~ This diary is continually updated as the kittens grow. Add it to your favorites for easy access. ~

Keva's Kitten Diary 2010

This reads from the bottom up. New entries are added at the top so its easy to follow as they grow.


The music used on this page is Let Them Be Little by Billy Dean 


These kittens are the progeny of our sire Polo and dam Keva


November brings the close of Keva's 2010 Kitten Diary -  

As I contemplate the miracle and science of creating a life, the enormity of the whole process and of all the opportunities for something to go wrong, I wonder can we possibly grasp all the details? I hate to compare it to anything I am capable of doing as it in no way can be compared but… I am a bit of a perfectionist when I look at my own artwork.  I can always find mistakes and things that could have been done better. The mere fact that I am involved, as small as my part is, in the process of producing a kitten begs the question of a mistake happening. It’s that” what if” hindsight factor. I am able to blame myself and question my decisions in multiple places of the time line I am about to describe….and we can go all the way back to the days Keva was bred.

Cats are induced ovulaters. The release of eggs is triggered by the hormones that are released in response to the act of mating. This breeding resulted in only one kitten.  I had become sensitized to not over breed Keva because of her 2008 litter of nine kittens. Breeding her to Polo was new and Polo dearly loves her. He held on to her and would not let her go. He bred her multiple times in each session until I pulled them apart. Getting between a stud and his lady love is not something for the faint of heart. Polo was very good to me but very strong and stubborn in his desire to keep her with him. I would have been happy to leave them together as companions but the consequences of such a move would be too many eggs released and a huge litter (overcrowding in the uterus and loss of some of the babies). I didn’t want to repeat that experience. I normally breed my girls two to three times a day for three days. The max I will do is nine times in three days.  Keva was bred seven times and with the multiple acts in each session I was worried she would have a large litter. Imagine my surprise when Keva had no kittens in August.  We know Polo can produce kittens he had no problem with his litter with Tasa, our first from him.  There are questions about why this would happen but too many answers to judge on so little data. We need to try again. We went through the same process and I bred Keva seven times over three days with Polo not surrendering her after his first go.  

October rolled around and we discovered the worst possible number of kittens…one. Now you might think one is a good number with lots of available nutrients, lots of extra attention from momma and no shortage of milk. In reality one is not the number any breeder wants to see. Starting from before the kitten is born, the number of kittens in a litter controls the growth of each individual by limiting the space available in utero.  Unchecked a single kitten can grow too large to pass through the mother’s pelvis. The largest bone in diameter would be the skull. A kitten trying to deliver head first and not being able to pass gives warning to go for a c-section. We are way more familiar with feline c-sections then we would like to be, lol.  Our kitten count x-ray showed us the kitten was going to deliver breach. Hind legs and tail first. If it head was too big it would be stuck half delivered. We start assessing the facts, Keva is a larger female, and she has always delivered her litters without medical intervention.  I think the majority of little momma Maeve’s kittens were born breach and she did fine.  Breach kittens often need a little bit of extra help, gentle tug during a contraction to help them out. Looking at the kitten on the x-ray it looks large but its head is not terribly large compared to the size of Keva’s pelvis opening. We decided to allow this to move forward naturally as long as she didn’t pass up her due date. Sixty five days gestation would put the due date at Thursday November 4th.

Halloween, Keva has begun nesting.   Oh how cute would it be the have our little treat born on Halloween?…and the possible diary names, how fun…but it was not to be.

Keva nesting in the birthing box with her momma Maeve.

November 1st, 1:00pm - Keva shows the first sign that her kitten is on its way, small amounts of discharge from the cervical mucous plug begin spotting her nesting towel. I added a white towel so I can have a visual reference to the amount and type of discharge. This goes on all day and into the night with no active contractions.  I stay up with her all night in case she goes into labor. The discharge continues until about 3 pm on Tuesday but only mucous and no fluid. During the day I sent a short email to my vet to let her know Keva was getting ready. In the evening she gives me a call to see where we are at. Since 3 pm Keva has done nothing more. She is not in distress. In fact she is quite relaxed and sleeping with Fenya. Fen has become her necessary companion. It is as if Keva sees her as her baby? Keva grooms her and fusses after her. She wants Fen with her.  The doctor discussed possible options with me. Cats can stop labor and delay the delivery of kittens when stressed or fearful. Keva did this with the delivery of her first litter in 2007. Her last two kittens were delivered more than five hours after the first three.  This is the reason we now x-ray the moms to see how many kittens they have.  The amount of time they can delay is limited. Mother nature will take over and labor will continue regardless of what the queen wants.  We look at our timeline. From the time the cervix is fully dilated (open) until delivery is a 24 hour window. Oh great that helps, lol. Is her cervix even fully open? We haven’t had any fluid discharged (water break). We could x-ray her again to see where the kitten was. Oxytocin could be given to start labor. This would have to be done in hospital because we would have to be ready to go into surgery if the kitten was too big.  Should we act now out of convenience for the staff and doctor? Middle of the night deliveries and the few days after are very hard on all concerned. I can come home get into my pajamas and rest throughout the day while watching Keva . The doctor and her staff have to see a full day of patients the next day.

