This was Maggie yesterday:
As big as she was when we got her – and she seemed HUGE to us – she expanded quite a bit. Yesterday she just wanted to be petted, and the thing that piqued my interest is that she went into the box and stood there, kneading. That was the first time I’d actually seen her do that, and I decided (and told Fred) that I was sure it meant she was nesting.
I don’t think I mentioned this before, but we had set up a big carrier/ kennel in one corner of the room, covered it with a towel to make it darker, and lined the bottom with towels. That was this one:
Then, because we wanted to make sure she had a choice, I lined the box that Fred built several months ago with a couple of cat beds. That was this one:
This morning when I was in the shower, Fred reported that all Maggie wanted was to be petted, and that she was purring louder than he’d ever heard her purr before. He also reported that she’d paid no attention at all to the food bowl, and that was the first time that had happened. I went in and spent some time with her before I scooped her litter box, and she seemed very very calm. She just sat and let me pet her. I put canned food on her plate, and she went over and licked at it. I scooped her litter box and left the room.
I was out in the garage, dragging all the recycling out, flattening the boxes, and loading everything in Fred’s truck, when he came out with a very smug look on his face.
“I called it!” he said gleefully. “I said she was gonna go!”
“What?” I had no idea on earth what he was talking about.
“She’s in labor!” I practically ran into the house, grabbed my cameras and cell phone, and went straight up to the foster room.
Maggie was sitting in the middle of the floor, and we sat down with her and petted her. She just sat there for a moment, and then you could see the contraction happening by the look on her face. She sat through it, then got up and went into the box and sat down. She was in there for about half an hour. I started timing the contractions (“We need to start timing her contractions!” I announced importantly. “Why?” Fred said. “Is that something you’re supposed to do?” Heh.) and first they were coming every couple of minutes, and soon enough they were coming much closer together.
Fred announced that he saw something hanging out of her back end, and she cried out, and then she stood up and ran to the middle of the room. I wondered if having us present was bothering her, and Fred decided that it was, and left the room. As soon as he did, Maggie went into the covered kennel and laid down. A few minutes later she gave a great push, and out came baby number one, at 8:42!
The kitten wasn’t moving, and Maggie was more interested in chewing through the umbilical cord, and I hovered and dithered about what to do, and finally stepped outside the room and bellowed down to Fred to bring some rags. By the time I got back into the room, the kitten was moving and Maggie had started cleaning him (or her. I truly have no idea of the sex of any of these babies).
Baby number three was born at 9:20, and number four was close behind at 9:32.
I had literally JUST posted Maggie seems settled in for the time being. We may be at a grand total of four – or maybe she’s just resting up for a second round! when she started having contractions again. Moment later I was pretty sure that there was a number five, but I had to lift the towel on top of the kennel to peek inside to be sure. That one was born at 10:07.
We just now went upstairs to change out the bedding in the kennel because the towels that were in there were pretty wet from the birthing process. Fred carefully lifted the babies and put them on a cat bed. Then he reached in to get Maggie, and as soon as he went to lift her out, she appeared to think “Oh, okay. They’re taking care of the babies. I’m going to go eat!” and then went and did so.
It was touching to have her trust us that much, to have her unconcerned about her babies since she knew we were caring for them. I got the bedding changed out, snapped a few pictures, and the instant Fred lifted the last baby back into the kennel, Maggie climbed in after them.
I posted after the first one was born that I thought it was black and white, but as it turns out, we have all brown tabbies, some with lots of white. Hopefully they’ll look different enough from each other that we’ll be able to tell them apart.
I’m hoping to get individual pictures of them tomorrow and perhaps even get a glance at their backsides to see what we’re dealing with. It’s probably too soon, but Fred’s pretty good at sexing kittens – I think he was able to tell what Kara had had within a day or two of their births – and of course as soon as I know, y’all will know.
Lori T. was the winner of the Maggie Pool – she guessed 9 am today – and once we can tell who’s who and what’s what, we’ll let the naming begin. I do intend to still go with the Irish naming theme simply because I wanna. 🙂 Lori gets to choose which kitten she wants to name, and once she’s named hers, we’ll name the rest.
Thank you SO MUCH to all of you who took part in the Maggie Pool. I have to pull up the Paypal report, but I do believe we raised in the area of $500, and that is WAY too cool!!! You guys are beyond awesome, thank you!!!
2010: “I HAZ A COMPLAINT HE IS BITING ME MAKE HIM STOOOOOOOOOP!”
2009: A boy’s gotta have priorities!
2008: No entry.
2007: I was somehow elected to take Newt to the vet, so we boxed him up and put him in my car.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.