Pardon the pun, but it was too easy. (go ahead and groan). Due to a series of unfortunate events, beginning with my cancer treatments and continuing on with a missing cat (i.e. hiding) the day they were scheduled to go to the Humane Society to be spayed (who showed up for dinner that night once the spaying of the other females was all done 😦 ), we found ourselves with a pregnant momma cat recently. I figured she was getting close to her due date, because of her fairly rotund middle and I came home from work one day last week to the sounds of insistent teeny mews coming from somewhere in the garage. After a quick search, I found momma and three babies in a half opened cardboard box that had a bunch of my old office stuff in it. After checking on her quickly, I left her alone to her panting, as it was obvious she was still in labor and would prefer the privacy.
The next morning I checked again and momma seemed a little unsettled, but all three kittens were there with her and moving, so I left her alone again. When I got home from work that evening, I heard the insistent little mews again and when I checked in the box, momma seemed upset, and as I tried to count kittens I realized there was only 1. Uh-oh. I reached in the box as far as I could and realized that some of the kittens had slid down into the edges of the box underneath some of the folders that were in there. 😦
Tim and I were able to carefully pull momma out, gently retrieve the three kittens I could reach and then when we began to examine the contents of the box, it was an ugly sight. There were two additional kittens that were “trapped” for too long. One had very obviously been dead for a while and the other, also dead, was very cold but no rigor mortis yet. I believe it had very recently died. I tried massaging it and rubbing it gently, but it was too late. Later when Tim went to dispose of the dead kittens and the box, he found two more dead kittens in it! Ugh! So, momma had a total of 7 kittens, only three of which survived. 😥
Of the final three, one was very vigorous and feeding on momma, and one was moving about a fair bit, but felt cold to the touch and couldn’t latch on to momma. The third appeared near death- it was very cold and not moving much at all. I warmed up #2 until it was able to latch on to its mother, and then carried #3 into the house with me. I sat with it in my hands and gently massaged it until it was completely warmed up and started trying to suckle on my hand. Then I took it back out to its momma and it crawled right up on her to suckle.
And finally, here they are a few days later- looking fattened and happily warm. So, we had a catastrophe, but since we didn’t really need anymore cats as it was, maybe God’s hand was in it to reduce the size of momma cat’s litter to a more manageable size.
As fun as kittens are, I’ll be glad when she is done nursing so I can get her into the Humane Society for her special appointment 😉
[one small note – Those people who might make comments about why we didn’t get our cats spayed before this, etc. – you’ve obviously never had cancer, nor had to be a caretaker of a person with cancer or you would understand what daily life was like for us for the past year. In addition, we live in the country and take care of all of our animals- planned or not. So, if you were thinking about leaving any snarky comments about the subject, button up and mind your own business. Thanks 😉 ]