In this May 11, 2015 photo, Henry, a male cat cares for some kittens at a home in Ketchikan, Alsaka. Six abandoned kittens named after the kids in "The Brady Bunch" TV series are getting a nurturing boost from an unlikely source - the male cat with a slight neurological disorder. (Heather Muench/Ketchikan Humane Society via AP)

In this May 11, 2015 photo, Henry, a male cat cares for some kittens at a home in Ketchikan, Alsaka. Six abandoned kittens named after the kids in "The Brady Bunch" TV series are getting a nurturing boost from an unlikely source - the male cat with a slight neurological disorder. (Heather Muench/Ketchikan Humane Society via AP)

Male cat nurtures kittens abandoned in southeast Alaska

  • By Mark Thiessen
  • Sunday, May 17, 2015 10:49pm
  • News

ANCHORAGE — 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 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 between Klawock and Craig on Prince of Wales Island.

Children walking home from school one day last week 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 motors 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 since 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 decide take on the role of mother. But he’s doing a fabulous job and he’s probably increasing their chances of survival,” she said.

More in News

Sockeye salmon. (Photo via Alaska Department of Fish and Game)
Fish and Game seeks comment on 2022 sport fish stocking plan

The Sport Fish Division plans to release approximately 7 million fish into the Alaska water systems over the next five years.

A map shows which parts of the Chugach National Forest are open to motorized winter recreation use for the 2021-2022 season. (Map courtesy of the U.S. Forest Service)
Parts of Chugach National Forest open to snowmachine use

The 2021-2022 winter motorized season will run through April 30.

Kenai Police Department Chief David Ross explains the purpose of a grant to be used for new radios during a meeting of the Kenai City Council on Wednesday, Dec. 1, 2021 in Kenai, Alaska. (Ashlyn O’Hara/Peninsula Clarion)
Kenai Police to update radios using grant money

The department received almost $260,000 through the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.

Democratic Party candidate for governor Les Gara attends a Zoom meeting with Homer residents on Nov. 18, 2021, from his Anchorage, Alaska, home. (Screen capture)
Gara makes election pitch to Homer

Democratic Party candidate for governor Gara visits virtually.

A man missing for more than 40 years was identified by the Alaska Bureau of Investigation as a Chugiak resident who was last seen in 1979. The man’s body was discovered on an island near Anchorage in 1989. (Courtesy photo/Alaska Department of Public Safety)
Body found in 1980s ID’d through DNA analysis

The body, found in 1989, had been unidentified until now.

COVID-19. (Image courtesy CDC)
COVID continues decline; 1 new death

The state had an estimated rolling average of 253.3 cases per 100,000 people over the past seven days.

U.S. Census Bureau Director Steven Dillingham addresses state and Alaska Native leaders Friday, Jan. 17, 2020, in Anchorage, Alaska. Dillingham will travel to Toksook Bay, on an island just off Alaska’s western coast, for the first count on Tuesday, Jan. 21, 2020. (AP Photo/Mark Thiessen)
Census reports minimal state population growth

The Kenai Peninsula Borough’s population grew by about 3,400 people between the 2010 and 2020 census.

The old Homer intermediate school building, showing the Homer Boys & Girls Club and gym on the south side of the building at the corner of the Sterling Highway and Pioneer Avenue.
The old Homer intermediate school building on the corner of the Sterling Highway and Pioneer Avenue, as seen in October 2010. It’s now known as the Homer Educational and Recreational Complex, or HERC. (Homer News file photo)
Homer awards contract to study use of rec complex site

The goal is to help the city understand the maximum use of that property.

Genna Stormer gives Santa a hug during Christmas Comes to Nikiski at the Nikiski Community Recreation Center on Dec. 14, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)
December brings the holiday cheer

Groups across the peninsula get into the spirit of the season with public events.

Most Read