Happy Valentine’s Day, and in case you missed it, we have kittens!
I woke yesterday morning to the sound of Charles demanding that I open the foster room door and let him OUT. That was about 6:30, so rather than stay in bed and ignore him, I went ahead and got up. When I walked into the room a while later with their breakfast, both Charles and Caroline met me at the door. They both ate quite a bit of canned food, and so I thought to myself “Well, I guess today isn’t going to be the day.”
I scooped the litter boxes and straightened the room while Charles and Caroline ate. He wandered off down the hall and she came over to me to be petted, purring like crazy. I petted her, and then she turned and went into the small crate under the built-in desk. I sat down in front of the crate to pet her, and she turned and looked at me, then had a contraction. She was clearly in labor, and so I sat and talked to and petted her for several minutes. The contractions weren’t coming all that fast (though I also didn’t time them), and then I had to make a decision.
I was covering for the Wednesday morning volunteer at Petsmart, cleaning cages and feeding and playing with the cats. I couldn’t decide whether to go then (it was a little after 7:00), or wait until later in the morning. Fred thought I should go then and get it done, because he thought (we both thought) Caroline still had a while yet to go. So I closed the door to the foster room with Caroline inside and Charles out in the rest of the upstairs (he had ventured near the crate while she was having contractions, and she looked… not pleased to see him, so I thought it best to keep him out while no one was in there with them. She wasn’t hostile toward him or anything, just kind of “I cannot deal with you right now”), and I went to Petsmart.
Clutch and Cam with new friends floofy black Zack and tortie Bella.
I had been there for about an hour when my phone rang and Fred told me that Caroline’s contractions were coming hard and fast. About ten minutes later he called again to tell me that she’d had two kittens, one right after the other.
Well doesn’t THAT figure.
I got home a while later, and went straight up to see her.
She was doing great – the kitten were roaming around the crate and Caroline was purring and purring. Not more than 5 minutes after I sat down, she started having contractions again, and number three was born.
She was in the process of delivering number three when Charles came to check on her. I kept a close eye on him, and he just sniffed her and one of the kittens, then I made him back off a little.
“Whew, that was exhausting. I need a nap!”
I waited 10 or 15 minutes, and things seemed pretty calm, so I went downstairs to use the bathroom and get a bottle of water. I swear, I was gone MAYBE three minutes, and when I walked back into the room Caroline had delivered number four.
Number 4 over there on the left, flailing around.
Kittens wandering around the crate looking for the milk bar.
She was in the process of cleaning up number 4 when number 5 was born, with Charles looking on.
4 at the milk bar, 1 behind her.
So we’ve ended up with 5 brown tabbies – not an all-black or black and white tuxie in the bunch. (I was very sure we were going to end up with a litter of all-black kittens who were impossible to tell apart.) They are all very healthy, and when we weighed them yesterday afternoon, they ranged from 3.3 to 4.0 ounces (average is 3.5 ounces). They are in incredibly good shape, especially considering how small and young Caroline is, and she is great with them. They’re clean, they’re well-fed – and she even occasionally ventures out of the crate from time to time to see what’s going on (but not for long). She’s eating well. She’s just an all-around amazing girl!
I have no idea of the sexes of the kittens at this point, and I don’t expect to even try to sex them for at least a week, possibly two. We’ll spend that time trying to tell them apart!
PS: I think it’s funny that the last kittens (Kristi’s) who were born here were born on my sister’s birthday. Yesterday? My father-in-law’s birthday! (Also Almanzo Wilder’s birthday, I’m told!)
PPS: A lot of people on Facebook were confused that they’re brown tabbies and wondered if that means Charles isn’t the father. I’m not a geneticist, but Charles has many brown tabby patches, and so I assume that’s where the brown tabby-ness came from. I’m not surprised by the brown tabbies, though I AM surprised that there wasn’t one all-black kitten or tuxie!
Newt will be your valentine if you promise to never bring kittens home.
2018: “Am busy hanging out in the sun.”
