2-12-20 Isabella’s birth story

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So Monday night, I did my best to stay up with Isabella. I was pretty sure that she was going to have kittens at some point before morning because her appetite had dropped off, she was going into the crate and digging around, and the babies were super active. (I tried to get a video of the alien belly, but she was either directly on top of me or in the crate at all times, so it wasn’t possible.) She’d go into the crate for a while, snooze, come out and climb onto my stomach, snooze, wander around for a minute and head back into the crate, repeat repeat repeat.


Some time after 11:00, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to stay awake. I considered sleeping on the couch in the foster room, but ultimately decided I’d let Isabella do her thing. I slept like a log, and I woke up when Fred walked into the room to tell me she’d had kittens. “Definitely three, but there might be four,” he said.

I got up and showered, and went in to see for myself. Isabella was fine with me poking around and moving her leg to see the kittens. I’d decided there were four when one of her legs moved funny, and it turned out that wasn’t one of her legs, it was the fifth kitten!

(We’ve also had a heart-stopping moment where I thought a kitten wasn’t moving, and it turned out to be her foot. So, that was fun.)

The sweet family.

Two gray kittens on the left, three black on the right.

So so so cute.

Despite the fact that I’d put a washable pad on the bottom of the crate and a baby blanket over that, Isabella dug the pad and the blanket out of the way and gave birth on the bottom of the crate, which is about usual.

(Can we take a moment to be amazed that she actually gave birth IN the crate, where I wanted her to? That’ll probably never happen again.)

Around 11:30, she started howling at the foster room door. I took a plate of canned food up to her, and she dug in. I thought that while she ate, it would be a good time to replace the soiled bedding with a clean pad, so I put the babies in the pie plate bed and pulled the bedding out. Naturally the babies started crying, and Isabella ran over into the crate to see what I was doing. I had to lift her up to get the pad into the crate, but I got it done just as she grabbed the first baby out of the pie plate and dragged it back into the crate.

Look at those long toes!

Hanging out in Mama’s tail.

“Lady, you’re a monster.”

Family portrait.

Kittens make good pillows.

Pile o’ cute.

So I don’t know the kittens’ sexes yet, and we’re not even going to try to figure it out for at least a week; at that point we’ll name them. I don’t see any white patches on the black kittens, so I think they’re all black, though I also haven’t looked them over all that closely since I haven’t wanted to stress out Isabella. My plan is to weigh and get pictures of each of them at some point today. That might include marking a couple of them with a tiny dab of fingernail polish so I can tell them apart.

The kittens all appear to be healthy – they’re active, wiggling, constantly nursing. I imagine in a few days we’ll get some hissing (I CANNOT WAIT). Isabella is doing great, eating and keepin a very close eye on the kittens. That 13 days she spent making us wait helped to make a litter of healthy kittens, and that certainly makes the wait worthwhile.


“Really, lady? You thought we needed more kittens in this house?!” Hush up, Dewey. You were a foster once, you know!


2019: And they will be the cleanest kittens ever.
2018: That chair has clearly become his safe space!
2017: No entry.
2016: “Just RUDE, to disturb a man’s rest like that.
2015: “Whoa, whoa, WHOA, lady. Did I tell you you could rub the belleh? DID I?”
2014: Sights from around a slightly snowy Crooked Acres.
2013: “Is that the Bat signal again? It’s not, is it? I wanted to take a nap!”
2012: No entry.
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: I love our cats – foster and otherwise – but sometimes I could happily toss all of them in the back yard, bid them adieu, and shut the door FOREVER.
2007: Fred said the other day “I think Joe Bob might be the epitome of a gaum”, and he SO is
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



2-12-20 Isabella’s birth story — 16 Comments

  1. Look at those fearsome claws at the end of those long toes! It still floors me when I see how see how even their little baby claws grow in before they’re born.

    I’m so glad everyone is happy and healthy!

  2. One of those grey ones looks like it could be a tabby. Wouldn’t that be special. Someone’s foot looks like it has a dab of white. Oh, the discoveries to be made!

    • I was seeing the same thing – one solid and one striped, but thought it might be the photo angle. At least there’s a white tip on a tail on one of them.

  3. “Can we take a moment to be amazed that she actually gave birth IN the crate, where I wanted her to?”
    – well, Robyn, this was the first thought I had when I saw the first picture of the new family yesterday 🙂

  4. In the “Lady, you’re a monster”, I love the little curled kitten tail sticking out from under Isabella’s knee. I am a little sad that Isabella deprived you of a good birth story. Although “I went to bed and when I got up there were five kittens” is certainly a lot simpler to write. And easier on the nerves.

  5. In the “hanging out in Mama’s tail” shot – that kitten looks like it might end up floofy like mama, look at how long the face fur is already.

  6. Awww…. I have kitty siblings (one black and one gray; sisters) that we adopted at a year old so I don’t know what they looked like as little bebbies but now I get to imagine it via this batch of cuties.

    One of the gray ones looks like it has secret stripeys so I can’t wait to see if that one develops into a surprise tabby! (My gray girl only has barely visible stripes on her tail and a little on her drumsticks.)

  7. My heart skipped a beat seeing Dewey’s racing-stripe whiskers, but I’ll never forsake me Sweet Va-Loon-tine! (Imagines Jake crawling under a blue blanket and yelling, I’m Not Your Sweet Va-Loon-tine!!) Isn’t he the cutest thing??

  8. I wonder if Isabella’s and other mamas’ desire to spawn on bare nylon is just evidence of another plastic/nylon-loving feline, or the reason some of her kittens will grow up to lick plastic grocery bags (my friend’s cat) or nylon wrapping-paper organizers (my cat), or vinyl blinds (also my cat). Don’t even get me started on laundry baskets (*sigh* again, my cat).

    • One of the funniest and perhaps meanest things I have ever done to a cat is to turn a laundry basket upside down over them and watch an upside-down laundry basket roam the house. (I didn’t do it for long, but it was funny.)

      • I had a cat who pulled one of those plastic laundry baskets over above herself and was sitting there looking pleased with herself when I got up that morning. I thought about removing the basket, but decided to get her breakfast ready first. I was going to go back to free her when the food was put down, but she came running as soon as she heard the prep. She had no problem getting herself out whatsoever!

  9. It’s kind of nice to have a boring birth story!

    I’m still hoping one of the black ones is a tuxie, but I’m sure they will all be absolutely adorable, no matter!

  10. Oh, how I love that new kitten smell. If you could figure out a way to bottle it, you’d make millions!

  11. Just caught your FB pics. Am I horrible for absolutely loving that screaming kitten? Love the caption that goes with it. Have any of them hissed at you yet? Did the screamer do it?