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.
“Just hanging out, lady. Geez.”
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!
Katia’s kittens, watching the MIRACLE OF BIRTH.
Katia’s kitten in the middle of things.
Katia’s kitten checking out the new addition.
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.
You can see #5 behind Kristi’s back, placenta attached.
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.
The gray one is in Kristi’s armpit, the two whitish kittens are together, then the tuxie and then the two orange 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.
All of Katia’s kittens (I think), but only 4 of Kristi’s (Fred was in the process of getting them out of the crate when I snapped this picture.)
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!
Terrible picture of the other cream/whitish.
Line ’em up! (Two of Katia’s giants were sleeping in the front of the crate.)
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?
Sheriff Mama would have you know that back in HER day cats just GAVE birth ALL BY THEMSELVES without someone to clean up after them. Harrumph!
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.
Oksana is gonna be a good big sister. She will be keeping those babies warm with all that fluff!
Katia…wow, I am sure Kristi really appreciated her help.
Video – I found myself saying, out loud, “Come on, baby. Push, mama. Poor mama…you got this!” At the moment…Oksana is my fav…but that little grey one may give her a run for it. 🙂
They are all just so adorable – both litters!!!
Yay babies! I know you’re holding off on names, but I hope Tessa (Virtue) and Scott (Moir) are on the list of possibilities! 🙂
Congratulations Kristi and Auntie Katia! Lol Oksana. Those are your uncles and aunts you’re draped over, kid. However cute these two litters are, I am so relieved when I remind myself that these litters will be the last these lovely ladies have.
Kara better deputize another of the Permies toot sweet, she’s gonna have a lot of little hooligans to police once they grow up.
After all this time you’re worried about looking silly? Granted, when Bessemer turned out to be a boy, Caleb was a girl and there was a convenient switcheroo, and I laughed til I cried. But also, 2 weeks is too long for Ornj 1 and Cream 2 (omg, just realized you have the makings of some Creamsicles – yum!). What if I promise to never, ever apply any pressure whatsoever to add a foster to the permanent residents page? Plus, I put a cherry on top of my “Pretty please, no more than 7 days for names!” at Challenger House.
Oh, I’m not worried about looking silly – I just find it annoying when I read old posts and see the wrong name with the wrong kitten. All I can promise is that they won’t be named ’til I’m confident that we’ve got the sexes right. It should be a bit easier with non-black kittens. 🙂
LOL, you reminded me of this:
Joey: How is she doin’?
Joey: Well, yeah… don’t you think it’s a she?
Chandler: I don’t know.
[Picks up the chick, looks at it, then blows on it.]
Chandler: I can’t tell – whatever it was went back in too quickly.
YAY! Well done, Kristi! Sooooo happy! In the video, those two little mischief making tuxie monkeys behind granny… they’re all like “where are we? how do we get outta here? nope, not that way….” and Katia… lovin on and bathing the little light colored one, before she snuggles it… d’awwwwwww!
That is great! Congrats to all! I also think that 2 wks is a long time, but I understand.
P.S. I hope things are well with the humans too. The weather is wicked and I have heard of tornadoes so I hope Sheriff Kara is keeping you all safe.
Last night’s bad weather went around us – we got some wind and rain, but thankfully nothing bad.
oh things are going to be wild. those tiny newbies are going to be all cozy snuggled up with their bigger relatives
Yay babies! So glad everything worked out ok and no trip to the vet was needed. If I didn’t already know that #6 was ok I would’ve been worried when it didn’t move for so long. But even still I gave a sigh of relief when it started to kicking and wiggling so much. 🙂
Thank you for sharing this Robyn. I love being able to be a part of the internet family waiting for the birth and seeing all the kittens. Kristi and Katia are such good Mama’s…what a treat to be a part of the while thing.
Thank you Robyn and Fred! PS I remember when Sheriff Mama had her kittens and the best story ever, was when you kept her (she is my fav)
Oh the video almost brought tears to my eyes! But I had to laugh when the little buff/white one popped out between Katia’s arms like “Here I am, World!”. Can I go ahead and predict this one will be the diva of Kristi’s litter? But what’s figure skating without some diva-tude? 😀
That’s quite a beautiful kindle of kittens. It’s a good thing the new momma had experienced help with them!
Congratulations! Katia was a really awesome midwife for her … errrm … younger cousins? no, (half-)brothers and sisters.
Two ornj kittens, two buff kittens, one tuxie – that reminded me instantly of Lucy’s Fools, only with less white involved. But then there’s a gray one instead of the two tabbies (Roseanne and Belushi) Lucy had 🙂 I love how with the tortie and calico / calitabby mothers, you can get kittens of basically any color. I’m already looking forward to names.
Wonderful story – what a way to christen your new house !
How many kittens (& what colors) are Sophia’s kittens? Any pictures?
I can’t figure out how to link directly to the picture, but if you go to this post on Facebook and look in the comments, they posted a picture of her kittens. It looks like a couple of torties and a couple of cream-colored kittens. She actually had 5, but one of them passed away.
Oh dear, two of Sophia’s are calicoes . . . I have a severe weakness for calicoes . . . oh dear.
Oh my gosh! How cute are these photos and how great is this story. Thank you so much for sharing
I know that i’m being ridiculous but I can’t help but worry about all of those kittens in that small space.
Apparently there’s no danger with the different sizes but I’m imagining some wrestling/tussling and someone squishing a newborn. Or are they all so squishy still it doesn’t matter/hurt?
Does it help if you know that mama cats regularly lay on top of their kittens without harm? I can’t count how many times I’ve seen a kitten squirm out from under their mother. I’m pretty sure they’re made of rubber. 🙂
That’s kind of reassuring. That’s so much kitten in such a small space.
Congratulations to Kristi and her excellent daughter/midwife. I can’t get over how much bigger Katia’s kittens are at just 3 weeks. And at one point in the video (right after the 5 minute mark) one of the orange kittens is next to the cream one (the one that started out under Kristi’s chin) and even it looked twice the size of the cream one. I guess drying and fluffing out the furs really does make a difference! 🙂 And I loved how nonchalant Kristi was about the whole thing.