Click photos to enlarge them.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Gemma, Gina, and Kittens

A few weeks ago I took two pregnant orange tabby sisters, Gina looking slightly more pregnant than Gemma.  However, Gemma surprised me one day be leaving a placenta in the middle of the bedroom floor.  Took her and it to the vet.  She had an emergency C-section, with one live birth.  The other three placentas had tiny fetuses inside them.  A fetus isn't supposed to be inside the placenta.  Anyway, little Pippa is a black tortie and seems just fine.

Neither Gemma nor Gina showed any interest in nesting in the birthing box before delivery, but love laying on my bed.  I just knew I'd wake up some morning and there'd be a litter of kitten on the bed.  I couldn't put them in the nursery, because Sasha and her kittens were in there.  After Pippa was born, Gemma still didn't want to use the birthing box.  She kept taking Pippa out and putting her in various places in the bedroom.  Every 30 minutes I was using a little flashlight and playing Find the Baby.

Most of the time, Gemma had Pippa on the bed.

 Instead of the normal cardboard box I used for the birthing box, I tried putting the heating pad and towel in a plastic tub, then covering part of it with a quilt to keep some heat in.  She didn't like it on the floor, so I put it on the bed.

She didn't like that, either.

So, I cut the top half of the orginal box off, thinking maybe the tall sides were too confining.

"You want me to put my baby in that?"

"Is she serious?"       "I think so.  Go figure."

This is Pippa nursing in her bed.

Yeah, there didn't seem a chance in the world, Gina wouldn't have her kittens on the bed.

However, she started labor last Sunday night.  Five kittens were born between 12:30 and 3:00 am Monday morning.  I was with her every minute and managed to physically put her in the box many times.  Happily, she took the hint and all were born there.  After the bedding was changed, Gemma hopped in.  I put Pippa in, too, and both moms nurse all the babies.  I did make sure Gina's nursed on her primarily the first day to get the colostrum in the milk.

Gemma and Gina are both excellen and attentive moms.  Except for that box thing.

Hard to believe that two orange moms produced six gray and black kittens.  They're all girls, and the four dark ones aren't solid black, but are torties, and have tan on their faces.  All are doing very well and gaining weight every day.  Gina has also gotten wise to the flashy thing on the black box.

The back bedroom has just become available. I cleaned it and moved the girls into it last night.  Every time I go in the room, the box is empty and all the kittens are on the floor in back of the recliner.  Admitting defeat, I put the heating pad and towel behind the recliner.  A room heater on low helps keep things cozy.  So far, the babies are staying on the towel.  So far.


  1. I wondered, reading this, where you and your husband would actually sleep. LOL.

    Well, who wants a plastic or cardboard box when you can have a cushy mattress and thick bedding. Sheesh.

    BTW, how hard is it to tell the moms apart?!

    1. Since I snore, I've been sleeping in Laura's old room for several years now. The cats don't seem to mind the snoring. They don't fart and hog the covers, either. You do have a point about plastic and cardboard versus quilts. Duh, what was I thinking!

      Gina is a little bigger, has white on the tip of her tail, and has the pink collar. Gemma had a collar but wouldn't keep it on. If I get desperate, Gemma has a 4" incision scar from her c-section. Marcy put a dozen staples in it. By the end of a week, Gemma had taken all of them out herself. I forgot to mention that in my post. But, they do look very much alike if you don't know what to look for.

    2. Hi Barb, I've never commented on a blog before, so sorry if I don't get this in the right place. Tasha and Wally are doing well. They are asking to be petted and have been exploring the house in a VERY uninhibited way. Both have been eating. We're really happy with how quickly the seem to be getting comfortable. You surely took fantastic care of them during their time with you for them to be so trusting and affectionate already. Thank you for these wonderful cats. Valerie

    3. Valerie,

      Thank you so much for giving Tasha and Wallie their forever home. I know they'll give you years and years of love and warm laps. I realized a couple hours after you left that I didn't trim their nails. And I didn't get a picture of you and Glenn with the cats. I love getting updates and pictures, and if you give your permission, I'll put the pictures on my blog. It just warms my heart knowing Tasha and Wallie are with such wonderful parents. It will be interesting to see which cat favors which human.


    4. Barb, I posted a pic of Glenn and the kitties on the Heartland Facebook page. If you can see my Facebook page I have several pics there of Tasha and Wallie in their new home. All is well. Valerie

  2. Love this blog post! The kittens are adorable (and of course they're black/dark colored - what else would you expect from rescued kittens who will be up for adoption in a few months?) :-)