moma guarding
Life follows an eternal circle; birth, life, death, and birth again. Today was about the birth of five kittens less than a week ago up in Gainesville. The mother is named Sunshine, and she’s a temporary rescue. Why temporary? The owner, a friend of my daughters, had to leave Orlando due to a family emergency. My oldest daughter volunteered to keep Sunshine for the next nine months until the original owner can come back to Florida and retrieve her. In the mean time Sunshine was expecting and gave birth to five kittens; two gingers and three calicoes.

five kitten pileup

It’s been decades since I was around kittens this young. I had to be careful in the room with Sunshine. She didn’t know me and was very apprehensive to have this big stranger around her kits. I kept it low and slow, and kept my distance from her and her kittens as much as possible while taking photos. But I did manage to get away with a few, such as the wriggling pile of kittens trying to find mom for food. Or at least that’s what it looked like from my height.

ginger kitten

where is my mom????

We tried to take photos of one of the gingers as well as one of the calicoes, but the calico wouldn’t stay still long enough to have his/her photo taken. In any case I had my daughter gently handle them as Sunshine the mother was used to her. Sunshine was already showing signs of agitation at my presence, and the last thing I wanted was to put my scent on her kittens.

I might drive back up next weekend to see how much they change in a week. If I can’t get back up there before next weekend, then I won’t be able to see them until the first of November.

I don’t know if I’ll adopt one of the kittens to replace Lucy. I’m not at that point yet, and it’s going to be a good two months before they’re old enough to be adopted, so I can put that decision off for a while. I’m heading into the end of the year with four-plus weeks of travel split across two trips. I have enough to think about as it is.


These photos were taken with the Olympus E-M10 and the Panasonic Leica 1.4/25mm set at f/2 and the Olympus OM 1.4/50mm closed down to f/2.8. It was very dark where mother and kittens were located. I juggled between apertures that would allow for reasonable depths of field and shutters fast enough, letting the ISO automatically compensate. As a consequence all of these photos are high to very high ISO.