About this time last year a neighborhood cat seemed to be coming around our house more and more. I was fine with this. She was outside only and provided some entertainment for my kids. The fact that she kept coming back after some of the “play” she endured from my boys said something. So I began to feed her on the back porch. It wasn’t long and she was ours. She was free to come and go but she definitely made home here.
A few months later she began to look more plump. Uh-Oh. Then it was undeniable - she is for sure pregnant. The boys were ecstatic. Their dad, not so much. One day in the spring my husband returned home from taking the boys to school to find her having contractions by the garage door. He comes in the house and yells for me. I have no idea how to help a cat give birth. Do you even need to help a cat give birth? I sure had a lot help when I gave birth. Apparently nature has this figured out and is designed to work pretty well on its own. She had four kittens but two were DOA. I actually did have to help deliver one that was stuck in the breach position and was no longer alive.
Let me just say when it comes to having babies I am glad I am not a cat. Not only do they deliver all by themselves but they also clean their babies. I am pretty sure that if I had to lick my newborns clean they would still be walking around with afterbirth on them, because that would not be happening. Then she immediately starts nursing. This is actually very sweet and maternal to watch. But again, nature just takes over. An hour after I gave birth to my second child, the nurse said I think he might want to eat. I had just given birth naturally (not by choice I should add) and just got myself cleaned up. Now she is suggesting I feed my baby. What? Turns out she was right. He went to nursing like he’d been doing it in utero. The point is I needed someone to tell me what to do.
The two babies grew and as nature goes one did not survive so well in nature. We ended up with two outside cats. Tiger and Tiger Jr. But it wasn’t to long after that first litter that mamma kitty began to look plump again. A few weeks later it was obvious that mamma was expecting again. I am fertily challenged and it took a whole army of doctors to get me pregnant (at some point I may write about that too), so I wasn’t thinking it would or could happen so fast. Wrong. My husband, being somewhat oblivious to certain things, didn’t realize she was pregnant until two weeks before she delivered. Which happened last week in my garage, again.
The kids were out of school for fall break. We went bowling with some friends and were gone about two and a half hours. When we returned home there was mamma and four babies in the garage by the back door. My boys were soooooo excited. So I got a box ready for her. Moved her babies then her to the box. That is where they have been since. I can not imagine delivering four babies in two hours. No epidural. No one holding your hand. No one feeding you ice chips. No doctor or nurse coaching you along the way. No pain pills to help take the edge off. No lactation nursing teaching you how to nurse. And for sure no baby daddy standing by looking so proud of himself for what he helped create. How is it the guys escape so much of the hard work?
Nature runs it course. I have learned how quick that can happen and this will be the last litter of kitten for Tiger and Tiger Jr. will be fixed as well. We will be finding the babies homes too. One thing that isn’t so different from cats, the oldest child doesnt’ want to be left out. She gets in the box and still needs loving from her mamma.