Liz Erk (lizerk) wrote,
Liz Erk

I wasn't born yesterday...

...but this little one was!

Yes, I've got another litter. Gracie and her 5 babies are staying in our master bedroom until the new year.

Gracie's a beautiful Maine Coon who was dumped out on the street by her owner(s). She's about a year old and we're guessing this is probably her third litter. One of Sheera the shelter owner's volunteers found her VERY pregnant and begging for help in front of a grocery store. She was literally standing there meowing at people to feed her or take her home, but they largely ignored her until Sheera's volunteer happened along.

Gracie's been living at the shelter in a cage for the past few weeks until she finally gave birth yesterday. Unfortunately the birth happened in the middle of the day while Sheera was at work, so Gracie actually gave birth to 7, but the two smallest got shoved to the side during the birth (the mom cats kick a lot while pushing the babies out) and ended up dying.

I wound up with Gracie because of the usual reasons (ie- it breaks my heart to see an animal in need and I have trouble just walking away). Last night I happened to go to the shelter to pick up some cat food and saw Gracie and her babies in their cage. She was hurling herself at the door to be petted and had the loudest purr I'd ever heard. It was clear that she was previously a house cat that demanded a lot of people-time so with having been dumped, she was pretty attention-starved.

So I loaded her and the babies into a carrier and in the car they went! When we got to the house, I set up their camp in the bedroom and Gracie was THRILLED! As I scooped food into a dish, she chatted up a storm with a meow that sounded like a rusty door hinge. She continued to purr loudly and rubbed her head on my legs until I put the food down.

She definitely has some unique behaviors I've never seen before. For instance, when she went and sniffed the dry food, she growled at it. Same goes for the wet food. She finally settled on eating the wet food, but growled and purred at the same time for the first few minutes of eating. I guess that's her way of saying she doesn't like the food, but will eat it because she needs to.

This morning she was a little bit of a different cat. I woke up and she immediately stood up in her baby box and started purring. Then she started meowing a strong, real cat meow until I went over to pet her.

We went through the same routine with the food, but this time I gave her a tuna chicken canned food mix. She only growled and hissed at it slightly, but she gobbled it up nonetheless.

I watched Gracie's babies while she ate and picked them up a bit because I want them to get used to people right away. If all of the kittens' breeds turn out to be mostly Maine Coon coupled with being extremely people-friendly, they'll be very easy to adopt out.

They're extremely cute, so it'll be fun to watch them grow into cats. They remind me a lot of Chloe's litter, actually.

After Gracie ate, she meowed at me to pet her some more, so I did. Then I sat on the bed to watch a little bit of the Today Show before heading to the office to start work. All the while, Gracie fed her babies and just looked at me and purred.

About 20 minutes later I got up to leave the room and as I walked towards the door, Gracie leaped out of the box and meowed at me frantically. I turned towards her and said, "What? What's wrong?"

"Mee-YOW!" she yelled, still purring.

"Gracie, I'll be back."

"MEE-YOW!" she yelled again, this time stepping in front of me.

I started to walk around her, but then she leaped up at me and dug into my right thigh with her claws, meowing frantically.

"Ow! Jesus Christ!!" I jumped back and she landed on my foot. She then bit my sock and pulled.

I jumped up on the bed and just stared at her. Talk about abandonment issues!

So I sat on the bed and calmly spoke to her until she returned to the baby box. Then I went over and petted her for a few extra minutes before finally getting up to leave. This time she stayed calm as I walked out the door.

And that's that. This is typically the time I get litters from Sheera traditionally anyway. But I'm just glad it's a set I can adopt out and not a heart-wrenching tragic case like Ginny where I'd get stuck keeping them. Because honestly, I'd have to move and buy a house with a barn or something. I would like to eventually buy property to have my own shelter-of-sorts, but that's not until down the road when I'm (hopefully) wealthy.
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