Saturday, March 28, 2015

Happy Birth Day Kittens!

I've been getting signals from MommaKitty since fairly shortly after she showed up that she was ready to give birth to kittens, but she kept not doing it.  I was hoping once again she would give birth overnight but when I showed up on Saturday morning - no kittens. She gobbled her breakfast down and nothing really seemed out of the ordinary.  Her stools were a bit soft and smelly so I grabbed a sample and took it down to the shelter.

When I got home I was tired so I went to take a nap. I asked my husband to check in on the her and if she was with kittens to let me know but if not to let me sleep. He didn't show up so I took a nap. I woke up and we watched a little tv, and I went down to give her some dinner and check on things. When I showed up she didn't come out like she normally does.  I looked around and called for her and I could hear her purring. The cat condo was way from the cabinet so I had a feeling she was in there, so I took a peek..

She didn't hop out when I found her, and I heard a squeak, so I immediately shut the door and went upstairs for my camera. I was so very glad she went into that side of the cabinet with the highly washable fitted sheets that I use on the futon as opposed to the other side which has two large hand made afghans, because she made an absolute mess.. there was blood and afterbirth everywhere.

After I pulled the sheets out I saw two kittens, one riding on the back of the other. The cabinet was a mess, so I decided to pull the two kittens out and put them in the basket I bought just for this occasion. MommaKitty followed them, and I saw a third kitten, so I took that one too and reunited the family.

I cleaned up the mess and put a towel down in case she really wanted back in the cabinet. While I was cleaning things up, MommaKitty started having contractions again. I talked softly to her and patted her head and her belly and pretty quickly a fourth kitten popped out. She jumped right in and started cleaning it.

I watched MommaKitty start to clean herself up, so I assumed she was done birthin babies.. I patted her and took a bunch of photos and then tried to clean up a bit. MommaKitty seemed to be looking at the cabinet, so I decided to try to put her babies back in there and see what happened.  I picked all four up and put them on a small towel to transport them the few feet to the cabinet. MommaKitty jumped right up and ran over to them and immediately attempted to pick one up and when she did she ran it back to the basinette.. which made me laugh, and I gave her back her other kittens and apologized for interfering and got up and gave her a can of food.

I set the dropcam up so you can get a good view into the dropcam if you want to check in and see them. There will be a whole lot of nursing for the next couple of days.. weeks probably.. One of the kittens seems a bit smaller than the others, and one seems a bit bigger. I didn't bother to look 'under the hood' to see what we have for genders, I'll do that when I change out the bedding which will be sooner rather than later.

Let the fun begin :)

Make Mine Chocolate - Rabbits at Easter

This is the fifth anniversary of my joining in and blogging about this very important cause.

I was a rabbit owner for almost fifteen years. I would still be a rabbit owner if I were still a suitable home for one. My last rabbit Bri adored my kitty Skippy; unfortunately Skippy has a recurring case of URI and he gave it to Bri. She passed away with in 12 hours of my noticing that something was wrong. Rabbits are pretty frail animals and need specialized care. They should not be given as a cute gift simply because there is a holiday.

I know we all adore the idea of giving animals, but most of us accept the reality that it can be very very hard on the animal, so giving a pet as a gift should only be done with a lot of thought and care and concern for the animal. I do believe it can be done right, but I do believe it is a lot more work than most people want to put in during a special occasion event.

If you do want a rabbit for the holiday, there are a few things you should know. Rabbits can live for 10-12 years. They are also prey animals so they are much more skittish than a cat or a dog would be. They are not 'starter' pets as they do need a lot more than just food and water. Rabbits need as much room as a cat in order to get proper exercise. They need a constant diet of fresh hay because they need to keep their digestive track moving at all times. They also need fresh greens and vegetables and some people like to treat their bunny with fruits as well. They have a very limited need for pellets, generally only when they are young, but some people continue to feed them over their life time but they need to be cautious of not overfeeding them.

Since rabbits are constantly eating, they are also constantly pooping. Fortunately rabbit pellets are very dry, if they aren't then your bunny is ill and needs a trip to the vet, and are easy to take care of. Rabbits also like to use a litter box if you provide one, which makes cleaning fairly easy. Other forms of maintenance for your bun would be trimming of the claws and making sure their teeth are constantly worn down by chewing on various chew toys because their teeth constantly grow and if are not maintained properly can cause serious problems.

Baby Bunny
If you look at the photo above, you can see the poop pellets next to the bun, and the litter box with hay in it to encourage them to sit there and eat and pee. There is also an enrichment toy of a cardboard container for them to chew on and nose around. Buns need stimulation. A lot of bun owners provide hard teething toys for buns to explore and nose around. Some like belled balls. Untreated wicker baskets are good for jumping in, for exploring, for digging and for chewing. Old phone books are also good for buns to play with.

Rabbits are wonderful pets, but they are work. They are also funny, and adorable, and sweet, and my second favorite pet in the world. So if you are not up for it, this Easter, go for the chocolate ones instead.