I took in a friendly feral with newborns & have some Qs

Sarthur2

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Do NOT let Emma outside until after she is spayed. She can get pregnant again right away, whether she is in heat or not. Cats are induced ovulators when they mate. Also, she needs to remain available to her kittens.
 
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catnappedx2

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Thank you for that information! Since she normally spends all her time outside, I was letting her go out in my yard for little bits of time just to get out, because she's not used to being in a house at all, let alone all the time, and to give my boys a break from her. I hardly see my cats! They're hiding under furniture most of the time. It's especially hard with the black cats, I'll see some eyes under a chair....

But I certainly do not want her to get pregnant again - however, I have no qualms about aborting any new litter. In fact, I don't recall if I said this above or not, but when I finally got her to the vet during this pregnancy, I told the vet that, if she wasn't very far along, he had my permission to abort this litter to spay her, but he told me that he felt she was too far along. He couldn't say how far, but he could tell it was too far for him to safely abort them. It's not my preference, but I've already promised her that this is her last litter (IDK how many she's had before this, or even how old she is, but a promise is a promise.

When she's gone out during her time here, she doesn't go far, because she doesn't trust me and the boy cats alone with her kittens. She watches me like a hawk, and I watch her like a hawk. LOL The only time she went for any extended amount of time was the first night she was here, and this is a really sad story.

She originally had 6 babies. I have a picture of her with all of them. But this was on a neighbor's porch, and I didn't know if they had any claim to her or the kittens, so I left the neighbor a note, and asked them to call me if they had any objection to me staking a claim to Emma & her family. This was about 11 a.m. 9/2, the day after they were born. I also took Emma some food, a box for the kittens with that fluffy donut and a towel in it, put each kitten in it, and left Emma nursing all of them.

I walked back up to that neighbor's house around 6 p.m. The note was off the door, but when I walked up to the side porch where Emma had been, the donut bed and towel were on the ground, I saw the box on the ground beside the garage, there were two dead kittens in it, and I couldn't find Emma or the other kittens anywhere. I was so upset, I ran back home (this was just across the alley, but still, I have severe arthritis in both knees, both feet, and my back, so it's not an easy run) and called the police. Pennsylvania has strict felony laws against animal cruelty anymore. If that neighbor didn't want the kittens, HE HAD MY NUMBER, HE COULD HAVE JUST CALLED ME. And, if something had just happened to them, again, he had my number, I said I fed Emma & took her to the vet, why not call and tell me, some of those kittens are dead??? Unless you didn't want me to know?

Anyway, I will spare you the long story, but the state trooper who came out called ALL of my cats "feral" - my cats have a home, they are NOT feral. He tried to tell me that we get bears on our porches all the time here - my family has been here for 5 generations, there's NEVER been a bear sighting in this neighborhood! He was just a jerk, trying everything he could to get out of doing any report. He went up to talk to the guy, who said he found them dead. Of course, people NEVER lie to the police. And I said that to the trooper, in that same sarcastic tone, which made him angry. Anyhow, I went up to that guy's house & he showed me where there was one more dead kitten under his porch! So the ones who died were the black one, the ginger one (I had wanted a ginger kitten so badly), and the tuxedo one, which is the one under the porch. I had taken the other two to my house for burial. But I had to put the 3 who survived in another box and take them home, with Emma in tow, so I told the guy I'd be back later for the other dead one.

Well, later that night, after I got Emma & the 3 living kittens settled in, Emma asked to go out. I told her, just don't be late. She came back 10 minutes later with the dead tuxedo kitten in her mouth. My heart fell. I could see her point, I left one behind. She took him straight upstairs and put him in the box with the other 3, who then started nursing. I had followed her up, and I told her, "Emma, can't you see, he's not nursing like the others? He's gone, honey." She just gave me the blankest look.
So I grabbed a paper towel or some toilet paper & gently picked him up, took him downstairs and put him in the same little "coffin" as the other two. Just as I was sealing the box shut, she came downstairs and asked to go out again. I let her, and she was gone for about a half hour. I was pretty sure I knew where she went - looking for the 3 kittens I had "forgotten." They were literally in my lap when she came down the stairs, just in a small box, wrapped in a small blanket I had started making for one of my other cats. It made me cry, to see her so worried about those kittens, but it didn't surprise me. I've seen new mothers search around and cry out for their prodigal babies, who either were stillborn, died in birth, or soon afterwards. They know how many babies should be with them. It's very sad. These babies were perfectly fine when I handled them earlier in the day. They were not runts - she had no runts. They were not sick. They all nursed. The cop tried to tell me that it was the sun that killed them! Why didn't it kill ALL of them? They were all together.

