THE NINTH SAVE OF CHRISTMAS: JULIETTE
I saw Juliette’s name on the Needs Rescue List for several days in a row before I finally inquired about her. Why was a little 9-month-old snowshoe Siamese on that list, with no rescue coming forward for her? The shelter told me that her time was up. She could not be ear-tipped and released back to the streets because she had a slight heart murmur. Only perfectly healthy kitties are re-released. For the same reason, she could not be put up for adoption. If rescue didn’t take her, she would be put down. When I went to get her I found to my utter surprise that she was “probably pregnant”.
She was indeed slightly rounded, like a little goat. I declined to have her spayed and brought her home into foster. She was very friendly and very young. I named her Juliette because some Romeo had clearly caught her attention. Our vet said she probably the heart murmur was probably due to her pregnancy. An Xray told us that this slender, tiny girl was going to have 6 kittens. Yikes! Not six in such a tiny girl!
One night, about two weeks later, there were four little wet kittens scattered here and there across the floor. Juliette was asking for attention and sort of restless and out of it. I was her midwife, but clearly neither of us knew anything about this process. The Internet had taught me, though, that cold was the number one killer of newborns. I gathered up the cooling kittens and put them in a pile in the cat bed. I could see a light bulb go on in Juliet’s head. “Hmmm I think I want to go sit on them,” she said. And so she did. I set the alarm for every hour on the hour, in case I fell asleep, so I could be sure to gather them up if need be. By 5:00 in the morning, Juliette had learned her job. Mother Nature had gotten her hormones working. When I stepped into the room, she sat up and looked straight and very intensely into my eyes and said, “MY kittens!” She let me near, but as a protective mom, she let me know that they were now hers. It was so special for me to see her mothering instinct emerge in the wee hours of the morning. And she was an absolutely great mom from then on. Her other two kittens were born several hours after the first four.
Her future adopter had come to adopt another kitten from me a couple of weeks prior to the birth of Juliette’s kittens. Just as that adopter was leaving, she saw pregnant Juliette, fell hard for her, and wanted her badly–right away! I explained that the adoption had to wait until Juliette was done with her mommy job, but I sent the future adopter photos of Juliette and her babies to help the time pass. It was easy to get good photos, because Juliette has the remarkable ability to look straight at you and right into your heart. All the time. It is so wonderful.
When the time was right, the adopter returned for this precious little girl and took her to her forever home. Weary of the mothering work for six indefatigable kittens, newly spayed Juliette could finally begin to live the life of pampered luxury in a home where she and her mom, dad and kitty sister have become a wonderful loving family. Puuurrrfect.