I was cleaning up the kitchen when the phone rang.
“Help me Obi-Wan, you’re my only hope!” said the woman who runs Challenger’s House.
“What’s going on?” I asked, figuring that she was going to tell me that there was another semi-feral who needed a home. Not so. Turned out, she knew someone who’d had a cat show up on her front porch – and the cat was very very pregnant.
“So, would you want a pregnant cat?” she asked hopefully.
I will tell you what – I almost did a little happy dance, because it’s been a while since I’ve had any itty bitty babies ’round here, and I’d offered to take the last couple of bottle-fed babies, but had been too slow because other people had snatched them up before I got my butt in gear and offered to take them.
She said that the woman upon whose porch the pregnant cat had appeared would take her to the vet for testing, and she’d let me know when I could pick her up.
Turns out that the woman took the cat to the vet right then, so an hour later the shelter manager called and said I could pick her up anytime.
You know me. I opted to pick her up IMMEDIATELY.
I showed up at the vet’s office, and they said that the cat – a pretty brown tabby – was ready to drop those kittens at any time. She was perfectly calm as I drove her home, only meowing once or twice. I put her carrier in the foster kitty room, opened the carrier, and she immediately came out, came over to me, and started purring.
She’s a seriously friendly little thing – though I’ve read that mother cats who are about to give birth get extra-friendly, so part of her super-friendliness might be due to that. She’s definitely ready to pop, and she has a hard time laying down and getting comfortable, so she paces a lot (another sign of being ready to give birth!) and she purrs and kneads, and if you rub her belly she will roll onto her back and give you the Love Eyes.
Last night before bedtime, Fred and I went in and spent some time with her, and we petted and petted and petted her, and rubbed her belly, and I brushed her (she’s shedding a lot, and – yay! – really likes to be brushed), and then we were ready for bed so we said goodnight to her and left the room. She howled for a few minutes and then settled down, so I figured she’d be okay.
A little after midnight, I was awakened by the sound of her meowing softly. As I listened, she got louder, and I was afraid that she’d wake Fred up (you know, the one member of the household who has a job and thus needs his sleep?) so I grabbed a pillow and a quilt and went in to lay down with her. Well, I laid down – she paced back and forth and rubbed up against me and kneaded on my arm and rolled over for a belly rub. Eventually, she dozed off for a few minutes before waking up and beginning the whole rigmarole all over again. When she’d finally calmed down, I went back to bed. She meowed for a few minutes, then quieted down.
I fell back to sleep a little before 2:00 and then she woke me up about 5:15, so I got up. I’d set the alarm for 5:25 anyway, because I had to get up and do my stint at the pet store. I gave her a snack, gave her some love, and scooped out her litter box before I went off to take my shower and get ready for the day. Fred spent a few minutes with her, and she started howling again, so we decided to put a radio in with her, hoping that the sound would soothe her.
Not so much.
So I’m hoping that she drops these babies soon, because I’m prepared to spend the night in the room with her tonight (I need to find something semi-comfortable to sleep on, though – this “floor” business is for the birds) but I don’t know that I’ll be able to handle more than one night of it.
She doesn’t have a name yet, and Fred wants to wait ’til she births those babies before we name her, so we’re calling her Momma Kitty for now. Original, no?
I suggested naming her “Miss Scarlett” ’cause I don’t know nothin’ ’bout birthin’ no babies, but it was actually Melanie who was giving birth when Prissy said that. And we could go with a whole Gone With the Wind naming theme, but I’m fairly certain that all those names have already been used. We’ll see.
7:50 pm: She pushed out three little ones in the course of about an hour. She’s resting now – Fred thinks there are a couple more in there. We’ll see!
More pictures up later, or tomorrow. I have a ton to go through – and there might be more babies!
Edited to add: 9:08 pm: And now there are four.
She appears to be done, so I’m off to bed. I’m sure I’ll be checking on her through the night!
2007: The Litter Robot report
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.