Kitten Watch Update: May 18-21

Just in case you’re not following along on the socials—aka, The Book of Faces or The Instant Grams—here’s a recap since the last blog post on our Only Cats blog

One quick caveat first: if you’re wondering when we’ll EVER get back to the stuff we used to talk about—the IMPORTANT STUFF like depression, navigating the unexpected wilderness, waving to each other in the dark, and pooping the closet—the answer is NO. WE ARE NEVER GOING BACK. Until, you know, we go back. Eventually. That’s the Official Timeline for a return to Other Topics. It will be Someday in the Indefinite Future. And listen, I know there are shitty, hard things happening in the world right now. Heartbreaking, terrible things. War, pandemic, civil unrest, rampant racism. Things that, on a macro scale, are far, far more important than Two Sweet Foster Kitties. Not to mention the weights we each carry personally—the medical bill we’re not sure we can pay, the unhappy child we don’t know how to help, the relationship trauma—you know. All of It. Shitty, Hard Things. And they will be there waiting. But my heart needed these Sister Mamas more than I can adequately express. Right now, they are joy and solace. A difference I can make on a micro scale…a micro scale that is, to them, the Whole World. So here we are and here we shall be for a while. As always, you’re welcome to join my heart and brain and the weird, wonderful places they take us.

Here’s what’s happened since we left off, copied from the socials. ❤️ M

Tuesday, May 18:

Sweet little Leap has relaxed enough to catch some well-deserved zzzzzzs. I think she finally believed me that Quantum and babes really will come back. I should have a Q update very soon.

FINALLY! News! Wonderful news and sad news. Sad news is the sixth kitten didn’t make it. It was wedged in the birth canal and likely would have been stillborn. 💔 The wonderful news is the surgery saved Quantum’s life and we have 5 healthy Q kittens. ❤️ Sisters are reunited, and Leap is stealing Quantum’s kittens. 😂 Quantum seems grateful for the break.

My Children: Did you take this many pics of us when we were babies?
Me: Probs no.

I finally managed to weigh and tag the Q kittens. Q1 in white, Q2 in green, Q4 in yellow, Q5 in purple. Did you notice one is missing? That’s the kitten Leap stole. This time, anyway—she appears to randomly take and return them. 😂 I’ll put up a pic of them in a bit. Haven’t had time to work on names… will eventually.

Here’s the “missing” kitten. Q3 with its Auntie Leap (who has now returned it and kit-napped Q4… apparently every kitten gets special Auntie time.)

When you have eight full sippy cups but the kids all fight over one. This photo is pure #motherhood. 😂

OK. It’s time for me to feed myself and try to get some sleep before waking up to check on the mamas and babies in the night. Leaving you with these two pics of Quantum and her littles, safe and sound, even if they’re all fighting over the favorite boob. 🤷🏻‍♀️ More tomorrow. Unless Leap goes into labor in which case all bets are off. 😘 See you soon!

Wednesday, May 19:

Good morning! All are safe and well over here and had a good night. Nothing new to report. We’re just worshipping at the Altar of the Boob. And how are you?

When I brought Quantum and Leap home almost 2 weeks ago, I set up two birthing boxes and lined them with soft quilted blankets. The sisters promptly ignored them, and, as we all know now, Quantum chose to give birth under the couch on my rug, foregoing all the sanitary birthing pads I laid out. 🥳😳 Bless her heart. Of course she did. TBH, I couldn’t care less about the rug, but it’s hard to take decent pics of baby kitties under the couch. My iPhone 8 is doing the best it can—I’d take more pics with my Canon but the shutter is loud and it has a red-eye reduction light, and I didn’t want to startle a laboring/new mama with noise or flashes. I’m sure there’s a setting to turn off the lights, but that would require Brain Power, and all mine is devoted to the fosters rn. All of which is to say, some photos are higher quality than others, and somehow Quantum failed to prioritize choosing a birth location based on how images would look on the socials. 🙄 Cats these days.

HOWEVER, I’m beginning to have hope Leap is more social media savvy because she has been nesting in one of the boxes. 🙌🏼 A sign of kittens to come soon?? Only time will tell.

This morning, Quantum has decided that Leap’s box is for sure, definitely, absolutely big enough for both of them AND all the kittens, and when I had the audacity to question her she looked at me like, “What? I fit FINE.” Then Leap backed her up, all “WELCOME TO MY BOX. THERE IS ALWAYS ROOM FOR ONE MORE.” And while I agree with that philosophy in principle, I’m unsure of its practical application. Plus, it’s hard to get pics when everyone’s squashed inside a small box.

In conclusion, we might need a bigger box.

OMG, these squarshy baby faces. Like, I understand objectively that newborn kittens look like lumpy, flailing rodents with their scraggly limbs and naked paws. And I understand objectively they’re indistinguishable from leeches that attach themselves to their host, suck up body fluids like tiny, parasitic balloons until they’re too saturated and fall off in a drugged haze of gluttony. BUT STILL THOSE SQUARSHY FACES, FRIENDS. They are ADORABLE. Do not try to convince me otherwise. I will fight you.

