“Where do kittens come from Mum?” asked the little kitten. A good question! A kitten tale to warm your heart.
Where Do Kittens Come From Mum?
Storytelling During The Big Storm
The Kittens Couldn’t Sleep
The lightning crashed all around them and rumbles shook the house. Rain fell in torrents, making rivers down the road and splashing in under the stairs where the cat family had taken shelter.
Scrappy was snuggled up in a bed with her five kittens, Treacle, Rabby, Sandy, Rolly and Ella. They were warm and dry though a bit spooked by the storm. Just when Scrappy thought they had gone to sleep, Ella’s little voice piped up.
“Where do kittens come from Mum?”.
Responding Like A Politician
Scrappy closed her eyes momentarily. She had thought this question wouldn’t come up for a while yet as the kittens were only three months old. Marshalling her thoughts, she was about to explain the facts of life to the little ones when suddenly Treacle’s little voice said:
“Yeah! Where do kittens come from, and how did we all end up living here”.
Scrappy seized the moment to avoid the awkward part of the question. She started to tell the kittens the story of how they came to be living at an Italian farmhouse halfway up the mountain.
The Story of Angela
Finding A Home
The Tabby Cat
One day, a little female tabby cat stood at the top of a long drive down to an old Italian farmhouse. She had seen the lady who lived there working in the garden and thought it might be a good place to live. She had seen the lady look at her a couple of times and then go back to what she was doing. That was a good sign, she wasn’t chasing her off. The little cat thought she would just wait and see how the day went.
The lady in the house had indeed seen the little cat. She had found a cat bowl and some cat food and had it ready in case the little cat came down the drive.
A visitor came to the house. As he left he said to the lady, “Did you know there is a tabby cat at the top of the drive?” And she nodded and smiled.
Several hours later, the lady stood outside her front door and looked at the little cat. “Well,” she shouted. “Are you coming down here or what?”. The little cat stood up, stretched, yawned and started walking down the drive.
The lady explained that she didn’t live at the house all the time, but the little cat was welcome to come for food and visits when she was there. The lady called the little cat Angela.
A little excited kitten voice asked, “When was this Mum?”. “Over 20 years ago,” said Scrappy, “or in kitten terms as long as you can think plus more”.
The Big Interruption
At this point there was a slight pause as a very soggy Hogarty launched himself under the stairs to escape the rain. He shook himself and everyone complained they were getting wet.
“Uncle Hogie stop it,” squealed Sandy giggling, “you are making me wet”. Hogarty licked Sandy’s nose making her giggle even more.
Scrappy waited until Hogarty had settled down in a bed before continuing her story.
Angela’s Life At The House
Over the years the lady and Angela settled into a routine. The lady would arrive at the house after a long absence and wait. Within a day or so, Angela would trot down the drive and go straight to her food bowl. She never came in the house, she would allow the top of her head to be stroked but no more; she had standards!
Then Angela had kittens in the garden and the lady realized that she couldn’t just leave them without food while she was away. So she ordered a huge feed hopper that held 12 kilos of dried cat food. She arranged for someone to visit a couple of times each week to ensure the hopper was full. The arrangement worked well, though after a visit from wild boar one night, the hopper had to be tied to a tree!
Then Ryan Became Part Of The Family
Gradually, the lady spent more and more time at the house. Angela was joined by a boy cat the lady called Ryan. He looked just like Tweedledum and Tweedledee, with blue eyes and chocolate tips but he had a completely chocolate brown face! He was all skin and bone and was very happy to find a home with regular food.
“And that is where kittens come from,” began Moonboots, who was sleeping in the next bed with Tippy, only to be met with a steely glance from Scrappy. Moonboots decided to keep quiet. For the time being anyway.
“I can’t imagine not having enough food,” said Rolly. The other kittens giggled, Rolly likes his food as his tummy shows.
The Importance Of Empathy And Compassion
Ryan was a very scared cat, scared of everything. He wouldn’t go near the lady and he ran away if anyone came to the house.
“He was a woose, just like Uncle Tippy,” screamed Treacle as the kittens sniggered. “Aunty Twee said Uncle Tippy was scared of everything when they had their big adventure“. Tippy, who was asleep in the bed next door, stirred vaguely at the mention of his name.
“Ryan had a bad life, young Treacle,” said Scrappy. “Who knows what bad things happened to him before he was lucky enough to find your Nanny? We are not all fortunate enough to be born into a safe home with lots of food. Some poor kittens suffer and are badly treated. They wander a long way to try and find somewhere safe to live. We have to learn to share what we have with others worse off than we are.”
“And we need to show some compassion young man,” said Moonboots severely. “We can’t all be brave, sometime we need others to look out for us. Like Uncle Tippy does for you now; he protects you doesn’t he, in the way we protected him?”.
“Aunty Moonboots is right,” said Rabby. “Uncle Tippy protects us during the day and watches for owls at night; he is very brave.” Sandy’s little voice piped up, “I love Uncle Tippy. Go on, tell us more of the story Mum.”
The Cat Family Grew
Two more boy cats arrived to live at the house, Nero and Caligula, both black cats and both starving. Caligula, or ‘Kiggy’ as he was called, had a lot of fur missing.
Eventually Angela had three kittens, the lady called them Tippex, Rolex and Cutex. They produced all the kittens that have lived here at the house since. We can see Ryan’s eyes and colour in the Twee twins. The little sick cat Emmy that lives in the house is a calico cat, just like Cutex. Cutex is Emmy’s great, great, great grandmother.
Turning to her kittens Scrappy said, “But your grandmother, Alfie, who died just before you were born, was the daughter of Cutex. So we have a proud heritage that we can trace directly back to the first one, Angela. Sandy even looks like Angela.”
Scrappy looked at her kittens and realized they had all dozed off. She breathed a sigh of relief and hoped they wouldn’t remember the original question when they woke up!
Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!