Siena, our Maine Coon, gave birth to four little kittens on April 2, 2015. We’ve been loving them for the past week and a half. They’re thriving and ready to show their faces to the world!
Here the kittens are just a few hours old. I’ll write more about the labor and delivery soon, but it was amazing! Siena very clearly wanted Elliott (who, coincidentally, is a veterinarian) to be her labor doula, and he stayed up all night with her.
Now here they are two days old! We set up a “nesting box” for Siena in our closet and have carefully guarded her privacy during these early days. This was the first time we held the kittens. They were so tiny, about 4 oz each, and their eyes weren’t open yet.
You’re probably wondering how our (exclusively indoor!) cat got pregnant. In light of Elliott’s training as a vet, this was a BIG family decision. Given the abundance of mixed breed animals everywhere in the world, we wanted to be really sure of the value of letting Siena reproduce.
Siena is a purebred Maine Coon, which means she carries traits like her friendliness, large size, and the unique tufts of hair on the tips of her ears that make her look like a lynx. We do think it is worthwhile to maintain certain characteristics that have been developed in animal breeds over centuries. We love Siena and her breed, and we wanted to give a few other families the joy of having one of her kittens.
Elliott had a friend at work who also had a purebred Maine Coon, a huge silver mackerel male. He is a gorgeous, friendly cat, and I would adopt him in a heartbeat! He came to stay at our house for a week in January, and by mid-February it was evident that our “arranged marriage” had been successful.
There is another reason we’re excited to have kittens in our home, and that is for our children. We want to raise them around animals who procreate, live, and die, teaching them about the circle of life in a natural and healthy way. One day we’d love to have chickens and goats and a bigger yard… and the dreams go on. I’ll write more about this another time, though, because involves another layer of the kittens’ birth story.
And now here they are at six days old, eyes open:
Tiny little faces! There are two gingers, one cream, and one calico. The first three are boys, but the calico is a girl (obvious from the beginning because she has more than three colors in her coat).
Here the kittens are a week old. Lena helps every evening with weighing the kittens and then holding them gently in her skirt for a little while. We continue to be very respectful of the nesting box in the closet, visiting quietly and not disturbing Siena when she’s nursing.
This is a problem because we are not planning to keep any of the kittens…!