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All day Wednesday Khaleesi acted just like her usual silly self, didn’t give any indication that she might ever want to give birth to those babies. She ate well, she hung out, she batted at a toy or two. You know, exactly like she’d been acting.


“Who, me? Babies? Nah. Maybe next week.”

The ONLY thing she did that she hadn’t done before was to go into the kennel I’d set up for her, and dig around. I didn’t figure this was any big deal, because Kate did that for several days leading up to the day she had her babies.

So 5:00 rolled around, and I took the evening snacks upstairs. I’ve been doing the same routine ever since Khaleesi joined us – I go in, give her her plate of canned food, go over to Kate’s room and sit with her and the kittens while they eat. Then I play with the babies and give Kate love, then go into Khaleesi’s room and spend some time with her. This time, when I walked into Khaleesi’s room, her plate was cleaned off and she was in the back of the kennel. I bent down to pet her and speak to her, and I saw her have a contraction.

I ran downstairs to grab my iPad and camera, and went back up to sit with her.

She stayed in the kennel for a while, then came out and leaned against me while I petted her. She went back in, came back out, and the contractions seemed to be pretty constant. At one point she did this:

That would be her, in the condo of the cat tree, panting. I was on the verge of calling down to Fred and asking him to help me move the cat tree out of the room when she hopped back down and went into the kennel.

Then she came back out and flopped down on the floor.


Fred came into the room and kept us company for a few minutes, then he wandered off. Now, here’s something I may not have mentioned about this foster room: because this is an old house, the door doesn’t shut right, and to keep it closed we have a hook on the outside of the door (to use when we’re not in there) and a hook on the inside of the door (for when we’re in the room). Fred left the room and hooked the door closed behind him. I thought he was planning on coming right back, so I didn’t think anything of it.

Khaleesi, meanwhile, was on the rug next to me. All she wanted was for me to pet her, and I did, telling her how brave she was and how this was going to be her last litter ever. Then she stood up and panicked. She ran into the kennel and then back out, and I could see the kitten hanging out of her. Finally, she squatted down, deposited the kitten and placenta next to her food bowl (for some reason, thinking back about that makes me laugh), then ran away and jumped up into the cat tree.

Look. I’m TERRIBLE in any kind of emergency. If there’s any kind of quick thinking to be done, don’t even look at me. It’s just not one of my abilities. There are things I can do; remaining calm and focused in an emergency (this was actually NOT an emergency. But it felt like one!) isn’t one of them. I panic. I run around in circles.

So I decided instantly that Khaleesi was rejecting her kitten, that she’d never care for it, and that I needed to get it cleaned off, make sure it was breathing, and eventually snip the cord. I went over to the door so I could run downstairs and get a handful of rags to clean the kitten, and guess what?

The hook was across the outside of the door. I was LOCKED IN. I called for Fred, who was nowhere within the sound of my very loud voice. I went to the window to see if I could spot him and he was nowhere. Finally, I THREW myself against the door and found that those small hooks are surprisingly strong. I am not a small woman, and I had to throw my entire weight against the door three times before the hook finally gave up. I ran downstairs, looked frantically for Fred – who was NOWHERE TO BE SEEN – grabbed some rags, and ran back up to the room.

Khaleesi was in the condo of the cat tree, and she looked at me and said “I ain’t touchin’ that thing!” I bent down and rubbed some of the gunk off the kitten, who started wriggling around and squealing. Then I don’t remember what I needed to get from downstairs, but I left the room and ran back downstairs, and as I reached the bottom of the stairs Fred came wandering in the front door. I bellowed at him that I’D LIKE SOME HELP IF YOU DON’T MIND and then raced back upstairs.

By the time we both got into the room, Khaleesi had come down from the cat tree and was sniffing the kitten. She picked it up and carried it into the kennel and then began licking and chewing through the cord. Kitten number one is a brown tabby, and is a girl.

I swear I didn’t see any more contractions from Khaleesi, but all of a sudden there was a brand-new kitten laying there, and she began taking care of it. Fred thought it was white at first, and then we realized that it was white and had an orange tail and spots, similar to Spanky! Awwww. Kitten number two is also a girl!

The girls.

Yes, there was a lot of blood.

And then… we waited. And waited. And waited some more. There was at least one more baby in there – we could see it moving around – but after she cleaned her babies and then cleaned herself off, Khaleesi settled down and went to sleep.

While we were waiting, the phone rang. It was someone from another rescue in the area, who had someone with a kitten who’d been born that morning. The mother cat and two siblings were killed in a sad accident, leaving just the one newborn alone. Would I consider seeing if Khaleesi would take it on?

