First of all, I have to explain why we had a pregnant cat here in the first place, because we wouldn't have kittens without first having a pregnant cat. On Friday, Mom went to the shelter, and she took Astrid there to get some blood work and some steroids for her sore mouth. Also Mom was going to bring home a kitten named Stormy for us to foster. Stormy is an orange tabby who is 5 months old, and he was getting neutered on Friday.
|Eliza with Kitten #1|
So while Mom was waiting there for Stormy to wake up from his surgery, a man came into the shelter, and he had a black-and-white tuxedo cat. He said this cat had been left in a house that he moved into, but he couldn't keep her because he is out of town a lot. Also, he thought the cat was pregnant.
Well, the cat was very pregnant, and she tested negative for FIV and Feline Leukemia, so Mom said she would take the pregnant cat home to foster her, if somebody else could take Stormy the kitten. And that's how somebody else ended up fostering Stormy, and Mom brought the pregnant cat to our house. Mom and Aunt Nancy named the cat Eliza, so now that is her name.
|Kittens #1 (right) and #2,|
looking like drowned rats
At first, Eliza was really friendly and lovable, but soon she started to get all full of mood swings, so that one minute she was purring and rubbing up against Mom, and the next minute she was biting her. And besides that, Eliza meowed and meowed and meowed, especially the first night she was here. And she didn't want to eat much of anything. So Aunt Tania said all these signs meant that it wouldn't be long before Eliza had her kittens.
|Kitten #3 being born|
Then this morning we got up and Mom fed us dogs and cats. And she gave Eliza some food, but Eliza didn't want to eat anything. Then Mom did her email and some other stuff, and when she went downstairs, Mom found out that Eliza already had one kitten. It was a girl kitten, which Mom knew because it was a calico, and they are always girls. And the second kitten was mostly white, but it had a calico tail. Now that the kittens are cleaned up and dry, Mom says they are probably dilute calicos, which means they have kind of faded-looking colors.
|Kittens #1, #2, and #3|
Mom took her cereal in the room where Eliza was and ate it in there because she didn't want to miss the third kitten being born, but she had to wait awhile before it came. It was a dark color, so at first it seemed like maybe it was a black kitten with some white or tan on its face. But when it started getting drier, it turned out to be a tabby-colored kitten. This was the only kitten Mom got to handle because it had one of the other kittens' umbilical cords wrapped around its middle, and Eliza wasn't biting the umbilical cord off. So Mom managed to snip it with some scissors, and then she picked up the kitten while Eliza was busy with a different kitten and was not trying to bite Mom. And she thought the kitten was probably a girl.
|Kitten #4 being born|
Most of the time, Eliza was not happy about Mom's being there. And every time Mom left the room and came back, Eliza growled at her. But as long as Mom didn't try to touch Eliza or the kittens, everybody got along pretty well. The last two kittens were both white. Mom got a pretty good view of kitten #4, and she thought it was a boy, but she didn't get to see kitten #5. At least not that part of kitten #5.
Anyway, last night Mom went to the Pet Telethon, and then when she got home, Eliza seemed slightly more happy to see her. She let herself be petted for a couple of seconds before she started trying to bite, so at least that was friendlier than she was in the morning while her kittens were being born.
Aunt Tania said Mom should change the bedding to keep the kittens warm, but Mom didn't think Eliza would let her do that. So finally what Mom did was put a heating pad under the box and she also put in a couple more blankies to help make a nest and keep everybody warm. Mom sort of figured out how to control Eliza with a towel, and Mom was able to check on a couple of the kittens that she was worried about, at least to find out if they were still alive and stuff like that.
|The whole tired and happy family|
Mom only got about 6 or 7 bite wounds while she was doing all this, but they were not deep and horrible wounds, so she will probably live.
This morning Eliza was really hungry, so Mom filled up her dish twice. I could have helped Eliza eat some of that food, but I was not allowed to go in the room where she and the kittens were. Mom is worried about the two calico kittens because they don't seem very active, and Mom is not sure if they are nursing very much. Aunt Tania told Mom that she should just sit in there for a while and watch to see if those kittens are nursing, and also she should make sure they are warm enough. Aunt Tania said that when kittens are this little, you sometimes have to let nature take its course. Which is sad for people to think about, but all of us animals understand that the Laws of Nature don't always work in a nice, happy way.