All You Need Is A Sister Cat Doula

A LOT HAS BEEN HAPPENING ON THE KITTEN FRONT AND I’M SORRY I’M YELLING BUT A LOT HAS BEEN HAPPENING ON THE KITTEN FRONT.

It’s been a busy, busy 24 hours, friends, and I’d like to do a full, complete recap in case you’ve missed the saga on the Book of Faces or the Instant Grams, but I don’t have the time or the mental capacity…for reasons you will soon understand…so I’m going to post the updates from the socials in chronological order plus a few bonus pics and extras. That way you can catch up, and I can pretend I’ll have time to deep clean my office.

SO. We left off 5 days ago, on Kitten Watch 2021 with our Sister Cats, Quantum and Leap. For the first post announcing their arrival and Why I’m Fostering them (see also: Jesus made me), click here. For the second click here

The ensuing days looked like this.

Sisterly love, support, encouragement, and snuggles.

And begging the hoomans for belly massages. Which worked because who’s going to say no to these faces?

And that brings us to…

Monday, May 17, 1pm: Sitting in my office, I looked down at the sisters sitting at my feet. Quantum stretched and squawked. It was a brief noise but I hadn’t heard it before, so, since I have zero respect for private space, I lifted her tail. And what to my wondering eyes should appear?? A baby cat bubble! And soon Kitten #1.

THE KITTENS ARE COMING! THE KITTENS ARE COMING! I am the Paul Revere of baby cats! Quantum’s first baby has ARRIVED. More soon. 🐾🎉

(Calling it Q1 for now. We’re working on physics-related names to go with the Quantum Leap theme. And because we’re Giant Geeks. Feel free to share ideas. 😬 We know a couple names that Must Be Used, but open to suggestions, too.) 

Monday, May 17, 1:10pm: 

And then there were two! Q2 is here.

Monday, May 17, 2:00pm: 

Resting btw babies. These labor faces are on point. I feel you, mama. ❤️

Monday, May 17, 5:00pm: 

Third time is the charm! Kitten #3 has arrived. White or orange? 🤷🏻‍♀️ We’ll see when it’s dry and fluffy.

Monday, May 17, 5:30pm: 

Q4! A full quartet. Quantum’s sister, Leap, has helped with each delivery and cleaned Quantum in between. They’re the sweetest.

Monday, May 17, 6:30pm: 

Q5. You can see this little nugget resting under its mama’s arm. This birth was rough. Quantum is tired. Q5 emerged in its sac and Quantum didn’t respond. I pulled the sac open, suctioned the baby’s mouth, and dried it with a clean washcloth, trying to stimulate it to breathe. I thought maybe it was stillborn, but it started to move and then to squeak. Took it a while to really breathe and cry. I tied of its cord and cut it with sanitized scissors, then put it at Quantum’s head. She licked it a little but didn’t have much energy to continue, and the baby seemed just as tired, growing more still and not searching for a nipple like its siblings. So I held it to a nipple for about an hour—it latched immediately and its energy picked up. 🙌🏼 I’m hoping this little one makes it. I’ll be keeping an eye on it.

Monday, May 17, 7:00pm: 

Quantum appears to be done delivering… unless she’s taking an unseemly intermission (which I hear is possible). I think we can all agree that 5 kittens is a lot of kittens! And plenty for now. All 5 are active and I’ll be checking on them throughout the night.

As my last update for the evening, SPECIAL SHOUT-OUT TO SISTERS. Leap has been there every step of the way for Quantum… cleaning, comforting, snuggling. The first pic is after all 5 kittens were born… they have the kittens laying between them, and Leap is hugging Quantum’s neck. 😭 Pic 3 is my favorite, though… Leap kitten-sitting while Quantum takes a good break…I love how Leap is all WTF WHY DID YOU LEAVE ME ALONE WITH THEM?? 😂

Only complication with sisters is that I tried to weigh each kitten and Leap is NOT having it. Quantum? She’s fine. She’s all “take my kittens, pleaseandthankyou.” But Leap comes over and takes the kittens off the scale and back to Quantum. 🤷🏻‍♀️ She thinks I should keep my hands to myself. So fine. I’ll weigh them later. No need to stress the auntie out. 😂😘

Tuesday, May 18, 2:00am: 

It’s 2am. I went to check on the kittens and found the sister mamas like this. The #kittens are between them, nursing from both. They slay me. Putting myself back to bed. More soon. 😘

Tuesday, May 18, 8:15am: 

This is not a drill. It’s 8:15am and Quantum is back in labor. 😳 That’s Sister Doula Leap monitoring progress.