I was willing, and we got the okay from the shelter manager, so Fred talked to the people who had the kitten, gave them directions to our house, and we sat and talked while we watched Khaleesi. At this point, it had been a couple of hours since Khaleesi had had her second kitten, and everything we were reading online said that if she went more than four hours between kittens, she needed to be seen by a vet. Fred called the shelter manager, and as the phone rang on the other end, Khaleesi sat up, pushed a couple of times, and number three came along. (Fred got the birds-eye view of this birth, and I thought he was going to pass out. Ha.)

Baby number three is a gray tuxie, and is a boy.

It was the shelter manager’s contention that we needed to stop worrying and leave that poor cat alone (it’s like she’s never met me!), and so we left the room for a little while.

In short time, the people who had the orphaned newborn showed up with it, and we talked for a moment, then Fred and I took the kitten upstairs. We’d used a rag to soak up some of the birthing goop from kitten number three, which we then wiped on the little orphan kitten. Fred petted Khaleesi and spoke to her, then casually slipped the kitten into the kennel near her back end.

Khaleesi looked at the kitten and then looked at Fred as if to say “That is not my kitten. What are you trying to pull, here?”

“It’s your kitten, mama! Say hi to your baby number four!” I said.

She looked at the kitten. “That’s not my kitten.” She sniffed the kitten and looked at me doubtfully. Then she sniffed him again and then… she licked him. She licked him again, and then she began cleaning him. Yes!

Kitten number four (the orphan) is a little black and white tuxie and is a boy.

Fred went off to bed, and I stayed in the room watching Khaleesi and her babies. And then, not much later, along came one more baby.

Kitten number five is a buff tabby and is a boy.

The gray tuxie is on the far right, the black tuxie (the orphan) is next to him, Khaleesi’s cleaning the buff tabby, and the brown tabby is on the far left. The white and orange is in there somewhere, probably blending in with Khaleesi’s legs.

I decided that Khaleesi was probably done – and I was very very tired – so I went off to bed. When Fred got up Thursday morning, he looked and counted kittens and told me that there were still five.

I think five is a good number. Hey, it worked out for Kate, right?

Thursday morning I went in and changed out the bedding. Khaleesi was less than pleased that I took her babies out of the kennel, and when she stomped out to investigate where they were and what was going on, I pulled out the stained, damp bedding and put clean stuff in there, getting it in place just as she stomped back into the kennel carrying the gray tuxie with her.

Khaleesi and the babies are doing very well. She’s eating a lot, and so are they. Wasn’t it sweet of her to have a variety pack? I’ll certainly never have any trouble telling who’s who!

So we have three boys and two girls (hmm… apparently that’s a popular litter configuration lately!). The black tuxie boy is the smallest at 3 1/8 ounces, and the buff boy is the largest at 5 1/8 ounces. You can see their weight chart at the bottom of their page (which you can also get to by clicking on Khaleesi’s picture over there in the sidebar).

Names will be decided at some point over the weekend and announced probably on Monday (but I’m sure I’ll be putting up a post tomorrow, don’t worry!)

PS: For those who don’t know, I mentioned the orphan on the Love & Hisses Facebook page, which is why some people already knew about the orphan and talked about it in yesterday’s comments.

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

There were some questions in the comments recently about the Royals’ eye color. So I did my best to get closeups of their faces in an attempt to show the color of their eyes. I probably need to go up there with the small camera to get better pictures (I can get closer with that than the big camera), but these will do for now.


Buttercup again.

Charming. You can see that they’re a pretty green on the inside, with a ring of blue around the outside.


And Jareth again. I think he may end up with eyes the same color as Kate’s.



Leia again (and Buttercup on the right, snoozing.) I want to get a better picture of Leia’s eyes. That’s my goal for next week, to get better closeups of their eyes!

And lest you forget, Kate and her gorgeous eyes.

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

“Hmph. I’m not TALKING to you, peoples of the Love and Hisses.”

“EVERYONE knows that I have the most beautiful eyes in all the Crooked Acres, and did anyone step up and say that? NO. I can’t even look at you.”


2012: No entry.
2011: “It was skeery.”
2010: β€œWhat? I’m just rolling around, here. I’m not gonna steal your box!”
2009: No entry.
2008: No entry.
2007: My feng is not shui’d, and it’s annoying me.
2006: No entry.
2005: No entry.



5-3-13 — 115 Comments

  1. What a great story!! And the kittehs! I die. Kate’s were hard to see because she’s black and they were dark and most of the time all I saw was fur with assorted legs and tails. Until they got bigger, anyway. And the orphan! Awwww. He’ll never even know. Until one of his brat siblings tells him he’s adopted.