We went into this with avoiding surgery as our topmost goal for Keva. That is still my goal. I want to be sure I have not become too ready to turn to surgical intervention. We have the experience to know there are no magical solutions that will save the momma and all the babies. There are real risks with all the options. Keva is resting comfortably, she is not in any distress and we are two days in front of her due date. We decide to let Mother Nature stay her course. I continued to sit at Keva's birthing box rubbing her tummy and face.

November 2nd - During this process Keva had become very protective. She is on the attack, she chased Emma two different times.  She became sensitive to any of the darker bodied cats presence. She had decided they were a threat. Fen became the cat of choice to be her companion. She was now truly mothering Fen. I isolated Keva first in my office and then moved the box to our bedroom because I wanted her to be as emotionally comfortable as possible. Fen and Maeve were allowed to come in. She was fine with Fen but occasionally was not sure of Maeve.

I spend another night monitoring Keva. She, Fen , and Maeve slept quietly on our bed through most of Tuesday night.

November 3rd - Wednesday morning. Keva was not in distress. She was quite relaxed when lying with Fen in the birthing box. I was rubbing her tummy when my finger got wet. Her milk had come in. Around 11 am Keva had a small amount of pinkish watery vaginal discharge, a normal part of the birthing process. We should for sure have this kitten in the next 24 hours. Keva's cervix was open.

Keva was still quite relaxed, lol. With only one kitten it has been hard for me to feel the kitten moving. I had only felt it that one morning on October 24th. I kept trying to feel it to see if it was moving but with no luck. I really didn’t want to palpate her too strongly or deeply because I didn’t want to inadvertently tear the placenta from the uterine wall. I had placental abruption (no known cause) happen to me late in one of my pregnancies; it’s not something I want to be the cause of with any of our litters. It was nearing the end of the hospitals work day and still no contractions in Keva. One of the risks with one kitten is that the mother may never go into full labor. There can be a lower level of the necessary hormones produced.

I’m looking at her thinking... should I call our vet and move this forward with oxytocin? At 4:48 pm Keva had her first big contraction. The second one followed in two minutes,  here we go…. Usually contractions start slowly and 20 to 30 minutes apart.  Nothing about this pregnancy has been by the textbook, lol.  The contractions continued and the kitten’s back toes presented in the sack. Keva had several more contractions and began to show she was becoming distressed.

She began yelling with each contraction. The kitten’s feet went back in after each contraction subsided.

Once I saw the bag had broken I decided to help Keva by applying some lubricant jelly and gently pulling on the kittens feet during each contraction while Keva was pushing.

By the third contraction with my tugs it was half way out and its placenta came, wrapped around its belly, before the head was out. I really didn’t like seeing that. How long had the placenta been detached? Now I was worried about the head getting stuck but Keva had no trouble passing it.

We  were able to deliver the kitten just before 5:30pm. The kitten was limp and not moving. I continually rubbed it, shook it by the scruff, massaged its chest, allowed Keva to lick it, and at the end I even tried little CPR puffs but I could not get the precious little boy to respond ...and he was so perfect looking.

The kitten weighted 3.125 ounces. A normal sized kitten for Keva. She has delivered larger kittens, the largest was Blitzen at 3.875 ounces in her 2009 litter.

Keva became very agitated after the delivery and began digging in the towels and biting and pulling at them. I sat with her petting her and talking calmly too her. She would only settle down when Fen was with her. She is confused and misses her baby.

I tried giving her a beanie baby kitten in the nesting box. I thought the weight of it against her tummy might help. She settled down a bit but clearly was not fooled. I am giving her extra attention and so is Fen.

Keva the evening of  Wednesday November 3rd

Keva has begun charging at Maeve. Its strange behavior. It doesn't seem to be that she wants to attack her. The first time it happened I think it was a confused response due to the darkened room light. I think Keva mistook Maeve for one of the darker bodied cats. Funny how the bad guys wear black and the good guys wear white even with cats, lol. After this first chase Maeve became wary of Keva because she was not behaving in a familiar manner. At bedtime Maeve was sleeping on my lap and Keva came and curled up with her. She gave Maeve's ears a deep cleaning, lol. and they fell asleep....but then I had to move to get ready for bed. They both startled awake and Keva took out after Maeve. Poor Maeve, she waited until we were all in bed and Keva was asleep before she came back in to go to bed.

November 4th, Thursday - Keva was doing well but still confused by her hormones. She would come calling through the house to me if she woke up and no one was with her. When I would walk to her she would run back to the nesting box and begin digging in the towels. She would settle down if I sat with her and rubbed her tummy and stroked her fur. I have been encouraging her to sleep up on the bed. I want to remove the box but not until she is more resolved. I've removed the towel I had draped across the top. Its now more open and less inviting as a protective "cave". Keva naps with Fen and Maeve and startles awake suddenly. Crying she dashes into the nesting box. I try to relax her and comfort her. This afternoon Fen went into my office to nap and left Keva sleeping. Keva came searching and calling for her baby. I tried to settle her several times but it didn't last long. I went and got the sleeping Fen and brought her to Keva. It was what Keva needed. They curled up together and finished their afternoon nap. Maeve and Keva still have this erratic thing between them. Sometimes Keva is fine with Maeve being near and then out of the blue she will charge at her. Maeve is wary enough to high tail it out of the room but she always comes back. She sat in the doorway watching Keva for some time. Keva knew she was there and was fine with her presence. It makes me wonder what is going on in their minds. Does Maeve know what has happened and forgives the behavior?

