In case you missed it yesterday – I edited yesterday’s post with a picture of the new additions – Kristi had her kittens yesterday morning. There are 6 of them – two orange, two whitish, one gray and one tuxie.
Kristi’s birth story actually started Sunday morning. Fred and I were getting ready to leave for an hour or so, and he went into the foster room to check on things. He called down and asked me to come upstairs, and when I did, I saw a small sack of fluid hanging out of Kristi’s back end. I sent a picture to Brittany, and she said that it was similar to a mucus plug and that things were probably about to get going on the kitten front.
Fred and I went ahead and left the house because Kristi was mostly hanging out in the crate with Katia and the kittens, and clearly didn’t want us in there staring at her. We were gone for a little over an hour and I was SURE that we’d come home to new kittens, but nope. Thus began an entire day where I’d do something and then check the camera to see what Kristi was doing. Mostly what she was doing was what she’d been doing: eating, sleeping, using the litter box, staring out the window. She’d hang out with Katia and her kittens and then go into the other crate. There were times when she appeared to obviously be having contractions, and then it would pass.
I was ready to take her to the emergency vet if need be, but she wasn’t in any distress and the vet suggested that we wait and see, and if nothing happened overnight, she’d go to the vet in the morning (which was the plan even if all of this hadn’t happened.)
I spent all Sunday night into Monday morning sleeping for about 45 minutes at a time, snapping awake, and checking the camera. Every time I looked, Kristi was in Katia’s crate or the other crate, sleeping soundly. She had a few times when she appeared to be having a contraction, but mostly she just slept and stared off into space.
I woke for good a few minutes after 6:00, and checked in on her. Still hanging out in the crate, still nothin’. I REALLY didn’t want to have to stress her out by taking her to the vet, but was sure that was what I’d be doing in a few hours.
I missed it at first, because Kristi was laying with her back to the camera and from what I could see, she was just laying there hanging out. But Fred was also watching the camera, and he noticed Katia vigorously licking and biting something. He went in for a brief moment to see, and came to tell me that there was, indeed, a wiggly little kitten in there.
Between 6:30 and 9, she birthed 5 kittens – numbers 4 and 5 came with just a few minutes between them. The entire time she was having kittens, Katia was right there, helping to clean the kittens and eat the afterbirth and placenta, cleaning her mother. I’ve heard of cats co-mothering, but I didn’t realize it came with midwife services too!
After #5 was born, I could see the kitten – a tuxie – on the camera, and it didn’t appear to be moving. I went in to see if it truly wasn’t moving, and when I touched it, it moved. A moment later, the placenta slid out behind it, and I picked up the kitten and its luggage, placed it between Kristi and Katia, and left the room; they took care of things immediately.
I went back in a little while later to count kittens and make sure I hadn’t missed one, and found Oksana smack in the middle of the pile.
I had no sooner told people that I thought Kristi was done when I glanced at the camera to see #6 sliding out. Though most of the other kittens were born at an angle where I couldn’t see them on the camera, #6 was perfectly positioned. (I grabbed a clip off the Dropcam and will post that video below.)
Around noon, Fred suggested that we take Katia’s rambunctious kittens out of the crate and give the little ones a rest for a few minutes. He was concerned that Kristi’s kittens couldn’t get to the milk bar, but as he took Katia’s kittens out, we saw that Kristi’s were all lined up and nursing. I petted and snuggled Katia’s kittens (who look immense next to the newborns) for 15 minutes or so before I put them back, but got a couple of pictures of the two mamas and Kristi’s kittens.
I put Katia’s kittens back in and took a picture before I left them alone for a while.
In the afternoon, with both of the mamas out of the crate, we decided to go ahead and change out the bedding, which was pretty gross. Katia and Kristi kept a close eye on us, but were calm about it.
I got individual pictures of each of Kristi’s kittens – not great ones, but it’s more than I was able to do with Katia’s kittens when they were born!
Reminder: WE ARE NOT NAMING THESE KITTENS UNTIL THEY ARE TWO WEEKS OLD TO AVOID A MIS-SEXING SITUATION.
At this point, I’ve only seen the kittens nursing on their own mothers, but I’m sure at some point they’ll just latch on to the closest nipple. Katia’s kittens don’t seem to have an opinion about the new guys – no obvious shock or surprise or resigned acceptance – and Kristi’s kittens are snuggling up to the bigger kittens with no hesitation (and really, why would they hesitate? The big kittens have been present for their entire short lives.)
Also, of note: Remember Sophia, the 3rd mama cat who came from the same place as Katia and Kristi and who MEAN FRED wouldn’t let me take? She had her kittens on Sunday!
Video – as promised, Kristi giving birth to kitten #6. It’s a little long, so if you just want to see the kitten slide out, fast forward to around 3:15. Do I have to warn you that kitten birthin’ is a messy and kinda gross business?
2017: He can be a wild man, too!
2016: This picture is killing me dead. Between the “I’m da BAYBEEEEE!” from Bert Macklin and the “What the frick is your issue, kid?!” expression on Regina Phalange’s face, I can’t stop laughing!
2015: Can you tell that he’s just a sassy little monkey, full of attitude?
2014: Orlando is showing that camera strap who the boss is.
2013: “Oh lord, how am I going to pay for college for all five of them at the same time?!”
2012: “I HAZ A COMPLAINT AND MY COMPLAINT IS STOP TAKING PICTURES OF ME AND ALSO MAMA KEEPS PUTTING HER PAW ON ME AND IT IS HEAVYYYYYYYYYY, WAHHHHHHHHHH!”
2011: No entry.
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: I bet the country cats would kick his butt all over the yard, though.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.