So between the sun, a bear, and other random vicious animals roaming my neighborhood in the middle of a sunny late Summer day (that I've never seen or heard of in 56 years, and my mom never told me about in her nearly 65 years here before she died, etc.), the state trooper could tell me that it was all just an overreaction on my part, so he didn't have to investigate anything any further. And since I am not a veterinarian, just a cat owner for 56 years, I am not qualified to say their necks look like they were snapped. Nevermind we've had cats die from snapped necks. That was useless information. I'm still angry about it. I hate incompetent lazy people.

Anyway, that's the only time since she's been here that Emma went out for long periods of time. She was looking for her lost babies. I know exactly where they are, buried next to my senior cats who died in late 2019. I gave the babies names for their headstone I still need to paint - Little Ginger, Blackie, & Tux. Even dead kittens need identities.
 
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catnappedx2

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So I weighed the kittens this morning, because they were really fussing when I went in the master bedroom to see if Emma needed an early breakfast - after she ate around 11 p.m., I opened another can of food for Emma for overnight that I got at Petsmart yesterday, but it was a new food I hadn't pretested with her before & she didn't like it. So she needed breakfast, but the kittens were screaming a lot, too, which is rare.

I was wondering if maybe they were hungry, so I thought, let's see what they weigh. Benny is 13 oz., Herb is 13.5 oz., and Missy is 12 oz. They've all gained! I told them, "unless you're all full of poop, you gained weight 😺"

At Petsmart, I found some broths and food toppers that I'm trying out for Emma as stand-alone soups. Yesterday, I eventually gave her the rest of the can of KMR that I had. I also had a carton of PetLac, which was all I could find locally the other day when everyone was out of KMR, but Emma wouldn't touch it. I did get another can of KMR, but I want to hold onto it right now in case the kittens need it. It's not cheap. However, the adult broths are less expensive & geared towards Emma's needs.

So yesterday afternoon I gave her a little Solid Gold Bone Broth with salmon shreds (salmon is Emma's favorite flavor/food). I chose this because it says it promotes hydration, is nutrient-rich, supports gut health and provides overall immune support. I feel Emma needs this right now. Well, she licked up the little bit I put out so quickly & looked at me like, "is there more of that?" So I gave her the rest of the packet. It's only 3 oz.

I feel that she is very underweight - my vet said he didn't think she was, but he only saw her pregnant. She's thinner than a rail. Mr. Ginger used to be that thin, until the emergency vet tested him (which was positive) for tapeworm. After he got treated for that, he's slowly gotten to a healthy weight & body size. I asked my vet to treat Emma for tapeworm, just in case - I had no stool sample, but the treatment cleared up her diarrhea within a day. So even though she shouldn't technically be able to pass tapeworm on to her kittens, I'm still anxious to get them dewormed.

I have another broth I want to try with Emma today or tomorrow, Solid Gold Holistic Delights Creamy Bisque with Salmon & Coconut Milk. Even if she ate one of these broths a day, it's still very much less expensive than giving her the same amount of KMR, and most likely more appropriate.

This is why I stick to boy cats & get them neutered before they ever spray! Get them neutered at 5 or 6 months, they're good the rest of their lives, rarely any trouble! And I'm always their best girl LOL! However, I did show the kittens to my George - who is 1 year, 7.75 months old today - but he was upset because I had called for him but Emma charged at him with her claws & teeth out, as usual - so he was still growling while I was holding him. While Emma was eating later, I picked Missy up and took her to where my 2yo Charcoal (a/k/a Charlie) was laying so he could meet her. He didn't even blink. He's my rescue, he's little for an adult cat, & shy, and very sweet. Missy didn't react to Charlie, either. She just wanted to get back to her bed. I did that very late when the lighting was very dim, to protect her eyes.

Well, hopefully today will be a smooth day, because I have a lot of chores & am in a lot of pain. I need to mow the lawn & hopefully wash some laundry. I need cats to sleep.
 

Sarthur2

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I still think you should open the can of KMR and give Emma a dish a day. I really think she needs it. A can goes a long way, and stores well in the freezer. Sounds like the kittens are doing well.
 
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catnappedx2

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I still think you should open the can of KMR and give Emma a dish a day. I really think she needs it. A can goes a long way, and stores well in the freezer. Sounds like the kittens are doing well.
I did open it for Emma at lunchtime, and eventually for Missy, too. But since I've been out of work now for 2 months, I've used up all of my savings because SSI doesn't cover all my bills, let alone taking care of at least 7 adult cats, 1 or 2 opossums (who eat all the cat good I set out every few nights, but if I don't set it out, the cats don't get it, either), and the wild birds (that's a whole other story), etc. $8 a can is very expensive to me for something that Emma drinks up in one sitting. I'm having a hard time just keeping up with her canned food needs, and making sure the outside kitties still eat & my kitties still eat. My George is more & more upset every day, because Emma keeps attacking him, so he's always asking for treats, and I'd love to say NO, but then my upstairs tenant runs into the room, runs up to him with claws out, hissing, in attack mode, and he has to run for his life, and he sees me fawning all over her babies when he's my baby, and what am I going to say?

