Category Archives: Life

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I has sads, again.

I haven’t written anything since the birth of the kittens, probably because writing of this would have made it too real.  Tyler had a congenital problem, which he may have been able to out grow and live a normal healthy life. But he didn’t.  He deteriorated very quickly yesterday and we had to put him down this morning. If he suffered it was only these past 12 hours.

If I had unlimited funds, I may have done more, and it may or may not have helped.  But I don’t, so I had to make difficult decisions. I hate making medical decisions based on how much room I have on my credit card.

Because I had to give him so much of my attention over these past few weeks, I became very attached.  I figured he would be the one I would keep.  He was great at climbing, especially up my pants and shirt, and wrestling with his siblings, but he would tire quickly and then just sit and watch the others. He had a great fun personality, always coming up to greet me when I came into the room.  He lived just 47 days and today only weight 1.2 pounds.  I will miss him greatly.

Not exactly the best pic of me, but a great one of Tyler

Not exactly the best pic of me, but a great one of Tyler

kitties

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.

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Teenage Pregnancy

If you’ve been following my twitter feed you know I have a new kitten.  Sally is her name, and she’s about 8 months old.

Martin volunteers for this cat rescue that primarily finds homes for older cats. I’ve helped out a few times as well.  The first week in September someone had called about a kitten that has been hanging out in their back yards, clearly not being taken care of by anyone.  They were in South Central LA.  Martin drove down late Friday night, Sept 5, caught the kitten and brought her back to his home in Hollywood.  He bathed her and fed her, and gave her a Capstar pill to get rid of all the live fleas (though that doesn’t kill the eggs).  She was very sociable, and hungry. The next day Martin took her to the Pet Co on LaBrea and 1st, where this orgranization has their weekly adoptions each Saturday (the Sunday group is a different org).  He called me up and said I need to come over to see this kitten.

Since Oscar died in June, Piggy has been very needy.  He was not doing well alone, so I knew I’d need to get another cat soon.  So I went to the pet adoption and checked her out.  June, the lady that runs this org, suggested that I foster the kitten for a while as they didn’t have anyplace to keep her at this time.  So I took her home, knowing that the odds of ever giving her up were small. I put her in Ivan’s bedroom, and at night, in Ivan’s bathroom with the cat carrier.  She seemed content.

The following Monday, Martin took the kitten to the vet where this org has an open account.  The vet said she was about 8 months old, in good health, had not been spayed, and was not pregnant. Since the following weekend I was traveling, and that Piggy had been neutered, we decided to wait a week or two to get Sally spayed.

Back at home, Piggy knew something was up immediately.  He kept trying to get into Ivan’s room.  So on the third day I allowed them to see each other.  There was some minor hissing, but generally things went well. Sally was a bit more territorial than Piggy.  Piggy really just wanted to be friends. Soon they both had free range of the house. There was some problems at meal times, but Piggy learned to wait until Sally finished.  But there were some tense moments when during the middle of the day Sally tried to keep Piggy away from the kibble. But I would put Sally in time-out in the bath tub and she quickly learned.

The following weekend I went on my trip.  Had a great time.  Got back this past Monday.  On Thursday, Martin came over and noted Sally was looking a bit chunky.  Yes she’s been eating a lot. (as if she were eating for 3 or 4 other kittens!)  We examined her more closely and sure enough, we think she’s pregnant. (At only 8 months!)  Her nipples were the most obvious sign, becoming well developed.  I suppose at this stage we’re not 100% sure, but I’d say it is very likely. I guess we’ll know for sure this week.

On Saturday, Martin mentioned all this to June at the cat rescue.  She said we needed to take her to the vet that afternoon and have her spayed and abort the kittens.  If we waited even a few days, she might be too far along to have the procedure done.  Well, first there was a very good chance that she was already too far along.  I had had her for 3 weeks now, and the person who had Martin come get her said they had seen her getting humped weeks before. But second, neither Martin nor I could choose to end the pregnancy.   Yes, we’re both very pro choice: Each individual must have the right to make that decision on their own, without undue outside influence. But I couldn’t make that decision, certainly not that afternoon.

June was not pleased. We’ll find homes for the kittens, we say.  But that just means there will be fewer homes for kittens already at the pound, she said. (I don’t think that’s completely true, because many of my friends with 2 cats aren’t going to be going to the pound to pick up a third, but may be willing to help me out and take one of these kittens.  (Expect to be hearing from me come January!)

But I must admit, both Martin and I are a bit excited to be having kittens. Both of us have memories of our cats having kittens when we were very young. Neither of us would intentionally breed our pets.  We know there are way too many that are put down because of lack of homes.  All our cats have been spayed or neutered in the past.  But this cat came into our life already preggers, and we want to enjoy the ride.  (Expect to see me start using Vine!)

With a 9 week gestation, birth should occur sometime between October 25 and November 7. Anyone want to start an office pool?

Piggy and Sally are getting along more and more.  Every morning when I wake up, Sally climbs onto my chest and starts suckling my t-shirt. (Still a kitten and already having kittens!) She especially likes the collar. I’ve fallen back asleep with her doing this. Today she did this for a while, then slid down to the bed between my arm and chest and continued to suckle.  Piggy also often cuddles up between my arm and chest.  He’s been wanting to cuddle up with her but she won’t let him.  So today when he saw her between my arm and chest, he got in there too, putting his butt up agains hers.  She was too busy suckling to notice. After about 10 minutes, she did notice and gently got up and moved.  Progress.