Friday, May 19, 2006

Friday Cat Blogging: NEW KITTIES!! edition

Aren't they the cutest? Sunday will make them 2 weeks old and I was there right after they were born, too. In fact, that's an interesting story I've been meaning to tell.

There are 3 kittens snorgled in the corner just in case you can't tell. On the other side of the orange one is a tabby. This picture was taken when they were only a matter of hours old.

Nascar Nut and I went out of town for the weekend and so did his parents. (We attended Pet Harbor's adoptathon in front of PetSmart where 3 huskies found homes, yay!) Sunday we showed up for his youngest daughter’s 5th birthday party at Chuck-E-Cheese's. It went as most parties go.

Anyway, when we arrived back at Nascar Nut's house, we walked into the kitchen to find the tortoise shell kitty lying in the middle of the floor, umbilical cord and what I'm guessing the placental sac still attached. Apparently she began to give birth in the kitchen but not feeling safe there (it was very much in the open and cats love to hide), moved into the next room that is jam packed with stuff.

I immediately checked Little Dude to see if s/he was still alive while Nascar Nut set out to find Casper. I was elated to hear a tiny *mew* and see a shaky head jolt when I touched her/him. Not knowing Nacsar Nut's house, I screamed for scissors which he promptly ran into the room to provide me with, then resumed his search for Casper.

Hah! But my demands were not over!

I cut the cord then screamed for a towel since Little Dude was very cold and still very much soaked in all that birthing fluid stuff. Nascar Nut again provided me with what I needed. Once I had settled the little dude inside, both Nascar Nut and I began wandering around trying to locate the other little *mews* we were hearing. After a bit, I set to cleaning Little Dude off since s/he was kinda gross and smelly. I know the mom's clean the kitties off and dispose of every bit of waste the kittens create, but we were having a hard time locating her at that moment.

Finally Nascar Nut found her. Surprise! She was in the very room I had warned them about. But whatever. Don't listen to the animal lady and see what happens? :) It's all good.

I checked in on mom and much to her dismay, moved her in order to figure out how many she had given birth to. (Mom's clean their newborns completely after chewing off the umbilical cords. From what I understand, the mom's also eat the sacs that come out with each but don't quote me on that.) I needed to know how many Casper had birthed and to add Little Dude to her pile. She immediately began cleaning him off and when I came back a little later, her/his hair was sticking up at odd angles meaning her tongue had definitely racked over Little Dude's fur.

The sad part came later when I went back again to double-check Casper's belly more personal parts. I wanted to make sure Casper was okay and didn't need anything. Well, right at the end, lying oh so very limp on the floor, was a 4th kitten. Saddened, because I want them all to survive all the time, I picked her up (yes, I want to believe it was a she) gingerly, laid her in my palm and made sure she was really dead. Nascar Nut's step-dad came in the room at that point and I informed him that a 4th one had indeed been born but it had not survived.

I know it's not unusual especially given that Casper was mostly an outside cat (who had not been spayed, *cough*grumble*) and they tend to have small litters mainly for safety reasons with survival factoring in there, too. I know it's not unusual, but it's still sad. Yeah, I love animals way too much.

So we buried her in a fairly deep hole at the edge of their yard. I have to say, both Nascar Nut's step-dad and I were having a hard time covering her with dirt because it just made it all so final. Then there was the worry were really burying something alive; we were afraid we might have been killing it again.

Once we did refill the kitten grave, we chatted for a bit then I went back inside to wash my hands. I knew the kitten was dead because it had been covered in feces and reeked of urine, which meant it had struggled and most likely suffocated while in the birth canal. That upset me because had I been there, I could have helped and maybe she could have survived.

But I reminded myself that Nature works this way and she is more mysterious than god herself.

I had to eventually leave Nascar Nut's house to pick up Peanut but I left instructions. You know the funny part of it all? Every single cat I've had has been spayed or neutered almost immediately. I've only had one cat in heat ever and that was a HUGE mistake. I've simply paid attention through all my animal loving years and learned from it all. Did I mention that I love animals very much, right down to the wolf spiders and the snapping turtles who are constantly trying to cross the road?

Alas, Sunday means the kittens turn 2 weeks old. Their eyes will be fully opened and their crawling abilities will have gotten better. This means they will soon be tearing through the house in search of each other or something to get into. About their 3rd week, they will begin weaning from their mom and needing kitten formula as a supplement. In about 6 weeks they will be fully weaned little kittens tearing up Nascar Nut's house.

It isn't until 8 weeks that 2 of them, hopefully together as that is highly recommended, will find a very good forever home where they will live peacefully inside to live out the rest of their days.

Not to mention the fact that Casper will be getting spayed as soon as the kittens are fully weaned. The female kittens can be spayed as early as 10 weeks; the boys can't be neutered until their balls drop.

I will be watching for them like its New Years Eve.

Labels: ,