      • HEH…my bratty sisters told me I was adopted…many years of therapy later…just saying…

        • A fellow El Pasoan!! Oh wait… are you from the El Paso in Indiana or Illinois or wherever, or Texas? (And if you’re in Texas, do you know anyone who wants a kitten? A lady I work with is caring for several strays who have just had litters, and trying to find homes. She was supposed to send me pictures but hasn’t yet. Grr.)

          Oh, uh, and yay, babies! (oops)

  2. Oh Robyn, you are just overrun with kittens! I was laughing at your reaction to the ’emergency’, knowing I’d be the same or worse. I keep accidentally calling our own foster (April) Khaleesi now before correcting myself. Partly because they look very similar, and partly because I read this blog too much!

  3. Oh how kind of Khaleesi! I was on a 5-day symposium on history of medicine, in the rural part of Poland (“Wild East”, we call it) and I had no access to the web. Boy, how I missed Love and Hisses! So, I came back yesterday late evening and the first thing i did was going to L&H, and – DING! And I just couldn’t figure out the orphan thing, so I searched through all the posts I’ve missed – to no avail. So, today I went to the blog exactly 12.00 (that’s when it’s 5.00 AM in Alabama, I guess; I like my local time much more πŸ™‚ ) and I found all the explanation. And the babies – gosh, how stunningly beautiful they are, all five of them!
    And Kate’s babies? I haven’t seen them for FIVE days only, and I was shocked how grown-up they are! As if I’ve missed the entire childhood of them!
    Anyway, so good to be home and hooked to Love and Hisses!

    • Oh and Corbie, Sir, of course we all KNOW that your eyes are THE most beautiful in the world, as the entire rest of your beautiful self!

    • One of these days, I’m going to remember that not everyone has Facebook (or thinks to check it), and also not everyone realizes that L&H has a Facebook page, and I’ll remember to put the info on this page so EVERYone can see it at the same time! πŸ™‚

      • I actually chose to give up my Facebook last year, so this would be deeply appreciated.

  4. Variety pack indeed — if they weren’t already the Targaryens, you could have called them the Crayolas. Many thanks for the vivid narration and lovely pictures. That was a lot of drama, and I’m so glad Khaleesi won’t have to go through it again. Too bad there’s no footage of you and the door; how about a slow-mo black-and-white reenactment with creepy, sonorous voice-over? After, that is, you pop the buff tabby in the post for me. Have a great weekend with Fred, the Perms, and the two kitten crews and their mums. Congratulations to the beautiful mother and the Andersons!

    • I am with you Kerry !! A black and white reenactment would be fantastic. Imagine the youtube hits it would get ? Can we say VIRAL VIDEO !!!!!

      • Complete with manic arm-waving and a deep, protracted “NNNNNOOOOOOO” after Robyn tries to open the door, right? Well, a girl can dream! (I’m back for my second kitten viewing and message reading. I can’t be the only one to do so, can I?) More seriously, isn’t the picture of the first two little ones curled up together wonderful?

        • There’d have to either be a LOT of profanity in that video, or a string of beeps. Because there was a LOT of profanity, and by all rights Fred’s head should have burst into flames. πŸ™‚

          • I think we could handle the profanity Robyn. Although if you do a video in black and white it could be like a silent film, very artsy.

          • (c: Glad it’s not just me who was thinking that. I could see it happening if the door locked automatically and he just forgot to wedge a shoe in or whatever, but to have to stop and take the step of latching that door from the outside… oy. Oh well, I guess I’ve probably done dumber things, and all’s well that ends well. Though I think he owes you a nice dinner out and a foot massage, or something!

        • Kerry you are not alone in extra viewings of the kittens !! I think this is my fourth time today. What a wonderful place to come for a little bit of happiness !!!

  5. The little white and orange does look like a mini Spanky! So glad she accepted the orphan and everyone seems to be doing well.

  6. I love that there’s a buff tabby and a white and orange kitten in this litter – they seem to be rare these days πŸ™‚ We’ve got Coltrane and Spanky 2.0!Also,I’m going with either Mr.Boogers or Elwood 2.0 for grey tuxy boy.

  7. Our brown tabby girl looks to have orange on the sides of her face. Might we have a calico? Well done, Mama Khaleesi (and Mama Robyn)

    • It actually photographs a lot redder than it is in person – but then again, maybe she will be calico…ish. We’ll have to keep an eye on her and see! πŸ™‚

  8. Nope, still not seeing how you were bad in an emergency. You thought Khaleesi was rejecting the kitten and you took appropriate action. I’m sure you *felt* panicked, but your actions were perfectly reasonable under the circumstances. Eyehooks are easily replaced, after all!!

