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  1. #1
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    Default Ittybittykittycommittee; A year... a whole year... Happy Belated Birthday to the boys

    (I am copying the original post here, for posterity... )

    "The Oldest Hay Swindle in the Business"
    Originally posted: Aug. 6, 2009, 05:31 PM

    So, thanks to a CotH'er who looked on Craig's List (I never go there, so hadn't even occurred to me) found some last-year's squares for sale about an hour away. Went last week and got 25 bales. They are really quite good. Better than anything anyone's currently putting up, actually. Probably not all that much nutrition, but they are clean and smell good and fulfill the boredome and fiber factors.

    So, I get up early today (after working until 0200 last night) to go back for another load. I don't really have storage for square bales, but... until we actually GET some rounds, this be it.

    Get there and the 'son,' who is about my age or so (think top o'the hill can see t'other side) and not unattracive, in a strawberry blond "Grizzly Adams" kind of way, comes out to help me load. He tosses, I stack.

    Then out comes Dad, the man I've been speaking to on the phone. Did not meet him last week. The typical "ayup" phone answers. What time would be good for you? "Oh, I s'pose 9, 10, 10:30... " Vizually he is the epitome of "Uncle Jesse" from the Dukes of Hazzard, yellowing white beard overalls and all. Lovely gentleman, but with emphysema. (should you really be in the hay barn sir?) Just chit chatting in that way of farmers.

    Makes me lose count. Not once, but twice. Says, "That's ok, I can tell."

    Yup.

    Asks what I do for work... I"m always a little hesitant, you never quite know what people think of the popo. It's usually either respect or hate. Never anything in the middle. But, since my uniform shirt is in plain view on the back of the passenger seat, I fess. up.

    Asks if I have kids. I say nope, I can lock mine up and not get in trouble. We laugh about that and chat about dawgs. And the frisbee dogs at the Fair. He knows the Frisbee Dog Guy.

    Asks about "what does your husband do."

    I say, "If I had a man around, you think *I* would be stacking hay?" A good chuckle out of both of them. Now I wonder if he's trying to set me up with Grizzly Adams.

    Then... there it comes. I never even saw it heading at me. But he was sizing up his mark the whole time.

    "You need a cat?"



    Me: "Um, what *kind* of cat?" (was just thiking over the dogs thread that there was room for ONE should ONE female find me. I'm sick of the males going on walkabout a couple-three months after tutoring.)

    Uncle Jesse: "Oh, a young female."

    Me: "Well, actually...."

    Uncle Jesse to Grizzly Adams: "Go get that cat."

    While Grizzly Adams goes to get the cat, I am told that cat was dumped off and Uncle Jesse really shouldn't have too much cat hair around. She's a nice cat, but he has emphysema and all...

    Grizzly Adams returns with the most beautiful pewter kitty, that solid, pussy willow grey. Two tiny white spots on chest.

    And here, the swindle is complete. It's a "buy cat, get hay and KITTENS free deal... "

    While both Uncle Jesse and Grizzly Adams appear to be very kind old farmers, I have little faith that either of them would really be the appropriate keepers of said kitty in late pregnancy and for bearing kittens. I do not doubt in the least they would not let her or kittens suffer, but...

    I am just plain hoodwinked.

    Kitty gets put in the cab of truck. Promptly locks the doors.
    Uncle Jesse says not to worry and sends Grizzly Adams for the unlocking stick tool. They have junk cars/parts yard, so have the 'kit.'

    While waiting for Grizzly Adams, Uncle Jesse slips and mentions cat is a good mouser, but he already has two cats... He can't have TOO MUCH cat hair around. Old coot.

    So, I laughed all the way home. She is a lovely, lovely girl. YOUNG. Adolescent still. Very personable. Very, very pregnant.

    I have absolutely NO RIGHT to be adding to the household right now. And I grin every time I think of it. I guess it makes up for no foals last year or this. Certainly will take care of the puppy fix. I've never had kittens. I've fostered and nursed wee ittybittykitties, but never actually had a cat have kittens. Fambly planning and all.

    I've really been hoping that the right female would come along and become a Queen and stick around. I am hoping having her litter here will help convince her this is HOME.

