3-16-10 – Maura

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I decided yesterday to name the new Momma kitty Maura. I think it fits her nicely – I thought about adding an Irish-sounding last name, but couldn’t decide on one. I liked the sound of Maura Ryan or Maura Murphy or Maura O’Reilly or Maura McGillicuddy – really, the problem is that I couldn’t decide which one I liked, so I just went with Maura. I have a nice list of Irish names for both girls and boys, so I think we’ll be okay when the kittens come.

Of course, I don’t know how I’ll refer to the litter as a whole – I thought of calling them The Micks, but thought that might be offensive, since according to Urban Dictionary, it’s a derogative term. (Really, spell check? You’re putting the red line under “derogative”, but can only offer “derogation” as an alternative?) I myself have some Irish blood in me and find it an affectionate term rather than a derogative one – but how ’bout it, y’all? Any Irish readers out there who find it offensive?

Every time I go into the kitten room, Maura meows at me once or twice, and I say “Give me those babies!” She seems intent on holding on to them for the time being, though. Yesterday she rolled around on her back for a few moments and allowed me to gently touch her belly. I felt what very well could have been the head of a kitten. Last night, Fred said he thought he felt a kitten head in a different location. Who knows, though? We’re certainly not experienced with the pregnant cats. Kara gave birth the day after we got her, and she was very restless, so I didn’t get much time to examine her underside before she popped out her babies.

“Them wasn’t baby heads. Them was my liver and kidneys, STUPIDS.”

She certainly is happy to see me when I go into the room. She meows at me and then waits for me to sit down, and then she walks back and forth, rubbing against me, purring like crazy. Sometimes she settles down against me briefly before she gets up and starts pacing again.

“Why do you keep feeling my liver, lady?”

She really seemed to like the purple velour pants I was wearing yesterday (don’t judge! You know you covet them.) and kept kneading on my leg. At one point she even sat in my lap, but again that was just for a brief moment in time before she had to get up and get moving.

Amy asked yesterday, if you can’t feel the babies, and don’t see them moving, how do you know that she is pregnant?

I only know because people who are more experienced than I told me that she is. Otherwise, I’d likely just think that she’s kind of porky. Lisa asked if her nipples were prominent and dark pink yet (um, Maura’s nipples, that is. I suspect Lisa would know the state of her own nipples. HEE.), and they don’t appear to be, but we can feel the milk sacs forming. Maybe Maura will allow me to take a closer look at her underside today, and I’ll know better the state of her nipples then!

Meg asked, Okay, I guess I’ll be the one to ask: Your shelter doesn’t spay pregnant cats? I don’t do rescue anymore, but we used to spay everyone, regardless of pregnancy. It’s difficult and heartwrenching. We just had so little resources, not enough foster homes, not enough money, and basically not enough good homes. As far as I know, as long as the mother is healthy and a foster home can be provided for she and her babies, the shelter doesn’t spay pregnant cats. I can’t imagine having to know that a healthy pregnant cat was going to be spayed, I think that would break my heart. πŸ™

Speaking of pregnant cats and spaying, here’s one last story for you (I can go on and on when I’m talking about cats, obviously). When we bought this house three and a half years ago, Maxi showed up in our back yard one day. She had clearly given birth and was a nursing mother, but we didn’t know where her babies were, or if she belonged to anyone. She came around more and more often (lured, I am sure, by the food bowl on the front porch), then Newt began to join her. (We originally called Newt “Daddy”, because we assumed he was the father of her litter, but when they both went to the vet for spaying and neutering at a later date, the vet said she thought he could be from an earlier litter of hers – therefore, her son rather than the father of her babies. Obviously, we don’t know for sure, though.)

It was probably a month after she first showed up that I was working on something inside the house, and Fred told me to follow him. We walked out on the porch, and there were Maxi, Newt, and four kittens.

Please note Fred standing there, trying to get his hands on those kittens.

