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 are named Jan, Marcia, Cindy, Greg, Peter and Bobby. They 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 is a volunteer with the Ketchikan Humane Society. She 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. Taking them away raised 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. That's because they're too young to be vaccinated. But Muench 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 (2)
  • annah-OBr
    5/27/2015 - 01:57 p.m.

    Six kittens were flown to Ketchikan, Alaska, where I live. They were named after the kids in "The Brady Bunch" television show. In the litter, there was three girls and three boys, same with the kids in "The Brady Bunch" show. The only cat who doesn't meet thee characters in that show, is a very kind and gentle male cat, Henry. He plays the role of Alice, the housekeeper in the show. That is probably why the Ketchikan Humane Society decided to named the kittens after "The Brady Bunch" television show.

  • p1-kayla-pen
    8/24/2015 - 09:16 a.m.

    They were named after that particular TV show because of how Henry, the eight month old cat adopted the kittens. In the TV show, Alice the housekeeper adopts the kids. If I were to compare one the characters to a literary archetype, I would say that Henry is the hero of the story.

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