Look Everyone! Lucy had her Kittens!
Thank you to everyone who prayed for our darling "Rarebreed Lucy", my spitfire tortie (that's her color), as she awaited her first litter of kittens. Your prayers and support payed off as Lucy birthed her first litter of 5 kittens!
In the days before delivery, Lucy decided to use the birthing box as a potty box. I should have taken this as a warning sign, but being that this was her first litter, did not know what to expect. Despite my gentile coaxing, all kittens were born next to the birthing box as Lucy showed me that her way was better than mine (that the tortie-tude that we love about her!), and much unlike Flame, she fought me the entire delivery. For the first time in my breeding I found my self cutting the cords, cleaning the babies, and breathing air into the kitties lungs (this clears the mucus). I found myself becoming a full pledged kitty midwife. When the four hour delivery ceased, Lucy looked to me to nurse the kittens and refused all contact with the kittens. She wasn't hissing, but rather uninterested.
As the first few days unfolded, I found that Lucy did not want to nurse her babies. She wouldn't even lay with them! On the advice of my veteranarian, we pulled out the cat carrier, placed the babies inside and began shuffling Lucy back and forth from the birthing area to the carrier in an effort to make Lucy accustomed to nursing.
The idea was this: put the babies in the carrier and place Lucy inside every two hours. Lucy will have to lie down sometime, and when she does, the kittens will be able to nurse and Lucy will realize that the suckling kittens make her milky nipples feel a whole lot less engorged.
Surprisingly, after two days of this Lucy began cleaning and pottying the kittens. When I noticed this, I removed the door from the carrier and placed the carrier in her birthing area. As I monitored Lucy over the next two hours my jaw dropped wide open. She was nursing, cleaning and pottying her kittens on her own! The carrier idea had worked and she was a full pledged super-mom!
So far, all kittens are healthy and gaining weight rapidly. Unlike Flame, Lucy produces a lot of milk so we don't expect to loose any. I have added a picture of Lucy to this posting, and will follow it with baby close ups.
Thanks to Ritz-o-cats for helping us to birth a beautiful litter of Exotic Shorthairs and thank you to every0one at Paw Talk for your prayers and support!