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Recently, Zombie Kitty became a mom to 4 beautiful Zombie Kittens. The runt ended up dying after a few days, with left us with 2 ginger kittens and a black and white kitten. I've been watching Bones with her babies for the last few weeks, and realized that there's much to be learned from a Mama Cat.
  1. When the kids are hungry, feed them. I have watched the Zombie Kittens run up to Mama Bones and tackle her to the ground to nurse. At first she used to fight them for a few minutes. Understandably so, considering she just fed them an hour ago. But considering there are 3 of them and 1 of her, they band together and get what they want, quite aggressively at times. So, she's now learned that, if the kids are hungry, she better not argue.
  2. If the kids are in danger, it's perfectly acceptable to pick them up immediately and move them. I wouldn't recommend carrying them by the back of their necks in your mouth to do so, but whatever works, right? Mama Bones had 3 different hiding places for her kittens while they were still young. And when they started becoming mobile, she would pick them up, yes, by the back of their necks, and take them back to the hiding spot for protection. It just reminded me that yes, I'm bigger than my kids, and yes, I can use force if necessary.
  3. If the kids are fighting, leave them be. They'll work it out eventually. As I type this post today, I have a pile of ginger and black and white fir next to me on the couch biting each other's ears and putting their paws up to fight. Where's Mama Bones? Asleep in the kitchen floor. The Zombie Kittens aren't killing themselves, so, until it comes to that, just let the kids be kids.
  4. Let the kids explore. We live in a small apartment, but the kittens have now covered just about every inch of it. Mama Bones sits back, usually on top of a chair or a coffee table for a better view, and lets them explore. Those tools over there in the bucket are pointy? Go ahead, you'll only sniff it once. That ottoman that you just had to climb? Go ahead and figure a way down from that since you didn't want to listen when I told you it was too high. If the kittens are in danger, Mama Bones will revert to #2 above, but if they aren't in danger, she figures let them learn things for themselves.
  5. Sometimes only a Mom will do. Bones usually lets the kittens play whenever they want to. She'll watch, sleep, go eat, head to the litter box, have her Mommy Time. But then one certain meow from one of the kittens, and she's hauling ass back into the room. We humans in the house know that meow by now, too. We know that's the 'I want my Mommy' meow, and it doesn't matter if we try and cuddle them, or see what's wrong, they just want their Mommy. And she knows it, too, so we just back off and let her cuddle her babies. 
I'd love to hear of any other things you all have learned from Mama Cats or Mama Dogs. Hell, Mama Gerbils, Mama Ferrets, Mama Horses, Mama Llamas (okay, I'm 30 years old and that just made me giggle)... I don't discriminate.

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Comment by tracie b on November 8, 2011 at 2:44pm
Ok, now you wouldn't see me on the good ol show "Animal Hoarders". My house doesn't doesn't smell like dogs por cats most of the time, but we have had our moments. I have 2 great danes,a lab, and a cocker spaniel that could kick all their butts at the same time. I also have a cat that acts like a dog,so its all good. nnow I choose to share with you what my great danes have taught me. I have a girl and a boy, the boy is 6 and the girl is 2. When people see them I get the same comments everytime."man lady, you could ride that thing! Its as big as a horse" or "good God how much do they eat? And what do they eat?"... now my danes are extremely layed back. If they have food, a bed to sleep on and someone to scratch their butts, life is GREAT! These animals have the best instincs of people that you have ever seen. The doorbell rings, they get out of bed and do their jobs and bark and snarl, but only until I look at them and snap my fingers...then they are back to bed. When my friends that have lil ones over, the danes let the babies and toddlers crawl on them endlessly. Much like your mamama cat. Loyal til the end. And they don't even have to act like they are goofy,lovable,or in charge. I have never in my life seen any human,dog,cat,gerbil ect more comfortable in their own skin. I must say that days I envy them. The days when your heads spending, trying to just keep breathing. You know taking life one second at a time because that is all your capeable of at the time. I envy them. I love those 130 pound bundles of joy. And just like the rest of us, they are a breed that is misunderstood because people are scared to even try. I don't think mama cat or my danes care of what others ignorance make them harbor sterotypes. I have really enjoyed your blog and your post here. Love the dollor store story;) thanks for sharing. Tracie b

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