Another cat story
A few weeks ago I agreed to help foster a stray cat. A friend of my boyfriend's mom had been feeding this cat for a month or so. She didn't want to adpot it because she already had 3 cats. I have 4 cats and a dog so I figured one more wouldn't hurt. Besides, the point was to take care of her until a home could be found for her. I named her Lily, and took her to the vet for shots and a check-up. The vet said she was very healthy, but there was a good chance she was pregnant! I could have her fixed or wait a little while and see if kittens showed up. I took her home and sought the advice of my boyfriend. We were very torn. We knew that having her fixed would abort a pregnancy if she was indeed pregnant. On the other hand, kittens meant finding more homes. We called the vet and asked about the risks of surgery to Lily if she were pregnant. The answer was the farther along in her pregnancy, the higher the risk. The vet said we could bring her in and have her x-rayed. If skulls and spinal cords of kittens were visable, the pregnancy was quite advanced. Sure enough, we could see skulls and spinal cords in the x-ray. The good news was....there were only 2 kittens! We decided to let her have her babies. The vet warned us that because Lily was pretty young herself, there was a possibility her mother instincts wouldn't kick in. We prepared ourselves both in knowledge and supplies in case that happened. We took Lily home and waited.
On Tuesday, June 13, Lily went into labor. My mom happened to be in town to help me in my new library. My boyfriend's mom came over too. It was like a labor wing waiting room. Her first baby was born and she did exactly what she was supposed to do. It was a girl.
We left Lily alone and waited for the next one to come. We checked on her every now and then. She seemed to be resting quietly. The books I had gotten from the library said that if the next kitten wasn't born after 4 hours, to get the mother to the vet. 4 hours passed with no kitten and no active labor. Our moms left and my bf and I took Lily and her first baby to the vet. She was x-rayed again and we discovered the 2nd baby was facing the birth canal spine forward instead of head or feet forward. At this point we had 2 options; give her a shot to induce contractions and hope the baby turned or take the baby by C-section. We decided to try the shot first and if that didn't work we'd go for the surgery. The shot didn't work...surgery was the only option. Poor Lily. She was stressed and nervous as it was. The vet's office was closing for the day so we had to take Lily to the emergency clinic.
We asked the emergency vet to spay Lily at this time as well. The procedure was over quickly and Lily now had a healthy baby boy. We took everyone home and watched for awhile. The boy kitten was doing well. Nursing almost constantly. The little girl was noticeable smaller and not nursing at all. We started feeding her kitten formula with a bottle. She had to be fed every 4 hours! After a day or so, she began to nurse on her own. We still bottle fed her some too. After a few more days we stopped the bottle feeding and she's nursing exclusively. She's still smaller than her brother (which my bf named Gordo, Spanish for fat) but she's gaining weight now. We call her Minnie.
Lily is a great mom and loves all the attention she gets. Her incision is healing well and she's off the antibiotics. My bf has found a possible home for both the kittens after they are weaned. Now we'll begin looking for the perfect home for Lily. She's as sweet as can be, but a little shy around all my other animals. She's not fond of the dog at all. Anyone living in the Houston area who's interested in Lily, please let me know.
I'll get on my soapbox for just a moment. Please, please have your pets spayed or nuetered. If Lily hadn't been rescued, her 2nd kitten would have likely died inside her. As a result, Lily and her other baby would certainly have died painful deaths. There are so many stray animals at shelters and not enough homes for them. The solution to that is to control the population of dogs and cats. It's the most humane thing you can do as a pet owner. And now the best part....
Here's a picture of Lily before the kittens were born.
Here she is with Minnie.
This is Minnie and Gordo.