When we finally determined that Maxi, Newt, and the kittens didn’t actually belong to anyone in the neighborhood, we snatched them all up, brought them into the house, had the kittens spayed and neutered, and adopted them out through Challenger’s House. (We named them Fezzik, Westley, Inigo, and Princess Buttercup.) They were adopted out pretty quickly (despite their initial skittishness, they warmed up pretty quickly), and then we needed to have Maxi and Newt spayed and neutered so there’d be no more babies. I made the appointment, and then the night before they were to go, Fred said as he was feeling Maxi’s belly, “Oh no. I think I feel a kitten head. I think she’s pregnant!”

We were positive we were going to end up with another litter of kittens to foster, but when the vet examined Maxi it turned out that she wasn’t pregnant.

Obviously Fred was feeling some internal organ and mistook it for a kitten.

We should totally name a litter of kittens after organs, don’t you think? Surely someone would want to adopt sweet little Kidney! Ha.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Sugarbutt does NOT approve of this “kitten” nonsense.


2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: No entry.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



3-16-10 – Maura — 31 Comments

  1. your story about Maxi is how we got Mike and Percy some 16 years ago. Housesitter told us that a kitten was showing up on the back porch while we were out of town for the 4th of July. When we came back, turns out the “kitten” was a very, very young mama who had moved her four kittens and herself under the porch. I spent 3 days in the St. Louis heat with a toy and raw chicken livers luring them all in. We kept two kittens….adopted out two kittens (together! yeah!)…and relocated mama cat to a farm (another long story)

  2. Bald Soprano: Someone just suggested “The Shamrocks”, which I think is utterly adorable. I think I’ll go with that!

  3. Maura is the perfect name for her – I was hoping you’d go with it!
    Another suggestion to add to Grace’s: Aoife. (I confess I only recently found out how in the world it’s pronounced!)

  4. “Mick” is definitely derogatory. I love the name Maura, though! There are so many great Irish first names and surnames you could use. (My cat’s name is Fiona, so I’m clearly inclined that way.) If you’re going old school, you could do some great hard-to-spell-and-pronounce Irish epic names. Emer, Maeve, Cuchulainn…he would be a superhero cat.

  5. Well I am not really Irish but I ahve always been under the impression that Mick was an insult. Thanks for the pregnancy info for Maura – I looked on the internet, and everything seemed to indicate that you would see it and feel it – it is good that the shelter people know how to tell earlier.

  6. I think Kidney is a fabulous name for a cat! I love the different ones. πŸ™‚ Hey Spleen, want a treat? How about you Liver?


    And come out, babies!

  7. I do like Maura for momma’s name!!! I’m not really inspired today on last name suggestions, though… but I know somebody out there will be!

    Wonder if your little Maura may keep you waiting a while. Did the shelter have any idea when to plan on delivery? Swelling mammaries is a good sign. Our momma cats’ nipples got really rosy before delivery – wish I could remember just how long before. And yes, hon, I do know the state of my own… old! LOL! πŸ˜‰

  8. Awww Maura is a gorgeous name and perfect for St Patrick’s Day!

    I got my tough ol’ girl and her brothers when 17 years and 8 months ago a mummy cat came into our house snuck under my sister’s bed and gave birth to 3 kitties. We already had two older cats at that point, but trying to home the kitties were so difficult we just took them in instead! Later we learned that the mum cat belonged to some people further down the road and they weren’t willing to give her to us or to take on the kitties. Oh the memories of those heady days makes me so angry!

    Anyway!!! I’m very excited for you all and for Maura!!! I hope the kitties arrive soon – safe and healthy.

    p.s. Sugerbutt’s expression is just priceless!!! And those that adorable pic of Maxi’s kitties is just beautiful!

    Take care

  9. Being of mostly Irish background I have no problem with them being called the mix, but I agree that the Shamrocks would be so cute!

  10. I’ve read (and enjoyed) your site for a while now, but I’m delurking because my name is Shannon O’Connor. I agree that “Micks” is not a pleasant reference to those of us of Irish blood. The “Shamrocks” is fine, since you’ve settled on that one. I was going to suggest the “Paddys,” but “Shamrocks” will do. πŸ™‚ My two cats are Fergus and Finnegan…I’ll be interested to see what names you bestow upon Maura’s babies.

