Kittens, kittens, where are the kittens?

Four weeks ago, on May 22, our calico Halloween had kittens. The next day she moved them from the closet where they had been born to under the spare desk in the living room. I put a towel-lined box there, and she seemed content with it. A week later she apparently got annoyed with us picking them up all the time and decided that they needed to be moved to a more secure location.

Unfortunately, at about this same time the door to the library had gotten unlatched. This is a room on the second floor in which, shortly after we bought the house, I had started filling with bookshelves into which I started unpacking the boxes of books I had accumulated over the years. As I acquired more books, it became obvious I was going to have to add more bookcases. The Master Plan I devised was to remove the panelling and suspended ceiling, stripping the room to the bare plaster, and building in floor-to-ceiling bookcases. Since our house is an old Victorian with ten-foot ceilings, this would, I figured, give me enough room for the forseeable future. Various factors intervened and the room became a storage area, full of boxes of books and magazines in rather haphazard faction. The door was kept closed to prevent the cats from taking advantage of the obvious play potential of this.

Well, as you can probably guess, this room is where Halloween decided was the ideal place to keep her kittens away from us annoying humans. She managed to get three of them hidden somewhere in the maze, and I couldn’t even figure out where they were without moving about twenty boxes into the hallway. We caught on to what she was doing in time to prevent her from taking the fourth, which we put into a carrier and started hand-feeding. I had to leave the library door open, of course, so Halloween could get out to eat and use the litter box.

Prior commitments kept me from trying to excavate the library until last Friday. I started carrying out boxes, trying to clear out enough room so I could search for the kittens, until I spotted Halloween and the kittens curled up under a chair. This meant I only had to move two more boxes to be able to reach them. I went to get the large carrier to put them into. When I got back they were gone. Well, one of the kittens was still there. I grabbed him, hissing, clawing and trying to bite, and put him in the carrier. I looked around, but was unable to find where she had moved them to. Later she came wandering out, and it looked like she had managed to find a hiding place behind the boxes I hadn’t yet moved (of course!). Since by now it was time for supper anyway, I decided to take my small victory and call it a night.

We ended up taking the kitten with us to bed that night. Halloween came out and bathed it once, but made no effort to “rescue” it from our possession. Saturday I had to work, and I figured when I got home I could resume the Great Kitten Hunt.

Fortunately, for some reason known only to her, while I was at work Halloween brought the other two out of the library and down to the frontroom. The new nest is under a chair in the corner; since the kittens are now mobile I guess she decided it was better if they had room to walk around.

And they do walk around; when they’re not sleeping or eating they’re wandering all over the frontroom. Mama keeps an eye on them, but hasn’t objected to me picking them up. They aren’t too thrilled about it themselves, though.

A friend took some pictures today and will be giving me a CD-ROM, so later I’ll be able to post them.

It’s interesting the way the Momma kitties move the nests around. I’m not sure they do it for any other reason than just to do it.

I admire your patience. It seems like Halloween is messing with you, like a game of chess. Or like typical cat contrarian behavior.

I had a Momma kitty expecting recently. I made a great nest: a big box with lots of bedding in a dark corner. I kept putting Momma in the box, petting her, making sure she slept there. But, of course, when it came time to make kittens, she climbed up on a shelf full of sweaters. :rolleyes:

Everything was cool, but one night she started wailing. Crazy meow noises, almost banshee. And she brought each kitten, one by one out into the living room and dumped them at our feet! I didn’t know wtf was going on. It was like she was rejecting them. I brought them back to the nest and all was cool.

Cats are mysterious and unknowable. :dubious: