesting was how Pixel nursed all four of them as if they were all hers. Even though Sweetums and Loki are nearly as big as she is, now! Weaning has been a challenge.

The older kittens have gotten along fine with the IBKC since the day they were born...
...even when the youngsters were kind of nuisances. No one has offered to hurt anyone else, and they were often nursing all together in one lump of purring bodies.
And despite being tiny, they were fearless.

Somewhere in there, it tacitly became acknowledged between Longsuffering Spouse and me that the Pudgies weren't going anywhere.
And the senior members of the family have accepted them all without too much fuss, except for Simon Q, who is just grumpy. But here is Mungus, the biggest cat in the house, playing with Timbit, the itty-bittiest.
And here is Timbit having a huge, dangerous 'fierce' at Spunky Boomerang, who just can't figure out what the heck this little thing is, but won't hurt him. Spunky, Loki, and Sweetums routinely share the bed together with their human family, sometimes joined by Mungus. Pixel and the babies aren't yet given the run of the house all day every day. We may need to get a bigger bed when they are loose, if they want to congregate with us.
It is fascinating watching them all interact, and watching their personalities develop. Loki and Sweetums (their full names are Loki Hannibal and Mischa Sweetums) were about 8 weeks old when we got them and didn't imprint real quickly on us, but they are loving and fun members of the family. Loki is absolutely fearless, getting into everything, busy and mischievous but also very loving--he melts into our arms when he's tired and wants to snuggle. Sweetums is quieter, more shy but a real little sweetheart. Pixel has about ten days to go before she's neutered, and we think she will settle down nicely when she's not trying to be Supermum.
I did mention that Loki is fearless, didn't I? Here he is atop the scratching post, preparing to launch at my camera to see what it is. He is Mungus's understudy, and is going to be as busy and sweetly naughty as Mungus, that's for certain.
The itty bitties have been charming everyone on my Facebook page, and they are incredibly loving, perhaps because I was there at their birth, and actually helped breech-birth Timbit along when he sorta got stuck. Happily, LongSuffering Spouse is also totally besotted with all of them too. So all is well in our little family, though of course the happiest person in all this is probably my awesome vet, who thankfully gives volume discounts for neutering and needling.

Today was a storm day coupled with a sick-day for me, so I sat in the armchair in the living room with computer and kittens--sometimes as much as six cats in my lap!--and have just been taking it easy, letting the Kitty doctors purr at me. Such joy from such small marvellous bundles of fur and muscles and personality...

...and yeah, we're up to ten again. If you're counting. Not 16, as someone thought!


  1. I could not resist them either...so adorable. They are very lucky to have you as their human. Great photos of these cute little beauties!

  2. How does one not love kittens. They are just so cute and went to a wonderful home. Good Kitty Karma, I'd say.

  3. They are all so sweet! Those little fluffy babies are so cute. What a surprise they were! :)

  4. Ohhhhh and awwwwwhhhhhh. Ohhhhhhhh

    Oh my.

    How absolutely wonderful.

    Jen @ Muddy Boot Dreams

  5. Hi Jodi, i've been waiting for your posts when you're busy. It is so nice to experience my experience with your good writing, i wish i can do as nice as that. We also have lots of cats because neutering is not common here, and because our house in the province is far from the city. Neutering is also expensive and very time consuming. We normally look for adopters when they can already be weaned, however because every neighbor and every child already got theirs, we are left with lots of them. But their colors and funny games are really wonderful to watch. I especially love it when two of them play with each other's tails, and they can do it for a long time in circles. Ah you inspire me to post them again, which i have done few months ago. You should see my photo of one of them sleeping on a baseball cap, so nice!

  6. Jodi they are adorable no wonder you kept them all, I love the name Loki for a cat and Loki is living up to his name, Frances

  7. Wonderful story and images Jodi. They are very lucky to have you. I assume they "go" outdoors so you're not cleaning six litter boxes.

  8. Well, you DO know that I would melt too, don't you? ;-) What lovely, sweet, cute photos of your equally lovely, sweet, and cute furballs!

  9. Good for you !!!

    I took in a stray cat many years ago. My H (boyfriend at the time) said she was fat. I looked at her and thought, no she's not. I kept four of the five kittens. My house was very busy. Lots of purring.

  10. Actually, Sybil...they don't go outdoors. Only the most senior of our cats go outside, the two oldest ones, plus Mungus on a leash and Simon when I'm in the garden. The rest stay indoors. Too close to the road, too many idiots driving too fast, and too damn many coyotes around, despite our attack-donkey. But I don't mind managing the cat boxes, just part of the day. :-)

  11. Love all the cute kitty photos, especially the first one! We adopted our cat Tiger from a stray,and held her and petted her from a very young age. She is such a loving cat, and I can't help but think that is why she is so attached to us.

  12. They are all adorable. Love cats. Ten times the fun!

  13. A Ha! now we know why you were so long to blog..you were in Kitty bliss heaven and my oh my, you are forgiven ten times over. What a joy...ten feline beauties to win your heart. But, by the sounds of it..they are starting to like blogging as well eh!

  14. Awww they're adorable! We took in a stray and her four kittens last summer and they have settled in very well with our other cats (for a total of 12 now!) They are endlessly entertaining, so I can understand how the IBKC ended up staying :-)

  15. Oh I saw it coming indeed!
    happened to me!
    bless you you good woman

  16. Oh my they are adorable. My two cats were strays, but I never had them as kittens. It would be hard to part with these little cuties. Plus, my two would never let them in the house. They are not the sharing type.

  17. They are so adorable. I love watching kittens playing. They have so much energy. LOL! You are going to be busy with all those kitties.

  18. Pretty and cute come to my mind when I look at your adorable kittens.
    Our family in Canada, Sweden and Germany have cats.
    It is a family tradition to adopt cats from shelters and friends.
    Just take a look my blog.
    Some of our cats can be viewed there.
    Happy Thanksgiving,

  19. Awwww...how cute! I am such a cat fanatic (have two who rule the roost) and understand completely how you simply couldn't resist. What a joy. :)


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