    I think you need to give yourself 2000% more credit for being an excellent foster mom!! I’m glad it all worked out in the end, the little orphan got adopted and this will be Khaleesi’s last litter!

    Now, onwards to the constant feeding!!

  9. Well done Robyn and extra well done to Khaleesi! So happy that the orphan got adopted as well! The more the merrier! I am surprised she ‘only’ had 4 in there considering the size of her, but 4 gorgeous babies none the less!

    Can’t wait to see what you decide to call them! I also can’t believe that only a few weeks ago, the Royals were that size too!

    Congrats, Crooked Acres! I look forward to them all being allowed to roam free!

    P.S. Love you, Corbie.

    • I’m surprised too – but honestly, I’m also relieved. Especially with the little orphan coming along! At least we know she’ll have plenty of milk for them all. πŸ™‚

  10. My Game of Thrones loving husband said you should name the kittens after the Targaryens and name the Orphan Robert because he’s the Usurper. I thought that was funny.

  11. Oh, this gave me a wicked case of the giggles! You describe events so vividly, I can picture this.

    I’d be even worse. Good job both of you.

  12. Love how the little orphan kitty was quickly adopted!! Such a good mama!!! Well done everyone!!

    Corbie – you will always and forever be Mr Handsome Beautiful Boy with the prettiest eyes just like Kate’s!! :-)Take care

  13. Whatever her dragon name is, the orange and white baby girl’s nickname should be Spankette.

  14. Oh Corbie, you’ll always be my main man (after my 3 boys, you understand). No one can hold a candle to your handsome self!

    What a great story! Probably not to Khaleesi, who had to pop out those morsels, or to you Robyn. I’d of been the same way. I’d have froze on the spot and silently pleaded with her to pick up the kitten, dammit. Pick.him.UP. Pick.him.UP. C’monc’monc’mon…Pleasepleaseplease…

    Beautiful little babies, now the Royals have little foster siblings to torment and pick on! I love that she accepted Little Orphan Andy as her own, *heart warmed*.

  15. I can’t believe she only had FOUR kittens in there. That big belleh was only hiding four kits? I thought for sure it would be a dozen!

    So glad she has accepted the orphan kitten and that everyone is doing well. Awww, babies.

  16. I’m not on FB so I didn’t know about the orphan. good, good mama Khaleesi for taking in the orphan baby boy!! *sniff* HOW can you tell this early if they are boys or girls? A lot of stuff I’ve read online said one really can’t tell until they are a little older. you must be an expert in this after all the babies you have fostered. I am STILL surprised at the amount of blood. I hope she is OK and has been eating and drinking something. I see the pic where you put a plate of food right by her head – did she eat that? She’s at the stage where she won’t even leave the babies for a second? I am so excited. I can’t wait to see them grow. they are cute, cute, cute. and you have an orange and white GIRL!!! squee!

    she was so huge I thought she was going to have 10 kittens.

    • I can tell the sex the second they are born. The details are smaller but they are all there.

    • She’s actually left the kennel – she’s using the litter box and just stretching out on the floor – but I like to make sure she can get to the food even if the babies are nursing, so if she’s in there with them when I bring her food in, I’ll put it as close to her as I can. Usually she lays there and eats without dislodging the babies. πŸ™‚

      Fred’s the kitten sexer in this house, and he’s good at it – he’s really only been wrong once that I can remember.

  17. Congrats to the new mama and beebees, including the orphan (who will never know it is any different). Oh, I laughed at your emergency. And the first thought (sorry) was about “Gone With the Wind”…Prissy running around flapping her arms as Scarlett went into labor: “I ain’t never birthed no babies!” LOL

    Hang in there, and enjoy the full house of kittehs. They’ll all be gone sooner than you think.

  18. The orphan story tickled my heart in a way I cannot describe. I bow down to you Robyn, oh glorious cat wizard!

  19. Oh my – I am snickering (just a little, I promise) about the door thing. πŸ™‚

  20. I do commend you for putting the “goop” on the orphaned baby! Smart lady….don’t sell yourself short! You did a mighty fine job! Over at Red Dirt In My Soul (they are ranchers), they had an orphaned calf and a mama who’s baby died. So, to get her to adopt the baby…(ok, this is worse than goop so any squeemish reader, now is the time to move along) they skinned the dead calf and made a little “jacket” and put it on the orphan so he would smell like her baby. She accepted him and after a bit, they could take the jacket off. I know the skinning sounds bad, but we have to remember that that baby had already crossed over and by doing so, saves another. I actually found it quite interesting.

  21. WOW Robyn what a great story with a wonderful ending for the orphan! and everyone else too.
    You sure know how to tell a story. Keep up the great kitteh work & tales…lols Mary

  22. Wow, amazing good luck to be able to introduce an orphan like that–little guy has no idea how lucky he is! Beautiful kits–good job Khaleesi!

