20 April 2021



Arrieteasle was our cat who gave birth to many kittens. More than hundred of her children, grandchildren have been with us.
Some were given away as kittens, some went missing and others wandered off. But one of her kittens, Eightan, who is from her last litter, has stayed with us for a very long time.
At first she was a small kitten

Then she became a big cat

She was born on 20th April 2014 with three other siblings

Gmail (her brother)

Maalu (her sister)

One of the male cats

She had one more sibling, who was killed by one of the male cats. Eightan's original name was Ninan, but she almost lost her life once and cats have nine lives so we renamed her Eightan.

It was Arrieteasle's last litter of kittens, and she spent a lot of time with them.

Just back from hunting

Sleeping with family (The big kitten is Eightan's older brother Grayking)

After some months, Arrieteasle went away and left her kittens to themselves.

The three siblings sleeping with Grayking

walking on the roof beam

Just overate

Family photo with Binu Abei and Obu

Busy at the computer

Then she started having her own kittens

Third litter with four kittens!


Finished eating

She normally gave birth to kittens two or three or four at a time. But once (on 16th August 2016) she gave birth to just one kitten, Thurthuk

When there were many kittens, they would keep each other company and Eightan would sometimes go out. But now she spent all the time with Thurthuk.




Thurthuk playing with Patti


She sometimes gave birth to kittens on special days.

On 17th January 2017, Dr. M.G.R's 100th birthday, Eightan gave birth to three kittens. We named them after him.

Marathur, Gopala and Ramachandran


On April 13th 2018, the day before the Tamil year Vilambi began, she again gave birth to three kittens. We named them Heivilambi (the previous year), Vilambi, and Vikari (the next year).

Eightan with Vilambi (left), Heivilambi (centre) and Vikari (right)

Climbing up the ladder

In between having kittens, Eightan would sometimes have adventures

Sleeping on a log

Teasing a cobra (24th March 2017)

On 8th April 2019, Eightan technically became Sevenan! 

Something probably bit her, and she really swelled up.

The kittens in this picture were born on 24th Feb, which is Eightan's eldest sibling's 9th birthdays and Jayalalithaa's 71st birthday.

 We gave her medicine, and she slowly went back to normal (though her voice had changed forever).

Once Vikari grew big, they no longer had a peaceful mother-daughter relationship. They would have big fights with each other.

Vikari, ready to attack

Eightan, the Watch-cat, not letting Vikari into the house

These are photos of some of the mild incidents between them, the others are too unpleasant to photograph.

It was not the same with Eightan's other daughter, 'The Katten' (the one born on 24th Feb, also known as Komal).

Eightan was growing old and was not giving birth to kittens so often, but...

She would spend time with her the Katten's children


 Eightan began to get tired looking after her kittens.

She would put her kittens to sleep in the basket

And then go to the bike to have some peace and quiet

Some of her kittens learnt to climb the bike too!
But they would spend time with humans as well

Eightan was not always tired.

On Appa's birthday, Eightan took the kittens hunting.

She brought back a rat, and kept it just under the bench Appa sits on to eat.

When Eightan did not have kittens, she would be mainly sleeping.

Eightan, a few days after we gave away her kittens.

She would sometimes go to off to the Jungle and spend a long time

Sudden burst of energy

In the middle of December 2020, Eightan gave birth to three kittens. She seemed to have a sudden burst of energy. And for some reason, she did not have any big fights with Vikari in the following months.

She chose the topmost shelf to deliver her kittens. She had done it before, but that was in the warm weather when the door would be open.

She used to use the door as a stepping stone

But now she went there even though the door was closed.

She would get ready, and take one big leap

Something that never changed: Eightan would never find the box we kept for her suitable.

In the chatti


Even if she wanted a box, the one we gave was somehow never right.

All eating together just a few weeks before...

Eightan would sometimes go off somewhere for a few hours. Her kittens would wait for her patiently till she came back.

One night (the night of 15th February), she went and hadn't come back by the next day morning. I (Pulippo) was going to Sittilingi on the 17th. I got up early morning and went around to her usual places, but there was no sign. 'Hummingbird' Andi, our neighbour had many times said he had seen our Vellai poonai (White cat). I went to his place and asked if he had seen her recently, he said he hadn't. Later, Appa once went around the place, and couldn't find her. We waited for her, but there was no sign. Whenever I met 'Hummingbird' Andi, or Shaniyamma, they would also ask if we had found her.

But there were some who were not waiting for her.

Eightan's three kittens

 Normally, they were very peaceful when Eightan went away for a day. But just the morning after she went (16th Morning), they started behaving as if they would now need to live on their own. 

They would play by themselves

They would all mew for food frantically at mealtime

They would even eat exactly like their mother: Even if you mixed rice with the milk, Eightan would suck out the milk and leave the rice.  


20th April 2021is Eightan's seventh birthday. Sometimes cats go off for long stretches when they have grown up. But they generally don't  do it when they have kittens. It has been two months since we last saw her.

When creatures know they are coming to the end of their life, they generally go far away from home; to a place where no-one can come across them and they can peacefully go away. So that one does not think of their dead bodies...

...And instead has memories of the happy times with them.

Just before taking a passport photo