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Fri Aug 5, 2022, 06:18 PM

Surprise in the stray jail this morning

Went for my usual Friday shift in the stray jail and started by feeding everyone since they were all hollering that they were starving (you can imagine how loud it gets). Started cleaning as usual with the back row of kittens, fending off the advances of the one I've named Buddy Guy, who wants to climb all over you and chew on your ears while you're cleaning, by putting him in what Natalie calls the "dumb baby jail", and making the acquaintance of the new little boy who has a problem with one of his front legs.There were some others to do also, of course. Then I started on the front row.

There was a "box cat" in the first top kennel. Box cats are feral or very shy cats who are given what we variously call a feral box or hide box (some people call it a "bad box" but I hate that) to hang out in until they either get used to us, are consigned to the Barn Cat program, or go to a partner shelter. This particular box cat had a very gross, nasty towel in her kennel. Natalie told me that she had given birth to two kittens night before last and kicked them out of the box and wouldn't have anything to do with them, and Charlottesville had taken them yesterday on their weekly visit and sweep. I closed up the box and prepared to take box and cat out and set it on the floor so I could clean the kennel and change the towel. Imagine my surprise when I looked in the box and found the cat with two more kittens, the image of her, and fat, clean and healthy, that she was obviously taking care of! Everyone was shocked! Natalie came over to look, Marly came running in from the adoptable room, and Natalie put in a call to the med team, which brought the clinic manager down to marvel. Mama and babies were carried off to the nursery and the rest of us were left shaking our heads.

Here's the strange part. The kittens she wouldn't have anything to do with didn't look like these two. Mom is a common brown tabby sort with some white on her, as are the survivors. One of the ones she kicked out was orange and the other was black. When I told my husband, he said, "Maybe it was two different dads and she didn't like one of them." That's one theory. I think she may just be an inexperienced mom and didn't recognize them or didn't understand what was happening at first. It's all kind of weird.

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