I firmly believe that Emma is overfeeding the boys, and it's taking too much out of her. As I started writing this, she was in her 2nd episode today of the panting after nursing. But both times, I was upstairs when she was nursing, and Missy was shut out from feeding by both her brothers and Emma. Every time Missy tried to find a working nipple, one of the boys literally shoved her out of the way, then Emma would start VERY aggressively licking Missy away from her body, so Missy kept stumbling, not being able to get her footing to feed, and cried.

When I witnessed it, I picked Missy up onto her feet (not like out of the box, but like setting something up that got knocked over), between where her brothers were, and a couple of times I pulled Herb back and put Missy in his place and re-placed him (set him in front of another nipple), and he knocked Missy back out of that spot instead of using the other nipple, which is what he *should* have done. Emma got mad at me, but I told her, if you're going to nurse, nurse all 3, or the ones who are actually hungry, or let me feed one.
So tonight, I just finally picked Missy up, and took her downstairs because I wanted to make her a bottle and Emma was being especially aggressive with her. Emma kept feeding the boys, but came down while I was warming up some milk from the new can of KMR. About 20 minutes before, I just gave Emma a bowl of the Solid Gold Bisque mixed with KMR, and she had eaten that, because that was her 1st episode of panting after nursing. I have no idea why she was nursing again so soon! That's why I was unprepared with the bottle; she was overfeeding the boys, but not feeding Missy today. Idk what's going on in her head.

So I gave Missy some KMR & she really ate! Emma stayed downstairs, looking over my shoulder. Missy ate a lot! Then I gave Emma some more KMR from the bottle when Missy was done. Emma insisted on cleaning Missy, who I took back upstairs, and I gave Emma more KMR. Then she went back upstairs, still panting, and started nursing again! Well, I learned this much about Emma: if I open a can of her food, she will walk away from those mew-mews! So I grabbed a can of Royal Canin Mother & Baby food, and she followed me. I turned the a/c on, and she went downstairs to cool off so we could get her felling better.
So as I was writing about that, she tapped my knee. I told her my friends wanted to know how she's doing, and that I said she's going to kill herself feeding those babies, and that she is overfeeding the boys. I didn't feed Missy because she's potentially starving, but because she missed a meal everyone else got.
Then touched Emma's back & side & she was still very warm for laying in front of an a/c unit & 2 fans for over a half hour!! But then I closed my eyes for a moment & I could feel my tremors making my legs jump - I opened my eyes & she was also looking at my legs, and it scared her so she went back upstairs. So what did she do? She was only gone 30, 40 minutes, and the kittens were mewing because that's what they do, so she jumps in & starts to feed them!

And I figured out why they're so chubby & she's so exhausted: every time they cry, she thinks they are hungry!
But how do you explain to a cat that one kitten cries because he's looking for a way out? Because he's a loudmouth ginger? And sometimes they cry just because they are mew-mews?! That's why I call them that!!! They just cry, that's all they know how to do to communicate! They aren't hungry! I told Herbie he's going to kill his mom! Poor Emma! And Poor George!
 

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:clap:You are doing a fantastic job! It sounded like Emma was getting low on her calcium but the kmr is probably helping her regain lost ground. It is almost impossible for kittens to overfeed which is why it is important to supplement the mana kitty, especially if she wasn't wormed or may have other issues going on. Condolences on losing your sister so tragically in addition to losing your mom. I am glad that you are on your family's land - it is a gift from our forefathers that too few people appreciate nowadays. I feel that land is very important, especially in these uncertain times. The babies are adorable and you are a wonderful godmother for little Missy. I am looking forward to updates! :happycat:
 