Pictured here: Q3 (the hugest kitten) and Q5 (the smollest nugget). I’ll try to get better pics another time to show the actual size differential.

P.S. Also don’t try to tell me squarshy isn’t a word. If you look at their faces you can see it obviously is.

My friend Christy, who went to 40 weeks with twins, delivered the first vaginally but the second went into distress so she delivered twin number two via emergency C-section. When I was expecting my own twins, I hoped for one kind of delivery—EITHER kind—but PLEASE DEAR GOD NOT BOTH. Both of my twins vacated the premises at the south gate, proving dreams DO come true. But also, my labor shut down to 6cm between twins and I had to RE-labor for 3 hours back to 10cm for the second, proving one really should be specific when making wishes. 😳 So obviously watching Quantum is bringing back memories of Christy’s story and my own because Quantum DID IT ALL. Birthed out of both gates? ✅ Shut down and had to relabor? ✅ Poor girl. And IDK about you, but my outside face doesn’t always match my inner dialogue, so when the vet tech handed Quantum and babies back to me yesterday post emergency C-section and said her shaved belly and giant incision shouldn’t bother her while nursing her 5 brand new littles, my face said “that’s nice” while my inner dialogue said “I know you’re the expert, lady, and I should trust you, but HAHAHAHAHA. No. Bless your heart, that’s not how it works.” It’s now 24hrs later, and I’m thrilled to report my inner dialogue was wrong. Quantum is moving with ease, purring while nursing, and very content. Tired. But content. Never have I ever been happier to be wrong.

P.S. Autocorrect says vaginally should be spelled “magically” and for once autocorrect may be right. But then it should also correct C-section to “magically” because I don’t care how babies come out, it’s all magic. Every bit.

Final post for today…unless, of course, Leap goes into labor. She has spent quite a bit of time in her nesting box, but I keep checking her magical area, and, well, no magic yet. The time she wasn’t in her box she spent valiantly defending Quantum and kittens from a ribbon that attacked out of the blue. (And, by “out of the blue,” I mean it was laying on the ground next to her.) You’ll be relieved to learn the ribbon was slain by our fearless Auntie and poses no more danger to the Q clan.😅

Speaking of the Qs, they’re all doing splendidly. Quantum is eating well, resting, and purrs while nursing. The tiny Qs are all gaining appropriate amounts of weight. 🙌🏼 No fab pics of them yet because I only move them once a day to weigh them… but hopefully soon. AND if you have physics-related name suggestions, speak now! I’m planning to announce them tomorrow!

One final thought before I check on the kitties and put myself to bed: THANK YOU to those of you who’ve messaged to ask about costs for Quantum’s emergency surgery. Newberg Animal Shelter will have to pay that, and they absolutely could use our help. The more we cover, the more assistance they can provide to animals in need. So I set up a fundraiser. If you’re invested like I am in Quantum and Leap’s journey, please consider a smol donation. Any amount helps. Link here.

Thursday, May 20:

Good morning! 

Leap is next to me, and this is how she feels.

 

It’s time to announce the Q kittens’ names! 🙌🏼 SO! As you know, we’re sticking with the Quantum Leap theme with physics-inspired names. BUT ALSO, they’re the Q kittens. In the end, each kitten is named for an iconic physicist, each kitten has a nickname, and each kitten has a Q somewhere in their name.

And a quick note on gender. Although I’ve watched 3 YouTube videos on sexing kittens, which makes me an undisputed expert, we may discover later that I was wrong. 🤷🏻‍♀️ These things happen. Gender is a construct anyway. We’ll update later as needed. Just like we do with humans. That’s how we roll around here.

OK. It’s time! And it’s my pleasure to introduce you to Q1.

Sir Isaac “Quark” Newton — First to succumb to gravity and drop from the womb, this little Quark boy is black and white like his Auntie Leap. He has a slight cleft palate but that doesn’t slow him down a bit. Welcome to the world, Quark!

Introducing Q2!

Marie “Radia” Qurie—this baby girl is hard to capture on film! She’s elusive, preferring to hide in her mama’s fur and snuggle. A challenge to isolate, just like Marie Curie‘s discovery of radium… you KNOW it’s there, but it doesn’t rise easily to the surface. Little Miss Radia is white and tabby like her mama. I also call her twin #1 for reasons that will become apparent soon.

Meet Q3!

This white boy is a chunk—the biggest kitten by far—so it’s appropriate to name him for the whole galaxy. Introducing Galileo “Quasar” Galilei. Sweet, chunky lump. 💫

Welcome to the world, Q4!

Meet Quantum’s dark grey tabby, Erwin “(fre)Quency” Schrödinger. Quency is the third boy (as far as we know ;)) and another challenging one to photograph. He likes to bury himself under his siblings. I suppose he doesn’t want us to open Schrödinger’s box and observe him.

And finally… drumroll, please 🥁…Q5!

