The kittens are 8 days old now, and man are they growing! This is one of the easieswt litters I have *ever* had. Mommy Zoe is doing everything right and all I need to do is keep her well-fed and happy.
The inner corners of the kittens eyes are beginning to turn a little bit moist, so we should see them opening their shiny blues in a day or two. All kittens are developing as expected when they were born.
First off we have Dilbert. He didn't want to cooperate on the photo shoot today so the pictures of him are not the greatest. He is a promising young man, although his eyes are slightly more slanted than his siblings and the nose is placed a tad lower.
(P.s. - You know that clicking the pictures will show you a larger version, right?)
Dilberts' brother Sander has very horizontal eye-slits and the snubbest little nose. Also, his head is phenomenal (at this stage).
Finally we have our little keeper girl, Bootie (we are naming her CyberCats ReBoot in honor of us starting over after such a long time:)). Her type is every bit as good as Sanders, and although he has her beaten on the doming department, hers is very promising too!
Hope you liked them!
Hey folks, I know you're reading. Don't be afraid to leave a comment or two!
In quick sucession 3 boys have been born. Videos and pictures to follow :)
The first was blue-white something and very, very dead. Soft and spongy. Probably the very reason why she's been bleeding. My guess is its been in the birth-canal, or at least dead - for a few days. Fully formed but strangely twisted. Zoe cried out once as she pushed it out , sniffed it and promptly turned her back.
Since then we've had two pretty van boys born - one red, one black. Both are pretty small but VERY lively. Initially Zoe didn't really know what to do with them, but by now she is happily licking away. She's taking a break right now, but tere are more in there, so updates will follow!
It's hard to tell because she has given me so many "false starts" this past week - but she has now enclosed herself (with Loppan) in her favourite little house and is moving around, lying still, treading, purring and her bottom is wet. Not bloody, but wet.
Yesterday evening Zoe started bleeding again. Just very slightly - and the bleeding soon stopped. No other signs, so aside from setting the alarm 3 times this night rather than 2, we did nothing special. My worry increased tenfold though.
This morning she was happily sleeping on her rug next to the bed (the one I incorrectly call "carpet" in the video below) and as I petted her when I got up to take Leia - the CyberDog - for her morning walk I could feel bouncing activity in her belly. Like a flash my worry dispated. However many there are in there, and despite Zoe spotting blood, the kittens are alive and kicking - literally :)
Zoe also had some KMR (milk replacement) last night wich she happily gulfed down. She is a bit of a worry to get extra strength into as she is your classic kibble-addict and simply does not consider anything else food. Not raw meat, not the most delicious wet-food, not even NutriCal. But, KMR was ok - so now at least I kow I can give her a strengthening tonic of that if needed.
We are on day 63 and Zoe is 9 weeks pregnant today. The time is drawing near and as you can see (and as can be expected) Zoe is bigger than ever. There's a lot of life (knock on wood) in there waiting to get out.
We are very happy Zoe decided to keep the kittens in several days beoying the discharge and mucus-plug incident we had on day 59 - but I must also admit that I feel a little bit worried that something is wrong because that happened.
There is no use worrying in any case. Today, or in a few more days at least, we will know how it went and I hope and pray that there will be a big bunch of happy, healthy kittens nursing in her box.
Zoe is in excellent health. She is in a good mood, plays, eats and drinks. Despite her size she will still happily race after her favourite toy and she acts in all ways like a happy, healthy female. I should not let that blood a few days ago disturb me so much... but I do a little bit anyway.
Zoe is now confined to the master bedroom, since today. She has started nesting a little bit and we feel it prudent not to let her out of our sight any more. I took a little video of her luxorous maternity ward for those interested :)
Zoe gave us a terrible scare yesterday! I thought that she was getting a bit dirty behind because she couldn't reach to wash herself, but when I examined it a little bit closer it turned out to be a bloody discharge. Only a very, very little bit - but still!
She was on day 59 and I really did not want the kittens entering the world yesterday, especially as Zoe has no milk yet - but we did realize that time was of the essence and gave her a bath and a new tummy shave yesterday afternoon. Zoe is a very relaxed cat and doesn't mind being bathed or fussed with, so I assumed/hoped that bathing would not hurry a premature delivery.
Just look at her in the wet - she has true love-handles :)
Later yesterday evening when I checked on her again, she had just dropped her mucus-plug. Since she doesn't really reach to wash herself - nor does she know what is going on, she had made no attempt to remove it - so for a change I got to see one. After the plug had been dropped she kept weeping a blood-mixed discharge for a few hours - but only very very slight. Also, it was not discolored in any way and had no smell, unpleasant or otherwise.
