There have been plenty of predictions about whether the new fourth in line to the throne, due any day now, is a boy or a girl. We’ve had guessing the gender of the baby from Kate’s cravings (lots of sweets, apparently, which means a princess) and taking a punt by the colour of her latest coat (pink, that would be a princess again then) but now an organisation with over a hundred years of royal links reckons it has provided the definitive answer. Battersea Cats and Dogs Home says – it’s a boy.
This particular prediction is based on the kittens born there in 2015. And although it’s been a close run thing, the chaps have it. So far this year, sixty per cent of the little kitties who have arrived at the world famous animal rescue centre in London have been male (forty per cent female for those who want to check the numbers add up) and the centre’s animal experts reckon that’s a good indicator of whether Prince George is getting a brother or a sister.
The cattery usually experiences a bit of a ‘kitten boom’ at this time of year as their intake of pregnant cats and nursing mothers goes up as the weather gets hotter. Lindsey Quinlan, who is Head of Cattery, says they ‘care for hundreds of kittens, especially over the warmer months, so it will be nice to celebrate the birth with our own new arrivals.’ She added that staff can’t wait to find out whether Kate’s second child is a boy or a girl and ‘excitement is building…about the second royal baby’.
And this new little royal will join a family that has a long link with Battersea Dogs and Cats Home which was originally founded in 1860 by a lady called Mary Tealby who set up her ‘Temporary Home for Lost and Starving Dogs’ in a disused stableyard in Holloway in London. It began accepting cats in 1883, not long after moving to its more permanent home in Battersea, and the royal links began in 1885 when Queen Victoria became its patron. In 1956, four years into her own reign, the Queen became patron of the Home. And earlier this year she returned to Battersea to open the Mary Tealby kennels, named after the charity’s founder.
The Home cares for around 8,000 animals every year at three sites – Battersea, Old Windsor in Berkshire and Brands Hatch in Kent. At any one time, the organization says it has around 300 dogs and on average 220 cats across its three sites. Animals arrive there if they have been abandoned or if they need a new home and all of them stay there until they have found new owners who will offer them a happy environment to live in.
And now it seems that some of those pets waiting for new homes could be a good indicator of whether a possible future royal patron is a boy or a girl. Given that the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge have decided not to find out the gender of their second child at pregnancy scans counting cats is about as scientific as the guessing game gets. And the result of this one is clear for all to see. The second baby of this House of Cambridge is going to be a boy.