Seven weeks ago tonight, Martin picked up Sally from south central LA for the rescue he volunteers for. He cleaned her up and kept her one night. I took her the next day, officially only fostering her until we found her a home, but I knew I’d be keeping her. Later we found out she was pregnant, and tonight she had her babies. Gestation for cats is about 9 weeks, so that means she was 2 weeks pregnant when we got her.
We knew she’d be having them any day now. Besides bursting at the seams, she had been scoping out places to have them. Behind the printer under my desk in my bedroom, in the linen closet, and under the armoire in the living room. Once I noticed her checking those places, I prepared each with towels and blankets, even blocking off two sides of the armoire with boxes to form a cave. Behind the printer I had put a laundry basket with towels. At first Sally didn’t think much of it, although Piggy loved it and slept in it often. But today I noticed Sally in the basket a few times.
This evening I went to the gym from 8 to 9 with Martin. On the way home we stopped to get some wraps to go, then I dropped him off and came on home. Sally usually meets me at the door, but not tonight. I came up stairs and found Sally sitting in the basket behind the printer. She meowed loudly at me. I came in and out of the bedroom a few times and each time she meowed, as if Something’s wrong but I don’t know what. I sat next to her and she laid down in the basket and became calm. I then saw her abdomen spasm and she cried out. She was in labor.
Martin wanted to be here for the birth, so I gave him a call. I texted Ivan and Kevn. Kevin had picked Halloween for the baby pool. He also said there would be 3 and one would be black. Well, he got the date right.
Sally was very loud during the contractions. So loud that I texted my neighbor to apologize for the noise. Sally’s cries also got Piggy’s attention. Piggy would come and look in the basket but then run away when Sally cried out.
After about 20 minutes of contractions every few minutes, I saw two feet hanging out of her. I called Martin again to say he better hurry if he wants to see the births. (Little did I know.) One more contraction and the first baby was out. Shortly after Martin arrived. Less than 10 minutes after the first a second came out, again with Sally screeching out with the contractions.
Sally cleaned up these babies, eating the placentas, and we could hear their mews within a few minutes.
And then nothing. Two and we’re done? That was easy. And hey, I don’t necessarily have to find homes. Four cats is not unreasonable. (Ivan would disagree.) But then 45 minutes later Sally started having contractions (and screeches) again. After about 10 minutes, out pops another. (All three so far have been gray and white patches with some orange.) Ten minutes later comes a fourth. This one I had the best view of. The others were mostly hidden and came out over multiple contractions. The fourth just squirted out all at once. This one, all white, also seemed to be completely covered in it’s own sack. The others seems mostly free as they came out.
So four. Will need to find homes, but not too bad. Then an hour later we heard Sally have more contractions and out comes a fifth. This one was more like the first three, not coming out all at once. Then 10 minutes later we hear Sally make a minor squeal. Not like the other contractions. We don’t think anything of it. A few minutes later I’m looking at the kittens and count 1, 2, 3, 4, 5…6! The sixth was just outside her butt. Not even sure she had noticed it, as it still had the placentas attached. I move Sally’s legs and she sees the kitten and starts cleaning it up.
Now it’s two hours later, and I’m pretty sure we’re done. All six kittens seem to be doing well. Five look pretty much the same, patches of white and grey, with bits of orange. The other is white. Sally is clearly exhausted, but is caring for the kittens. Piggy is hiding. Probably for the best.
I had a couple of layer of towels in the basket, and was able to get the top one out, so they’re not laying on something too wet and bloody. But there still is plenty of blood and fluids, so I hope I can clean it up in the morning.
Oh and it rained tonight. First time in 6-7 months.