Good morning, from kitten # 4 (top) and kitten #1 (bottom.) You can see Canasta in the background of that bottom picture – she has no problem at all with me handling the kittens, though she does keep a close eye on me. And she doesn’t hesitate to come take a kitten away from me if she deems it necessary.
Canasta is doing great – she is an incredibly calm and confident mama and is taking this whole thing in stride. I’ll get a picture of her to share later on – she’s much smaller, but still on the chunky side (which is a good thing – mamas always get incredibly thin as their kittens grow.)
(Video from last night) A day and a half old, and hissing already. They’re prodigies! (Yes, it’s normal, it’s happened with every litter born in my house. I assume it’s an instinct to warn off potential predators. I don’t know why yours didn’t hiss. Maybe mine are more opinionated than yours.)
(See previous video for a lot more hissing.) I bet a predator would approach a nest of hissing kittens and die immediately from the cute. SO ferocious.
Okay, last hissing kitten video for now. With bonus spit! Canasta comes to see what’s going on.
Canasta, top, a day or two before she had her kittens. And on the bottom, this morning. The day before she went into labor, she weighed 12 pounds, 10 ounces. This morning, she weighed 10 pounds, 8 ounces. So 1 1/2 pounds of kittens born and a little more than 2 pounds off Canasta. As I’ve said before, this is a good thing. We want some extra weight for her to draw from!
Canasta is doing great, handling those babies well, keeping them fed and also occasionally finding time to bat a toy around the room (clearly she’s an overachiever.)
She loves to sit like this. I’d be concerned about the kittens being able to latch on, but they seem to have no problem (and she doesn’t stay sitting like this all the time.) Canasta certainly marches to the beat of her own silly drum.
I swear I could spend all day every day just sitting and watching them. Canasta and those kittens (3 days old today!) are just the CUTEST.
People of the innernets, the Cardsharks are named! They’re arranged here in birth order. As mentioned, I’ve taken a look and think we have 4 girls and 2 boys (and the only guarantee I make on that is that it’s likely I messed up somewhere. I’ll take another look in a few weeks and let y’all know if I was wrong.) Say hello to…
#1 kitten: Uno, who is suspected to be a girl.
#2 kitten: Slapjack, suspected to be a boy
#3 kitten: Pinochle, suspected to be a boy
#4 kitten: Whist, suspected to be a girl
#5 kitten: Rummy, suspected to be a girl
#6 kitten: Fizzbin, suspected to be a girl
Now pardon me while I make myself a cheat sheet so I can try to keep these kittens straight!
With the babies sleeping, Canasta has some play time.
Breakfast time! (Who’s the best mama? Canasta’s the best mama!)
Uno (left) and Pinochle were hissing at me, and then Uno GROWLED – I honestly thought it was Canasta, who was across the room, chirping at me, but nope. It was a 4 day old kitten growling at me. First time I’ve ever seen that happen. (Notice that Canasta raced across the room to check on her.)
Mama’s little hissers – Rummy (left) and Whist, using Pinochle as a pillow. (To be clear, *I* don’t care if Fred’s in the background sweet-talking Canasta, but he has complained in the past when I’ve posted videos of him talking in the background, so I wanted to be sure he knew. )
Permanent resident Jake keeps warm on a gray, dismal March day. (We have a cat fence around our back yard, so our (7) permanent residents are allowed outside during the day and kept inside at night. Google “Purrfect Cat Fence” for more information.)
Back in 2018, we fostered 9 kittens (who came from various places) and named them after Maine towns. One of them was a floofy little gray and white cutie we named Otis (and then immediately nicknamed The Marshmallow.) That’s him in the upper left picture when we were fostering him. That bunch of kittens had a pretty rough time of it at first – upper respiratory infections, ringworm (my first experience with ringworm, yayyy?) but pulled through beautifully.
Otis was adopted along with two other Forgotten Felines kittens – Clementine and Gertie – and here they are now! Stephanie reports “he’s the absolute sweetest boy! So cuddly and gentle.” (And I am not one tiny bit surprised.) Look at that gorgeous floofy boy and his gorgeous sisters!
(Thanks for letting me share, Stephanie!)