Tuesday, May 18, 9:45am: 

Welp, I’m at the vet now with Quantum. She was pushing too long with no result, so they’re doing X-rays to see how many are left and then they’ll decide next steps. Mama and babies are all well and in the right hands, even though this is a tad more dramatic than we’d hoped. In the meantime, this is a pic from about an hour ago of pregnant Leap, nursing her sister’s babies while Quantum labored. ❤️ I’ll let you know as soon as I have more info.

Tuesday, May 18, 11:30am: 

Ha! My sister-in-law, Kim, just sent me this! Greg and I co-own @cairns_farm with Kim and Jeff, and THE GOATS WERE NOT TOO BE OUTDONE BY THE CATS. Please join me in welcoming goats twins, born this morning to Bernadette. (Our goat herd is named for the characters on The Big Bang Theory, proving we were uber-geeks way before Quantum and Leap.) More vet news about Quantum coming soon, but for now, enjoy the baby goats. 😂

Tuesday, May 18, 12:00pm: 

QUANTUM UPDATE: Quantum (pictured earlier at home) and her 5 kittens are at the vet where she’ll be having a c-section to deliver a kitten that’s stuck. Unknown at this time: whether the kitten is alive and whether there are other kittens. It may be a few hours before we know more. I feel that this expression on Quantum’s face epitomizes this situation. “I delivered 5 kittens already. WTF, Universe?” The good news is Quantum is receiving excellent care, she’s exactly where she needs to be, AND Q5 is doing great—active, suckling, warm with a round, full belly. This afternoon I will be focusing on Leap who’s feeling pretty lonely and deep cleaning my office to prepare for Quantum & Kits’ return. ❤️

Tuesday, May 18, 2:00pm: 

No news yet on Quantum. Leap is OK without her sister and niblings BUT ONLY if she’s on top of me. Turns out she’s less than helpful in deep cleaning my office, but I’m determined to sanitize before Quantum and babies return. It’s a battle of the wills. So far, she has me pinned, so she’s winning. 🤦🏻‍♀️🤷🏻‍♀️

And now it’s 3pm Pacific Time, and you’re all caught up. No news from the vet yet. But I’ll be on the socials with updates as soon as I have them.

For now, I’m waving in the dark, waiting for dawn,

ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
6 comments
  1. I feel like Q6 should be named Schrodinger for obvious reasons. Let’s go Q6!

  2. Babies! And you got an orange one. Orange ones are jerks. But they’re also awesome. 9x out of 10 when I type comments I’m doing so with our orange failed foster, who was like Q5, undersized and Mama didn’t have enough milk, whom we did not expect to live past day 2 when we started bottle feeding him at 2 weeks… on my chest/head/face/perch of the day.

  3. Oh my goodness! Please keep us informed. We took in a young stray a couple of months ago not knowing of course she was 2 days pregnant! How would one know that? We took her to the vet when she had about 2 weeks left in the pregnancy. Had x-rays taken and saw 6 beautiful spines. Yup, we now have a mama cat and 6 adorable 2 week old kittens. She is an amazing mother for being so young. We will be keeping the mama for sure, but hope to find forever homes for the babies. Hoping all goes well with Quantum and Leap and their babies!! …and thank you from one animal lover to another for fostering these mamas and their babies!

  4. Lazer, Blazer, Blade, Fran, and Me’Shell

  5. If you don’t name the kittens Quark and Quasar, I’m going to be so disappointed.

    Other suggestions: Quriosity, (Marie) Qurie, Qulomb…

  6. omg omg omg
    so exciting!
    can’t wait for the next installment
    thank you! this is the heart-warming story I needed <3

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