RVOD103 Kittens: Birth and Growth

(1959 or before, Educational/Short, color)


Mike Nelson, Kevin Murphy and Bill Corbett

I can haz afterbirth?

Rating: ***

In a Nutshell:

Kittens are born. Then they grow.


It's probably an awareness film for Accidental Little Girl-Induced Feline Death Syndrome.Two small children anxiously await the day when their cat Millie will give birth to kittens. The narrator declares the feline gestation period to be sixty days while the children cross dates off a calendar. (So they witnessed the conception and have been counting down?) Millie gives birth at bedtime on day fifty-nine, just to be contrary. The little girl notes the newborn kittens’ resemblance to wet rats. The new mother ignores her while she licks them clean.

The kittens turn fluffy, grow and eventually open their eyes. The narrator says things like, “Note how [insert entirely forgettable name of child here] carries the kittens carefully with both hands,” while the child in question swings his arms heedlessly about, a baby cat in each paw. They take the kittens outside and watch them play with household objects while the mother cat teaches them to use a litter box, drink cow’s milk and eat ground beef. Eventually, the kittens are ready to leave the nest. The kids deck their kittens with gift-wrap-esque ribbons and load them into a birdcage, which they carry awkwardly down the street.


It’s getting harder and harder to summarize these things. As an overview, “kittens are born; then they grow,” pretty much covers it. Not sure what the kids in class and at home are supposed to be learning. Surely, every child worth his salt has already observed this process firsthand.

Mike, Bill and Kevin show remarkable restraint by including only one lolcats joke, quoted at the top of the review. Other favorite lines include Kevin’s comment about the calendar scene, “Billy has just crossed out all the numbers that frighten him.” As the narrator goes over the important milestones in a kitten’s development, Bill wants to know, “When can it ride a unicycle while the saber dance plays?” As the children decide not to rescue a falling kitten to see what its mother will do, Mike says, “Turns out Millie, like most parents, is just making it up as she goes along.” I laughed out loud several times during the short, but mostly it was just amusing.