Original Air Date: November 13, 1975
Starring: Kami Cotler, Deborah White
Directed by: Alf Kjellin
Cat Out of the Bag Alert! This review contains spoilers for this episode!
Synopsis: Cousin Olivia (Deborah White) returns to Walton mountain after the death of her husband and the family struggles to know what to do or say to help her through such a difficult time.
Featured Feline: When Olivia arrives, Elizabeth (Kami Cotler) introduces her cousin to her large long-haired cat named Calico. After the family take Olivia inside, Elizabeth comments to John Boy (John Thomas) how Cousin Olivia hardly seemed upset at all.
Calico is next seen being fed by Grandma Walton (Ellen Corby) and then is in the background as the adults talk about Olivia.
Later Grandpa Walton (Will Geer) comments on how fat Calico appears to be getting and it is suspected she might be pregnant.
The family decide that the next time the veterinarian comes out they will have him look at Calico since she is an older cat.
When the vet looks at her he confirms she is pregnant but cannot predict how well she will do giving birth but warns that because of her age she may have problems.
Olivia continues to grieve and have outbursts, concerning the family. She is upstairs in her room crying and being comforted when the news comes that Calico is having her kittens. The family, sans Cousin Olivia and mother Olivia Walton (Michael Learned), gather around a basket in the kitchen to watch. It is clear from the beginning that Calico is going to have difficulty during the birth (in truth the cat actor does not seem to be in any serious distress and hardly looks as if she is giving birth, just some smart editing makes her look somewhat uncomfortable.)
Cat Burglars (Scene Stealers): At first Calico manages to give birth to two kittens, a black and one a yellow tabby.
Kitty Carnage Warning! At this point it is clear Calico is not going to make it and John Boy asks for some scissors. It is presumed he is going to have to cut loose the last kitten to save its life. After the kitten is born, John Boys carries away Calico’s body wrapped in a blanket.
The family is grieved, especially Elizabeth, and now they don’t know how to help the motherless kittens. Note that the kittens’ colors change throughout the scene, sometimes showing them as black and white kittens with one calico.
Cousin Olivia comes downstairs and immediately takes charge, asking for warm milk and an eyedropper. She shows everyone how to feed the kittens by dabbing a tiny bit of milk on their chins which they can then draw in.
Elizabeth sits down with Olivia and takes one of the kittens to feed.
At the end of the episode, Cousin Olivia is leaving. Elizabeth then gives her the calico kitten and says she figured she’d call her Calico the Second.
Final Mewsings: Cats can break our hearts.
To discuss this film and other cats in movies and on television, join us on
Facebook and Twitter.