The Cardsharks at 5 days old, and their weights. They’ve gained from 1.5 ounces (Rummy) to 2.5 ounces (Slapjack & Fizzbin) since the day after they were born. Between the 6 of them, they’ve gained a total of 13.4 ounces in 4 days. In that same time period, Canasta has lost a total of 12 ounces (she is now down to just under 10 pounds.) She’s lost that much weight despite the fact that she’s eating 6-8 3.5 ounce cans of Fancy Feast per day (plus the occasional bite of dry food). (When she was pregnant, she ate 2 cans per day in addition to the occasional bite of dry food.)
Canasta’s got a lot to say (and those kittens have a lot of hissing to do.)
3 minutes of zen. Nothing exciting, just 3 minutes of watching Canasta and her kittens. I find it very relaxing, personally.
(Permanent resident) Charlie is feelin’ kneady. (This video would be longer, but I had to go snatch him up and squoosh him.)
Kitten mosh pit. I swear these kittens never stop moving.
Sharing the update on Otis yesterday made me think of this picture – one of my all-time favorites – of his foster brother. His official name was Kennebunk, but he was nicknamed “Moop” pretty quickly, and we never called him anything else. I’ve shared this picture a million times, and I’m sure I’ll share it a million more.
3 minutes of kitten zen. I’m not kidding when I say they never stop moving!
TECHNICALLY Fizzbin isn’t a week old yet (she wasn’t born for another three hours – I’ll officially wish her a happy birthday at her birth time), but let’s assume she won’t change appearance or weight drastically in the next three hours and get this collage posted, shall we? Here’s what everyone looks like as of about an hour ago (Pinochle’s still trying to decide whether he wants to open those eyes all the way), and their weights. Here’s a list with their current weights and their birth weights:
Uno: 7.2 oz (4.1)
Slapjack: 8.3 oz (4.8)
Pinochle: 7.6 oz (4.4)
Whist: 7.3 oz (4.3)
Rummy: 6.8 oz (4.1)
Fizzbin: 8.5 oz (4.8)
Generally kittens double their weight in the first week, and none of the Cardsharks did, yet I am unconcerned due to their nicely rounded tummies. They’re all gaining weight nicely and are vigorous. I will not be supplementing them at this point because I don’t think they need it.
Eyes are starting to creak open (see: Pinochle), so I’ll be on the lookout for eyeballs and will report them as I see them.
Watch Canasta’s belly grow – and then shrink (that last picture is from 5 days after the kittens were born.)
I never realize how much permanent residents Charlie (left) and Archie look like each other unless they’re next to each other, and then I think they look like father and son. (“IS THAT POSSIBLE?!” someone’s going to ask, and listen miracles happen but Archie was neutered about 5 years before Charlie was born, so chances are low.)
Still hissin’! I feel like they’re not really feeling it these days, though. Just phoning it in. Show us the DRAMA, kids!
Their eyes are starting to open, which means the hissing will be coming to an end in the next few days. I love this stage so much, but we’ve got so many awesome stages to look forward to, too.
(Yes, they are hissing. I assume it’s instinctual response meant to scare off predators, who will either think “Oh, I’ll give this nest of snakes a miss” or “Dear lord, those are the cutest things ever, maybe I’ll find lunch elsewhere.” This is the 14th set of newborns I’ve fostered and to my memory they’ve all done it, though this bunch is particularly hissy and spitty. That growl, though, that’s new with this bunch.)
You’d think a mother to 6 kittens wouldn’t have enough energy to play, but Canasta’s clearly got energy to spare.
2020: No entry.
2019: She is one smart cookie.
2018: Katarina’s all pawsed-up, y’all.
2017: Ready, set, toes!
2016: THERE ARE KITTENS.
2015: WHAT IS THIS INSANITY.
2014: Do you SEE the size of that back foot?
2013: “Look, taking pictures of a pregnant lady looking wide is extremely RUDE and I would recommend you STOP.”
2012: But in an instant, without warning, it all goes TERRIBLY WRONG.
2011: Spanky and the nanner.
2010: No entry.
2009: No entry.
2008: Questions & answers about the pigs.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.