Tuesday, February 26, 2013


The kittens' eyes are opening! They are starting to blink when I turn on the lights. They also seem to like cuddling up to my hand when I pet them.
They are all above 7 oz at one week old! Serenity has started to come out of the nest when I go into the room for love and pets, and the kittens seems to be sleeping for longer periods rather than nursing all the time. Serenity still runs back to the nest when they squeek for her.
Aarrrgh Matey!

Oooh, that's what you look like!

Saturday, February 23, 2013


The kittens are quickly gaining weight and are SO DARN CUTE!! Today's post will be mostly pics, so everyone can get their daily squee in.
Little all grey one - I think it's a boy

One of four identical tabbies


So tiny!

Serenity and her brood

Feeding time

Little gray going for a wander

Headed back to mama

Out of the nest on a blanket

You can see how similar they look

Uh oh - here comes Mama

"no, you may not play with my babies"!!! (Serenity picked one up and took him back to her nest)

Sleepy baby

Crashed out, but mama's right close by

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Serenity and kittens settle in

If you had asked me to predict Serenity's fitness as a mother on Monday, I would have said she would be terrible. What a difference 48 hours makes! Serenity has settled in nicely to her role as Mama. All five of the kittens are gaining weight at a good rate (about 0.15 oz in 12 hours). She came out of the nest to eat while I weighed them this morning, but she was quite nervous and went back to the nest at least once when she heard her babies squeaking.

Four of the five kittens are virtually indistinguishable from one another--they all look like Serenity. The fifth kitten is all grey. I think he's male, but its pretty hard to tell at this point.

I was reflecting this morning that sometimes a little ignorance makes it easier to do a job like this--having at least one kitten from every litter delivered in my home means I get more anxious now than I did when I first started. Plus, the trauma of these little guys entrance into this world makes me extra jumpy. I had a good cry yesterday over the one we lost overnight. I now have to trust that Serenity is capable of caring for the 5 left. All I can do is make sure they are gaining weight as expected, and supplement if they need it. I know I'll breathe easier once they have hit one week and good weight gain. I have to remind myself that I have successfully gotten kittens through this process before...both with mama and without!

Tuesday, February 19, 2013

One kitten passes away

I had forgotten how heart-wrenching this job can be.

When I checked this morning at 5:30AM (getting up with my daughter for school), I discovered that one of the kittens had passed away during the night. I don't *think* it was the one we rescued last night, because I was more careful cutting his umbilical cord, and the kitten that died had a longer umbilical left. He was warm to the touch, so it took me a moment to confirm. I guess that Serenity did a good job keeping the whole litter warm and snuggly all night.

3.90 oz - all grey kitten (no white on face)
3.95 oz
4.00 oz
4.15 oz
4.15 oz

It is nearly impossible to tell them apart - they are all clones of Serenity.

Monday, February 18, 2013

Most traumatic birthing ever

What an incredibly stressful day! I woke up to say goodbye to Kurt heading off to work. He headed downstairs to check on Serenity. I heard him call for me, so I rushed downstairs only to find five kittens scattered over my office - one on the desk, one by the litter box, and two under my desk. All still had the placentae still attached, so I went into minor panic mode thinking they were stillborn. Amazingly ALL were alive, but cold and wet, so we went to work warming them up. Serenity seemed completely uninterested in all of them, so I was pretty scared we would lose them all. Kurt got the Humane Society on the phone while I worked on cutting umbilical cords, warming and drying them. The SHS said for me to bring them in along with mom, and we'd see what was up. I wrapped them in a blanket and put them in a box. On the way to the Humane Society, they were rooting around at my hand, so it seemed like they were going to be OK.

Once I got to the SHS, the vet took a look at them and said they all looked good. She was pretty sure Serenity still had one more kitten to deliver, so they wanted to keep everyone for observation. I had to go home not knowing what would happen - would they need me to bottlefeed the kittens, would Serenity accept them, or would the SHS find a surrogate mama for them... It was a hard day of waiting to say the least.

I got a call around 11 saying that they were prepping Serenity for surgery so they could deliver the last 1-2 kittens. However, a few hours later I got an email from Juli, the Cat Foster coordinator, saying that Serenity had finally delivered the last kitten after a shot of oxytocin, but that it was stillborn. The other five were healthy, and Serenity was accepting them. She was nursing and keeping them close by. It looks as though she was in distress, so she was not up for managing the kittens until everything was resolved. Juli said I could come by to get them, and that they wanted me to keep the kittens and Serenity in a large dog crate so she was forced to stay close by.

So off I went to get them. It was very reassuring to see Serenity jump out of the carrier when the kittens were not moved fast enough for her liking. Juli managed to get her to stay in the carrier by moving her and two kittens at once.

