Around 11:20pm Strawberry’s water broke in my bed. I quickly moved her off the bed, but as I was not expecting her kittens to come so soon, I had no birthing box prepared. Once she was down off my bed with all of the already born kittens, her maternal instincts kicked in and instead of hissing and swatting at them as usual, she started picking them up. It was weird, and I quickly scooped up the kittens and put them in the laundry room.
After rounding up the baby cats, I found Strawberry squatting oddly in the kitchen and realized this was really it. So I picked her up and carried her over to her bed (my old hamper top) and laid a flattened pizza box next to it (these things get messy). Then things started happening! Strawberry became a mom and birthed a kitten. All things seemed normal. She had had a baby and was cleaning it up. Standard procedure.
Then Melissa made a comment (all of 2A was out in the living room to watch the birth) about how weird it would be if Strawberry got up and starting walking around with the new kitten still attached by the umbilical cord. Not a moment after the words left Melissa’s mouth, Strawberry was zipping towards her room, new kitten still attached. “I don’t want it to be happening!” I announced.
Kristin was back by the bedrooms announcing Strawberry’s break for it.
Cut to the three of us wildly spinning around Melissa’s bedroom trying to find the mom and baby. Finally, they are spotted in the corner of Melissa’s wardrobe. “Alright, they’ve got to go outside!” I announced. “Kristin, open the door!” I picked up Strawberry and Melissa watched the baby (unattached by this point and just hanging out in the bottom of her wardrobe) while Kristin struggled to open our janky patio door. Praise the Lord she did get it open and I threw StrawB outside while Kristin grabbed the basket and threw it out after her. We slammed the door shut and then I went back for the kitten, grabbing a paper towel from my room (the paper towel roll was next to the rando piece of pizza I had taken out of the box in order to give Strawberry an underappreciated birthing surface) on the way because I had zero desire to touch a freshly birthed kitten bare-handed.
I delivered (heh) the baby kitten out to a frantic Strawberry – well, I attempted to, but Kristin couldn’t get the janky patio door open, so I was left holding a baby cat no more than 20 minutes old wrapped up in a paper towel shouting, “Open it! Open it!” Finally Melissa managed to pry open the other janky patio door that hasn’t been opened in literally months because it was so broken.
Now, it’s been thirty minutes since Strawberry broke her water all over my bed. All of the entrances to our house have been sealed (windows and doors, janky and otherwise) and Strawberry is frantically trying to gain access to the house (in order to continue the birthing process in the comfort and security of Melissa’s wardrobe, I can only assume). And, mystery of mysteries, the freshly birthed kitten is nowhere to be found (or at least nowhere to be seen from the living room).
While I am not particularly enthused by the prospect of having twelve cats in my house at one time (who am I kidding? I’m a little bit excited) I am anxious for this process to end. From where I sit in the living room I can hear Strawberry meowing as she has never meowed before, begging to be let in the house. Usually I’m a sucker for my StrawB, but so far she is turning out to be a terrible mother, already having displaced her only successfully birthed kitten, and I have a feeling that this process be better finished out of doors.
Well, it’s been twenty minutes since I typed the last paragraph and the new baby is in the basket, squirming around. The new mom has been trying for the past twenty minutes to get into the house and it’s stressing me out. If I could let her in knowing she would stay in one place I would, but knowing where she wants to be is in one of our wardrobes, it’s really not worth the risk. Even if we shut all of our wardrobe and hidden hide-y holes, I fear she would just pace the house meowing.
Don’t worry internet, I will keep you all posted. Hopefully by morn we will be home to more cats than we know what to do with (oops, too late).
12:43am Strawberry and new baby (named Katniss, obviously) are in my wardrobe laying on one of my favorite blankets. I’m a sucker. I also am tired and just want the madness to end (at least for the night). Strawberry hasn’t shown any signs of labor in an hour, but maybe when I wake we’ll have Peeta and the rest of the gang with us in the world.
I wanna give a shout out to my roommates, Melissa and Kristin, for their cat-wrangling and door-opening skills. I also wanna give a shout out to Ms Amy, our overseas correspondent, who talked me through the craziness and gave some sound advice via Facebook chat.