Kittens are pure joy.
When my girl cat Madison gave birth in the cupboard, they were so gorgeous. Five little striped bundles of life.
She was delighted; licking them and loving them. I was delighted, always picking them up. This would make the little babies squeak, which brought the mother running.
Everyone was delighted – everyone except Shah. You would have thought he would be a proud father. The kittens inherited his tiger stripes, then later his beautiful Persian coat.
But no, he was so overwhelmed. He would even run away from them. It’s quite a sight, a big tomcat running scared from a tiny kitten.
Eventually he even started hissing at the kittens. Hissing at his own sons and daughters.
Scarlett was a little girl, named that because of her ginger patches. When her father started carrying on, Scarlett jumped up. The little baby kitten started hissing right back at the big fluffy tomcat.
This didn’t last long.
Madison stepped in. With a few gestures, she quietened the whole standoff. Then she began comforting her baby, with her mother tongue.
A minute earlier, however, she had been telling them off. It was as if the mother cat was saying to her kitten:
“Now! Don’t you argue with your father!”