    Did I mention she's lovely? She's not skinny, but is a little underweight in that adolescent way--any suggestions on groceries for the late term kitty?

    We chatted on the way home about what her name is. It's between Claire and Rhiannon. (Queen.) I like Rhi, but she's a little too young and angular to really *fit* it... then again, we grow into names too...

    Will be chatting with vet tomorrow about what we should do re: shots, worming or any kind of prenatal care... I'm suspecting she's so far along we won't do anything until after the kittens come.

    So, everyone, take this as a warning. Con men are out there. Even in the most unsuspecting circumstances, they will size you up and scam you. BE ON GUARD!!!

    (this ends the original post... what follows is the continuing saga... )



    Rhi is grumbling away tonight. She is still in the big dog crate in the house as I have to make room in the grain/tack shed for the big dog crate... she's out with me right now, and I can't decide if she's growing at *herself* or at Paidir who just might maybe could be *looking* at her from the other end of the house...

    Vet didn't want to see her 'till post kittens as she's so close. I forgot to ask what I should be watching for. DOH!

    She's quite warm to the touch, all over. Eating, drinking... quite sociable. Just grumbly at nothing. Which makes me think labor??

    No milk testing, 'eh??
    Last edited by pintopiaffe; Sep. 7, 2010 at 04:08 PM. Reason: adding the original story of how the Itties came to be
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)



  2. #2
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    Feb. 12, 2002
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    Default

    Okay, so I had visions of kitties forming labor unions to give them more power in their demands for more fish & chicken & mice & less dry cat food, but now find out it's about a kitty who's going to produce kittens and about which I know nothing. But pics of baby kitties would be in order, when they show up. Is all the hair around her teats gone? I do remember that happened before our childhood cat produced offspring. That's about all I do remember, though. Except for a Siamese when we were first married who decided to have hers in a closet . . .



  3. #3
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    Jun. 18, 2009
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    Default

    From what I remember-it has been about 10 years.
    Cats in labor are just like horses, dogs, and people. They are all individuals.

    The cats that I watched, huffed and puffed, and sweated....and you could tell....

    For some reason I always tied off the cords with dental floss...I think a vet told me this, don't remember....


    Just remember to have a bulb syringe, dry towels & scissors handy...But if this was a planned pregnancy, I am sure you have done your fare share of homework....
    Hot water helps too....

    Nothing like a nice cup of tea to settle your nerves...



  4. #4
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    Default

    Cats don't sweat so not sure exactly what you saw there. Most cats are pretty business like about it once they get down to it but they tend to hide beforehand so the first sign might be that you can't find her.



  5. #5
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    Sep. 5, 2005
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    Default

    I know nothing about cat labor, but wanted to throw in that cat's paws can sweat! We had a cat who was terribly afraid of the vet and his paws would sweat profusely anytime we had to take him. Vet said that was actually a fairly common sign of stress.
    Emily



  6. #6
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    Jun. 18, 2007
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    Default

    I've only had one experience - also with a kitty with bonus, in my case a street cat I trapped at work. She was named Emily Dickinson in honor of her eloquence, as she cursed at me from the trap for 45 minutes straight on the drive home without repeating herself once. Took her about 2 hours to discover that I had food, and then I was her hero. She is now spayed, healthy, and the Amazon queen of my barn cats.

    Anyway, the night that Emily had her kittens, she was restless all that afternoon and looking for hiding places, and yes, she was "grumbling" a bit. She also did feel a bit warm, and her tail area was wet toward the end. She was quite agitated for the first kitten, clearly her first litter (she wasn't much above a kitten herself), and bit me hard when I was trying to comfort her and happened to reach to her head just as the big push contraction hit. After the first one, she settled down and pushed 'em out like a trooper, stopping to clean off each kitten. She also ate the placenta. Thought that was kind of disgusting myself, but I figured maybe it had milk-producing nutrients or something, since she clearly wanted to eat it.

    Best of luck! And yes, we need pictures.