November 5th, Friday -More of the same for Keva but she has stopped biting and pulling at the towels. She is spending less time in the box and now jumps up on the bed when she needs attention.  In observing when she charges at Maeve it seems like it is now a game with Keva. She knows if she charges momma will run. Keva doesn't even chase her. I'm going to work on getting Maeve is stand firm by holding her when I see it coming. Maeve needs the confidence to stand up to Keva. Fen is beginning to go into estrus. When one of the girls is in heat it adds stress to the entire clan. This evening we put away the box. Maeve is taking Keva's charges in stride. I've held her a couple of times and now she is less nervous and more relaxed around Keva.

November 6th, Saturday - Keva and Maeve spent the day sleeping together. Fen is too busy being boy crazy to nest and Keva seems fine with the shift of companionship. Keva has stopped calling and no longer needs someone with her all the time. 

November 7th, Sunday - Keva and Maeve were snuggled together today. Keva's head tucked into her momma chest, so sweet. Keva is still charging her from time to time. This morning she was fine with Maeve then out of the blue she charged her and Maeve just stayed on the bed, lol. I think this game is losing its power. Keva will be bred again when she cycles.

October 28th -  This morning Keva went in for her x-ray to count the kittens...The good news is she has a kitten. The bad news is she only has one. It is a large kitten because it has no litter mates to restrict its size. Keva is an experienced queen and has delivered all her kittens normally, this will help. Sometimes single kittens can become too large to deliver through the pelvis. We will be a bit anxious about delivery complications. We can see the kitten is positioned breach. I wish it was head first since the skull is the largest part of a kitten.

In this lateral view the kitten looks like a nice lined up little package

But it is actually draped across Keva from side to side with its head right where I felt it.

October 24th - I've been thinking that Keva may not have conceived again. She is not real big but she does have a little bulge to her sides, one side more then the other. She looks very similar to the way she looked during her August false pregnancy and she is very fussy about me touching her belly. She does not want it palpated. I have up until now not felt any kittens at all. This morning she was stretched out on the bed sleeping when I awoke so I lightly laid my hand across her tummy. I didn't feel anything right away so I moved it a little and then...I felt  a kitten moving. She definitely has one kitten. I've made an appointment to have the kitten count done on Thursday. :)

August 30th - We are breeding Keva to Polo again. Our fingers are crossed for early November kittens.

August 16th - Keva is doing well. I don't think she was constipated we had no big "event". I believe her fluctuating hormones had her confused. She is settling down and fusses after Finola's kittens giving them licks. Here she is with our pet ladies taking an afternoon nap.

That's Grandma Maeve in the blue collar, in front of her is Emma, then Magi, and that is Keva with the lightest coat.

August 11th - Keva's blood work came back normal. The consensus is she is hormonal and constipated. The constipation probably makes her feel like she is ready to deliver. I'm keeping her in my office so I can monitor her. She is in a family nest under my desk with her birthing towels. She is nesting in the towels and wants me to rub her tummy like I do when she is in labor. She has had some spotting. I'm trying to get her to take Laxatone. This is the first time I have used this product and she hates it. She growls at me every time I rub it on her paw. I have sticky maple goop all over. Finola's kitten Koko snuck in and he thought that maple smell was the best thing he had ever discovered. I followed him around wiping up every little drop before he could lick any of it. He was pretty funny to watch on his maple quest.

Keva nesting. She now thinks Finola's kittens may be hers....including Fen. She's also trying to mother her own momma.

August 10- Keva has had a rough week. She attacked Magi and then Emma. Keva is our easy going girl and nobody ever gives Emma any attitude so this is very out of character. I believe she has had a false pregnancy. This means her body has gone through all the hormonal changes as if she were pregnant but she isn't. She has had a small amount of spotting (vaginal discharge). That little worry of pyometra is nagging me at the back of my mind. Keva is otherwise behaving normally. She is nesting and very affectionate and wants her tummy rubbed. I've decided not to wait and to have the Vet look her over. Her temperature is normal. The doctor felt a mass of something so Keva had two x-rays. No pyo but there is something that looks strange. It could be a glob of fat, lol, or it may be an abscess, her bowl is also fairly full. They drew blood to see if  her white count is elevated, indicating an infection. 

Emma has no hard feeling about Keva's night time crazies. They are all friends again.

July - Keva is not looking like she has conceived. It is possible she could have one or two kittens and not be showing yet.
June 10th - We are breeding Keva to Polo.




All images, text, and all other contents of this site are protected by copyright law.
The contents of this site may not be reproduced, distributed, exhibited, published, or used in any form, in whole or in part, without prior written permission from the copyright holder.

All images, and text copyright © Black&Tan, 2000-2013 | All Rights Reserved | Contact