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.
To find out what happens next in "Farm Kitten," go to the next page.