Farm Kitten Story
Today is a special day! In a warm, quiet corner of the barn Mama Cat nestles in the hay and gives birth to five kittens. Mama Cat dries Farm Kitten and his sisters’ wet fur with her tongue.
Even though their eyes aren’t open, the kittens use their sense of smell to find their favorite spot to nurse each time they eat. Nursing is important since Mama Cat’s milk keeps the kittens from getting sick.
As the kittens get older, Mama Cat will teach them how to become mousers and help the farmer. Mousers catch mice and rats that eat the farmer’s corn and grains.
Farm Kitten is two weeks old now. His eyes are open and he can hear. But Farm Kitten still stays close to Mama Cat. He mews to his sisters, and they sleep together in a pile of warmth and comfort when their mother is out hunting for food.
Mama Cat leaves her kittens safe in the barn when she goes out to catch a mouse or a rat.
Mama Cat has caught a rat today. Back at the barn, she shows her kittens how she caught it. All of the kittens will need to hunt for themselves someday. Farm Kitten watches his mother very carefully.
Farm Kitten is four weeks old and ready to explore. He steps out from his soft bed of hay. There are so many new sounds and sights and smells!
Farm Kitten hears a noise in one of the stalls. He jumps up on the stall divider and swings his tail sideways to keep his balance. In the stall, he sees a huge brown cow! What a big animal! He fluffs up the hair on his back and tail, and hisses as loud as he can. The big cow just keeps chewing her hay. She is not scared of Farm Kitten.Farm Kitten looks down from his high place. He stretches as far as he can toward the ground, then slides the rest of the way down the stall.
Out in the barnyard, Farm Kitten smells the muddy wallow that the pigs are enjoying. As Farm Kitten tries to get a closer look, one of the pigs trots by him. Splish! Splat! Farm Kitten is all muddy!
Farm Kitten finds a quiet spot to wash himself. He wants to remove the mud and the scent of the pigs from his fur. Smells are very important to cats, and Farm Kitten doesn’t want to be mistaken for a pig! Plus, washing helps to calm Farm Kitten.
>He licks his paw and then wipes his face with it. Farm Kitten tugs at the fur between the pads of his feet to get all of the mud out. A clean, fluffy coat will keep Farm Kitten warm and dry.When Farm Kitten is finished grooming, he sees his mother down by the pond with the rest of the kittens. At last, Farm Kitten can watch her hunt. But this is a different kind of hunting. Farm Kitten pricks up his ears and watches his mother closely.
His mother looks down in the water for a long time. Suddenly, she darts her paw under the water and throws a flipping, flopping fish up on the grass!
Farm Kitten has never seen a fish before. It splashes him when it moves. Farm Kitten doesn’t like getting wet any more than he likes getting muddy. But he tries to hunt, anyway. He dips his paw in the water, scaring all of the fish away.
Mama Cat doesn’t want Farm Kitten to be so close to the water. She picks him up by the scruff of his neck and carries him away from the pond. Kittens have loose skin around their necks so Mama Cat can carry them without hurting them.
Farm Kitten’s sisters rush over to him once their mother sets him down. It’s playtime! Farm Kitten finds a dragonfly. The other kittens wrestle with one another, trying to hold on with their front paws while they kick with their back paws.
Kicking with their back paws protects their soft stomachs. Their mother has taught them this from the time they were very young.
Stalking in the grass, they practice creeping up on one another. They crouch down low and wait for just the right moment to pounce. Farm Kitten pounces again and again. Sometimes he catches his sister. But sometimes he misses!
Suddenly, Farm Kitten spots a crow pecking in the grass. Farm Kitten stays low in the grass. He waves his tail in the air. Farm Kitten’s swishing tail gives him away. The crow’s sharp eyes see the tail as a warning, and the bird flies away. Farm Kitten tries to pounce, but all he catches is a pawful of air. Maybe next time, Farm Kitten!
Farm Kitten’s wagging tail has attracted one of the farm puppies. Even though Farm Kitten and the puppy are both baby animals, they have different body signals.
The puppy doesn’t know that Farm Kitten wags his tail when he is angry. Puppies wag their tails when they are happy.
When Farm Kitten raises his paw to swat the puppy away, the puppy wants to play. The puppy barks, wanting to join in a game. Farm Kitten climbs up a tree to get away from the puppy. There, he waits for the puppy to go away.
It has been a busy day, and Farm Kitten is ready for a nap. His senses of sight and smell work together to help him find his way back to the barn.
Suddenly, Farm Kitten hears a high-pitched squeak. He pricks up his ears and walks slowly into the barn. It is dark inside, but Farm Kitten can see just fine. Cats have special eyes that help them see in dim light.
Just then, Farm Kitten spots a rat at the end of the barn! He creeps closer, using his whiskers to tell him when he is getting too close to objects in the barn. Farm Kitten doesn’t want to bump into things and scare away the rat before he can pounce.
Farm Kitten leaps at the rat — but misses! It runs off into the hay. Maybe Farm Kitten will catch a rat tomorrow. Now he is sleepy. Farm Kitten crawls back to his soft bed and gently falls to sleep. He dreams of becoming a true mouser one day.