Sunday, July 29, 2007

Hipparchia's cat

The original Hipparchia is famous for having sex on her front porch. Or maybe it was somebody else's front porch. I couldn't say for sure, I wasn't there.

What I can tell you is that if you're going to try this at home on your own front porch, either you'll want sturdier furniture [that's not my lawn chair, but it sure could have been], or you'll want to be the one on top.

Given this heritage to live up to, it shouldn't be a surprise when I tell you that almost exactly two months ago, just days before luring all the porch cats into the house, I came home one afternoon to find mom cat entertaining gentleman callers on the front porch.

I started a post about it, but decided to wait and see what developed before reporting on the event. I mean, breast-feeding is supposed to be an effective form of birth control, right? The kittens you've been reading about were still heartily bellying up to the milk bar every day at the time. It should have worked.

Well, if you were paying attention in biology class you know what developed. More kittens. Born just about 48 hours ago. At least four of them, maybe five, but I can't tell for sure. They're under the bed, surrounded by the dog's blanket. It's unclear whether mom cat dragged the blanket under the bed, or the dog, self-appointed kitten guardian that he is, donated it and pushed it under there. Both are equally likely.

It's not true that one cat will produce 400,000 420,000 kittens in her lifetime, or whatever the scare tactics number is that feral-cat haters use, but this one sure seems to be trying to. Sigh. I seem to be harboring an unabashed patriarchy enabler.


Steve Bates said...

But... but... the original Hipparchia was a Cynic. Oh, wait... never mind! :)

Cats most certainly have a "strategy" (word used with due understanding of its limitations in an evolutionary context) of frequent reproduction. I do hope the 10 or 11 of you (or whatever it is by now) enjoy one other's company!

(I'm writing from the local public library on my own laptop. The paint fumes in my apartment from an adjacent apartment are unbearable at the moment. The WiFi here is merely almost unbearable.)

hipparchia said...

paint fumes, ugh. you have my utmost sympathy, if not my utmost cynic-ism.

so far, i still think they're all cute and they all still think i'm delicious, so we're getting along famously [euphonious that sentence isn't, but i'm too lazy to reword it].

Anonymous said...

Well, I apologize for not making it clear that lactating momma cats go into heat.

There is a 4 to 6 week lay off, but that's it.

hipparchia said...

no apology needed. i was able to extrapolate the approximate cat time frame from my knowledge of dogs and horses, and i knew i was in a race against time [and nature!].

ellroon said...

One of my family's cats had her litter in my sister's bed. Took some careful negotiating and moving...

Poor mother cats, only a 4 to 6 week break? Think Tribbles....

hipparchia said...

way cuter than tribbles, at least, but otherwise about the same amount of trouble, i'm thinking.

this one apparently wanted to have her kittens on the bed too. she tried twice to jump up on the bed in the hours just before the kittens arrived, but failed both times, probably because by that time she was about as big around as a volleyball and not very maneuverable.

i even offered to help her up onto the bed, but unlike some of her offspring, she has a strict hands off policy.

Keifus said...

1. That was educational.

2. I ever catch the girls doing that, it's teh pill, then the talk. (Then I'll age two decades.)

3. That's a lot of cats.


ymofmngo: anonymous candygram for mungo

hipparchia said...

2. um, dude, you should have already started on the talk by now. best done as an ongoing dialog [you can age more slowly that way].

3. it's a fucking boatload of cats. let me bring you some. i have a selection to choose from. :D

1. thank god i was here.