  23. Okay, a big collective AWWWW! Phew, got that out of my system. The babies are awesome. I can’t wait to watch them grow up.

  24. Robyn, your panic over the birth and being locked in the room and unable to get out reminds me of an experience of my own with the birth of kittens. I was in my early 20s (so MANY years ago) and living in a small rented house with a friend. We each had a cat, and my friend’s cat was pregnant. We knew she was close to giving birth and fixed up a nice cozy box for her in the garage and put her there often, petting her and feeding her and telling her that was her special place. The morning that became the kittens’ birthday my friend went off to work and I was off to sing at a friend’s wedding. As I was leaving, the mom-to-be scooted into the house. I yelled something like, “Don’t have those kittens while we’re gone!” and headed out. Later in the afternoon I came home from the wedding, decked out in a nice dress, of course, and I had had a corsage pinned to my chest — through the dress material and actually anchored to my bra strap, since the dress was lightweight and the corsage fairly heavy. Anyway, I come into the house in my wedding singer finery and encounter a large amount of blood on the kitchen floor. What the…? Then I saw a newborn kitten, and more blood, on the stairs to the second floor. OMG. I grabbed a kitchen towel, picked up the kitten, and headed up the stairs. More blood on the floor. Then there, in my UNMADE bed, was mama cat, more blood, and another newborn kitten. And she was obviously having yet another. I put the one she dropped on the stairs with her and hastened to get undressed, as I didn’t want to get my lovely wedding singer dress all goopy. But I couldn’t get the dress off because the $*&(@*#! corsage was pinned to my undergarment, and the cat was writhing and crying. In a complete panic myself at this point, I picked up the phone and called my mother, who lived perhaps three miles away. My words to her were, “Help me! Help me! The cat’s having kittens and I CAN’T GET MY CLOTHES OFF!”

    She calmed me down, I was able to change my clothes. I got the birthing box from the garage, transferred mama Abby and her three kittens to it and carried it downstairs to our bathroom, where I installed it in the bottom of the bathroom cupboard/closet. I then set about cleaning up the “scene of the crime;” all the blood in the kitchen, on the stairs and upstairs on the floor, and changed my bedding. Not long after I had everything back under control and clean and checked on the now calm and happy family — Abby and her three kittens — my roommate came home. To this day she doesn’t believe my story about the scene of carnage and scattered newborn kittens.

    • now there is one you don’t hear every day.. “Help me! Help me! The cat’s having kittens and I CAN’T GET MY CLOTHES OFF!””

    • This story reminds me of the time our cat had kittens in my bed. I was about 10 years old. My Mom was not thrilled when I came out to the living room (it was probably 11 pm) to tell her this. So she had to move the cat and her kittens, clean the bed, clean me etc.

      • I was 8 when my cat had kittens on my bed. While I was sleeping in it. Yep, a twin bed. The best/worst part: I couldn’t see very well (still can’t; even the “thin” lenses are thick for my eyes), and I woke up to … I didn’t know WHAT was going on. But something was MOVING on my bed. I was absolutely positive it was a ginormous spider. I waited a couple of minutes (no, turning on the light NEVER occurred to me), then I thought the ginormous spider was moving TOWARD me. I screamed bloody murder. My parents came running, flipped on the light, and I went from terrified to enchanted in seconds.

        These guys are so adorable … I’m enchanted all over again. Congrats!

    • This is one of the most hilarious things I’ve ever read here – and that’s some high praise indeed, because Robyn’s a comedic genius herself, and the commentors are consistently funny! Your punch line is the sort of thing I imagine myself having to explain to a police officer or a psych-ward doctor or something – “No wait, listen, you just need the context!”

      When I lived in Okinawa, a friend-couple left their dog with me and my then-husband while they went home to the States for a visit. They suspected, but didn’t mention to us, that the dog was pregnant. I came home one night after working the 8p-3a shift at the NCO club and found my bed pushed out into the middle of the room, while my husband was sitting on the floor leaning up against a wall that was spattered and smeared with blood in an area about eight feet across and four or five feet high. The first thought through my mind was that someone had broken in and killed him. I opened my mouth to scream and just then he woke up from his doze and said, “Oh hey! Puppies!” Once the shock of it all wore off, I was astonished by how much mess there was everywhere. The dog had geen getting up after each puppy, shaking herself off (which splattered blood from her nethers onto the wall), then rubbing herself all over the wall for some reason. My husband didn’t have a clue what she was doing or why – me neither – so he just let her do it. It took weeks to get all the bloodstains cleaned up. I’d never have believed it if I hadn’t seen it.