  7. #7
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    Oct. 28, 2007
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    Weeks proceeding labor my cat would forever be finding new terrific places to make her bed/nest, like in the drawer on my father's tux shirts, or the laundry closet on the freshly washed towels. Which tells you, they want clean and fresh bedding just like us.
    But come time for labor, it was laying down, getting up, turning a circle, laying down, repeat repeat. Right before actually giving birth she'd start meowing while looking directly at me, she was very vocal.
    Depending on how close she is to you (or how strong her instincts are) she may show you her favorite nesting site (proudly)and come to you (for comfort) when labor starts or give birth quietly in her secret place and let you know about it after the fact.



  8. #8
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by RealityCheck View Post
    I know nothing about cat labor, but wanted to throw in that cat's paws can sweat! We had a cat who was terribly afraid of the vet and his paws would sweat profusely anytime we had to take him. Vet said that was actually a fairly common sign of stress.
    Cats can definitely sweat when stressed enough. One of our cats not only got damp on the ride to the vet, she also began stress-shedding her hair. (We think she was likely tossed from a car as it was the car ride that stressed her out. She's still not a big fan of car trips.)

    As for labor...we've only had one unspayed female (we couldn't catch her) and the biggest sign was just that she disappeared for 24 hours and then we found the kittens in a nest in the hay stall. But she was a barn cat so we weren't watching her constantly or even sure she was pregnant.

    And I'm glad I'm not the only one who had a mental image of little kitty picket lines at the tread title....



  9. #9
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    Default cat delivery

    Do you have a box/ suitcase or drawer she could use for delivery? as mentioned put towels, blankets, saddle pads in it She will arrange them As she likesI have had two cats give birth on my bed; one, at the foot; when I came in I found momma kitty lieing on the bed, looking quite pleased with herself! The other went into labor around my head; she had been sleeping on my pillow . the others s all picked their own locations, usually a box or a suitcase; I have never had to do anything except for once, whose first kitten was having difficulty coming out; I simply put a finger on either side of the head and the kitten then slid out easily;Of course, the first time
    i saw mom licking and eating away the placentas I thought she was eating the kitten! fortunately, most mom cats do just fine without much help; so, just talk t to Mom and enjoy; It really is amazing how these wet little, blind things grow up to be big beautiful furry kitties
    breeder of Mercury!

    remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans



  10. #10
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    Thumbs up try these!

    breeder of Mercury!

    remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans



  11. #11
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    Exclamation Helping Mother Cat During Birthing

    breeder of Mercury!

    remember to enjoy the moment, and take a moment to enjoy and give God the glory for these wonderful horses in our lives.BECAUSE: LIFE is What Happens While Making Other Plans



  12. #12
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    First sign, you can't find them!

    Their back ends will get wet, usually a few hours or so before hand. You might notice them get cuddly the day before, but the biggest clue is usually when they disapear. Listen for the kittens mewling.
    Riding the winds of change

    Heeling NRG Aussies
    Like us on facebook!



  13. #13
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    Another sign of impending kitten-expulsion = massive purring.

    Another vote for "give her a box". They like dark nests - a closed-up cardboard box with a "door" cut in it (all the way to the floor please, in case first-time mom freaks out and runs out of the box dragging baby attached by umbilical cord...if there's a "ledge" on the box door, baby will bang against it and possibly get caught and that, while not injuring baby, will scare the crapola out of you, the human. ASK me how I know, rofl..)

    Line said box with towels.
    One of the lessons of history is that Nothing is often a good thing to do and always a clever thing to say.
    - Will Durant





  14. #14
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    WP--

    No kittens last night. She's calmer today. Was definitely talking to me. Very new so I don't know if she'll tell me, but amazingly bonded already. It's the invisible 'sucker' tatoo.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)



  15. #15
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    Momma cat rule number one: She has her kittens where she darn well pleases. No matter how nice a nest you make for her. Her first litter might get squirted out where ever she happens to be at the time -- living room floor, middle of the driveway, etc (or on something you really don't want fouled up with birth fluids).

    Most times you can tell birth is "imminent" (as in next couple of days) as the udders fill out quite a bit, and if you squeeze a nipple and a bead of milk appears you are definitely in the home stretch. When a bit of a mess appears around her backside, kittens will follow shortly (within several hours).

    Sometimes they don't just get down to business and pop kittens out one after the other. It can take most of a day (or night) to get the job done. Pop out a kitten or two, go for a walk, have a snack, come back and pop out a couple more kittens, and so on.

