Sunday, November 28, 2010

Keeta's Baby!

As per my last post, I have a Bengal kitty named Keeta. Keeta had a baby (yes, just one) on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving at her breeder's house. So cute!! I got to bring Keeta and her 4 day old baby boy home yesterday (Saturday) where she will nurse him for about 8 weeks. I have to say I was a little worried about the drive home because Keeta is notoriously a maniac in the car. She rolls around in her cat carrier meowing and clawing at it. She flips her cushion around and makes a mess of the carrier. So naturally I was worried if I put both Keeta and her baby in it, she might trample him in her crazed state. I spoke to her breeder, Teresa, on the phone and we devised a plan. We knew that putting them in separate carriers would mean a loud and frantic drive home for me. You DO NOT want to separate a mama from her newborn baby! So we thought that we could put them both her ottoman/cat bed. This is a heavy piece of furniture that looks like a rattan ottoman, but it is completely lined inside in brown padded fur. The lid fits snug on top, or you can flip it over and it rests on the ottoman showing another padded fur lined sitting area with feather toys. There is a hole for the cat to get in and out.

I arrived in Issaquah and was headed up Tiger Mountain toward Teresa's when I saw her white Samoyed dog (Vladimir) running along the road... with a family of four and another big dog! I stopped my car and rolled down the window to yell Vlad's name. Of course he stopped and looked at me so I knew it was him. The family said "do you know this dog"? Yep. I tried to get Vlad to follow my car by repeatedly calling his name while I drove. But no, he didn't stay with me too long, clearly having too much fun with his new friends. He was wet and muddy so I really didn't want to put him in my car, but I didn't want to leave him with the walking family... especially since they had just told me that Vlad comes over EVERY DAY and even knows how to unlatch the screen door on their porch and LET HIMSELF IN?! So I finally had to pull over and get my emergency blanket out of the trunk to spread on the back car seat. Vlad jumped in and sat nicely in the backseat the rest of the way to his house. However, as soon as he jumped out, I folded up the blanket and no sooner could I get the door closed, he jumped back in! Oh Vlad! Now my backseat is full of muddy paw prints and white hair.

OK, on to getting the cats! Teresa cut some cardboard to put over the hole in the ottoman so Keeta wouldn't be tempted to get out. We hoped that her motherly instincts would kick in and she would sit in her dark box and nurture her baby instead of freaking out on the drive. We put the lid on and carried it to the car's front passenger seat. So far no crying or commotion... good! I made my way down Tiger Mountain and wasn't even off Teresa's road when she started crying and thumping around in the box. Then she got out. She basically chewed or clawed at the cardboard until she could slide through it. I know this because she had brown tufts of fur on her head and mouth. She was all over the car meowing at the top of her lungs so I pulled into a grocery parking lot in Issaquah. I lifted the lid to show her that her baby was in there and tried to coax her back into the box. When she hopped back in, I closed the lid. Within seconds she had head butted the heavy lid open enough to slither out again. I didn't think she had the strength to do that?! Again, I lifted the lid to put her back in. She jumped in, picked up the baby in her mouth and carried him out! She put the kitten on the floor mat by my feet, wrapped herself around him and immediately comforted her baby, licked him and let him nurse. They seemed comfortable so I decided to try and drive like that. (Yes, I know, not safe!) We made it to the freeway like that, but then she started trying to get under my seat (which pushed on the seat adjuster lever and I flew backwards. (Yes, while driving... again not safe!) She had managed to get her kitten all the way under my seat by the time I frantically pulled over on the side of I-90. Without getting out of the car (for fear Keeta would leap out) I managed to move the HEAVY ottoman into the back seat, and put her regular pet carrier in the front seat. I grabbed Keeta and shoved her into the pet carrier and locked her in. Then I had to open the car door to retrieve the kitten from under the seat. I put him back in the cat bed that was now in the back seat. Keeta freaked out the whole rest of the way home. She meowed, cried, screamed, scratched, clawed, rolled over and over. But hey, I had to get them home safely so it had to happen that way. It was the longest, most stressful drive in my life! And now my back seat is even more of a mess with cat hair, faux fur, and rattan fibers. Oy!

Once home, I picked up the baby boy in my hand and carried Keeta's cat carrier from the car to house. Once inside, I immediately let Keeta out of the carrier and then let her follow me downstairs to the spare bedroom where I had a nice cat bed waiting for her. It's a large moving box, with a large pet bed on top of a folded towel with a heating pad inside. I cut a nice sized hole in it so Keeta can get in and out, but baby can't. I put baby in the bed. Keeta immediately jumped in, grabbed baby by the neck and hopped back out again. She took baby into hallway, stopped, looked around, and must have realized it was an okay spot after all! She returned to the cat bed, put baby in, got in herself and settled down. Whew!

In the next hour Keeta was in and out of the box. She sat at her water dish and drank non stop for about 5 minutes! She ate some food, used her litter box, and nursed her baby a couple of times. In between all that she has been re-exploring her house and getting re-acquainted with me. She even let me hold her in my arms for about 5 minutes. That is a record breaking hold time! She didn't even leave skid (scratch) marks on my chest when she finally wanted down. Maybe motherhood has mellowed her....

It's been a whole day and I can happily report that Keeta is mellow and calm, and taking good care of her baby. She spends most of the day and night in the box with her kitten. But she does find some time to come upstairs and hang with me on the couch. She nestles up to me and is more cuddly and affectionate than ever. I am enjoying her very much!
You can see Keeta and her baby on Teresa's website: Check it out!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

My cat Keeta

Yes, I have a cat. And yes, I am writing about her. I am "that" person! ;-) If anyone knows me, they know I have a pure bred Bengal kitty that I got from my friend Teresa's cattery ( I got my cat as part of a "partnership" program that she started when deciding to become a Bengal cat breeder. My kitty, Keeta, was the first cat partner in her breeding program. The partnership is basically this: I give the cat a good home, feed her, love her, and make her mine. Then when she goes into heat, I send her back to the breeder and she gets to hang with her kitty boyfriend for a few days, get knocked up, and then come home to me. When she is ready to pop two months later, she goes back to the breeder for delivery, and Teresa has 3-6 new babies to raise in her cattery. Sounds easy, right?

Well, my particular baby doesn't like to make things easy! She has hard heat cycles (9) where she coos her little mating call like a bird, meows loudly and constantly... and she sprays. Ugh. Most female cats don't spray but mine does. She is trying to attract a male. It's a mess. So I had to put up with it 4 times before she was a year old. Finally after she turned one, we bred her. Now she has been bred multiple times (5) over the last year. The little stinker just did not want to get pregnant! The interesting thing is that her body would think she was pregnant, and so she wouldn't go back into heat until almost her due date. So we were never sure if she was pregnant or not... until she started cooing again. She finally got pregnant for the first time in September and this time I saw the tell tale signs of pregnancy: the red swollen nipples. She gradually started looking bigger in the abdomen area too. However, not as big as some of Teresa's other pregnant cats. So we were not sure how many babies she would have. Keeta delivered on a snowy Tuesday night (11/23/2010) just before midnight. How many cute little babies did she have? (1) baby! Oh Keeta, you are not making this easy...

Regardless, he's a keeper! Mama Keeta and baby kitten are both doing well. Today, I got to bring them both back home to my house. In the next post, I will tell you about that drive! CRAZY!