We were so pleased when the little black cat from the farmers barn across the road decided to make ours her home too (see post/2011/02/the cat sat on the mat). Bit by bit it became friendlier and did indeed start to sit on our laps during the evening. We began to think of it as our cat and had also realised that it was a she ( Charbon became Charbonne) - must get to the vet we thought ! No sooner thought than it became apparent that we were too late - she was bulging!
And so it was that two weeks ago she gave birth to her kittens and we now have a whole basketful of lucky black cats.
Being a very young cat ( less than a year old we think) it was clearly too soon for her to be giving birth. The first kitten was born at midday but by 5 oclock she had given up and was becoming distressed so it was an emergency dash to the vet with cat and kitten in a laundry basket. The vet managed to remove the second kitten which had been the wrong way up and had died and did an ultrasound which revealed three more live kittens to come. So after a hormone injection we returned home to await developments. Instead of the shed our living room became the maternity ward and by midnight mother and four kittens were doing fine.
So now here we are with five black cats and obviously they are quite adorable. It is interesting to watch their rapid development and the maternal instincts of Charbonne as she cares for them. One of them has a tiny white bib so we have decided we will keep this one ( as we will be able to tell it apart from her mum) and have named her Purdy. As for the other three, if we are very lucky, ( and we do have a lot of black cats) we will find good homes with new owners bit this being the French countryside that is probably not very likely and we have been searching for local cat adoption agencies. Its lucky ( those black cats again) that we haven't got holiday plans this year - French resident visitors will have to check their bags as they leave!