4-2-11 – Maggie’s baby story

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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:

(We actually also draped a towel over the other end, where you can see light shining through).

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, petting Maggie.

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).



Do the little pink toes and the wee claws KILL YOU DEAD like they do me?

Before I knew it, Maggie was pushing again. A few short pushes, and baby number two was born at 8:57 am!



Maggie’s looking at that little climber like “WHAT are you doing, child?” A moment later she turned and looked at me like “What is going ON, here?!”

Baby number three was born at 9:20, and number four was close behind at 9:32.


Do you see the wee leg thrown over the kitten next to him?

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.



I think this was right after #6 was born; Maggie was attending to the newborn, and the other ones were kind of wiggling around yelling.

Baby leg slung over Maggie’s foot.

She was SO good during this entire process, doing her job like she knew what was what.




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!!!


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.



4-2-11 – Maggie’s baby story — 54 Comments

    So happy that they’re all doing well!
    Can’t wait to see them grow either!

  2. Wow, way to go, Maggie! What a good mom she is and we’re very impressed she’s so trusting of you! Boy, to feed all those babies, she’s going to be eating a ton of food every day. 😀

    What precious, precious little ones…A lovely post after so much recent loss around the Cat Blogosphere.

  3. Yay! Congratulations! So glad to hear that the whole thing went off with everyone safe, sound, and adorable!

  4. Well, I am just so happy that everything went well. It amazes me how animals just instinctively know what needs to be done, and when. It did make snivel just a bit when I read that she was all cool with you guys handling her little kitten-pants. Awww!

    How cute is that little dude hugging his brother/sister? Just think, in about a month they’ll be rolling around beatin’ the stuffing out of each other.

    Yay Maggie! You really are an awesome Mom!

  5. Those photos are awe inspiring. I’ve never seen new born (a minute before) kittens (too responsible with neutering to have let it happen….I’m asking for trouble, aren’t I, the next female cat I have will be pregnant at 4 months!) Beautiful!

  6. HOW SWEET! Phew, glad they finally came. What a sweet kitty Maggie is! The photo of one kitty with the arm/leg? slung over the other is way too cute!

  7. This is just the MOST AMAZING thing! Imagine Maggie just knowing exactly what to do. She’s a pretty special girl, that one. How did she know that today was the day we needed to see some kittens after the sadness of Shell’s passing over a feralcatbehavior yesterday. AH, the cycle of life. Thank you Maggie (and Robyn & Fred too, of course!!!)

  8. I’m verklempt!! So adorable!! It amazes me how Mother Nature takes over and Maggie just somehow KNEW what to do!! Great pictures, thanks so much!

  9. Oh, those stripy little tails, and that precious little face! Thank you so much for this post – it’s almost like being there!

  10. Squee! They are so cute. I always thought hours old kittens didn’t look so fluffy and cute. They look healthy and sounded loud. Are you giving Maggie some Lysine to boost her immune system to keep her and the babies healthy?

  11. YAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAYAY!!!!! Oh Mamma Maggie!! You are just brilliant!!! Oh wow!!!!! Thank you thank you thank you too Robyn and Fred for being there for her and her babies!! Yay for the babies – awwww wow!! They’ve got the BEST start in life ever!! They’re lovely!




  12. Fred probably knows this already but sexing newborns is usually easier than kittens even a week older (they go through a phase for about three weeks where it is very hard to tell). In newborns a : is a boy and a tiny upside down ! is a girl, sometimes they do fool you, but most of the time you’ll be correct if you use this system (and if your not, you can re-sex about five to six weeks, when it becomes more obvious, or let the vet do it).

  13. As excited as I am to be able to name a kitten, I’m more excited to hear that we raised so much money for Challenger’s House. I hope that, in the future, we can do this again.

  14. p.s. I hope you don’t mind but I blogged about mamma maggie and her kittens for my blog post tomorrow (sunday) as it’s mothering day here in the uk and I thought how apt!!!!! take care

  15. I’ve always thought one of the MOST wonderful feelings in the world is having a momma cat TRUST you with her beebees. I’ll never forget the experiences I had with that — once, the momma-to-be actually fetched me from the house to the garage, yowling and showing me she’d had one kitten already. Once I sat down near her “nesting box” she relaxed and had the other kittens. Really, it’s just an amazing feeling to know momma cat TRUSTS you!

    Gorgeous baby cats, can’t wait for the pictures as they grow and develop. I have always been partial to stripped tabbies!

  16. omg soooo cute! I’m so glad she had her behbehs!!

    I have a mama with five right now and they fight CONSTANTLY over nipples… Maggie’s gonna have her paws full with six! What cute little meepers.

  17. Yippieeeeee!
    Now we all can relax and allow small purry things to grow under your tlc at Crooked Acres.
    Blessings to all!

  18. Great reporting Robyn!!! Loved the play by play! SO thankful the kittens are all alive and well. Maggie too. I know you are so excited and will be having a great time with all the kitten kisses in the days to come.

  19. How fun it’s been to come here every day to see if there are babies yet.
    Yay, Maggie and little baby clones!!
    Now i can’t wait to see them grow.
    I’m jealous you get to have little kittens (for a while) that fit inside your hand.

