Saturday, September 19, 2009
Update on Beauty
Poor Beauty. She showed no signs of pregnancy and yet delivered not two but four kittens over a period of twenty-four hours. Two were stillborn and one of the stillborn kittens was a breech birth. The first kitten was stillborn. The second was a white male who probably would be a bluepoint if, by some miracle, he were to survive. He may have had a better chance of it had Beauty not been in terrible distress.
Refusing to settle, she paid him little attention. I finally found an old shirt with a pocket and placed him inside. By then, however, he was chilled and weak.
Meanwhile, I could feel that something remained inside her womb, so I massaged her unntil she finally began contractions again. The reason for the delay and the difficulty soon became apparent. The kitten, very premature and clearly dead, was in the breech position. It took over half an hour to resolve the situation.
Beauty then relaxed and I decided to let the single little live kitten be with his mother at the end. He had voided the warm milk and water mixture I had given him. I did not think he would survive the night. In fact, at one point I had thought him dead but then was able to discern the slightest movement from him.
An hour later, though, to my shock, I found him alone on the floor, extremely active, crying loudly. I then saw him motionless about a yard away... Beauty had given birth to another baby! This birth evidently was fairly easy and quick as she had not made any sound to alert me.
The first kitten did survive the night but remains very weak and will not swallow unaided. The second live kitten initially could not nurse, but I have been able to feed him a little milk and water. If I hold him to the spot, he will nurse a little. It is my hope that as he grows stronger, he will learn to nurse properly.
I will continue to fight for the life of the first kitten, but it does not look very promising. I am not terribly happy with the 2%milk/water mixture but I am waiting (in vain, I think now) for a delivery of Catmilk.
I cannot place a heating pad at the site as both Beauty and Ashleigh will bite through any electrical cord they can find. I either have to remove the first kitten again from his mother to keep him warm myself or allow him to be with his sibling and intervene only to feed.