Through this whole process she was completely undisturbed and went about her business as usual, including eating, drinking and just basically lounging around - so after a quick "check up"-call to the vet we decided to wait and see if she'll be one of those girls that drop the plug early. After all, she's huge - there has to be some preassure on her insides now.
Of course, I set the alarm during the night and went up to check on her several times, but all is back to normal now. The discharge has stopped and Zoe seems to be in a good mood. I took her temperature this morning and it is a bit low (38.1 C / 100,5 F) so it could very well be today. I hope she'll be able to keep them in for another couple of days though. Comon Zoe, you can do it!
This week Daniel is out travelling and so my time at the computer is limited. Thank god I'm on vacation - taking care of the cats and the puppy is a full time job right now!
I'm counting the days. We are on day 55 now. Only 2-3 days left until my worst worry will begin to abate. Meaning: Kittens born on day 57-58 can survive. Not easily, but it can be done. I have personally saved a litter of 5 born on day 57.
The main problem with preemies are their little lungs. Up until day 57 they can't survive simply because the lungs are not ready to supply them with the oxygen every animal needs. The final week (57 to 63-65) will mainly see growth in the kittens, that are otherwise done. So the other problem with early kittens are that they are too small and weak to nurse as they need - something that can be helped with good quality kitten formula, and tube-feeding for the weakest ones. So, it can be done. 2 more days to go and I can slowly start relaxing.
With all the incredible bad luck I've had with my animals the past few years I don't dare to take anything for granted, but I hope and pray for a full term pregnancy and an easy delivery.
Zoe is 52 days pregnant today. It's beginning to get uncomfortable, but she is very happy in her pregnancy. She purrs a lot, is seeking more affection and just generally lounges around looking rather content with life. The picture above was taken this morning as she basked in the sunlight.
Today we went to the vet-clinic for an Xray. I've never worked with these lines before and taking an 8th week Xray is a (relatively) cheap insurance to prevent panic trips to the vet because you think the cat still has a kitten in there, when she doesn't. Or, alternatively, NOT going quick enough because you think she is done when she is not.
Since the cat has 2 tubes to her womb counting kittens is not an exact science, unfortunatly. Above is the Xray of the same tummy that is basking in the sun on the picture above. The photograph did not come out very clear, unfortunately - but I have marked with arrows where we could clearly see heads - and attached spines, in real life.
So now we know. There are 4. At LEAST 4, I should say - there could very well be one or even two hiding behind its littermates - but 4 is the bare minimum that she is carrying. That's a nice littersize, I think - not too draining on the mother and not too few to make birthing hard - so if this is the number we're getting I'm more thasn happy.
Now let's just pray for health and an easy delivery! 13 days to go...
It's a good thing I started measuring, or I would never have believed this myself. If you recall, last time we measured her was Tuesday - 3 days ago. She was 42 cm (16 1/2 inches). Today she has grown by an amazing 4 cm (1 1/2 inches)!!
Her weight today is 3,6 kg, or 8 pounds. Before getting pregnant Zoe was a 3 kg, or 6,6 pounds, female.
As you can see from the pictures, she's still not too hot about being held for photos - but I want to clarify that there is no struggling involved. It's the way she is held that makes her squint - she has beautiful LARGE round eyes. You can tell a little bit from the first photo.
Today was Zoe's first day of double dose Raspberry Leaf (1 ml, the alcohol free extract). I'm running out so I have to get more.
I had to do a LOT of hunting to find a good place to buy this in Europe. I can easily find all the animal supplies I need, even herbal and holistic, at websites from the US, but we seem to be sadly lacking on this continent.
It would be perfect to find a supplier in Sweden, but since I haven't been able to, I order from an online shop based in the UK - Your Health Food Store. Nope, I'm not sponsored, they don't even know I linked - just thought some of you Europeans may want to know where to find it. Search for everything made by manufacturer "nature's Answer" and then scroll down to Raspberry Leaf. Reasonably priced and ships all over.
Leia, the Cyberdog (she has her own blog here) met Loppan for the first time last night. Loppan is our oldest girl, she is soon to be 7 years old and is without a shadow of a doubt the QUEEN of the house.
She is about to go back into heat and so accepted the attention of Leia more gracefully than she might otherwise have done. Just look at these pictures - especially the last one!