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catnappedx2

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:clap:You are doing a fantastic job! It sounded like Emma was getting low on her calcium but the kmr is probably helping her regain lost ground. It is almost impossible for kittens to overfeed which is why it is important to supplement the mana kitty, especially if she wasn't wormed or may have other issues going on. Condolences on losing your sister so tragically in addition to losing your mom. I am glad that you are on your family's land - it is a gift from our forefathers that too few people appreciate nowadays. I feel that land is very important, especially in these uncertain times. The babies are adorable and you are a wonderful godmother for little Missy. I am looking forward to updates! :happycat:
Thank you so much for always allaying so many of my fears! It's been well over 30 years since I've personally cared for newborn kittens - we always had cats when I was a child (and dogs, rabbits, chickens, turtles... a menagerie of small animals on our property, less than a half mile from where I am now). But back then, I took orders from my parents on what to do. My dad came from a farming family; he really didn't like all the pets (he didn't like having children, either - that's a different story), but he still taught us respect for them. I was often the pets' caretaker. The mama cats we had seemed to be good at doing their job, though I'm sure if my mom was alive, she would know if that was true or not. I do remember, because back then taking pictures meant getting film developed, our parents getting angry that we took so many pictures of kittens!

My degrees are in History, so I appreciate very much living in my grandparent's home. My dissertation was going to be about my home county, which is why I was here in PA (I was attending grad school at the University of Miami in Coral Gables, FL) when my mother was diagnosed with terminal cancer in late 2004. My mom, who became a nurse when I went away to college, was very smart. When I first got home earlier that year, my sister had kicked one of her cats out for not using the litterbox. He was the only boy, with 5 female cats & she had 1 box - gee, I wonder why he refused to use it?! He was only 8 weeks old! So my mom told my niece to bring him over & give him to me, and he became my cat. [I lost him Oct. 18, 2019; my vet suspected he had stomach cancer. He was 15 1/2 years old. He died in my arms. It was brutal on me.] 2 years later, in 2006, my mom wasn't winning her battle; and the neighbor's cat had a litter under my sister's porch. My mom told me to go there and find a companion for Boots. So I went looking for the kittens, and they were scurrying away from me. Except one, who got up on my sister's lawn mower & started meowing to get noticed. I picked that little one up & he crawled up my arm & rested on my shoulder & became the love of my life, my Wilhelm. He ended up having allergies that led to chronic asthma as he got older, & when he was 8 he developed a tumor on his right nostril, which I was told couldn't be removed without taking his nose.
After Boots died, Wilhelm grieved deeply - the vet & I had both guessed Willy was about 5 weeks old when he came to live here -- but he was also the alpha -- so Boots was his feline family. Willy stopped responding to his meds, and the vet & I made the excruciating decision to let him go be with Boots on November 18, 2019. My heart broke in a million pieces, because they had been there through the deaths of my mom, who brought them both into my life, and my sister, in whose house both were born. Now all 4 of them were gone, and for the first time in my entire life, I'm alone. I went for grief counseling. I couldn't afford to get them cremated, so they are buried here. It's another reason I am tied to this land. My babies are here.

Anyway, sorry to get off the topic of Emma & her babies. Emma came downstairs a lot last night & started flirting with Smoky, one of my indoor/outdoor all-black tom cats. All of the boy cats who come into my home are neutered - I took Smoky to my vet to be neutered, & when I went to pick him up the next day, the vet called me into an exam room. He told me that he got Smoky under anesthesia, then realized, this cat is already fixed! My vet said, you know how a cat's penis has barbs? His is smooth. That's a sign that he's neutered already. But I swear, that cat tries to hump everything that doesn't get out of his way! Including my legs when I'm fast asleep in the mornings! And my other black cat, Charlie! Anyway, so Emma got mad when Smoky didn't flirt back with her! I thought, OMG girl, get your hot butt back upstairs with those kittens, I'm only playing kitty grandma one time for you! It was funny, but I'm keeping them separated. As soon as my vet gets back from vacation, I'm going to get her spaying scheduled.

Last thing on my mind, I'm glad to know they can't be overfed. My biggest worry, especially when I see how much it takes out of Emma, despite how much I'm trying to increase her nutritional intake, is that they are feeding unevenly. Two kittens are getting the bulk of the nourishment, one consistently is not. I also don't know if Emma is "punishing" Missy for being MY favorite! You never know what goes on in the brains of a cat. Many people think animals ONLY act on instinct - they reason things out, too. They just aren't self-aware, they lack many of our higher brain functions. But my Wilhelm could make rudimentary tools on his own, he could solve problems, he could make connections - Willy was VERY highly intelligent, & not just for a cat. Boots, too, understood concepts & consequences - "if you wake me up tonight, Boots, you get no treats tomorrow," could change his behavior for one night. There are humans who don't understand consequences!!!

Anyway, I just don't want Herb eating everything & Missy missing out. I also want Emma to understand that not every time a kitten mews, does it mean they are hungry. It's led me to believe this is the longest she's had kittens survive.

