Sunday, 23 February 2020



After the appearance of the previous O.C.I. my Burmese cat got in heat and the stud came to visit. Together they had a very cosy time and they were very busy. Unfortunately it appeared after a few weeks that my girl hadn't become pregnant again. That was quite a disappointment. In the end I had to make the decision that this cat would go through the rest of her life as a neuter. I want eagerly and a lot but not at all costs. Therefore it's healthier to say goodbye to a dream, then to keep on hoping against better judgement.

While all of this took place, I had stopped giving Lani the pill. To my surprise she was in heat a month later. She was allowed to visit a beautiful chocolate stud, but sadly without result. Possibly she was brought to him too soon, as she didn't behave herself any more like being in heat.

Three weeks later, her hormones were awake again. This time we waited a little longer before moving her, with screaming hormones, to the stud. In the car she sat relaxed and watched around. As soon as we left the motorway, she sat up straight and uttered a loud meow. I praised her with a smile and told her to start calling her lover-boy that she was on her way. For the next ten minutes she did so indeed.

As soon as she was able to leave her travel-box and saw the stud standing there at a distance less then 50cm, she became a bit shy. She looked around her and then hid inside the scratch-pole. This to the great disappointment of the stud who not only wasn't able to reach her, but lost sight of her now too. He climbed the mash, called to her and head-butted everything, but she didn't show herself. Later that day they were put together and they got along very well immediately. That same evening the first mating was witnessed.

For a year I had been busy trying to get a cat pregnant and had to deal with disappointments again and again. That's why I was like: I have to see it to believe it. To my huge surprise I noticed Lani had enlarged and pink nipples
after 17 days. Not the bright pink I was used to, but definitely darker then they are normally speaking. Could it be....? I couldn't and didn't dare believe it. After 10 days nothing had changed and I had to believe that she was actually, yes really, pregnant. HURRAY!!

But doubts struck again. In the 4th-5th week I still couldn't notice anything different about her. Her behaviour hadn't changed and her size hadn't either.... Could it be that she was having a phantom pregnancy? It wouldn't have been the first time I was looking forward to a litter, only to find out with 7-8 weeks that the cat in question wasn't pregnant at all.

Luckily the scales brought the solution. After 4 weeks of (presumed) pregnancy she had gained over 300 grams. Subsequently she gained another 200 grams each week. And after 6 weeks of being pregnant one could see, ever so slightly, that her tummy had started to get rounder. The next week it was even more visible. This time I was finally convinced: Lani was really pregnant.

With 7,5 weeks along she had a nice little round tummy with presumably 2-4 kittens. The first preparations for the delivery had been made. The birthing box was standing ready and had been thoroughly examined by her. Not that she had lay down in it, she wasn't ready for that. The next week I had to do a load of laundry, so that all towels, sheets and covers were fresh and clean. And then the waiting could begin.

She had picked a wonderful date to have her kittens: 26 December. Because of the holidays and the weekend so close behind it, I had decided to inform my vet already. Fortunately he was on duty during Christmas and the following weekend. That was most reassuring to know. If needs be, help would be just around the corner. I looked forward to it: finally babies in the house again. I couldn't think of anything more beautiful.

Christmas came and went and Lani was as sweet and devoted as usual. In the early morning of December 27th she started to get a bit restless. After breakfast I thought I could go and have a quick trip to the supermarket, when I saw she was having a big contraction. Thus the plans were changed and I put everything ready. After about 2 hours of contractions the first kitten was born: a tawny boy of 86 grams. Twenty minutes later followed by another boy (blue) of 108 grams. Luckily after that mother got a chance to catch her breath. Over an hour later number three arrived: again a boy (tawny), this time 66 grams. After another 20 minutes the last kitten was born: a girl (tawny), weighing 91 grams.

With the birth of each kitten I saw Lani grow in her new role of being a mother. Fantastic to watch. After she had cleaned the last kitten and was put on a clean bed, she curled her body around her brood. Very tired and very proud. I was no less proud of my girl and couldn't stop watching and enjoying what I saw.

Alas the little girl only lost weight and began to grow weaker by the hour. Closer examination proved she had a cleft pallet. After the vet confirmed my findings, we put her to sleep. Rather a fast and painless death, then let it slowly parish. And so came an end to the euphoria and I was put firmly on the ground with both feet. Luckily the mother is now much more relaxed and the boys are doing well. Hopefully it may continue this way.

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