While eating my usual breakfast of oatmeal, I gazed up to notice a striped-cat with no tail licking her fur while perched on the deck rail.
Quickly, I filled a ceramic bowl with catfood, and scurried outside. Her loud purrs and figure 8 cuddles between my legs in appreciation for the food was enough to tug on my heartstrings.
She frequented our deck every day for four days straight, rubbing up against the screen door in the kitchen, and making eye contact with our Bernese Mountain Dog. She peered through the French Doors like she lived here. Our Bernese wagged his tail in delight as the kitty settled in on the deck.
As I stepped through the doorway of the garage to the back yard with our mini Aussie, kitty emerged from under the deck to greet our pooch with a meow, inches from touching noses.
I promised myself that if kitty babe was still hanging around on St. Patrick’s Day, I would take her to the vet to see if she was microchipped.
I quickly corralled our canine in the house, while I searched for a cat carrier. I tempted her with some treats strewn inside the carrier, which worked. She meowed slightly during the ride to the vet, but overall appeared very sweet.
“No microchip. FIV and feline leukemia – negative. Internal parasites – negative. Slight case of fleas,” Dr. Schneider remarked.
“Is she pregnant?”
“I believe so. Let me see how far along. I’ll be right back.”
“Yep, she’s due in about 4-6 weeks. We can give her a rabies shot, but no other vaccinations.”
I called the hubster, and gave him the news.
“Bring her home. We can’t leave her out to fend for herself.”
“What’s her name?” said Dr. Schneider.
I thought for a moment of my sweet Mother and a song Dad used to sing to Mom.
“Adeline. For the song Sweet Adeline, and my Mom’s confirmation name.”
I tucked Adeline in the cat carrier for the ride home, all the while, thoughts dancing through my head. Am I crazy for bringing home a pregnant cat? Will the other animals get along with her? When will she deliver? Will the babies be okay?
I set up a nice layout in the master bathroom for Adeline’s pregnancy – kitty litter box, container with food, fresh water, and a small box with a towel for her to snuggle.
She spent much of her time sleeping, watching the birds and squirrels through the two picture windows, relaxing, and enjoying tummy rubs from me.
Miss Adeline tugged on my heartstrings. A Godsend, I felt like she was my child. Though hubby and I tried for awhile, to have children, God must’ve had a greater purpose for us.
Adeline discovered the ceramic frog on the side of the green vase. She growled at it, and crouched low to investigate, but then backed off.
Although I tried to assure her the frog wasn’t real, she seemed wary and kept her distance.
Adeline is very particular about covering up her ‘business’ and hates it when she gets even a small amount of litter outside the box. She ‘gathers’ the litter on the foam protective mat, and moves it closer to the box.
“Do you want your food?”
Adeline meows non-stop and pops her head in the Purina Focus Kitten Food even before I scoop out the kibble for her bowl. She eats with a vengeance and determination, making a low grunting noise.
Adeline loves to ‘make biscuits’ on my toes, and delights in purring. A favorite hiding spot is under my legs, when I’m seated on the shower chair.
When resting on her side, I liken her belly to a platypus or football.
“She’s bonding with you,” remarks the hubster.
I can’t wait to see her kittens. I admit, I might be a little worried about her and the babies.
I’ve been allowing Adeline to explore the bedroom since she’s confined to the master bathroom. As I open the bathroom door, sometimes she is eager to discover the bedroom, and sometimes she’s content just to sit on the bathroom floor and stare at me.
April 9 – 10
Adeline’s favorite observation spot is the cool comfort of the marble sink which conforms to the contour of her pregnant body.
She’s also been spending alot of time in her specially designed kittening box by the hubster, lined with a soft Sherpa blanket. She loves to ‘make biscuits’ by kneading the soft fleece.
Monday April 11
Adeline passed a brownish menstral-like substance this morning. She seems tired today. Not her usual self, typically perched in the picture windows.
After checking on her before we left for dinner around 5:15 p.m., she was resting in the kittening box.
When we arrived home from dinner, I immediately took the dogs outside to do their business. Russell motioned to me from the master bath picture window with his index finger, “One”.
I corralled the dogs inside, rushed to the bathroom, and experienced the miracle of birth!
Adeline delivered a light striped kitten encased in a clear sac. Momma cleared the sac away from the baby’s eyes, and began licking the kitten to warm it up. Kittens loose heat quickly when newly born and wet, so it’s important to dry them off as soon as possible. Baby #1 had no tail.
Just as soon as she was finished with kitten #1, she started contractions again, and out popped kitten #2 – a medium-hued striped kitten with no tail.
Within 15 minutes, kitten #3 was born. A black cat with a tail. Then #4 – also black with a tail.
There was quite a break in delivery between kitten #4 and kitten #5 – it seemed almost 40 minutes or more. I noticed her panting, tongue hanging out to side, eyes large, and within a few minutes a black and striped kitten was delivered, with a tail.
About a 30 minute break in delivery, and #6 was born – a small black kitten with a tail.
We told Adeline, “Good job Momma!”
Both of us mesmerized, we sat with her for what seemed liked a couple hours.
April 12 – 13
The past couple days have been rewarding, but they’ve also made me realize I’m worried about Miss Adeline – much like a Mother cares for her child. And of course, all the kittens are my grandbabies.
I often find myself checking on her, ensuring all the kittens are suckling, and Adeline is eating and rehydrating.
Adeline allows me to caress her paw when she’s nursing, and purrs loudly. When I’m observing the seven of them, she often scoops the babies closer to her warm frame.
The kittens are little wonders of their own – eyes closed, groping for each other and searching for Momma with tiny paws. Their nubile bodies vocalize their frustration when they’re not happy. Momma kindly obliges and calms all their fears.
Snuggled together in geometric formations, their bodies lay 3 in a row with 3 across, 4 in a row with 2 across, and sometimes 5 in a row with the first born, light-striped kitten shoving her head above all the others as if to say, “I’m the oldest.”
I suppose I’ll be concerned until all the kittens are weaned and litter trained. The next step is feeding them kitten food. And then I’ll be concerned until they’re all adopted. (Well, except for maybe one that I have my eyes on).
But for now, I’ll try and enjoy the miracle that appeared on our deck March 14, the flower of my heart – Sweet Adeline.
And remember my favorite Bible verse Philippians 4:6
“Don’t worry about anything, pray about everything.”