So there was the cat, barefoot and pregnant on the kitchen floor.
I was in denial about it for awhile. I thought Lola had just been gaining weight where she’d been taken care of at my friends’ house since they’d been spoiling her and feeding her a full 5.5 ounce can of Science Diet each day.
Then I went another two weeks without seeing her and came to the uncomfortable conclusion that she wasn’t gaining weight all over, and her big belly did not look like there was fat in it, swinging adorably side to side like is seen in fattie catties. No, her belly looked distinctly round and firm and like it contained kittens, not fat.
Moreover, her little nip nips looked increasingly prominent and ready for lactating. She was eating around the clock. My little Lola cat was pregnant.
So first I stayed up late freaking out and texting with my sister. I was barely able to deal with having one single adult cat. I had had friends watch her while I was finishing up my summer internship, my plan for the fall internship was to come home on the weekends and have an automatic feeder set up during the weeks, and pay my sister to come check on the cat/scoop the kitty litter/open a can of wet food mid-work week. It was kind of a messy plan, but I was making it work because I loved my little meow meow.
NONE OF THIS WAS GOING TO BE DOABLE WITH A LITTER OF KITTENS.
I also did some googling about cat pregnancy. I had brought the cat into my home five and a half weeks before this, so she was at least that many weeks along in what would be a eight to nine week gestation.
The next day I called my vet. Ironically, I had scheduled to have the cat spayed that week.
I felt like a frantic pregnant teen at Planned Parenthood (#IStandWithPlannedParenthood), spilling out the whole story.
“I am a responsible person! I get my pets fixed! This cat just CAME to me, she was living in the parking lot of my apartment complex, she needed a home! I kept her in! She must’ve been a little bit pregnant when I adopted her!”
Then the guilt and agonizing.
“I didn’t know she was pregnant. She didn’t look pregnant when I last brought her in! I got her VACCINATED. I gave her a DEWORMER. Is she pregnant with creepy little fish kittens?!”
The vet let me know that yes, technically she could still spay the cat (catbortion?!) but that it would be a much higher risk surgery for the cat (and implicit in this was OH ALSO SUPER EXPENSIVE PROBABLY)
She said the dewormer and the rabies vaccine (dead virus) were NBD for a pregnant cat. The distemper shot probably shouldn’t’ve been given to her, but there was nothing to do about that now, and hopefully the kittens would be fine.
Then she gave me some kind reassurance that cats are actually really low maintenance parents. Lola just needed a safe little nest somewhere dark and soft, and ideally something in which to contain the blind little kittens so that mama could come and go but the little babies wouldn’t be wandering around the house. Lola would take care of the rest. Much less work than puppies.
So I hung up, and briefed my sister, then talked to my mom (because this is what you do when you contend with an unwanted pregnancy and are scared out of your wits).
And then something incredible happened. My mom offered to take in the pregnant cat!
I shared this with my sister (who’s in the dialog box on the left).
Thank you mom, for being a really solid Christian. (“It is that time of year”= this time of year Orthodox Christians honor Mary the mother of Jesus, for whom my mother Maria is named!)
Okay so we had a safe haven for my little unwed kitty mother. Next step was actually getting to my mom- fortunately, I already had a trip scheduled and my sister one was jonesing to be home and two was eager to help with cat transport, and was able to make things work with her job schedule, so she came along too.
I am sure there have been worse road trips in the history of road trips, but that was… a bad one. My surprisingly strong cat (she is only eight pounds!) managed to rip through the mesh in the cat carrier and escaped into the car, and it all just continued to go downhill from there. It was a fairly horrific five hours of travel for everyone involved.
Praise be we made it through stupid DC traffic and to my mama’s house. I got Lola situated in my room with food, water, her bed, her litter box, etc. Just when I thought I was done with what felt like a fairly continual anxiety attack, my poor, sweet, innocent Sheila cat (family pet, living at my mom’s house) comes in my room to say hi to me and unbeknownst to her almost walks directly into Lola, who is pregnant, stressed, in an unfamiliar place, and eating a meal. So Lola completely lost her *@#%. SO THAT WENT REALLY HORRIBLY FOR EVERYONE TOO.
Today I am wracked with guilt as I feel that I am making life miserable for EVERYONE- my mom, my sister, Sheila, Lola, the yet-to-be-born kittens.
I’m also (unfairly) annoyed with Lola, who’s been acting like a little bit of a basket case since arriving at my mom’s house, unsurprisingly since I’ve had her living in like four different homes in the past two months as I’ve hidden her in student housing, dumped her at my friends’ place for awhile (with their high strung daschund), finally got her settled in my new place only to uproot her again. She’s pregnant and does not deserve this stress! She is fundamentally a sweet cat who is dealing with a lot of nonsense right now and just wants a sense of security and stability to safely deliver her babies!
Basically, your words of encouragement and offers of support and wisdom in this difficult matter would be appreciated.