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Hello, Kitty...Goodbye

On 9/9/09, at around 1AM, my cat Siomai had a kitten.

siomailabor

She had been acting extra whiny and agitated the night before, and while I was at the computer in the basement, I spied drops of blood on the floor where she had walked. I knew then that it was "time". I placed her in this box so I can help her with her labor pains, massaging her belly as she was silently writhing about, shuddering in slow motion. I saw a piece of red, fleshy matter sticking out of her and thought it was her kitten.

And then, I heard a tiny, shrill kitten voice from underneath the couch--a place I had already suspected that Siomai had been scouting a few weeks prior as a potential birthplace. Turned out she had already given birth and was actually trying to flush out her placenta. I was a...cat grandma!

kitty

I frantically tried to reach behind the couch so I can rescue the kitten and was secretly cursing Siomai for choosing such an obscure place to have her baby. It was so tiny, I couldn't reach it. Siomai was also responding to her baby's cries as she tried to see what I was doing and was figuring out how she can squeeze into the small space she had entered before.

Thankfully, her maternal instincts took over and she scooped her baby by the neck with her mouth, looking for an alternative nest. I carried them both to an empty room and placed them in a box so they can bond. The kitten's mouth was constantly open, as if waiting for milk to nourish it. Siomai, the first-time mom, seemed clueless as to how to feed it. I kept placing the baby's face onto one of her nipples to help with the breastfeeding, but Siomai kept moving about. It seemed she didn't know what to do, until the tiny black furball got tired and slept face-down. I went to sleep.


newborn

When I woke up, I peeked into the box to check the kitten. It was no longer there. I saw it on the opposite corner of the room, right on the carpet, with Siomai huddled over it. It was no longer moving. I held it and carried it back to the box, but was nervous when I didn't detect any movement or reaction. The body was still soft, but it was definitely lifeless. Its mouth was wide open, as if paralyzed in that final cry. Was it hunger that killed it? I doubt that Siomai was able to breastfeed her kitten. Did Siomai accidentally crush it underneath her weight?

I was a cat grandma for only a few hours. I had no choice but to dig up a little grave on the edge of our backyard, sad at the kitten's short life here on earth. Her fur which was still wet last night, had already dried and revealed specks of white on her hind legs that made it look grey.

Back in the house, Siomai was meowing like crazy, obviously looking for her offspring. She didn't know that her firstborn had gone off to the Rainbow Bridge that morning. She kept following me around, thinking I was hiding her baby somewhere and that I would show it to her.

Poor kitty...all nine lives used up at once.

4 vandalized my wall:

meow. said...

poor baby :( hope Siomai is okay though. btw, i am a bit surprised that she only had 1 baby.

Kayni said...

i'm so sad to hear this. i love all animals. i'm so sorry you and Siomai lost the kitty. big hug to you and Siomai.

fortuitous faery said...

meow: i was surprised, too. but i thought maybe it's because it's her first pregnancy and the fact that she's still relatively young, only a little over a year old. does that make it a feline "teenage pregnancy?" hehe.

kayni: thanks. he/she's in kitty heaven now.

Marites said...

that's too bad that her first born didn't make it. poor kitty. perhaps Siomai's next catbirth would be better.

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