Faster than a speeding uterus

Queen Sara Saturday gave birth to four beautiful kittens in about an hour this afternoon. That might be a new record for one of our cats! Her great grandmother, Nutmeg, earned the nickname “Machine-gun Megs” for her ability to pop out kittens quickly during delivery, so it must run in the family.

Sara and her kids are doing well. They are a very noisy, squeaky bunch and definitely know how eat (you can hear the suckling sounds across the room). Sara is very protective (of course) but we managed to get a good picture when we brought her dinner.

All of these kittens are reserved.

Sara’s first kittens!

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Lola shoots… she scores!

When Lola was pregnant she was so big that she looked like she swallowed a basketball. Naturally, she gave birth to a bunch of little basketballs. Yes, the theme for this litter is basketball brands!

We’re not exactly sports fans so we had to do a little research, but it turns out there are plenty of companies that make basketballs out there. Who knew? (Basketball fans, apparently).

These kids are starting to eat solid food and are getting nice and chunky. They’re also starting to figure out the whole “poop and pee go in the litter box” thing. It’s not 100%, but they’re getting there!

All of these kittens are reserved.

Baden (girl)

Spalding (girl)

Jordan (girl)

Molten (girl)

Rawlings (boy)

Wilson (boy)

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Out and about

Lola’s kittens were starting to walk so we opened up the nest. Within a few hours they were out exploring the kitten room. Eventually they ended up clustered back together in front of the closet door.

Lola was not pleased. Two girls from this litter are available.

“Are you going to help me or not?”

Kitten cluster

No official name for this one yet, but we call him Hipster Kitten because of the goatee.

Meanwhile, Nikki’s kittens got their first set of vaccinations and have been introduced to the rest of the cattery. They are ready to meet their people for the first time!

Nikki is being protective and asserting her place with the other cats so there’s been a bit of growling and drama. The kittens, however, have been oblivious to this and are just happy to explore, play, eat, and nap.

Odo likes to hang out near the water dishes.

Kira is chilling in front of the air conditioner.

Jadzia just woke up from her nap.

Ezri and Quark are sharing a cat tree.

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They just grow!

It’s amazing how quickly kittens grow. Here’s a picture from five days ago:

Five days ago

Here’s a picture I took today (with absolutely no help from Lola!):

Today

It’s hard to tell from this picture but their eyes are open and they’re starting to walk around the nest a bit. Time to move them into a bigger nest so they have room to stretch their tiny legs! In another week or so they’ll start driving Lola crazy by trying to explore outside the nest.

Two girls from this litter are available.

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Triple Grand

Meanwhile, we received some great news the other day.  At her last show Frida earned enough points and finals to advance to the title of Triple Grand Champion. She is only a few points from Quadruple, so you’ll be sure to see her at another show this fall!

Worship me.

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Lola will give birth when she’s good and ready

Lola gave birth to seven big, beautiful kittens today. She was two days late, but maybe extra-big kittens need more time to bake in the uterus.

As it happens with these things, Lola was showing no signs of going into labor this morning so we left the room for half an hour. When we came back to check on her she had popped out the first two kittens. The smart girl did it in the nest and everything. Maybe she wanted some privacy.

We’re keeping a close eye on the seventh kitten. He (she?) was slow to start moving at first and had trouble finding the nip. With stimulation and supplemental feeding Number Seven is getting progressively stronger and more active. We’re cautiously optimistic.

Buster was in the next room meowing as if to say, “Hey, I had something to do with this, too!”

All of these kittens are reserved.

Yeah, Lola isn’t going make getting these pictures easy just yet.

Update 8/5:

The seventh kitten is doing very well. He/she is active and nursing and putting on lots of weight. Unfortunately, one of the other kittens unexpectedly passed away a few hours after birth. All of the other kittens are doing well. As always we’re weighing them twice a day and checking on them regularly to make sure they  are progressing normally.

It’s hard to tell gender at this age by looking at their nether regions, but we can make some initial determinations because of color and all the genetics behind it.

The red and white kitten is a boy.

The three torbies are girls.

