Embarassing Baby PicturesPosted: March 30, 2012 Filed under: adopting a kitten, black cats, cat photographs, cats, fantastic four, giuseppe, jelly bean, kittens, mewsette, mr. sunshine, photographs | Tags: black cats, feline photographs, four black kittens, pet loss, pet photography, photography, the fantastic four 17 Comments
Well, it’s not embarrassing, it’s really cute. They are about two weeks old here, August 10, 2007, and they were born on July 26. They’re so precious, the little fuzzballs.
I keep referencing the colors of tempera paint I dabbed on their ears to tell them apart, and how that influenced their names and readers have asked if I can somehow show this to them. I found the photo I wanted to use, then started looking at baby pictures, and…well, if you’ve ever watched a litter of kittens, or puppies or other animals or even a human grow up you know how it is when you start looking at pictures.
And then I had a difficult time deciding which one to use! So I have three, in a little series: Sleeping, Waking, and Awake. And I really can’t even tell you which is which a lot of the time unless I noted something in the file name.
Here they are yawning and stretching! You can clearly see stripes on all of them—the one in the middle has a shadow from the bar of the cage they are in because I turned on the ceiling light, but they were all fairly gray-black, lots of stripes, and lots of individual white hairs on their legs, faces and tails that disappeared in the next few weeks.
I noted a few things with this photo, but they didn’t have their permanent names yet. I do know that this kitten in front was the girl, so it is Mewsette, the first to do everything and I always remember that serious, determined expression on that tiny face! Directly behind her was Jelly Bean, and I recognize his profile, as well as some of the features of Mr. Sunshine’s face behind him. The lazy bum is Giuseppe, who always woke up last with great fanfare—unless one of the others landed on him and started wrestling!
As you can imagine, I have a zillion photos of them, but most of the good ones are on film from about a week later when I moved them into the bathroom and the light was better. But compare them to the Fantastic Four you know now.
There is a reason why this time with these kittens is very, very special. Briefly, this was an era when I was still grieving one very recent loss, and five losses in total; I had had their half-sister Lucy put to sleep for FIP on July 10, 2007, just a month earlier, and in 2006 had lost my four oldest cats, Moses, Cream, Sophie and Stanley. Before Mimi joined us with her babies, my household had suddenly gone from nine cats to four and as hard as Cookie, Kelly, Namir and Peaches worked I would say I was in shock as well as grief. But having this little pile of kittens at my disposal to hold and hug and kiss and photograph and love, as well as their mom, the gentle, understanding Mimi, helped to change that for me. I spoke about this on Pet Memorial Sunday last year, glad to share it with others deeply grieving their loss.
But this is where we all began, four demanding little black fuzzballs on the work table in my studio!
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[…] this time they were quite active—amazing how much development happens in a week when you look at the last photo I posted when they were two weeks old. But this was why I had to move them to the bathroom; I couldn’t […]
The cuteness! Would it be a good or bad thing if they stayed like that forever? Would we be forever rescuing them from climbing up the drapes? I remember when my cat Boo was born (with a surprised expression like Jellybean) and he was a terror. You knew when he was around, from the tinkle of breaking china…
Mark, they grew up entirely too fast. If I every foster another litter of kittens I’ll keep that in mind when I’m photographing! I’ll bet Boo was a really happy cat, completely unconcerned about his mishaps–those types are always like that!
Bernadette, I love seeing the fabulous four at this age and now after reading the story of Lucy, I can truly see why the kitten pile is not only beautiful but truly miraculous. Thank you for posting and sharing all that you do.
Susan, they worked such magic that it was mere days before I forgot all about FIP and possible illnesses and the fact my other four cats were all seniors. That’s love!
Those little black fuzzballs wriggled their way into your heart very quickly 🙂
Carolyn, Lucy opened the door and they all ran in.
They look just like my kitten Jack when I first adopted him! He was four weeks old but shockingly skinny, ill, at death’s door basically. He was a poor, forgotton runt of the litter… But boy did he come bouncing back to life!
Your kittens grew up to be just so beautiful!
JaffaCat, it’s amazing what can happen with good food and love. I’m glad Jack found his way to you!
Squeeee! Aaaah-dorable ❤
Chrissykay, every moment.
They are totally adorable.
Cynthia, still are.
They are beautiful…thanks for sharing this story…My guys have helped me heal too.
I’m wondering who sent you the Fantastic Four to help you heal. the Universe works in strange ways;)
Anonymous, I know exactly who sent me the Fantastic Four–Lucy, mentioned in this story, and I will be forever grateful. The day after I had her put to sleep I saw her mom in my garden, with another litter of kittens in her belly, and that would be these. Here’s the story, Mimi and the decision are near the end: https://portraitsofanimals.wordpress.com/2010/07/25/lucy-and-i-fought-the-good-fight/. I’m glad the universe sent you kitties to help you heal as well.
They are oh, so adorable!
Pam, they were unbelievable.