Monday, 24 February 2020
Mirre was simply her self during the entire pregnancy. Well, she became bigger and bigger, but otherwise everything remained the same. Even a day before delivery she climbed in, up and over and jumped on everything and enjoyed each ray of sunshine.
Downstairs in the living room I had a maternity box ready, fully furnished and equipped with all comforts. However, because Mirre slept with me at night, I found it a good idea, just to be sure, to install a second box. Then the pile of towels, mattress covers and "bedding" was divided in two piles. To both stacks a pen and notepad were added. Unfortunately I only had one scale and one of this and one of that, etc.
I decided that those things would stay downstairs. Just running down the stairs and then up again, had to be doable. Both stacks were put in a bag and hung in a convenient place outside the reach of cat paws. On the 62nd day of the pregnancy the heating was put on full speed and the waiting started. Mirre ate little or nothing, but was otherwise her cheerful self.
On the 64th day I woke in the morning and Mirre was not with me. Immediately I jumped out of my bed and went looking. I was only halfway down the stairs when Mirre came to greet me cheerfully. How wonderful that I was early, was there something to eat? She could use a bite. The whole day passed and there was nothing to notice. Only in the evening she moved more trying to lay down comfortably. Her fat little belly got in the way, but after some turning around she subsequently did find a good pose.
On the 65th day I woke up without Mirre near as well. Somewhat reassured by the reaction of the day before, I went looking a little less panicky. This time I was halfway down the stairs when I heard her. It was her voice, but I didn't recognized the cry. So I thundered down the stairs and stormed into the living room.
Mirre was very happy to see me and came straight to me. Her wet tail and hind legs were clearly visible. "Where are your kids? I asked her, a bit startled. With a mew she ran to a basket. In it were five children. One was still completely in the membrane and was cold. I put it in a cloth and set it aside. Regrettable, but there were more urgent matters that claimed my attention. A sprint up and down to the kitchen brought all supplies within reach.
That there were four kittens squirming and squealing now, I found a wonderful result. One kitten was still attached to the placenta and because Mirre didn't do anything about that, I took care of things myself. Somewhat with trembling fingers, but it worked well. Then the four were wiped dry well and placed on the scale to mark their weight.
Mirre was super agitated, ran over her children and even lay on top of them. I didn't understand it and decided I had to wake up her breeder with a phone call.
Stefanie was also extremely satisfied with four kittens and as she gave good advice, Mirre was busy with putting a new child on the planet. For a moment I thought I saw an air bubble, time for action that I only read in a book. Stefanie shouted in my ear what to do and how and especially NOW! It worked, the kitten began to squeal and no gargling was heard. Hooray, another child was there. With the advise to separate the kittens from the mother while she had more children, I hung up.
I hurried upstairs the collect the second box, sprinted to the bathroom for two hot water bottles and tucked the kittens in nice, cozy and warm. Mirre had no time for them, because there was yet another child coming. She didn't look after it, she was just too tired. So it was up to me to ensure that it was wiped dry and taken care of.
When I wanted to put it with the other kittens, I saw that Djavi laid in the box. He was calm and looked at me with a look as if to say: "I just keep an eye on them, don't worry. You look after Mirre, I will mind the children." I gave him a pat and a wink. Always knew this guy was golden!
Suddenly, Mirre was moving again and after some turning around with a cry another kitten was born. Once the placenta was out, she laid down and closed her eyes. So I took care of the kitten. When it was dry I placed it between Mirre's legs. She opened her eyes and licked the baby a few times. When it started looking for a nipple, she turned to her side.
After fifteen minutes or so I put the last kitten out with the others and dried off Mirre's legs and tail. As if he knew she had finished, Djavi came out and began to lick Mirre dry and she let him go his way. When she was a little presentable, I lifted her and placed her with her children. Her snout was worth a picture. "Are they all mine?" With the necessary effort and a little help she curled up around her children and fell asleep.
Now mother and children were reunited, I could calmly call the vet. Because I had not seen all the kittens being born and therefore didn't know whether all placentas came along, it was advisable for the veterinarian to come to give an injection. That causes the uterus to contract, thus any remaining things like placentas would be expelled. The vet would be with me in a few hours. There was no rush, so I waited patiently.
I called Stefanie again, but she was unable to pick up the phone, so I left a message on the answering machine . Mirre had given birth to eight kittens, seven still alive and in good health. Within a few minutes she called back. What? Eight kittens? What a performance. We were both very proud of Mirre.
Now that the kittens began to dry up, it seemed that two kittens were cream and 5 were lilac or lilac-tortie. But whether it were females or males? I found it terribly difficult and I finally devised a plan. Each kitten was photographed in front and under the tail and those photos I emailed to Stefanie. Maybe she could shed a light on things.
I was amazed, but she could recognize some. Of a few she wasn't sure because the picture was not clear enough. She knew for sure that one kitten was a male and another a female, so maybe I could look and compare myself. Sure I could and I looked and compared until it gave me a headache. In one I could see, in a second one I doubted and with a third I didn't know at all. Time to ask for help.
Stefanie's brother in law lives not far away. He also breeds cats and for a while had Stefanie's studs to stay. Mirre has stayed with him in the summer when she was visiting Muppet. Of course he was willing to come and take a look. I was glad to see that he had some trouble too, but eventually he knew who was what. Mirre had 5 daughters and 2 sons. And one of those daughters was cream. Would I finally see my long cherished wish to be fulfilled?
All kittens had been provided with a colored cord to identify them, because stylus wore off too quickly and I found nail polish an unpleasant option. Fortunately, Mirre didn't mind the cords, because I was afraid that she would gnaw through them. So now all the kittens could be identified and I finally knew who was what, it was time for the names.
One name I had had in mind for years for my desired cream cat. However, when Mirre came into my world and the option of breeding became a reality, I started searching for the origin of that name. That appeared to come from the Greek Mythologies. Really nice matching Greek names I could not find. Since my preferred name came from a book, I began reading the book again.
In it I found many other names and I chose 5 names for girls and 5 for boys. I would be able to do with that, wouldn't I? Because I wanted everything to start with an A, I looked up English words that did justice to the original figures.
Now they are 8 weeks old, it is obvious. The cream female kitten is a cream dream come true. She is beautiful, slightly cheeky, entrepreneurial and has a nice beautiful coat. Her eyes are becoming amber colored. It promises a lot. Her name is Phèdre and you'll undoubtedly hear more of her.
I proudly present Nimble Nymph's A-litter to you: