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Smudge's birthing story (pics!)

post #1 of 3
Thread Starter 
The long delayed telling but better late than never, I don't want you guys to miss any cute kitten pics, either!

Queen is three days and change before giving birth, she is turning over from her back after wondering what I am doing with the camera (I'm across the room on my bed) and looked like a seal with her fat tummy. I was worried at her big belly, my vet was having a hard time with one horn and so gave the estimate of 4-7 and I lucked out at 6! I am soooo happy not to be joining the 8 kitten club that has been going around here.

Smudge is my adopted stray/feral. She is no more than 2 years and a tortoiseshell DSH (her face is "smudged" black). I got her in late May when she was just barely pregnant, from my boss who had found her and was feeding her but couldn't take her in due to elderly cats in her home and she did not know she was pregnant - she gave birth July 13th with active labor observed at 2:22am and first kitten at 3:05am. Yay! The absolute best part of Smudge's labor is that she used her box! She was mainly confined to my bedroom with litter in my bathroom's linen closet and food in bathroom proper. The first feral I even adopted tried to give birth under the bed - THERE WILL BE NO UNDER BED KITTENS! XD So I made her a box (a sterilite that is meant as under bed storage but they work as excellent birthing boxes) for the bathroom (where she likes to lounge on the cool tile and also a box in my closet in the place my shoes normally reside under some sweater shelves (nice shadowed overhang). I also ended up getting a cardboard Hanes box from meijer and also made that up in the closet. I really liked the closet box as it was larger than the sterilite - it is actually a black plastic tub we use to use to hold pool paint, nicely deep and apparently Smudge felt the same way as she chose to have her lie down and labor and birth in there. The point is: Be Prepared (boy scout salute) as it totally pays off.

I had worked second shift and Smudge was highly affectionate when I got home a little after 11pm, practically spooning with me and purring up a storm. I didn't get to sleep until after 1am and a little before 2:30am I sat up and turned off my fan thinking, "The babies will get chilled." and then I thought, "Why did I think that?" XD So I got up and peeked in the closet and Smudge was laying all nice in her box, purring with the occasional grunt during belly heaving contractions.

She had 3 red tabbies (two light orange with white bellies and faces and one dark red orangie with almost violinish markings) and then a barely there tortie, I seriously thought she was black before she dried a bit and I could see little tortie face markings but with almost a totally black body. I think she and dark red tabby may end up medium hair, at least. She had a huge break next and didn't actually finish birthing until right before 9am, finishing with a brown tabby. It looks like the 4 orangies are male and Tortie and Brown Tabby are female (yeah, no one really has any names yet, ^^.

For the curious this is the birthing schedule:

Active Labor (observed):2:22am
Kitten #1: 3:05am light orange, white face
Kitten #2: 3:35am light orange, white face/belly
Kitten #3: 4:20am dark orange
Kitten #4: 4:58am tortie
Kitten #5: Unobserved after 6 but before 8am medium orange
Kitten #6: 8:30am brown tabby

Smudge decided to care for the previously birthing kitten rather than take care of them right away, but everyone got cleaned and she ate all the placenta without being distressed.


I had to work at 11am and just as I went to take Babies' First Pic my camera's battery died so I did get a few with a disposable but this is the first digital I have of them, at two days old. They are still in their birthing box (new bedding, of course) but Smudge moved them into the cardboard box a few days later (Tortie was a champion crawler and I think Smudge was nervous she was going to fall out of the lower edged box they were in).

They will be 4 weeks on Sunday and soon I'm going to try and move them into a kiddy/kitty pool that I put in my bedroom so they will have more space to play and I'll also be able to put down a litter pan and food. Our last adopted feral queen gave birth in a sterilite box in my mom's closet and my mom moved the kittens to this pool in my bedroom when she found the first kitten outta the box (I was out of the country) and Mama was cool with that so hopefully Smudge will allow the transition as well.
post #2 of 3
awe six little cuties
post #3 of 3
Thread Starter 
Yesh. Lots of white space on the Smudge pic I obviously forgot to crop. Sorry about that.
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