"PREPARE TO BE OWNED"

Monday, 23 May 2022

Alleluia !



Oh thank goodness - after another awake night, I dosed off sometime around 5am… then was awoken by a rather familiar squeak. Opening my eyes,,-t my left elbow was a little newly born kitten, mum “seeing to” the “cutting of the cord”. Okay, so she’d given birth on my bed (yikes) but luckily it was on top of her own blankets & not mine! No problem. I murmured clever girls as I watched her work then fully expected her to settle down with her new born to rest a whole before pushing again. 

Now I’d placed a dry puppy training pad under her so no wet cold area to chill her kitten, but this turned out not to be to her-ladyships liking at all. She jumped off the bed, leaving her newly born and got into the kittening box. Ok.. that’s where I’d want her to be - but she didn’t want puppy pads - at all. I compromised by placing it only under her rear and since things were now coming on a pace she didn’t object. Out came kitten 2 nose first & while she dealt with kitten licking duties I exchanged the pad. But now Prune stood up - her kitten swinging like Tarzan from a rope. Oh goodness. She turned a few times and lay down, got up again, then sat awkwardly.  The placenta delivered and she began to work. Despite her odd position she dealt with this while  I did my best to replace the pad again she began to do some very jerky movements. Really fierce contractions and then as I videoed, kitten 3 arrived still completely in his bag. I’d not realise how fine, strong & stretchy they are until I watched his arms stretching forward as instinct drove him to pull it away from his face. Should I help? Or not? I was about to do so when it split and his desperation to breath air for the first time were resolved. Again, the placenta followed & Prune was her own midwife just as nature designed. Now she decided the box was not good - she needed to be away from puppy pads, and she ran to the cat condo tower snuggling into a sleeping pouch - you can not birth in there Prunella. I had to get her out. I did and returned her to her 3 blue kittens.and a short time later, out came kitten 4 - absolutely coal black. I thought I could see and feel the round head of another but after an hour there was no further baby. I examined her abdomen but the lumpy shape was gone and I could feel nothing there. Must have imagined it. I’m the end, just like last year she has birthed 3 blue followed by one black kitten. The difference hee is that there are 2 boys (both blue) and 2 girls (black & blue). 

All day I’ve been listening to them snuffling & squeaking as they try to learn how to feed. Prune is fretting and keeps mewing at me (only ever mews when in pain or anxious) while her kittens mostly cried their displeasure. This evening I made a small feed offering each a 3ml syringe of milk. The blues each guzzled 2.5 while the black emptied all 3ml. I’ll top them up again later and hope to get some kind of rest. Prune and Noodle are both unsettled tonight so it might be another long one!

So, Noodle had no chance to show interest in the kittens last year given that Floozy was here then and had decided that she was the centre of everything. How would she behave this time?

Well this next few images will give evidence to that… 

Will they notice me ? Hmmm I’ll just wait here..

Still waiting… Orunr is behind me eating 


Yes, I am patient. I am counting to …. 55, 56, 57…


….. 99

Right, those kittens are being soooo neglected! 

Oh, ok. Well, I was just checking for you Prune. Can I just sit here. I won’t say a word… 



 

Sunday, 22 May 2022

Anxiously waiting


 Yikes. If Pru got down to mating on the day I dropped her off (& if that the first mating had succeeded) today is day 65. If the first mating was the next day (this was reportedly heard) then day 65 is Monday 23rd. 

There have been clear signs that labour is ready to go… or begun…. but Prune has yet to begin any kind of physical effort. There was some digging behaviour today and lots of cleaning of her lady bits, some small mews (she’s usually silent, not given to speaking a great deal) which tells me she is feeling something. She’s laid for a while allowing me to softly rub her tummy which is unusual too.  

I’ve been on an absolute knife edge since Friday and am exhausted with it but can’t sleep for fear that she will need me & I won’t know. The trouble is that there was no visual on her matings. She is right to dates and so I’m holding my nerve that everything is ok… but I won’t lie, I’m very tense & uneasy. I love my beautiful girl so very much and want everything to go smoothly. There’s no reason for it not to. Her previous 2 labours/Kittenings were textbook… but I can’t help but be afraid for her and her babies especially after what Noodle experienced with her 2 pregnancies (resulting in loss of kittens and a decision to spay) I feel so haunted by the trauma. 

Breeding is such hard graft. It’s hellishly expensive. Heart and health testing, stud fees, breeder insurance, cattery & kitten registration, etc. etc, but it’s emotionally testing too because it is placing your cat  at risk she would otherwise not be experiencing. While birthing is of course a natural thing - I also know that it’s very easy to lose neonatal kittens and it can happen that you could even lose a cat too. I haven’t lost a cat in these circumstances but know other breeders who have. These thoughts haunt me so much in the days where Labour is due. Please let kittens appear safely tonight Prune .