The black and white kittens are TBD. One of them has a white chin with a little black goatee in the middle (hipster kitten!) so we hope it’s a boy (but who says girl’s can’t have goatees if they want to?).

Chunky monkeys

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The Deep Space Nine Litter

Nikki’s kittens are doing well! They’ve progressed to eating solid food and are kind of, sort of, mostly using the litter box. Although sometimes not. It’s important to watch our step when we go into the kitten room.

They are very social for their age, often scurry toward us when they see us, and don’t object to being picked up. That said, we had the usual challenging time getting them to stay still for just a moment for pictures. Also, we discovered that a couple of them needed butt baths. Eww. (This will be a recurring theme for the next couple of weeks until they figure it out). Now to wash that blanket we used as a backdrop…

We’ve been re-watching Star Trek: Deep Space Nine this summer, so with that in our heads we have a theme!

All of these kittens are reserved.

Quark (boy)

Kira (girl)

Odo (boy)

Jadzia Dax (girl)

Ezri Dax (girl)

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A dramatic day, kittens, and an X-ray

Okay, where to begin?

Today was the day we had a visit to the vet scheduled to get X-rays taken of Tribble and Lola to find out how many kittens they’re going to have. Tribble is due July 28th and Lola is due August 1st.  Except when Marie went to put Tribble in the carrier she found her in the corner… and Tribble had just given birth to her first kitten of this litter.  Ten days early.

Not good. Over the course of the day Tribble gave birth to six kittens  (two stillborn and four live). Two of the live ones were born at the vet when we took her there for an X-ray. She she hadn’t given birth for a few hours and we wanted to make sure there weren’t any more left to go. Sure enough there were two more inside and after a shot of Oxycontin she gave birth to them.

That said, Tribble is not  being a good mother. We are doing our best to keep the kittens fed and warm, because Tribble is basically ignoring them.  We aren’t sure if the four will survive. Because of this we aren’t going to take deposits on these kittens just yet.

The four

Meanwhile, we also took Lola in for her X-ray, and that big, round ball of a girl is expecting seven! Seriously, she looks like she swallowed a beach ball. We are accepting deposits on these kittens from approved applicants.

Inside the spherical cat

Update 7/21: All of Lola’s kittens are reserved.  Unfortunately, two of Tribble’s preemies have passed. The other two are hanging in there. Tribble is making some effort to stay near them and clean them a bit, but is still confused about nursing them. We continue to feed and toilet them on our own every two hours. The two remaining kittens are eating pretty well but are not particularly squirmy or energetic relative to full-term babies. We are making every effort to save them but at the same time we’re trying not to be too optimistic.

Update 7/25: The last of Tribble’s preemies died today. The last boy died on Monday, and the last girl died early this morning. On her own and now in our new incubator she seemed to rally. She had gotten more of an an appetite, had started to gain weight, and was doing more than just sleep. We started to think that she was really going to make it, but in the last 24 hours she started to fade. We sensed where it was going but were helpless to stop it.

Tribble is doing fine. In a few weeks we will have her spayed and a few weeks after that we’ll hopefully find her a forever home. In the meantime, Lola looks ready to pop, Queen Sara might be pregnant, and Starry is next up in the fantasy suite. Moving forward.

Thank you for your kind words and support during all of this. We understood that it was unlikely that any of these preemies would survive but we would be kicking ourselves if we didn’t make every effort to give them a chance.

When she was still alive

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Five little kittens, all in a row

Nikki and Buster’s kittens are all doing well. They are getting plump and are very mobile, sometimes wandering away from mama and the other kittens (within the confines of the nest, of course). This morning we caught them in a moment of sibling togetherness and had to share.

All of these kittens are reserved.

They just do that.

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Wakey wakey

These are my kittens!

Nikki gave birth to five plump kittens this morning, starting around 3:00AM (of course). Delivery took about an hour, with a MTBK (Mean Time Between Kittens) of ten minutes. Her great-grandmother, Nutmeg, was also known for popping out kittens quickly, earning the nickname “Machine-Gun Megs.”

The kittens are hungry and squirmy, and Nikki is taking great care of them.

All of these kittens are reserved.

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