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!