Kittens: Birth and Growth (1957)

Lawbetts Production

Synopsis: An educational film in which two children eagerly anticipate and witness the birth of a litter of kittens and then observe the kittens as they grow.

Reality Cats: Whenever a film like this starts out with the instrumental song Puffin’ Billy you just know you’re going back to another era of filmmaking.  This very sweet short follows the two children, Robin and Billy, as they anxiously await the birth of kittens from their white pet cat named Milly.

Kittens: Birth and Growth - white cat Milly lying on carpeted floor

Near the 60th day of gestation Milly is resting before the fire and the kids are sent off to bed.

Kittens: Birth and Growth - white cat Milly lying in front of fire with family

Milly goes to her box when they leave, probably hoping to have her kittens without the kids around.  But no, mom gets them just before they go to bed and brings them down to watch.

Kittens: Birth and Growth - white cat Milly lying in box with kids watching

As mother keeps track of how many of each color kittens are born on a piece of paper (how many does she think there are going to be that they can’t keep track in their heads?), Milly finishes having her four kittens.  Milly then nurses the kittens.

Kittens: Birth and Growth - white cat Milly lying in box with kittens suckling

There’s a bit of excitement at three weeks when one of the kittens falls out of the box and Milly has to come and put it back.

Kittens: Birth and Growth - gray and white kitten on floor outside box

Robin holds one of the kittens.  The black kittens are now a gray kitten and a calico.

Kittens: Birth and Growth - little girl Robin holds up calico kitten

Robin tries to see if the kittens are ready to drink milk by shoving one white kitten’s face down into the bowl.  Fortunately she does not press the issue when the kitten isn’t drinking.

Kittens: Birth and Growth - white kitten with face being pushed down towards a bowl of milk

The kittens learn to drink milk and eat meat.

Kittens: Birth and Growth - calico and gray and white kitten eating meat

And they learn how to use a sandbox.

Kittens: Birth and Growth - learning to use the sandbox

When the kittens are old enough they are fitted with ribbons around their necks and placed in a carrier to take them to their new homes.

Kittens: Birth and Growth - white kitten fitted with bow by Robin and Billy

Final Mewsings: Wonder how long it will be before Milly’s expecting again?


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