Sorry to write so much, but I do appreciate the peace of mind. Emma sometimes doesn't like me intervening, but my sister didn't like our mom sticking her nose in where raising her kids was concerned, either. If you ask me, she should've welcomed it. Her kids act like I don't exist (their only aunt - their father was an only child) since their mom died. It's their loss. I have kittens.
 

Sarthur2

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If you feel a kitten is not getting enough or gaining well, by all means supplement. But there’s almost always a piggie and a runt. 😉
 
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catnappedx2

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If you feel a kitten is not getting enough or gaining well, by all means supplement. But there’s almost always a piggie and a runt. 😉
😹😹😹 Every time I fuss over the kittens' eating habits, I hear my mom's plaintive cry from our early adulthood: "I only had 3 children, why can't you all get along?!"
 
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catnappedx2

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Well, we had a bit of an eventful day, and it may not be over, but I'm putting off going upstairs right now (it's after 11 p.m., I'm hoping it's over soon).

I had to do some yardwork today - run the lawnmower & weed whacker - which took a long time because the batteries had to be recharged repeatedly (still recharging the mower battery now). So I wasn't paying lots of attention to Emma early today. I had placed an order to be delivered from Petsmart to get the Bone Broth she liked - when it came, I gave her some mixed with a little KMR, and she loved that, but I gave it to her again later tonight, and she's over it, I hope just for now, because I had to get a dozen to get it delivered.

Anyway, after doing the mowing, I went upstairs to go to the bathroom, and I was going to feed Emma, so I go into her room and I'm hearing the kittens screaming very loudly. As I open the door, I find out why they are so loud: there they are, back to being right in front of the door again! I guess she figured out how to get them out of the tall box! At least this time all 3 of them were together! But still....

So I set some food out for Emma and put the kittens back in their box, but I asked Emma, did they want to go on a field trip? If they did, let's take them on a field trip - because it was clear that they were wide awake. So I put them in their chewy box, grabbed a can of food for Emma, and took them downstairs! I cleared off the couch, and set the kittens down there. I opened Emma's can of food so she could eat & grabbed another bowl, because I got Emma a treat, something I had no idea what cats needed it for until this week: Cat Sip Milk Treat. I got Emma one box of that because I didn't know if she'd like that, along with a dozen of the bone broths. Yes, she liked it a lot. Drank about half the carton at one time. It's much more affordable than KMR! As far as getting what she will eat, though it doesn't have the nutrients that KMR does.

So when she wasn't eating or drinking, she was nursing, for the most part. I did take a little video of her nursing, but my phone was running out of storage because I had changed the SD card, so I couldn't take too many pics or videos.
___________________________________________________________________________________________
And just like I thought, everything changed before I could even finish this message.

Emma came downstairs and picked another fight with George & Charlie, while I was trying to let Mr. Ginger back in for the night. Mr. Ginger saw that and went right back outside. It made me mad, so I told Mr. Ginger hold on, I'll just get Emma situated upstairs with the kittens. So I go upstairs, and guess who are outside their box, in front of the door again? She puts them RIGHT IN FRONT of the door, so that I can barely open it up because it swings into the room. I HAVE to pick them up so that I can even step into the room. So I grabbed a larger box and some duct tape, taped the bottom shut (it was broken down) and taped the top of it open so that the sides would be taller, because the box is wider and longer than the one they were in, but not as tall. I had put the kittens in a different box in my room, closed the door shut with the lights out, so they would not be disturbed by the lights or anything while I was doing this. I even cut a little ledge for Emma to step onto and off of - this box is level with the edge of the bed in the Master bedroom, so Emma can jump in from the bed, and back out onto the bed. It's big enough that I put a bed pillow, covered by a towel, in it, and their blue donut pillow, and there's still room on the bottom for some flat, towel space. I had to find a new place for Emma's litterbox, move some other things around to make space for this huge box, but it's nice and big, bigger than a baby's playpen.

So, I bring the kittens back in and put them in there, and what does Emma do? Goes in and grabs Herb and starts to pull him out!

I do not know what Emma is trying to prove. These kittens are just a few days over 2 weeks old. I have pictures of her still pregnant at the very end of August - I can prove how old they are!!! They are too little to 1) be out on the streets, and 2) be running around my house. I can't figure out for the life of me what her deal is. She can't possibly be litterbox training them - they were nowhere near the litterbox, for one thing, and they are still too young, for another. She should NOT be taking them out of their box, they are still way too young! And Emma is homeless! She literally has nowhere to take these kittens.