  20. Squeeeeeee!!!!!! Six babies and 500 green papers for Challenger House???? Score!!!!

    Way to go Maggie – your babies are beautiful!! And Robyn (and Fred, without whose support none of this excitement would be possible), I’ll second Kathy – loved the up close and personal reporting!!! We’re doing a little jig for you over at Space Paws!

  21. My favorite part of the story — that Maggie trusted you. That’s a special, special thing. And you and Fred are special, special people! Yea babies!

  22. I kepd saying “Oh my God…Oh my God…” as I was reading this! Congrats Maggie! And congrats to Uncle Fred and Auntie Robyn! Yes Robyn, the teeny pink feet and tonails slayed me. So precious! I envy you for all the kisses and cuddles that you get to give the little ones! 🙂 Also, congrats on the fundraising!

  23. I’m so thrilled for Challenger’s House that the baby pool raised so much money! That’s so awesome. If it’s not too much of a pain in the ass for you, we should do that again sometime.
    Thanks for sharing the babies with us- I live among cat haters and I get my kitty fix from you. Like everybody else, I think it’s really cool that Maggie trusts you guys enough to leave the babies with you and get some vittles. She’s got your number guys- even without the cat ranch sign, she knows a sucker or an angel when she sees one.

  24. With all the horrors happening in the world lately, it brings a teary warm feeling to read and see pics of this wonderful little miracle. Thank you Maggie and thank you Robyn and Fred.

  25. Hooray for Maggie! Double Hooray for your reporting! I loved the photos and the play-by-play!! And those look like some seriously large kittens. I guess that is where all the noms have been going the past weeks.

    Finally, I hope NOW is when the fun begins with all the spazzing, wriggling, fighting, playing, complaint hazzing, kitten napping and feeding. I can’t wait for your reports!!

  26. That last pic just slays me! Poor Maggie has to be glad that is over, she looked like a furry football.

  27. Oh, we are way behind in visiting and didn’t know about all the excitement! You did good, Mamacat and Mom, too. One day I will make a post about how I prepare for kitten deliveries…on my to-do list. But we are sooooo happy all arrived safe and sound and you kept such a diary, too!

  28. Yay Maggie, and yay six! kittens! Maggie, you are one special kitty, to be that trusting of humans with six teenies literally just arrived. I’m impressed. What a sweetie!

    Oops, I was wrong about the male calico – oh well. Can’t have everything. 🙂 Tabbies are adorable! I’m still going to be a little silly here and speculate that down the road, one of those tabbies turns out to be a well-marked torbie instead. Hee hee! *teeny scritchies for the teeny kittens, because squee!* Much love and many scritches for Mary Margaret momkitty, of course.

    I know I’ve got absolutely no say in the naming thingie – congrats Laurie T, by the way! – but I’ll just throw this out here. Maybe one of the teenies could be Maura? I know none of them are black, but still… She was initially going to be momkitty to the McMaos, I mean.

  29. Yay Maggie! you clever girl! six darling babies, welcome to the world little ones.

  30. Congratulations! This is wonderful. Thank you for the photos and everything. I am almost in tears.

  31. What a champ, Maggie! That is by far the sweetest thing I have ever read. You have BABIES!

  32. Looks like I found your blog on a great day. What fantastic pictures of all of Maggie’s children. We are so glad to sorta see all those kids being born. We love your blog and will be back to watch those babies grow. Thanks for a great story.

  33. MAGGIE HAD THE BABIES!! I only just discovered your website @ 1 1/2 weeks ago. I love everything about it: the farm, the animals, you and Fred and of course the kitties. Big fan of Maggie and Rufus! I’ve been checking in everyday for the babies update, first site I checked this morning. Maggie is a trooper. And the trust she shows you guys reflects the love and care you give to her. So Congrats to all! May I suggest naming one girl “Irish”? I know an Irish and she is the nicest person.

  34. I was doing fine, reading the post and the story and oooohing and awwwwing appropriately. Until I got to that last picture… And then I literally melted. Just goo. What a sweet little face!

    Good momma, Maggie. Lots of tiny tabbies! 🙂

  35. Wow! Six kittens? No wonder she was so huge!

    We had a cat that had eight in one litter. She was a pretty small cat, and she looked like she’d swallowed a basketball by the time she was ready to deliver. 🙂

  36. What a beautiful post!!!
    Me and my daughter of 8 years old starts to many “oh!” and “own” to the photos.
    Kisses and congrats for the mommy and sons!

  37. Perfect kittens; perfect Momma Kitty. Always a miracle to see new life. Thanks for sharing this wonderful post. And an extra special thanks for being such awesome fosters.

  38. My first thought was, how did a cat having babies end up on my “whats hot in google reader.” this happens every day, most of them are unwanted. it was interesting until I turned 8 years old. I guess this is what happens when you grow up without pets.

  39. Wow I am such a big fan of cats, I am very happy that momma cat is taking care of her kitten. They are the cutest thing 🙂

  40. Congratulations momma Maggie! and Robyn & Fred! Good to read that all went well and there were no dramas. That last photo of the baby with its eyes closed is just gorgeous. can’t wait to know how many boys and girls there are. Everyone take a deep breath and…relax!

  41. Hey, look at that – it’s not even Monday over there yet. does that make the kittens a day older over here..?

  42. This blog posting showed up in my Google Reader account, and I scrolled down quickly to see the pictures. That first picture of the cat licking the newborn caught me off guard. I was just skimming through the page, and I thought it was a dead bird that it brought home 🙂