It is all a bit Stepford here, by which I mean seeing in the middle of the school orchestra concert that the Outlaw Dad's home help is trying to phone my new cool mobile. So I am unable to rush up to Piglet at the end going, "Oh my God, my genius child! You were so amazing even though I could not see you behind that other large violinist apart from the end of your bow going up and down." Instead I have to stand by a pillar trying to phone back the home help and glaring at Piglet when she comes rushing up to me as I want to concentrate and hear what the bloody Hell is going on now. (Turns out Outlaw Dad fell and cut his head but he is acksherly OK, just makes us all jump 10 feet and become fretful and prone to bicker with each other.)
So-o-o, the kittens. I vaguely realised there might be some effort and expense involved in the arrival of five new scraps of felinity in the world. But I did not quite bargain for two of them being tiny runts and Miss Thing being a new inexperienced Mamma Cat.
In spite of her insistence on the kitchen as her new residence, Lakhi was restless and unsettled the first day of motherhood. Either because she suddenly realised her days of wine and roses were over, or I was feeding her the wrong food (it turned out) or because it was Sunday so there were all sorts and conditions of persons trolling through the kitchen making noise and movement.
I of course did everything I could to give my kitty cat proper nourishment in what is sometimes called her 'interesting' condition. (Bit too interesting for me .) Someone at the vet's told me to give her Senior cat food, and I thought perhaps there was more nourishment in this. Lakhi was always more keen on the jelly than the chunks of meat. Yes, I spoilt her and used to let her get away with this instead of leaving congealing lumps of meat until she jolly well ate them. And now I am glad cuz a second more authoritative sounding person at the vet's then told me Senior was totally the wrong thing, lots of important nourishing elements taken out of it, and that I ought to have been giving her Kitten food. Gah. I tell myself it is not my fault that the kitty cat has suffered malnourishment through her pregnancy, while leaping on my bicycle to pedal immediately down to the shop in a guilt-stricken state and buy large (expensive) boxes of kitten food.
Maybe it was getting proper food which made Lakhi settle down the second day and be more attentive to her kittens, although I acksherly think it was that the kitchen is a lot quieter with just me in it.
I got some good advice from my friend Phoenix Mum (she who used to be rather boring but when her husband left her she suddenly burst into flames and emerged as a witty resourceful woman, coping incredibly well with his incredibly weird and bad behaviour). Phoenix Mum said, Put them on the nipple, you can pick them up now, the cat will not mind. So I began putting the kittens to Lakhi when she lay down, noticing that there was one very small black one whom I tried to get onto the best nipple.
Jeez, I am telling you, there are few things more frustrating than sitting for long minutes holding some scrap of kitten life to a cat while it nuzzles ineffectively round and then when it finally latches on the nipple, the cat rolls over and it comes off again. You wonder how the stupid animals survive in the wild! and then you remember that most of them don't. (Sniffle.)
I phoned the vet and they suggested I weigh the kittens. Well, at the time they were just all tiny and I wasn't sure how I'd tell them apart. Now I realise I should have picked out the teeny-tiniest and just weighed those two. I weigh them in my Conrad scales, I just put a bit of newspaper in the weighing scoop for the kitten to lie on.
The next day, I realised that the three tabby kittens were not one indistinguishable mass but a big klutz who frequently comes nosing about knocking everyone-else off their nipple in its wish to find something, anything, to latch onto; a middle sized reasonably behaved citizen; and the tiniest kitten of all. This kitten is so teeny tiny and feeble that sometimes when I hold it to the nipple it just carries on sleeping in my hand.
Yah, it has done this before. So now I am keeping telling myself it will prolly still be there, warm and breathing, in the morning. I mean, there are more than enough nipples for them all. Even if it gets pushed off once or twice p'raps it will feed in the night and when I weigh it in the morning, it might be a little bit heavier?
Gah, what am I going to do if it is still there but losing weight? It is only 65 grs now. I Googled and an average newborn kitty is 99 grs. This one is 3 days old. Surely, it should be weighing more by now. Although Miss Thing is very tiny, perhaps it takes after her is all.
It's a tiny thing, it can lie curled up in one of my small hands, so fast asleep with exhaustion that it can't even wake up to feed, its small blunt nose curled in to its tiny tail.
I am not crying. I just have something in my eye, OK. Move along, nothing to see here. I am a hard mean MILF who does not care about fluffy kittens. There is nothing interesting about a MILF with something in her eye. No hugs, by request.
|From Issue Tissue|
Little update - warning: mega tissue alert. I got Phoenix Mum to come round after school next morning and she said she didn't think the teeny tiny kitten would make it. It was still lying curled up just breathing and not latching on - even when I pushed another kitten off the nipple hoping the smell of milk would make it start suckling. I took the cat and kittens to the vet and I'm afraid he said the same. He offered to finish the kitten off and I said Yes, cuz I don't want Piglet to come home and us be sitting around waiting for it to go. He was very kind and pretended it was a necessity for the kitten's sake although I could see it was just going to drift off, it wasn't feeling anything.
No, I just still have that thing in my eye. It is a windy day and there are bound to be a lot of things floating about that could get in your eye. I do not want any hugs.
When we came home and I put the four kittens in the nest, Lakhi started looking for the fifth one. But she soon settled down and I am quite sure she will forget all about it. And so will I, in fact I have forgotten already so no need for anyone to say anything.
Some good news - the little black runty kitten (pictured above on the weighing scales) has put on 5 grs. The vet checked Lakhi too, and he said she is fine.