It is. It's a way to indicate there are many replies to one particular topic without having to open every one.
Ferrets: Contessa, Frankenfurter, Butterscotch. Kitties: Watson, Oskar DIP Sinnead, Vincent, Boris, Zeus and Athena, Willow, Mr. Frodo, Indie, Lucrezia, Judge, Odin, Miss Emily, Suki, Cody, Aristotle. RIP Herne, Ligeia, and Mr. Stubbs