And then there were none

Six kittens. One stillborn. Five born alive. None left.

They were too small. We’ve been through so many cat births in the house and we had never seen newborn kittens as small as Pepper’s. My first theory was that they were born too soon. Considering that Pepper has access to the gardens, and stray male cats can freely enter the gardens, we can’t really be sure when she got pregnant.

It’s also possible that Pepper underwent some trauma during the last weeks of her pregnancy. When Astro arrived, she started leaping up the bookshelves and windowsills just to avoid him. According to the house helper, there was an incident when Pepper failed to reach a high shelf and fell.

Or, Pepper was too young for pregnancy. Some cat sites say that a very young (or a very old) cat may have difficulty with birth with the possibility of deformed or stillborn kittens. Pepper is one year and two months old. And considering the condition of the last kitten that died, this might be the case.

The last kitten’s tummy was bloated when the house helper found it. Underdeveloped excretory system, perhaps? All five who were born alive had feeding difficulty — like they didn’t know where to suck nor how.

Sad, really. Especially for Pepper. She’s been… I don’t know how to describe her demeanor. Like she doesn’t care about anything. She’s not interested in food, she rarely approaches any one of us… I hope she doesn’t wither and die from grief.

Today’s (probably useless) links

  • If you want your own photoblog without the technical hassles of having to install the software yourself, you might be interested in Aminus 3, a free photoblog hosting service with no ads. Found it while bloghopping.
  • If you’re a Mac user and finding a good RSS reader has been a headache, Newsfire is now free.
  • If you’re not yet a Mac user but are seriously entertaining thoughts about dumping Windows and joining Mac lovers, there is a free online seminar to help you make a smooth transition.


  1. Chris says

    Sad to hear Connie. =(

    Hopefully she’ll bounce back soon enough, probably just needs a period of adjustment. I’ve heard of cats with stillborn kitties before, and the mothers do just fine after a while. You might consider getting her neutered or spayed tho, unless you are trying to breed more kitties.

  2. michelle says

    Spay/Neuter is the best for pets you don’t plan to breed. UP Vet Clinic can do that under P1500.00

    I think Pepper, if it’s her first time to give birth, is a little bit traumatized of the whole pregnancy process plus the presence of Astro. This makes her ‘balisa’ or ‘tulala’ specially after the delivery, thus unable to attend to the kittens on time and appropriately. The bloated tummy means Pepper forgot to lick the kitten’s genitalia for hours, or days, to excrete urine and stool. For puppies and kittens, the first two weeks is crucial, their excretion depends solely on their mommy. Unless she licks them, they will neither pee nor poo. (In this case, breeders who in-advance notice the uncooperative nature of mothers, will use cotton-buds to tickle the genitalia and anus for the kitten/puppies to excrete.)

  3. michelle says

    Btw, many times, this case will make the kittens not want to suck milk even if they really really want to, that’s why it appears as if they don’t know how to suck. Because their tummy’s still full.

  4. says

    Chris, we’re still discussing the breeding thing. We wanted to originally but with a male cat of our choice. But the traumatic way things have turned out, I don’t know now.

    Michelle, thanks for the info. Our regular vet said P3,000.00. Re licking, I think Pepper didn’t know how. She seemed as bewildered as all of us about giving birth.

  5. says

    Our cat also gave birth. Four kittens. Two died. Then, after a month, we were wondering where the two remaining kittens went. Biglang nawala na lang. Siguro pinamigay niya.