Last AND least in weight BUT NOT least in our hearts, I’m very happy to introduce you to…

Helen “Qubit” Quinn—our final quintuplet. Qubit means quantum bit, and, as a baby who looks just like her Quantum mama, white and tabby, this little one practically named herself. I also call her twin #2 because she and Radia look nearly identical. 😍 I’m going to have to be sure I have a way to tell them apart before I remove their colored tags.

And that’s a wrap for today from Quantum, Leap and the gang.

No movement today for Leap’s littles. Or rather LOTS of movement, but all still inside her ever-growing belly. Kitten Watch continues! She’s increasingly spending time in her nest. 👀

Thanks to everyone for the name suggestions. Y’all really came through. Which is good practice ‘cause I’m gonna ask you to do it all again soon. 😘

AND ALSO thank you for contributing to the Animal Shelter fundraiser for Quantum’s surgery. You reached the goal in less than 24hrs. 😭❤️ I’m leaving the fundraiser open in case you’d like to still contribute.

That’s all for now. Good night from Quantum, Leap, Quark, Radia, Quasar, Quency, and Qubit. Sleep tight.

Friday, May 21:

Leap Update: Still Waiting!

Leap is growing rounder by the minute. Just before Quantum gave birth, she looked like she’d swallowed a cantaloupe. Leap looks like she’s swallowed a pomelo. From the beginning, I’ve assumed Leap was smaller in the belly because she’s having fewer kittens. Now I’m not sure. She might just be far enough behind Quantum that she wasn’t showing as much yet. 🤷🏻‍♀️ There’s lots of in-utero movement; I can see babies rolling under Leap’s skin and feel them kicking.

Auntie Leap has stopped stealing her sister’s babies. I think she was just kit-napping/kit-sitting while Quantum was focused on labor and post-surgery. Now that Quantum is in the swing of things—mostly laying with her kittens and taking food/potty breaks every couple hours—Leap has backed off. Although, whenever Quantum steps away, Leap leaves her nest to stand watch over the sleeping kitten pile, a self-appointed sentinel. And when the babies start mewling for their mama to return, Leap chirps at Quantum, like, “Break’s over. You’re up!”

Look, I am not saying Quasar is fat. Not at ALL. He is a growing boy who eats food when he’s hungry, and that right there is a LIFE SKILL. I will defend it to the death. I mean, I’m 47 years old, and I’m JUST NOW learning to eat when I’m hungry instead of starving myself and then bingeing when starving myself makes me hungry. 🙄 Bless my heart. Quasar, though? That boy is smarter at four days old than I’ve been in four decades. So I am definitely NOT saying he’s fat. I’m just saying he can’t fit his magnificent, galactic self into the kitten ball. There are four whole kittens in a cluster… and Quasar’s head. 😂

Have you heard of the Fuck It Diet? It is a real thing and Quasar and I are on it. The end.

Randie Sanders noted that one of the Quantum Leap pics looked like a formal pose for a photo shoot, and then she used it to make these. 😂 These two mamas hopped a time machine to the 1980s and went to the mall for official Quantum Leap glamour shots, and it would be a disservice to the Universe not to share them on the world wide webs. I would never do the universe wrong like that. ✌🏼💥 Thanks, Randie! You’re rad.

AND NOW YOU’RE ALL CAUGHT UP, FRIENDS. If you want to visit The Book of Faces, there are also some videos of Quantum, Leap, and babies. 

ENJOY! I’m headed back to Kitten Watch 2021 now.

Waving in the dark as always,

ABOUT BETH WOOLSEY I'm a writer. And a mess. And mouthy, brave, and strong. I believe we all belong to each other. I believe in the long way 'round. And I believe, always, in grace in the grime and wonder in the wild of a life lived off course from what was, once, a perfectly good plan.
5 comments
  1. You might want to consider 80’s cat glamour shots as a career. My office really needs a print of Quantum and Leap in all their galactic glory.

  2. I empathize with the babies under the couch. When I was 7, our border collie Daisy went into labor. Since it was late, I decided to stay with her until the pups were born, but fell asleep. Daisy decided to have the pups on the couch, on top of me in my sleeping bag. Slept right through it!

    Also, for those of use who eschew social media, please keep posting here!!

  3. Although, indeed, there are serious and important issues in the world, and I have no doubt you’ll write about them again someday, I’m LOVING your Only Cats blog right now. I’ve had cats my whole life (which means in my 60-some years, there’s been a lot of cats) but I haven’t had kittens since childhood (back before spaying was routine) so this is so fun to read. And, as always, you have such a great way with words, you make it all so entertaining and heartwarming — thing we can certainly use these days. Happy kitten-watch!

  4. My Safari autocorrects “Lamictal” (mood stabilizer) to “Labia!” Both/And?

  5. I love these updates! They bring joy to me in the images, but mostly in the most wonderful way you write – it is a gift I’m so happy to have stumbled across years ago!

Leave a Reply to Nicole Cancel reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.