Thursday, July 17, 2014

Halo--A Mama Cat In Waiting, Part 2 by Karen Rose Smith

Halo is a pregnant stray cat who took a nap in our yard on Mother's Day.  That's the first time we spotted her.  She was scruffy, very thin and looked as if she'd been on her own for a while.  We began feeding her and it took her a few weeks to learn we meant her no harm.  By mid June she'd begun living in the sunroom off of our basement.  And...

I suspected she was pregnant.

I wanted to be able to handle her before we took her to the vet.  By the third week in June, she let us pet her and constantly wound about our legs.  We knew she had digestive problems and we took her to the vet for that issue as well as a flea treatment.  We found out for sure that Halo was indeed pregnant!

A week later with digestive issues still surrounding her, we took her to an emergency clinic, worried she was dehydrated.  She wasn't but an x-ray showed she'd probably had problems (irritable bowel or colitis) for a while which was why she wasn't gaining weight.  The vet prescribed an antibiotic/wormer safe for pregnant cats and a special food--Purina EN.  We were supposed to transition her off of that onto kitten food and a probiotic.  But five days later, nothing had changed, so I tried something else.  I poached chicken--no fat--cooked rice and ground that up with the broth.  After a few days, I added a teaspoon of canned pumpkin to every dish, feeding her every two hours except overnight.  We added a sprinkle of the probiotic once a day.

Two weeks later, she is doping much better.  We're adding kitten food to the chicken and rice.  She is living in my office, away from our other three rescued cats because she can't have her rabies or distemper vaccinations until after the kittens are weaned.  My husband and I change clothes to care for and spend time with her and wash up thoroughly.  She seems relaxed.  Furniture was strange to her and she's just learning she can jump onto the sofa and sit with us or leap onto the cat condo to look out the window.

We don't know exactly when Halo is due to deliver, so we're on kitty watch.  She does spend a little time in the nest I made for her in a storage bin in my closet.  I lined it with newspaper, then an old sheet and a receiving blanket with our scents.

I never expected to be a cat midwife!  It's scary and a little nerve-wracking.  I'll be back with more news when I have it.

©2014 Karen Rose Smith

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Deborah Blake said...

She looks so sweet. I assume the vet tested her for feline leukemia when you took her in?

I've been a cat midwife a couple of times, and mostly they take care of everything themselves, and just want you to hang out and hold their paws.

But feel free to message me on FB and get my phone number if you think you might need moral support when the time comes :)

KRS said...

Deborah--yes, she was tested for FIV and feline leukemia and was negative. And I will message you! Thank you.