    • I know it was scary at the time but right now I am laughing my butt off at what you when through.

    • Oh my god, you absolutely got me at the words you screamed over the phone, i guffawed out loud in the office, and that never happens. Hilarious!! Love it.

  25. I was so worried about Khaleesi! I’m relieved that everything went fine and that the entire family is doing well, including the unplanned addition β€” what a story that is! It’s still hard to believe that huge belly only contained 4 kittens.

  26. I just want to officially thank Khaleesi for giving birth after I asked her so nicely.. that day was hard for me, giving up my foster kittens..

    I love the “panic” story.. nothing like being locked in.. so have you considered a new form of lock for that door yet? I can imagine the panic running through Fred when he first saw you.. πŸ™‚ You handled it very well. I have a similar story, but I came in a bit later to the party and all of the kittens were born and were in different locations in the room. Fortunately that too has a happy ending.

    Three beautiful families under one roof.. oh the stories you’ll have to tell for weeks to come πŸ™‚

    • If the gap is big enough, a metal ruler to knock the catch off might be a good idea.

      • I actually did try that, but the gap wasn’t wide enough. Which… makes me think when Fred replaces the hook, he needs to make the gap just a bit wider!

    • Right now (because Fred hasn’t replaced the hook yet), we’re putting a bucket of litter outside the door to keep it closed. I think that’s what we’ll use on the occasions when one of us leaves the room with the other one inside.

      Of course, in a perfect world we’d have some idea of how to fix the door so that it closes properly but… I don’t think either of us is that handy!

      • I am sure Architectural Digest would recommend the use of litter buckets…

        • Martha Stewart would decorate the litter buckets, very tastefully.

          Sandra Lee would make a ‘bucket-scape’

      • I’m thinking really strong magnets… I just had to take two of the magnet-latches off of a cabinet with sliding doors (something like this: http://www.independentoffers.co.uk/csp/ind/readeroffersuk/products/large/AA_E141.jpg ) because the magnets were too strong, and I had to actually brace against the cabinet with my foot and use both arms to dislodge the magnet enough to open the door. Against a larger/energetic dog something like that probably wouldn’t hold, but if you got strong magnet latches and put maybe four or six of them all up/down the length of the door and jamb, I bet you could get enough strength to hold it shut against cats, but fairly easy for a human to open from either side.

        The latches I had to take off are this type: http://www.northerntool.com/images/product/images/2507502_lg.jpg – and that Google search reveals that the weird thing on my refrigerator that I have been unable to budge for 5 years is not actually part OF the refrigerator as I’d thought, but this kind of magnet: http://www.northerntool.com/images/product/images/2507220_lg.jpg . That thing is strong AS, so I bet two or three of them running along the doorframe would be strong enough to ensure no cat escapes without keeping a person locked in or out.

        ETA: I’ve also just had two Jack Daniels Down Home Punches back to back so I’m even more loquacious than usual. Sorry!

        • I had a freezer that popped open so I used velcro sticky strips to hold it closed.

        • One of my furbabies has figured out how and is strong enough to open the fridge. (Lost a lot of food that way.) To keep it closed, I use the platter off an old IDE hard drive, which is a strong, round, flat magnet about four inches across. They’re /great/.

          • I think magnets are (is? be) the way to go, Robyn. Bonus: If anyone ever forgets to close the door all the way so that the magnets catch, you can look at that person and say sarcastically, ” %^$@^!% magnets! How do they work?”

  27. Sounds to me like you’re an excellent kitty midwife, panic or not. You did a great job making sure everything went ok. Loved the way you told the story and all the pics. Was almost like being there. You could not have handled the orphan situation any better, and I’m really glad Khaleesi accepted him. Congratulations all around.
    Now the fun begins.

  28. I see some calico in that first little dragon. I bet she’s going to look like her momma. They are all so sweet and I’m so glad that the timing was right for the little orphan to slip in between # 3 and #4/5. I’m so sorry about his own momma and siblings πŸ™

    I can’t get over how big the royals are already!

  29. You did exactly the right thing when you thought the baby was rejected, though if you really couldn’t get out of the room the important thing would be keeping the baby warm and rubbed lightly (shirt will do, hands in a pinch) you want to stimulate the baby to move (like slapping a human infant, only barely touch) make sure the sac if off the little face so kitten can breath and as long as the placenta is out, just pick it up with the kitten, nothing really to worry about there for a bit yet (you can deal with that later if it is a full rejection).

    I think this was likely a first litter, that sort of panic happens, we had a breeding queen race across a room with a kitten attached to her by the cord draging it behind her in a panic (scared me to death). Blood everywhere and I was sure kitten was battered to death but thankfully it was fine; Mom cat was caught and held in box, where she calmed down and had the rest of her litter.