    Some first-time mothers are rather vocal when contractions start (but most aren't). First time mothers can also be a bit stupid about attending to the already-born as subsequent arrivals make their appearance. A weak kitten may not have the "fight" in it to search for the milk machine while momma cat is busy with the next in line.

    Generally speaking, cats want solitude for giving birth. But if she wants company (and some do), she will make that known. While I haven't actually researched the topic, delivery complications seem to be really, really rare so your job (should she want company) is to ooh and aah and generally admire the results of her effort.



  16. #16
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    so your job (should she want company) is to ooh and aah and generally admire the results of her effort.
    Vet assured me that kitties are far easier than horses, and easier even than dogs.

    If I could just get Eamon to stop trying to eat her, life would be better.

    I don't understand how he can tolerate one cat perfectly fine, but want to kill every other cat in the Universe.
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)



  17. #17
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    They're pretty self sufficient when it come to giving birth. She'll find a quiet, warm, clean place to hide, and get down to business. Most cats are excellent mothers, but instinct will make them look for a safe hiding place for their babies.

    Mine came to me preggers. She was a really protective mother, until she weanted the kittens. Once they were weaned, and she was spayed, she doesn't even want them in the same room. My house is like a war zone with mommy, son and daughter, who came back to us from her onwer at 2 years old.
    Lowly Farm Hand with Delusions of Barn Biddieom.
    Witherun Farm
    http://witherun-farm.blogspot.com/



  18. #18
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    I'm smitten.

    Rhi (which I'm still not quite convinced is her name, but "Mamma" isn't quite right either. ) acts like she's been my cat forever. She plops down next to me, stretching out on her side. Talks and talks. I think she's got a lot of siamese, as her head is quite refined. I had a black cat who was a talker, I forgot how entertaining it is. I find myself talking back... "really? You don't say." etc. When I come in she starts to tell me all about what happened while I was outside.

    I SHOULD have moved her to the grain shed today. The dogs are annoying with her in the house... but I sort of want her nearby...

    Nipples are much bigger today, though teats aren't really filling. She's GINORMOUS sideways.

    I just smile every time I see her. I needed another critter like a hole in the head, but I *did* need to smile...
    InnisFailte Pinto Sporthorses & Coloured Cobs
    ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

    Bits are like cats, what's one more? (Petstorejunkie)



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by pintopiaffe View Post
    I'm smitten.

    Rhi (which I'm still not quite convinced is her name, but "Mamma" isn't quite right either. ) acts like she's been my cat forever. She plops down next to me, stretching out on her side. Talks and talks. I think she's got a lot of siamese, as her head is quite refined. I had a black cat who was a talker, I forgot how entertaining it is. I find myself talking back... "really? You don't say." etc. When I come in she starts to tell me all about what happened while I was outside.

    I SHOULD have moved her to the grain shed today. The dogs are annoying with her in the house... but I sort of want her nearby...

    Nipples are much bigger today, though teats aren't really filling. She's GINORMOUS sideways.

    I just smile every time I see her. I needed another critter like a hole in the head, but I *did* need to smile...
    I had a siamese, he loved to talk always had something to say. I miss him

    sounds like you are well on your way to baby kitties. Goodluck!
    Riding the winds of change

    Heeling NRG Aussies
    Like us on facebook!



  20. #20
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    You can put out as many comfy boxes as you want; but if she wants to give birth in your underwear drawer, she will. It will be wherever she feels safest. Might be in the hayloft, might be on the kitchen table. (Who wants dinner?)

    I can remember my childhood cat wanted to be in my room hiding behind my curtains. My mother moved her several times, and each time she would carefully carry her herd back, one at a time, getting a little more annoyed each time. Mom finally gave up and we left her there. She was much happier, as was I. It doesn't get much better when you're a little kid than to have a pile of kittens in your room.

    For her first litter, she took most of a day to pop out just 2 kittens, so we thought that was just a very small first litter. Over 24 hours later, the final kitten showed up. So it might take a while before you get a final count.

    Your first clue might be that she disappears for a while, and your second clue may be that she shows up, svelte and trim, saying, "Man, am I hungry! Where's the food?" Then all you have to do is follow her back to her nest so she can show off her work.

    Once she pops, you must post many pictures!



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