Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Cuteness Overload Alert

I certainly didn't intend this blog to be "all kittens, all the time" but certain out-of-town family members have already been clamouring for kitty pics so I'm giving advance warning that it may be just that for the next little while.

Monday March 8th, 7:30 am. (there, now I have a record of the date)
"Shea, get up or you'll be late for school"
"I am, but Mom, come here."
"OK, what is it?" (which excuse this time?)
"Just look in the closet."

There was our Zoe on the floor of Shea's closet with two soggy little mice-like creatures nuzzling up to her.
I'd been telling her all weekend she better hurry those kittens along because I was starting a new job on Tuesday & I'm sure she wouldn't want to have them alone. At least someone still listens to my advice.
I checked around her just in case there were any more and my heart sunk when I found a 3rd bundle, still encased in its placenta. Poor Zoe, so overwhelmed she missed this poor little lost one.
Then it moved.
I quickly ripped open the sac and put it in front of its Mama.
"Quick Zoe, those two are clean enough for now, this one needs your attention."
She licked and loved that little one back to life. Another black kitten.

Once that crisis had passed this new family needed something more comfortable than the floor so I brought up the cozy box we had prepared for them. Now how best to transfer them? Of course, move the babies & Mom will quickly follow.
I shooed my own offspring off to school - at least they have an interesting excuse for being late today - then turned back to count the little line-up to make sure all three were settled and eating.
"One gray plus one, two, THREE?! blacks. Where did that 4th one come from? Boy, you're fast Zo, wish it was that easy for us humans to give birth.

While giving her a congratulatory pat I thought her stomach felt a little lumpy so wasn't very surprised when Number Five arrived with a little shriek.
This one was all black from head to toes, with not a speck of the white markings that distinguished his siblings. Feisty, too. He just couldn't find what he was looking for, even with two juicy nipples right in front of his face. I nudged & pushed him in the right direction, even resorted to bumping his little nose into the nipple but no go.
He was positive his siblings were hiding the best ones & plunged right into the row of contentedly suckling kittens, burrowing under them.
Little silver must have been the first born, being the cleanest, and was an old pro at latching on, not interrupting dinner to smack away pushy little brother (sister?)

First picture of the rather rumpled new family.
Bet you're glad my camera battery was re-charging so I missed all the gooey, just-out-of-the-wrapper parts.

A Six-Pack!

A full 2 hours after the first ones, we had a big surprise: Number Six.
A funny-looking little black & white clown.

I scooped up the first five and put them in a basket to give Mom room to look after Number Six, who also had to be rescued from the placenta.
Five kittens in one handful:

I put #5 back with Mom & #6 before the rest to make sure they both got a chance to get the knack of this latching-on thing before they had to fight with the older four for some nipple time.

Take note of this, one of the only times you'll see Silver not latched on to Mom. That one has a voracious appetite.

There are six in there. Click on the picture to see if you can count them all.

And you have to click on these two to get the full adorableness impact of hours-old kitten ears (above) and little tiger faces(below).

The Case of the Disappearing Kittens

After a day spent in Shea's bedroom with adoring admirers peeking in, we brought the new family downstairs to a nice quiet room of their own. We re-considered this move when we realized that Zoe was obviously torn between her need to be with the kittens and her desire to be around her human family. I wondered if we would have to pack that box of kittens around the house with us so Zoe wouldn't feel neglected but decided in the end to leave them downstairs for the night.
5:30 am Kim woke me up. "The kittens are gone! Zoe's downstairs alone, I've gone through the house and can't hear them anywhere."
"Zoe will lead us to them. Won't you girl? Where are they? Show us where your babies are."
Right on cue, off she trots - straight to her food dish.

After checking out all the hidden nesting places Zoe had been test-driving the past few weeks, and out of ideas, I made it back to our bedroom, and there, way in the back of our closet, I found a tangled little pile of peacefully sleeping kittens. (that's #6 bottom left, with the pink nose)

Resourceful Zoe found a way to be with her kittens and still keep her old habit of sleeping near us.

Wonderful, now I come home to find my small walk-in closet crammed full of teenage boys (one even brought his girlfriend, is my closet now a date destination?) trying to see the new kittens.

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