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!

1 comment:

  1. Wow! What a crazy and traumatic day for everyone! And that last kitten you found later! So happy he started nursing off mom. Sounds like you kept it together and got them the attention they needed right away. Their birth weights look good too. I can't wait to see more updates on this group. Well done. You did wonderfully!