There's something I did not tell y'all above, when I talked about Wilhelm, who came into my life when he was 5 weeks old and died at 13 1/2 years old. The reason why it was important to get Willy then, and not let him live any longer with his mother, under my sister's porch, is that the mama cat was taking these kittens across our road. Granted, we live in the country, but because of that, people fly through here and don't care if they hit animals at all, not even kittens. In fact, people swerve to hit animals, which makes me sick. Willy was the ONLY member of his litter to live past 6 months old. Most of them didn't make it past 8 weeks. Willy was super smart - where those other kittens ran when they saw me, Willy knew I was something good that came into his life, and he took advantage of it. I always tell everyone, I didn't adopt Wilhelm, Wilhelm adopted me. Kittens around here just do not survive, even if they have owners, if they are not kept inside. I know this. Emma does not seem to understand, because she is a cat. But, instead of just understanding she's got a good deal going here - eating the best food I can get at Petsmart, whatever flavor SHE likes, whatever she needs for her nutritional care, etc., she is not even making sense for an animal! Earlier today, I helped her split up her nursing duties while keeping the kittens amused so that there was no fighting! I even sung the kittens to sleep after they ate! I fed her a mixture of her two favorite liquids - the Salmon flavored Bone Broth & KMR! So what does she do in return? Puts her kittens in harm's way, and doesn't understand that she needs to just leave them alone, for crying out loud.

So, I grabbed the large cat carrier, and took it upstairs. I told her, you try to take one of those kittens out of this big box & I put them in the cat carrier & you are out of this house. Well, she jumps down in the box, grabs Herb by the scruff of his neck and tries to jump out with him, but he falls back in the box as she got out. So I picked up the donut pillow they were on, and put them in the carrier, closed the door, put them in my room, closed the door, picked her up and threw her out my door.

Y'all have to understand, I have a lot of mobility problems and I've had no family or friends to help me with a very old house in 7 years now. I have piles and piles of laundry that I can't even carry down to the basement - even George has pulled laundry down on himself, I can't imagine what would happen if the kittens would try to get on it and get under it. I have those broken-down boxes in that Master bedroom, and it's the only room with closets, so that's another reason I use it for storage of my mom's stuff, my Nana's stuff, and things from some of my old apartments that I don't have room for elsewhere right now. My house isn't exactly the kind of place tiny kittens can just go running around unsupervised.

I know what kind of trouble kittens can get into because they are kittens. When I was a child, my dad put a new kitten in our basement - I think it was about 6 weeks old, pure white, long-haired - and put a flimsy sheet of plywood in the doorway to keep it in one room. A few hours later he went downstairs, it was dead. It had tried to jump over the plywood, but instead hit the plywood, which fell down on it and killed it. We also had kittens attacked by a neighbor's tom cats once. I know that that happens. The tom cats came back on our property, looking for more kittens to kill, I guess, and my dad went outside with a shotgun. One cat ran, the other stayed. My dad shot it, and he said it just looked at him without blinking. He shot it again but missed, then I guess he was so mad (remember, he's an abusive alcoholic, especially in that time, so he'd take his temper out on anyone, including a cat that killed his childrens' kittens) he started beating the cat with the butt of the shotgun, and broke it, but the cat just ran off. The whole thing made him mad. I was just sad that my kittens were killed.

So now I have to take care of these kittens without Emma. I think I'm going to have the hardest time with the boys, because she doted on them. They have no choice, they aren't going to eat if they don't let me feed them. But, now I can move that big box into my bedroom - I guess I have to. And I guess it's no sleep for a couple more weeks. My boys don't sleep with me anymore, so it's not going to be much of a problem keeping them out of my room. Only Smoky likes to hump my legs. Oh, how will I ever live without that? Maybe I'll keep these kittens forever, so Smoky will have to keep his humping to himself that long???
 

catsknowme

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Oh no - please, please put Emma back! Her milk gives valuable antibodies and probiotics specific to your area. Plus mother cats are very bonded to their babies and vice-versa. I have had mother cats routinely move their babies quite early on even though I changed out the nest lining daily.
Jcatbird Jcatbird probably has good insight into Emma's behaviors - she is fluent in catspeak. :agree:. Also, Sarthur2 Sarthur2 and StefanZ StefanZ are experts with neonate advice.
Off topic, your life story is interesting. I, too, grew up in a rural area, primarily cattle ranching and hardrock mining. Cats were/are considered only for their practical purposes. I was fortunate that my father's people considered felines to be connected to the ancestors so our cats were pets. In fact, our small-town vet treated only livestock (except chickens). It's impressive that you got an advanced education, as did your mom - a real inspiration!
Willy sounds like he was your soul-cat. And Emma has an impressive menu - it will enrich her milk, especially the calcium in the bone broth.
 
