Today, the first day of Spring, when everything is renewed, I had two very pregnant cats hiding most of the morning. My husband, Roger, began the search, as we both were suspicious since we knew they were due any time. Actually let me back up a bit to December of last year. I want to give you a better picture of the entire story, so, here goes…
Last December when the temperature was down in the single digits and the wind chills were below the single digits, my husband was working for a local farmer. He soon made friends with two of the barn cats on this farm.
It was about this time I had discovered a mouse in the house. Well, one thing led to another I called the exterminator and he brought home the two cats. The poison killed the mouse and the two cats ate the rest of the mouse bait which seemed to cause them no ill harm. It was like catnip to these two tough sisters. Yes, I said SISTERS! Tabby and Patches were litter-mates. They got along well with our 3 dogs and settled right into our schedule. Actually the cats pretty much walked in and looked that look at the dogs and they stayed clear of the new additions to the Hathaway House. Just when Roger and I were trying to get the last of our Christmas shopping done it occurred to us maybe we should be checking to see if these two cats had been spayed. Well, we did think about it anyway. But the holidays were upon us and we let that thought get away. Next thing we know it’s the New Year and there are some strange cats hanging around our house. UT OH!
Yep, too late. We now had two pregnant sisters. Well, no use crying over spilt milk I always say, so we lovingly cared for the mothers-to-be and patiently waited for the arrival of the little furry newborns. My husband and I both thought that the cats were about a week apart on the delivery dates. We waited, and we waited, and we waited. Just when we thought these two cats were going to be pregnant for the rest of their lives, it happened TODAY and boy did it ever~!
Roger scoured the entire house twice to try and locate both cats but they were M.I.A. He gave up at that point and went into our bedroom to get a shirt to wear for the day when he noticed a foam pillow from the closet lying on our bedroom floor. Hummm that was strange. He went to the closet and listened. He could hear some purring coming from the farthest part of the back of the closet. He then called for the cats and all of a sudden he faintly heard a “mew” that sounded like a “kitten”. He crawled back into that corner and lo and behold he found the mother cats and 3 baby kittens. He yelled for me to come help. We were able to get them all out with much effort and ran to get the box we had prepared for the event. We weren’t even sure which cat was the mommy at this point and neither cat was interested in leaving the other, so Roger cut the side out of another box and put both boxes together in hope of figuring out what was going on. Next thing we know Patches delivers another cat and another for a total of 5 adorable kittens. She purred the entire time she was delivering and cleaning off her newborn. Just as she was settling in allowing the babies to get their first meal our other cat, Tabby, jumped out of the box and ran under our corner curio cabinet. With that, out of the box ran Patches to join her. I thought how strange for a new mother to do something like that even though these two were very close. So after a few minutes we had located the flashlight and were looking to see what was so important under that cabinet for Patches to abandon her new litter to be by Tabby’s side. To our amazement there was a little black kitten and Tabby looking at it like what is this? So we grabbed both cats and the new little one and put them all back in the boxes. ”
Just then Tabby delivered another one! Oh my word, our 2nd mother-to-be was delivering now! A third one was delivered very fast and it was all so overwhelming Tabby wasn’t cleaning any of her kittens.Tabby acted like her babies must surely be something she would leave in the kitty litter box. So, after she delivered another one she just kind of lost interest and refused to clean her babies or suckle. Since Patches was doing so well and had everything under control I tried placing the newest delivery of Tabby in front of Patches. Patches lovingly cleaned the baby just as she had her 5 kittens earlier with no problem, and lovingly let the baby crawl around with her litter. Patches was in all her glory and still purring to beat the band. I was distraught as what to do. Roger had bailed when he saw the second kitten coming out. He said, “I never have seen a live birth of any kind and I don’t intend to start with this one.” With that he was gone. So I became the sole midwife. Now I have had other cats and helped with other animals in labor all of my life, but NEVER have I heard or seen anything like what was about to happen next.
Tabby just was not delivering her babies in a normal fashion. She actually acted like they were foreign, and was really not into doing it anymore. Yet a fourth one came out posterior first! I had to actually lift the pregnant mommy up in the air to help her complete the delivery. Patches was there to do clean-up duty as in the previous 3. My daughter, Amanda, showed up around this time and I was very happy to see her come in that door. Together we held Tabby in the air and helped massage her belly though the last 2 kittens being delivered. That made 6! I was in total shock the rest of the evening, and pretty exhausted as well.
I had litter-mate sisters who went into heat at the same time, delivered back to back and had an amazing total of 11 kittens. All the kittens are healthy and nursing fine. The new mothers are still trying to figure out what is going on and I’ve given up on who has who’s kittens. They are all being shared by the new mommies. I definitely have a houseful and know the next two months are going to birth a couple more blogs out of me I’m sure, and, Yes, eleven is ENOUGH!