  11. Whoever suggested Spleen is right on! Uterus, Fallopian, Cervix for a bunch of girls.

  12. Hmm… Someone has suggested I give them the last name O’Malley, which would make Maura’s initials MOM. πŸ™‚ I’ll have to think about it some more before I make a decision! I’m a ditherer, obviously!

  13. omg princess bride kittens!!!!!!!

    and omg the nipple talk made me lol!

    my mom refers to germans as krauts, but we’re like 95% german. actually, we’re totally south dakotan – been in america for hundreds of years. we have no ties to the heritage or anything, so it’s just another word with no meaning. er, reading this again makes my mom sound like an awful woman! she is not at all racist or anything, it’s like a joke. eh…

    my shelter spays the pregnant mamas. it makes me sad. πŸ™ but they’re the area humane society, and they get SO many animals. it would probably be different if it were a smaller, more private organization.

  14. I find Mick an offensive term, but then they would be the Mick Kittens which made me laugh. Maybe just the McKittens? I cant think of anything else, but I still can’t wait for the kittens! Shes such a pretty cat.

  15. I have 3 Irish named cats, Murphy, Hannah and Killian. Their “last name” is McGee. Murphy McGee makes me laugh every time I say it. Incidentally Murphy looks like Sugarbutt!

  16. Ooh. I like McGee, too. I also like calling them the McKittens. Hmmm. Too many decisions!

  17. Sugahbutt! <3<3<3

    Dude, whatever last name you give the kittens you havetohavetohaveto name them after internal organs! “Well, this one here’s the Brain, and there’s Heart, and this one is all Stomach…”

  18. Micks would be seriously offensive in the UK… and other places too, it sounds like.

    Oddly enough O’Malley or O’Mara popped into my head as soon as I saw the first few lines of your post! πŸ™‚ But ‘the Shamrocks’ works too…

  19. Grace:
    I recently, thanks to my love of video games, have come to realize that CuChulainn is apparently pronounced ‘koo-lihn.’ How did that even happen? I have no idea, but at least it sounds nicer than ‘koo-choo-lane,’ which is how I pronounced it before.

    I personally like ‘O’Malley.’ ‘Shamrocks’ is cute, but ‘Maura O’Malley’ rolls of the tongue! (Plus, MOM. That’s just boss.) Maura is adorable too. It always makes me a little sad to see kitties have babies when they’re still babies themselves! But I’m sure she’ll be a good momma regardless. :^D

  20. “Maura O’Malley” is perfect for momma cat! I was going to suggest “Maura O’Shaughnessy” for mom and “The St Patricks” as a collective name for the kittens, but “O’Malley” scans much better and I love “The Shamrocks”!

    More name suggestions for the kittens: Siobhan, Niamh or Bronagh for girls and Seamus, Liam or Finbar for boys.

    Good luck with your babies, Maura O’Malley!

  21. I meant to also say, “McKittens” makes me think of Scotland rather than Ireland (not to mention it unfortunately brings to mind a certain fast food franchise). Perhaps the “O’Kittens”? πŸ™‚

  22. I thought up the Limerick’s for the county in Ireland – or the Emerald Isle’s?

  23. O’Malley! Brings back memories of the Aristocats! Doo eet!

    …I also wholeheartedly support the Organics. Spleen especially. “Ack, my Spleen!” when he’s crawling up your legs, over your arms, biting your hands… I’d go past the common Heart though (too much Captain Planet) and name one Ventricle. Or Aorta. And maybe if one’s a porker, Gluteus Maximus πŸ˜‰

  24. @Alice: Oh, the insanity of pronouncing Irish names! I’ve heard Cuchulainn pronounced COO-hoo-lin, coo-HOO-lin, and kuh-CULL-in–I go with the last one, because it’s what I heard growing up. And Emer is pronounced AY-ver.

    If I were in the area and in a position to adopt another cat, I would so be interested in Maura. (Or one of the new guys, I’m such a sucker for tabbies.) She’s gorgeous.