2017: Alice thinks if she acts all cute and chatty, I’ll reward her with ham.
2016: No entry.
2015: #Gracie is a big fan of morning #snacktime, if you were curious. #GuardingTheBack40FromHotAirBalloonsAndSongbirds
2014: Angelo would like to know what I think I’m doing.
2013: Jobey-Joe, the tuxie-doe, sure is looking emo, no?
2012: Sugarbutt, if you’re going to get the feather, you’re going to have to work on your swing.
2011: No entry.
2010: Won’t you be my Val-LOON-tine?
2009: SHE IS A VERY HIGH-ENERGY DOG.
2008: He don’t need no stinkin’ valentine.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.
Oh, this is fantastic news! Congratulations Ma and Pa, your little Half-Pints are here!
I’m glad to read that she’s attentive and dotting on her babies; I was worried that perhaps because of her young age the maternal instinct wouldn’t kick in.
Oh Newtles, you are the dreamiest Valentine ever!
I remember at the shelter I work for there was a Tabby mumma that had all black kittens and I fostered a black Mumma that had all Tabby kittens. Lol. One never can predict what random colors come through 😀
YAY! I am so happy to hear this wonderful news and am breathing a HUGE sigh of relief. I was so concerned something might go wrong with her delivery due to her age and size. It sounds like she handled everything naturally and like a champ.
Great job, Caroline and Charles!! Welcome, tiny ones 🙂 So glad these two (now seven!)ended up in such great foster care with you and Fred.
I’m thinkin’ Newt’s lookin’ a little looney, but ain’t that grand? Jake would be jealous. Happy V-Day to you and your brood, Robyn. Thanks for being the midwife.
These newborns look GINORMOUS, esp. in comparison with Mama!
All thoughts of cute kittens disappeared the second Newt offered to be my valentine.
How can I resist that orange loaf with tucked peets and sweet cheeks?? I’m all yours, Newtles!! <3
AWESOME!! I’m so happy the birthing went smoothly and all babies appear healthy. I’m really looking forward to falling in love all over again with a new batch of little muffin heads :). And aren’t Charles and Caroline the absolute sweetest couple?? I’m sure I don’t have to ask, but you are going to have them adopted together, right? Actually, I think you should keep them, I’m not done with those two yet 😉
I am just sitting here smiling!!!
I think that gorgeous little girl knows this is a one-and-done situation, so she’s giving it her all. 😉
we love you Newt!!
not a tuxie in the bunch?? cat genetics are weird 🙂
I’m not a geneticist either, but I’ve always been fascinated by the genetics of coat colors and patterns in cats.
Charles IS a “brown” tabby. A brown tabby is a black cat that also has the agouti gene (responsible for the ticking, striping, and swirls on the various tabby patterns). Charles is a mackerel-pattern tabby, sort of the basic “default cat”. He also has the white spotting gene, though that can range from a few hairs to a cat that is entirely white (I had one, born with two tiny gray spots that disappeared), and everything in between.
Caroline, a black cat, lacks the agouti gene, but at least for this litter, it’s obvious the agouti gene from Papa has the override. She, of course has the white spotting gene, expressed in the “tuxie” pattern. I, too, expected a mix of tabby and black (and various white spotting on them) kittens. Too bad they don’t have more white, just for ID purposes! Well, and because white spots are fun!
Happy birthday babies! What fun for you to have over the weekend and coming weeks trying to tell them apart and getting them sexed.
T is for tabby, that’s cute enough for me… XD Although I would’ve squeed over a tuxie or a random house panther in the bunch, too. Welcome newbie kittoons!
Oh my gosh, yes pleeeeease somebody adopt Caroline and Charles as a bonded pair.
What a happy Valentine’s Day for this couple! I’m so glad Caroline had an easy-ish time of it and that she and her babies are doing so well. This is going to be a wonderful adventure! Thanks for sharing it with us and for your immense generosity all round. And happy V Day to you and Fred!