Male cat takes on role of mom Henry, a male cat, cares for some kittens at a home in Ketchikan, Alaska (AP photos)
Male cat takes on role of mom
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Six abandoned kittens named after the kids in "The Brady Bunch" TV series are getting a nurturing boost from an unlikely source a male cat with a slight neurological disorder.

The 3-week-old kittens named Jan, Marcia, Cindy, Greg, Peter and Bobby have been adopted by Henry, an 8-month-old male cat in the southeast Alaska community of Ketchikan.

"We have Henry playing Alice; it was the perfect match," said Heather Muench, comparing the cat's role to that of the lovable live-in housekeeper on the old TV series.

Muench, a volunteer with the Ketchikan Humane Society, is caring for the kittens at home after someone put them into a cardboard box and left them on a road on Prince of Wales Island.

Children walking home from school heard the kittens crying. A humane society volunteer living on the island had the kittens flown to Ketchikan.

Muench is providing round-the-clock care, both at her home and at her day job, Island-to-Island Veterinary Clinic in Ketchikan.

At home, she's getting lots of help from Henry, a male cat she and her husband adopted from the all-volunteer Ketchikan Humane Society. Henry's disorder affects his coordination, causing him to walk unevenly and preventing him from jumping.

What he lacks in motor skills is more than compensated by his demeanor.

"He is very, very sweet and gentle and he has taken a shine to these kittens," Muench said.

Henry spends hours licking the kittens clean and has become very attached.

Muench takes the kittens to work with her to continue their care during the work day, raising Henry's angst.

"I couldn't get them out of the crate fast enough to satisfy him. But he was very, very happy to have them back," she said of her return home from work.

The kittens face an uncertain future because they're too young to be vaccinated, but she said Henry's care could be a difference-maker.

"It's kind of unusual for a male cat to take on the role of mother. But he's doing a fabulous job and he's probably increasing their chances of survival," she said.

Critical thinking challenge: Why were six kittens named after the kids in "The Brady Bunch" instead of some other show?

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COMMENTS (39)
  • amanq-Koc
    5/26/2015 - 08:43 a.m.

    This is a heart warming and touching story of an animal with a huge heart. A male cat is usually a bit aggressive against kittens that are not of its own litter but seeing as how this cat has a neurological disorder perhaps he is taking pity on the kittens cause of sympathy for them. These kittens may not survive without a nurturing force to guide them and this may be exactly what they need.

  • JordanBGreen
    5/26/2015 - 11:59 a.m.

    this is so sad but I hope for the best for those cats if it were me I would take them to a pet store so she could maybe play with other cats.

  • NJesse-Cas
    5/26/2015 - 12:00 p.m.

    It is amazing that a male cat has the instinct of taking on motherhood. People don't pay attention to cats as much as humans. Just as a male human could take care of a child like a mom, a male cat could do the same for it's child. Animals are amazing.

  • ARany-Cas
    5/26/2015 - 12:04 p.m.

    Its really crazy how a male cat can act as a female cat and that they're named after " The Brady Bunch " that really nice. Animals are amazing.

  • alysiah-Koc
    5/26/2015 - 12:04 p.m.

    I think it's really cute that the male cat is taking care of the kittens. I really do hope the kittens survive because if they don't I'm sure the cat would be very depressed. I think the cat taking care of them really does make a difference for the kittens lives. Hopefully the kittens stay alive until they can get their vaccinations and they're okay. I feel like if the kittens do live the cat and kittens would be inseparable.

  • CTiffani-Cas
    5/26/2015 - 12:07 p.m.

    The six kittens were named after the kids in "The Brady Bunch" instead of some other show because the male cat took the kittens in just like how the children were taken in, in the show.

  • ratiaira
    5/26/2015 - 01:45 p.m.

    the story is so sad but it i so cute that the kittens are named after the brady bunch because the kittens are so cute and small the male cat shows motherhood for the kittens

  • 8melaniec
    5/26/2015 - 10:03 p.m.

    Henry was an adopted cat who faced challenges of his own. however, when his owners brought home six new kittens henry, a male cat, stepped up and began playing the mother role in their lives. henry became very attached and would clean and snuggle with the kittens. the kittens have some hardships in their lives and death is still very possible but hopefully, henry can help them and provide with the care they need.

  • 1MadiB
    5/26/2015 - 10:59 p.m.

    Option: Create your own interpretation on what the story is about.
    This story is about 6 abandoned kittens named Jan, Marcia, Cindy, Greg, Peter and Bobby. They were left in an Alaskan Community and were found by some students who were walking home from school. The Kittens were taken to a Humane society and then later taken to a volunteers home for 24 hour care. A cat that the volunteer already owned, grew very attached to the kittens and started taking care of each one. The kittens are being well taken care of and have a good home to live in.
    Madison Buldra
    1st Hour
    Mr.Grossenbacher

  • JDavid-Cas
    5/27/2015 - 08:22 a.m.

    The six kittens were named after the 6 kids in The Brady Bunch because the male cat raised them like how the children was raised.

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