I've been around cats and kitties all my life. I remember finding baby kittens in the barn behind hay bales and watching them grow. But I'd never been a cat mid-wife before...or witnessed the miracle of the birth.
Halo took a nap in our yard on Mother's Day and our relationship progressed from there. After weeks of patiently sitting by while we fed her, she came to trust me and my husband.
Blog: Taking in a Stray Pregnant Cat -- Halo is her Name
Blog: Halo--A Mama Cat in Waiting
After a visit to our local vet and later to the emergency vet (she had digestive problems and I was afraid she was dehydrated), we found out she was indeed pregnant and brought her inside. A special diet of ground rice and chicken with some pumpkin put her on the road to recovery for her and her kittens. I read everything I could find on a pregnant cat and the delivery and birth of kittens. But the best laid plans...
Unlike the article I read, she ate normally up until the births. I had set up two bins for nesting and she had been visiting both of them. She chose the one under my desk which was the darkest and quietest place. Everyone told me, including the vets, that the process was a natural one and we shouldn't have to intervene, but--
|Mama in waiting next to one of the queening beds.
|Mama in waiting
|Halo and her first born kitten
|Halo and her second born
Again, with everything I read, the babies were supposed to be sucking within the hour, but they weren't. Another call to the vet and she told us to give it a few hours. However, four hours later, Halo delivered her third live kitty. She was worn out and we had to help break the sac. She slowly took over licking the baby. But again the placenta wasn't delivered. After another half hour and gentle tugging, the baby was squealing because it was still attached. I called our local vet and she told us to bring everyone in right away. The placenta was delivered and she gave Halo an injection of Oxytocin.
Halo was totally stressed out and I was concerned she would no longer accept her kittens after being handled by us and the vet. But she gathered them to her and we left her alone, checking on her often. Two of the babies latched on and began suckling. Her first born couldn't seem to get the hang of it. I had prepared kitten formula. After putting some on his lip and one of Halo's nipples and guiding him, he finally started suckling about ten hours after the birth.
The kittens are five days old now, and have gained over an ounce each. They are growing before our eyes and are truly a miracle.
|Halo and her kittens at four days
©2014 Karen Rose Smith
Karen Rose Smith's mystery website