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di and bob

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Yes, I agree! Bring Emma back, at least until the kittens are old enough to eat on their own. Maybe you can just lock them all in the room. Kittens fighting is teaching them valuable skills in life like limits and manners. Emma needs to be with her kittens. If she moves them so be it, she is not happy with where they are and feels they should be somewhere else. But if the door is shut she will have to move them somewhere in that room. She does not understand what you are trying to tell her. all she knows now is that she is without her kittens and is frantic. Please, I hope someone can come up with a solution, even if it is to move them all outside somewhere.
 

Sarthur2

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This is unacceptable. Put Emma back with her kittens in that playroom and let them be other than to go in and feed, water, change litter, and spend time with them. If she puts them in front of the door, so be it. Just open it carefully.

Emma does NOT understand your intentions. The reason she is putting her kittens in front of the door is because she wants them out of the box and ready to socialize instead of locked away.

She did not “pick a fight” with your other cats. She is in instinctively defensive mode so that the other cats do not attack or otherwise bother her kittens. Mother cats are notoriously protective of their young.

This is not rocket science. The kittens need their mother and she needs them - for several more weeks. I think you are over-thinking some of this and causing interference where none need exist. I think you are personalizing your feelings too much about Emma and in general making things harder for yourself, Emma, and the kittens.

Please return the mother cat and kittens and let them be, and try to relax about the situation. Your past and your present may be a bit too intertwined in your mind and may therefore be affecting your daily responses to Emma.

C catnappedx2
 
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catnappedx2

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I let Emma sweat it out "overnight" - not as long as it sounds, it was only about 4 or 5 hours. When I got up this morning, it was mostly because Mr. Ginger was in my bedroom window whining, which woke the kittens up. So I went downstairs & warmed up some KMR a little, warmed some kitty wipes a little (til everything was just on the other side of my body temperature), and went back up to my room, then one by one, gave them a little cleaning like Emma does, including their bums (no one did any business for me), then I fed each as much as they wanted, which wasn't a lot.

Then I went downstairs & made my coffee, and filled up the cats' food bowls that they emptied overnight, and Smoky asked to go out. I told him that he was opening up a can of worms I wasn't ready for, because I knew exactly what would happen as soon as I opened that door, and there she was. So I went outside to feed the other cats & asked Emma if she was ready to just keep the kittens safe?

So I let her in, and offered her some good but she wanted the kittens, so we went up to my room. Eventually she jumped in & nursed, then jumped back out, and I showed her that her food & water are still in the master. Then I closed my bedroom door. She tried hollering in front of the door for a little while, but I can't react. They are sleeping, and I want them to just rest. After a few minutes, she came down & asked to go back out. So that's where it stands.
 

Sarthur2

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As I’ve already stated, Emma should NOT go outside at all until she is spayed or she will end up pregnant again shortly. She needs to be in with her kittens, though she can have breaks from them inside the house. All cats need breaks from their kittens, but not outside.
 
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catnappedx2

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This is unacceptable. Put Emma back with her kittens in that playroom and let them be other than to go in and feed, water, change litter, and spend twith them. If she puts them in front of the door, so be it. Just open it carefully.

Emma does NOT understand your intentions. The reason she is putting her kittens in front of the door is because she wants them out of the box and ready to socialize instead of locked away.

She did not “pick a fight” with your other cats. She is in instinctively defensive mode so that the other cats do not attack or otherwise bother her kittens. Mother cats are notoriously protective of their young.

This is not rocket science. The kittens need their mother and she needs them - for several more weeks. I think you are over-thinking some of this and causing interference where none need exist. I think you are personalizing your feelings too much about Emma and in general making things harder for yourself, Emma, and the kittens.

Please return the mother cat and kittens and let them be, and try to relax about the situation. Your past and your present may be a bit too intertwined in your mind and may therefore be affecting your daily responses to Emma.
Emma attacks my cats ALL THE TIME, not just now that she has kittens. They do nothing to provoke her. They can be in a totally separate area of the house and she will DELIBERATELY go up to them from behind, hiss, swipe at them with her claws out, chase them out of her way, and scream bloody murder as she's chasing them.
I'VE OWNED CATS ALL MY LIFE AND NO CATS PLAY THAT WAY.
She deliberately antagonizes my cats. THIS IS WHY I COULDN'T RESCUE HER. She gets along with no other cats, pregnant, kittens, or not - and the vast majority of the time I've known her, she has NOT been pregnant or a mother.
I consider THAT picking a fight ANY day. They were HIDING FROM HER and she still does that. She and her kittens were in no way threatened. Her kittens are upstairs, my cats are downstairs, HIDING UNDER FURNITURE.
 

Sarthur2

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Then go ahead and get her spayed since you plan to finish raising the kittens yourself. Her hormones will calm down and she can live outside.
 
