Saturday, April 01, 2006

Too Shocked

Okay, first things first. This is not an April Fool's joke, I'm afraid. I wish it were.

Something rather bad and unexpected has happened here at CatDonna's Cats.

Right now I'm typing this in a state of shock and exhaustion.

I was torn between covering this up and pretending everything is okay,
or confessing my mistake and dealing with the inevitable backlash.

I've decided to confess, and let others learn from my mistake.

I didn't know Pip was pregnant.

She gave birth some time between 2 to 3 pm yesterday, 31st March. In the laundry basket.

There were few signs, and I misinterpreted the only symptom she indicated.

She had swollen nipples for a couple weeks but I ignored them because she occasionally suckles herself for fun. I thought she was just overdoing it.

There were no other signs. She hardly gained weight and her behaviour didn't change. If you don't believe me, look at THESE RECENT POSTS. The pics were taken when Pip was supposedly heavily pregnant.

But does she look/act pregnant to you?

No, I guessed not.

It was only the DAY BEFORE she gave birth that I noticed her abdomen was a little thicker than usual, and that was when the alarm bells started to ring. I was going to make arrangements to have her checked and, if my worst fears were realised, have the foetuses aborted.

I was too late.


Where did I go wrong?

Easy. I am, no, I used to be a believer in the old school of thought: castrate males only when their testicles are fully developed [6 months and above]; spay females only when they have reached a certain weight/age [2.5 kg, 8 months and above]. This was to ensure that they would be robust and developed sufficiently to withstand the trauma of surgery.

Pip first went on heat at 6 or 7 months [she's ten months now], but she was too light/young to be spayed [she weighed only 1.5 kg then, and even now she's less than 2.5 kg]. So we decided to just separate her from the rest when she went on heat, until she was ready for the operation.

Big mistake.

I am now a convert to the early sterilisation school of thought [7 weeks onwards].

I have learnt this lesson the hard way.

I am, physically and mentally, very tired.

I may take some time to post again, because I need to take care of a non-thriving newborn. But I will update soon, when I can. With pics, of course.

I understand that due to my oversight, I have sabotaged some other cats' chances of adoption and/or fostering. My mistake may cause them dearly.

I have disappointed myself and everything I believe in, as well as the good folks who work so hard at TNRM and addressing the cat overpopulation problem.

Part of me wants the non-thriving newborn to die. One less to worry about. But I can't just leave it alone with a clear conscience. So I continue to try. Tube-feeding, straight into the stomach. What fun.

To all of you reading this: I am very sorry.

If you will excuse me, I need to run over to the supplier's to get a carton of canned food for the mother. I also need to check on Pip [thank God she's a good mother] and feed the non-thriver. And then I need to go kick myself. Very hard. Again.

See you all soon.

*jaw dropped* Wow, surprise would be an understatement. You're right, shock IS the word. :-O

You've done your best amidst all the hoohah, and none of us noticed any extremely protruding tummies in the cat photos leh, so don't be too hard on yourself. Sometimes things just happen. Just do what you can, and let us know if you need any help or support, ya?
Huh. Don't be too hard on yourself, chin up! Prayers for you, Pip and the little ones.
Don't go kicking yourself, CatDonna. *big hug* Life often takes us down twisted roads. As long as we learn from them and help others learn through us, we can look back and say it really was a good and timely knock from reality.

Please let us know how the little non-thriving one is doing. I hope it gets stronger fast. And scratches behind the ears for dear Pip! Sounds like she is doing marvellous for a first-time Mommy.

~5-Cat Style
You wouldn't feel any better if you had aborted the foetuses.
Please don't beat up on yourself like this. You did what you thought was best at the time. Now do what is best for the kitties involved and see to it they have a good life.
there's never the right way for anything. take the little ones as a blessing (i am sure they must be adorable!) who will really brighten someone's day in time to come for rehoming. or a nice addition to your own family.
Hey, don't be hard on yourself. Everyone makes mistakes. What's done is done and past. As long as we learn from it, it's good we make the mistakes.

I'm sure you will have lots of sleepless nights from now on but hang in there. I think Pip will take care of the young ones magnificently.

When CC was very young and weak, the vet recommended Hill's Sc Diet a/d wet food ($2.50 per can) which is very easily digestible and nutritious and is specially formulated for felines who are recovering from operation, trauma and serious illnesses. You can try buying this from the vet for Pip. Just make sure she does not get addicted to it :)

And take some pics of the young ones. Let me oohh and aahh though I technically do not have space for another one. Take care.
Hey CatDonna, just read your blog. Hugs to you, Pips & the kittens.

Let me know if you need help with the kittens in any way.

Take care of yourself,
Things are not so bad. Every birth is a miracle. A big hugz to you and Pip. Things will turn out fine.
More hugs from me to you, Pip and her young ones. Don't blame yourself too hard. Look forward and not back. = )
Hi there,
Some things just need to be learnt the hard way, and I mean it in the most understanding way - we've had some experiences since which we're still kicking ourselves, so we understand how you might be feeling. But since you can't go back and undo or redo it, go easy on yourself.

There are some mighty tough pills to swallow out there, some even have timed-release function, but take a deep breath, take care of the situation, and then move on when you can.

Please don't let this negate everything you've done, and believe in. Use it to augment, strengthen and enhance. =)

Take care,
Dear CatDonna, don't be so hard on yourself. These things happen. (Speaking as someone who now has 9 baby ratlets from a pg female I got at the store). The babies are a blessing or they wouldn't have happened. Bless you mistakes happen for a reason.
~poi Mom Jane
It's only a dumb mistake if you don't learn from it. Mom unnerstands your reaction. Eeep! Panic! Act! Blog!
Mom says her friend's young cat - they thot she mite be pregnant but the *vet* said no, it was a false pregnancy. The cat was yowling, so friend put her out, then realized two *false* kittens had just arrived an brot momma cat an babies inside where they belong. Efun vets can't tell wif only 2 babes.

Thanks everyone.

I'm very encouraged by your thoughtful messages.

Will be updating more this week. Love to all.
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