A Young Mama Kitty...
This is Morgana. We knew her as a wild and timid kitten, a less wild young cat, and as a "Do Not Touch Me" Mama to three litters of babies, before we could get her off the street. Her first litter, five babies born outside on the back patio, in the Cat House for Those Who Will Not Be Touched But You May Feed Me - two days after Nibblets presented us with The Spammers (including Montaña).
When she was feeding, usually around on the front porch, we were able to check out her kittens, hold them, get to know them - though if we weren't fast enough putting them back into The House, she would duck in there and slap at us as we carefully restored each baby VBG!
About the time those kits were eating on their own, I found her aborting a fetus in our front flower bed *sigh* I was also worried she would move the kittens, so after a call to the vet, a friend and I collected them and took them into the Cat Vet Clinic. They were all very healthy, and very dirty and full of fleas. Dr. R. said not to return them, as Morgana sounded very very ill. (Remember we couldn't even touch her at this time) My friend, bless her, offered to take the kittens (we were working so hard to save Nibblets and her kittens at this time) if we could pay for their food and litter, which we did, and later she found them all good homes.
Morgana is such a fighter that she Didn't die and lived to present us with three more kittens that fall...Schemone, Trixie and Bolivar. Bolivar was adopted by a good neighbor and well, you know, Schemone and Trixie sort of moved in and never left.
For some reason, known only to cats I
think, she decided we could, if quietly, pet her at feeding times.
I had great hopes of finally getting her off the street. Nope. And
after trying to trap her, she left for awhile...only to return hungry
and of course, pregnant.
Finally, I asked Renato if we could try to get her into the garage. Since she wouldn't leave the small cathouse, we could just block the opening and Hope for the best, and just carry it into the garage. After muttering (I've yet to find out what he said VBG) he agreed to try, and we were in luck, she never made a sound or movement. Once in the garage, she didn't even bother to come out, which we figured was a Bad Sign.
Now if we were "smart," we probably would have taken her to the shelter (CAP), though the odds were so against her being ever adopted out, especially as she was one - ill and two - pregnant. As it was also Saturday, we decided to just wait and see if she would eat and hopefully, feel better.
The next day, March 18, 2001, I made a new place for her in the office so I could watch her, blocked off (of course!) from the rest of the house. I could change clothes and wash up after leaving the room. And lo and behold, by that evening, she came out of her new sturdy box hide-a-way...Not pregnant. I hadn't heard Anything from her all day, though I did know she was alive and breathing. So I called Renato and we both promptly tried to look into the box and SHISSSSSSS!!! Oh Boy! She didn't touch us, but my nose came Really close to being whacked.
We may not be "smart" but we're fairly wise about Moms and new babies, especially after her warning, so we left her alone for a while. The next day we actually were able to see into the "nursery," and I turned to Renato and said..."Is that one of the toy mice??"
Oh no...it was a tiny tiny furless gray kitten, and we also saw a tiny brown and black one. There were only the size of My Thumb.
Yes, they were definitely premature, and what a wonder that they lived. If she had others, there was never a trace, in fact when we Finally were able to clean up the sheets in the box, there was almost no trace of her having given birth.
Cleaning came later. For two full weeks, Morgana held those two tiny kittens between her back legs and belly. She literally incubated them. They held on to her teats for dear life too. She only left them to eat and use the litter box. Never gone for more than a few minutes. They were miracle kittens - A miracle she didn't die, a miracle they were born alive, a miracle that they lived.
Morgana is still with us, safely inside. No, we can't even touch her, no I don't have a clue what to do. She's very happy though, and very very shy.
Unfortunatly, we were never able to take pictures of them when they were tiny, Morgana simply wouldn't allow it. In fact, for over a month, she'd lunge at me if I even cleaned her litter box or try and open the blinds in the office. But she would let Renato do these things! Every morning before he left for work, he'd tend to her. I could use the office, I simply couldn't step over the invisible line she had drawn in the carpet VBG.
March 15, 2002 Update