    Cats sometimes “know” exactly what to do when giving birth, but not always especially no the first (and in this case also last) time…thankfully you were there as sometimes that “lost” kitten doesn’t make it because Mom cat forgets about it if the others come rushing in.

    Also, we’ve had cats go up to 24 hours between kittens, most vets like to get a call if they go longer than 8 to 12 hours (because a C section may be needed) but we’ve gone to bed not suspecting a problem, hours after we thought Mom was finished and found another kitten in the morning!

    Of course you should follow whatever advice the shelter and the shelter vet give you – but I just wanted to put you at ease here.

    • I was going to say the same thing, Melodi – I know Robyn said the vets estimate Khaleesi’s, what was it, a year and a half old?, and so the assumption was that this was not her first litter, but the whole time I was reading Robyn’s recap of events, I kept thinking it seemed like Khaleesi was confused and scared and didn’t know what was going on and just wanted to get away from it. So I really wonder if this might have been her first litter after all – I don’t remember her adoption story, but maybe she was the housepet (she’s affectionate enough for that!) of someone who was at least responsible enough to keep her indoors when she went into heat, until now.

      Anyway reading your next-to-last paragraph, I’m crossing my fingers for seven more babies to show up overnight now! (24 hours, 48 hours, close enough.) Khaleesi’s probably like, “Well, Lady, I just don’t know. I give you one kitten, you start smashing the walls and cussing. You didn’t even SEE the second kitten coming; then after the third kitten, YOU start pulling kittens out of your back pocket! I just don’t feel it would be responsible of me to produce the rest of these kittens until you’ve gotten ahold of yourself.”

      (sorry, tipsy! yay! kittens!)

  30. What a saga!!
    Glad all is well in the end. Such a nice variety of pretty babies! Kitten number one is looking more like a calico than tabby to me. I think you and Fred need to figure out a better way to secure that door, it needs to be repaired now anyway :), we don’t want any more accidental lock-ins!!

  31. You have 10 KITTENS now! TEN. FRIGGIN. KITTENS. Let that sink in. In a month or so, I look forward to a picture of all of the babies all piled up and sleeping around you on the couch!

      • I request a plane ticket to Alabama so Robyn can take a picture of all of the babies all piled up and sleeping on/around ME on her couch! It’d be like the cutest most mellow mosh pit ever! (c:

  32. YAY!!!! More kittens! I’m so glad Khaleesi adopted the orphan, that must have been a real relief!

    • It was definitely a relief – though I did have the number of another Challenger’s House foster mom who works exclusively with bottle babies, and she would have been willing to take him, if need be. Luckily, need didn’t be. πŸ™‚

  33. This is a wonderful post of the happy day. I have said it before you and Fred are angels for all that you do for these cats. Also Robyn you are an amazing writer you make me feel like I am right there with you while all these amazing things happen.

    Yesterday Ann Rose had commented about there possibly being two baby daddies. My cat Max’s mother was a purebred Siamese who accidentally got out when she was in heat. She belonged to a lady I worked for and was going to breed her. Well when her babies were born we knew right away there were two daddies. Max was first born and he is a gorgeous black and white tuxie (he is 15 years old now). The 3 other kittens were buff colored like the mother, with some faint striping. The only thing that Max inherited from his mother was the very loud Siamese voice and the tip of his tail crooked.

    I do love that Khaleesi accepted the tuxie. I tear up every time I think about it. I do also feel so sorry for his birth mom and siblings. So sad for them.

    Can’t wait to see them grow up !!! This will be a blast for you having so many kittens in the house.

    The Royal’s are so gorgeous but they are growing up way too fast.

    Corbie you are the most handsome tabby kittie with the most mesmerizing eyes. If I lived closer to you I would love to visit you and spend some time with you telling you how amazing you really are. I know once you had heard all that for a while you would let me visit all the other kitties in the house.

  34. I know I’ve said it before but I LOVE YOU GUYS. So very awesome. πŸ™‚

    And I knew in my gut, in my heart, nay! in my very soul! that Khaleesi’s kittens would be a fantastic mix and HERE WE ARE! They are all so sweet and different & I bet they’ll each be special in their own way. I can’t wait to see their personalities develop. I know this is a unique group because I don’t have a favourite right off the top. THEY ARE ALL MY FAVOURITE!

    • Right now, it looks like the buff boy is gearing up to be the drama queen. I accidentally brushed him – BARELY brushed him! – with my hand, and he screamed like I was torturing him. Khaleesi gave me A Look for scaring the baby. πŸ™‚

  35. Robyn I’m over here blubbering. Here’s why: the orange and white=Spanky
    Gray Tuxie=Mr. Boogers Black Tuxie=Spot! (Even though Spot wasn’t a tuxie was he? Perhaps a gift from both Spot and Mr. Fancypants. I think they all just gave you three little gifts. Awwww!!!

