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Part 1 – the beginning

How it all began

Anne – a former coworker of ours – contacted us with a story that immediately reminded us of our office cat Pixi. As a teeny tiny kitten, Pixi and her siblings were abandoned by their mom, after which they ended up in foster care. Once she was old enough, we adopted Pixi and made her the star of our office. Now, Anne has a similar story, though luckily it has a much better start!

Is it a bird…?

On a sunny evening in mid-April, Anne was about to put up a birdhouse in her garden when she heard a faint noise at her feet. Naturally, she presumed it was one of the small birds that she knew lived in the climbing vine, but when she looked down, two big, yellow cat eyes stared back at her. The unexpected sight startled Anne, so a little bewildered she picked up the birdhouse and went back inside.

After a few seconds, it dawned on her that it was strange how she was the one to walk away rather than the cat, who didn’t even flinch. Anne decided to go back outside to have a closer look and soon realized what was going on. The cat she just encountered had recently become a mother, and was caring for her 4 tiny kittens, who still had their eyes closed and were definitely no more than a week old! 

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A cat needs a name

As the cat in the vine wasn’t hers, Anne went on a search for the owner of the beautiful calico cat. Many website visits and Facebook searches later, no one seemed to be missing the feline, so Anne and her partner decided to care for momma cat and her little ones until the owner would pop up, or the kittens would be old enough to be adopted. They provided mom with fresh water and some premium cat food and decided it was time to give momma cat a name. Since she and her kittens had taken up residence at the bottom of a climbing hydrangea, which is in the family of the hortensia plant, momma cat was named Hortense. The name Hortense also means “from the garden”, which is exactly where the feline was found.

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The story continues…

Anne told us that, after a few days, Hortense and her 4 little ones seemingly had become accustomed to their new home. Hortense would often be spotted basking in the sun or having a drink from the water features in the garden, while miraculously leaving the 5 resident shubunkin – a type of goldfish – alone. Coming into contact with humans was a huge adjustment for Hortense, leaving her unsure about how to behave. One moment, she would rub against Anne’s legs, while the next she would be hissing and growling.

4 cute new born kittens
4 cute new born kittens  next to eachother

An adoption waiting to happen?

For now, Anne and her partner can enjoy the fluffy family from inside, as Hortense’s nesting place is visible from the living room. Anne promised to keep us up to date on the antics of the little ones and momma Hortense, so hopefully, we’ll be able to provide you with many happy updates on the little family!

Part 2 – big blue eyes

It has been little over 2 weeks since the 4 tiny kittens were found at the bottom of a climbing vine. The weather has been sunny, and the little ones have grown in the most adorable way possible. Their ears have unfolded a little, and their eyes have opened up, allowing the kittens to have a look at their mum, their siblings, and the world around them. While the little ones are still too young to walk, they sure are very active. The 4 siblings can often be spotted rolling around, trying to stand on their teeny tiny feet, squishing one another when they fall over, and snuggling peacefully when exhausted from all those activities.

Momma Hortense has made some big progress, too. She is no longer as frightened of humans as she used to be, and will show her gratitude for the care she gets every time she is fed. Momma Hortense is served dry food as well as wet food, but that won’t stop her from trying to catch a big, tasty pigeon. The rest of her days are mainly spent feeding and looking after her little ones, as well as going for perilous walks along the branches of the climbing vine.

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Part 3 – the first steps

Last week, the kittens reached a major milestone: they took their first steps! The little ones are still pretty wobbly on their feet, but that is exactly what makes their antics so adorable. Every now and then, the kittens leave the safety of the climbing vine to explore the outside world. Loud noises and sudden movements are still a little scary, which is why the kitties never stray too far from mom.

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Another big milestone will soon be reached, as at three to four weeks of age, the kittens are now old enough to start eating solid food. Anne bought a big bag of cat food that is suited for the little ones as well as for momma Hortense. For now, the kibble hasn’t proven a success with the kittens as they will just casually stroll across momma’s plate, ignoring the food while trying to stay upright on those teeny feet.

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Momma Hortense, on the other hand, loves the food. She shows her gratitude by showering Anne and Wes with affection. Hortense will rub her head against their legs until they drop whatever it is they are doing to pay attention to her. The kittens are still a little scared and will run back to the safety of the vine when anyone tries to pet them. Except for the brave tuxedo cat. He doesn’t mind being pet at all. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay tuned!