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catnappedx2

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As I’ve already stated, Emma should NOT go outside at all until she is spayed or she will end up pregnant again shortly. She needs to be in with her kittens, though she can have breaks from them inside the house. All cats need breaks from their kittens, but not outside.
My cats need a break from Emma. I live in a small house. My cats are cowering under furniture. I have NOWHERE else for her to go. My cats are indoor only cats. They live here FULL TIME. SEE WHAT I WROTE ABOVE. Their nerves are frayed, and Emma needs to understand that SHE HAS NOWHERE TO TAKE HER KITTENS.

Instead of being JUDGMENTAL, why not someone OFFER to help me KITTEN PROOF MY HOUSE???

Judging what I HAVE TO DO to keep ALL THE CATS safe and sound, NOT JUST SOME, is b.s.
 

di and bob

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Some females are notorious for not getting along with ANY other adult cats. I have had several females that were raised with their 'brothers' and still were nasty to them. She may be one of them. She is also in a hormonal situation with trying to keep her kittens safe. Other than separating Emma from her kittens and making her more determined to get them out of there, I think you are WONDERFUL with them. Sarthur2 is like me, she has seen so much heartache with cats that she hates to see any mama distressed, they are still the BEST one to raise their kittens. it will only be a few more weeks and then your household can get back to normal with mama back outside. I know it is not safe out there but sometimes, like me right now, it is the only choice. I just wanted to warn you too, to get her spayed asap, I have a mama cat who delivered three kittens in April, two more at the end of July, and now is pregnant again, I will be swamped with cats if I don't get her in. It will be a race though, with getting her kittens old enough to eat on their own before she gets too pregnant to spay. I understand your stress, I now have 6 very feral cats to spay/neuter and don't know how I am going to catch them all in the live traps, especially when they see the others get caught! Good luck!
 
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catnappedx2

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This is why, for all the headaches cats give me, I prefer their company: they help where they can, and when something is out of their abilities, they at least rub against my legs to show support.

Zero humans have offered to actually come to help me since my sister died. I've had multiple operations on my feet & knees. I have arthritis in them so bad, I wear huge braces on both of my legs, special orthotics in my shoes, and my right foot is so bad, my doctors can't tell if it's broken or not, not even on a CT. My knees still find a way to buckle out from under me, and I've retwisted my ankles again so many times because of that, I stopped telling my ortho. I'm in pain management for 3 chronic pain syndromes, but my legs, feet & back are still painful on top of that. I lost so much strength, my hands just open up at the wrong time. I have tremors of unknown origin. But I still have to take care of everything, because all of my friends live far away, because I lived far away, only my family was here, and now they are dead, and I'm in no shape to move anymore. I live around several houses filled with able-bodied people, who hate everyone because that's what's in vogue these days, acting holier-than-thou and hating on anyone who sees things differently from you.

But I still had to mow my lawn yesterday, because the grass was 6", the weeds were 10", the township didn't send anyone in over a month as they usually do, and we get snakes around here. I have more insects in my house because of it. It attracts mice. I have fewer cats outside. I won't be able to do anything today, because my arms & hands are too weak from using the weed whacker for 15 minutes, my back & knees are shot. THIS is my reality.

I brought my cats into my home to give them a good life. My Charcoal (Charlie) was dumped, as a kitten, behind an auto body shop in West Virginia, with a group of cats. He was very much attached to another cat, because he's very submissive, but that cat was adopted without him. When I brought him home, he was my first cat after Boots and Wilhelm died. He was 7 months old & hid under my bed for 2 whole months. I had to feed him there, & he only used the litterbox when I was sleeping or downstairs. I tried coaxing him out, but nothing worked until the woman from the shelter told me about his companion. That's when I brought George into our home. He was 10 weeks old. His exuberance helped Charlie greatly. But Charlie is STILL a work in progress. I can tell that he was severely abused in his 1st home. I've shown him NOTHING but love & patience, kindness & respect, and he still hates to be touched. He developed a problem with one of his eyes last December, but if I even try to give him eye drops for it, I don't see him for a week. That's how skittish he is.

But Emma doesn't give a crap that I'm working on his self-esteem. She attacks him, when he avoids her like the plague. I DO NOT WANT MY CHARLIE TO GO BACK TO WHAT HE WAS. But he is.

If all that y'all want to do is be snobs instead of understand that I have more than one cat to care for here, fine. I didn't ask for any advice in the past 7 years that I've belonged to this site, if y'all didn't notice, apparently I shouldn't have this time. Judging people when you don't know EVERYTHING that they are dealing with? You're never going to know every part of someone else's business, even when they seem to tell you the "whole" story.
 
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