  36. I’m starting to see a pattern (that I say this about all of your mamas). But Khaleesi is so beautiful and such a smart-looking cat! She looks like she would be fun to have a drink with. πŸ™‚

    • She would be VERY fun to have a drink with – until she had too many shots and it all went bad. πŸ˜‰

  37. “Maybe she’s keeping them in there in hopes that she can birth them and they’ll be big enough to eat”

    “Finally, she squatted down, deposited the kitten and placenta next to her food bowl (for some reason, thinking back about that makes me laugh), then ran away and jumped up into the cat tree.”


  38. (she’s actually going to be a great mama–including to sweet little tuxie boy!)

  39. All I want in my life is to do even a fraction of what you’ve done for these cats, Robyn. I can’t wait until I’m in a position where I can foster babies and see them grow up into happy cats.

    Also, I’ve already decided that little miss white-and-orange is my favourite. Look at her little spots!

  40. I. Am. So. Happy. To be back! I am sooooo happy for Khaleesi! Thank you, Robyn… I will make it a point that I will not call him ‘the orphan’ from now on. You know, in case he reads this when he gets older. And as black tuxies are my favorite, I am so glad Khaleesi made room for him!!! Love, Love, Love! Joy, Joy, Joy! Soooooo happy.

    • Oh, you KNOW I’ll be making all sorts of “You’re not my real mother!” captions in the future. πŸ™‚

  41. Dragonkittens! XD And a teeny orphan dragonkitten along with the lot! I melted. Yay Khaleesi!

    Seconding the votes for Ruth, especially for the white with orange girl (big Pern fan here), Magellan (my childhood!) and Falkor. Maybe Falkor can be the orphan’s name – who better to be a luck dragon!

  42. Video? And be sure to touch the buff baby when you make the video, so we can all see how whiny he is. lol

  43. Wonderful post,Robyn. I panic and wring my hands sometimes in emergencies too. I was able to do the Heimlick on my husband when he was chocking on steak a few years back and save him. Took three tries and scared the hell out of me. You got out of the room that is what counts. I hate closed in or tight spaces- that alone would freak me out.

    I LOVE the variety pack and a buff tabby boy and orange and white boy are wonderful. Add Prince Charming and you are full of handsome boys. I can understand Corbie’s annoyance but he will always have a big fan club. Newtles and the Loon are my favorites. Ten kittens! Crooked Acres is amazing and you and Fred are as well.

  44. I’m going to concur w/ all the folks above guessing this is actually Khaleesi’s first litter. It sounds (the uncertainty, her panic at the first kitten, etc) like a first litter reaction…

    I also concur w/ those who think the brown tabby may be a calico. πŸ˜€

    I have to say though, when I heard about the little orphan kitten; my first thought was:

    Khaleesi: (smug look, licks paw) “SEE? I TOLD you I was waiting for the right day…”

    • “Khaleesi: (smug look, licks paw) ‘SEE? I TOLD you I was waiting for the right day…'”

      omg I never thought of that! Awesome! What a great way to look at it.
      Still so sad for the dead mama and other kittens; I wonder what happened.

  45. For Q&A day: How can you tell the mama kitty is having contractions?

    Oh! I completely support a kitten named Ruth! The best dragon on all of Pern! I would favor the orphan kitten for this name for some reason. Not really an outcast, but “different” like Ruth. Keeping fingers crossed for a Pern dragon name!

  46. This is probably the most awesome L&H post in my year-plus of being an L&H reader. Not only was the story of the orphan just totally heartwarming (I was one of the FB lurkers and read about it there first) and Robyn’s account of the whole near-crisis of the birth of the first kitten and getting locked into the room by Fred absolutely hysterical, but the stories the other readers told were all in the “truth is stranger than fiction” category. I’ve now read the post and the growing list of comments about five times in the past 24 hours …. Do I need to get a life–yeah, I think so.

    BTW, Robyn & Fred, any thoughts of keeping Little Miss Spanky?

  47. @Pam I had something of the same thought process about Ruth, but as the orphan dragonkitten is a boy… hmm, admittedly so was the dragon Ruth, but it might puzzle the rest of the rescue. I then got thinking who among the girl dragonets has the most white, according to descriptions, and said aha! Itty white and orange girl!

    If Ms. Brown Tabby is a calico, I may melt. Maybe then *she* could be Ruth, considering Ruth was described as having hints of the five Pernese dragon colors in his hide/wings.