Thursday, April 19, 2012
New Kittens that Nearly Died
Today was one of those mornings where your feet hit the ground running. A little before 6am this morning Shawn went down to the barn to let the chickens out. He came back inside the house and woke me up saying, "Something bad has happened down at the barn. I've got two new kittens down there laying in a pool of blood." So, now I'm wide awake...
We knew that one of our cats (the children have named her NewBabyKitty) was expecting her first litter. Apparently she started having the kittens early this morning and didn't have any of those momma-instincts that most cats seem to have. She delivered two of her kittens right on the cold, hard concrete floor of our barn and then she walked away from them. Shawn found her on the other side of the barn lying on top of a hay bale. Her whole body was shaking. I think she was thoroughly scared and confused about what was happening.
So, Shawn quickly found a box and filled it with straw. He scooped up NewBabyKitty and the two kittens and headed to the house with them. One of the kittens was already cold and not moving but the other one still had a tiny bit of warmth and was wiggling around a bit. When he brought them inside I immediately got to work rubbing the wiggling one around in a towel. We noticed that the other kitten wasn't dead, but it was so cold and lifeless that I chose to help the wiggling one. I thought that I'd have a better chance keeping that one alive because the other one was just too far gone already. After I got the wiggling one to start making some good noises, I put it back in the box with NewBabyKitty and picked up the cold kitten. I went ahead and gently started rubbing him in the towel. I was amazed when this sweet little kitten started making the weakest little sounds. Those sounds were more than I expected to get out of him. I placed him back in the box and tried to get him to nurse, but I never could get him to latch on. By this time the other kitten was nursing well.
NewBabyKitty's whole demeanor changed once we got her inside and started helping her. She started cleaning up the kittens and doing all the things that good momma cats are supposed to do. I was able to witness it when she went on to have a third kitten.
I'm pleased to report that, surprisingly, all three of the kittens survived. NewBabyKitty hasn't left the kittens since they've been born this morning. I think she finally has this momma-thing figured out. If you look at the picture above -- the black kitten was the one that Shawn found wiggling and just a little warm on the barn floor. The other two kittens look a lot alike but one is a boy and the other a girl. The little boy one is the one that came to us cold as ice. The little girl twin was born perfectly inside our home.
Everyone is content and happy. The children have loved having NewBabyKitty and her kittens in the house today. Despite its beginning, it turned out to be a really happy day today.