We got the brood home and I brought the cat carrier in to the office. The SHS had given me a dog carrier to keep them in for the next week so Serenity would be forced to be near them, and there was enough room for a small litter box. The only way I was gonna get that monstrosity into my office was through the sliding glass door, so I started moving the chair and my work bag to get to the door. There, under the work bag as ANOTHER KITTEN! He'd been there ALL DAY (10 hours), but he was moving. I scooped him up and Theona grabbed a towel and the sissors, since the placenta was still attached to him as well. I was terrified, but we washed him off a bit, wrapped him up and Theona sat right next to the heater. After only a few moments Theona said, "He's suckling my finger", so I grabbed the kitten formula, made a batch and got her bottlefeeding the extra one. He started eating quickly. After a few minutes I got the big carrier set up, transfered Serenity and the brood, then placed the last one in with them. He SQUEAKED, then latched right on like a champion.

Seven feline lives saved. And I still feel like I could have done better.

Birth Weights: 4 oz, 3.7oz, 3.6 oz, 3.5 oz, 3.5 oz, 3.4 oz.

We're gonna have a heck of a time knowing which is which. They all look the same - like mama!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Still no kittens

Serenity has continued to get bigger and bigger. It is quite amazing to feel the kittens move when I hold her side when she sits on my lap. She has become quite friendly. I am a little concerned about her lack of grooming herself. I'm not sure if it is because she is uncomforable from being so large, or if she just doesn't particularly care/know how to groom herself. As a result, she has a somewhat odd odor. Hopefully once the kittens arrive, she will show more interest.

I am also concerned that she may decide to give birth on my desk. She loves sleeping under my monitor stand. None of the other blankets seem to hold much interest for her. I may find I have a power struggle on my hands if I try to move her and kittens to a lower surface. Sigh - the joys of fostering.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

Settling in

Serenity seems to be settling in nicely - and finally eating! I was a little worried that her teeth were bothering her enough to put her off eating, but I'm now guessing she was just stressed. She loves her wet cat food, but has also gone through a small bowl of kitten kibbles too. She is exploring more. When I come in to the room, she is often in a new spot - although she hasn't really taken to the soft corner I set up for her. I may swap out the small carrier for a bigger one so she has room to have kittens inside if that would make her feel safer. She also likes my desk chair as a spot to sleep - it's a universal favorite judging by the cat hair stuck to it.

Still no kitten arrival, but I have seen the kittens move! I'm hoping they arrive this week.

Saturday, February 2, 2013

Pictures of Serenity

Serenity seems to be settling in nicely. She comes out of her hidey-hole whenever someone comes into the room. I decided to make her a little nest in the corner of the room so she has somewhere other than the carrier to sleep.
She is enjoying getting snuggles and pets. She also seems to finally be eating. I was worried for a bit, but now that she is eating, her fur feels softer. I also got to see the babies move around a bit--they seemed to wake up as she was eating some canned cat food.

She has a name...Serenity

Our newest addition now has a name. Well, to be honest, she had a name when she arrived, but I just cannot imagine naming a cat Tweetie...so we changed it.

Her name is Serenity. It remains to be seen if we have a litter composed of Mal, Zoe, Kaylee, Wash, and Jane. She is settling in nicely, although she seems to spend most of her time in her little crate. When we go in to visit, we have to give her a little pet inside the crate before she decides its safe to come out and visit.

She's a little bitty thing, all tummy and not much else. It's clear she needs some sustained feeding and love. The picture of her doesn't show her belly that well, but it's quite pronounced. I'm excited to get to know her better.

Friday, February 1, 2013

Another round of kittens on their way

It's been nearly a year since I wrote last. I am going to try harder to keep up with my posts.

My last litter of kittens from Peridot yielded three beautiful babies - Beya, Q, and Kaz. Beya was adopted by a friend of mine, Q stayed here with us, and Kaz and his mama went back to the Humane Society and were quickly adopted.

Q, or more formally known as Earl Grayson Q Von Fluffybits, has been a wonderful edition to our family. Moto took to him immediately, which was a shock for me. The two of them are best buds. Interestingly, now that Moto leaves the twins alone and Q just politely purrs at them, all four cats seem much happier and more relaxed with each other.
So I got an email yesterday saying that the Humane Society had rescued a number of pregnant cats along with a couple of mama cats with litters from a hoarding situation. I sent back an email and headed off today to pick up our new edition. She is a sweet grey tabby who seems very frightened right now. Juli said that she was quite friendly yesterday, so I am hoping that she will perk up and like us pretty quickly. I hope she gives birth early next week, since it would be nice to have kittens on one of my girls' birthdays.