It’s my fault for failing to get Anya, our 18-month-old Siamese, spayed last spring or summer. Guilty. But I wasn’t the one who let her out when she was in heat. She wound up doing the deed with a dark gray alley cat — a commoner. She gave birth to seven kittens two days ago around noon, and every one is the spittin’ image of trampy dad. I was hoping at least one or two would be a junior Anya (creamy beige coat, bright blue eyes, exceptional intelligence) but no dice.

Worse, Anya is apparently uncomfortable with the challenge of nursing seven kittens. (She has eight nipples so go figure.) For reasons I can’t fathom she’s been carrying one, two or three kittens out of the kitten box and into the bedroom and under the sheets. She’s constantly moving them around. She seems to be saying one of two things: (a) “Help me out…I can’t do this alone” or (b) “I’m not comfortable with the kitten box being in the living room…the bedroom feels safer.”

I’ve read that if feline queens decide they have too many kittens they’ll isolate one from the brood, the idea being to let nature takes its course. To guard against one of them dying from malnutrition I’ve bought a can of KMR (kitten milk replacer) and a tiny plastic nursing bottle. I’ve been nursing two or three every so often, at random.

You can’t tell them apart. All the same shade of gray, their eyes closed…seven squeaky little mice.