Cinders--the story of a mother's love

 

This is the story of Cinders, or rather Cinders and Willow's kittens.

Cinders

"Cinders"

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On June 4 2000 Gentlegift's Willow of Li'l Minx gave birth to 4 Korat kittens. I was so excited--my first Korat litter.Willow was such a good mom. She did some pretty strange things at first--but I think that was only because she wanted me to be a part of the whole thing. Everything seemed to be going so well. On June 15 2000 Willow suddenly and inexplicably died--the vets thought it may be 'milk fever' but in the end the results were deemed inconclusive.

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I was left with 4 orphan kittens to feed. I started bottle feeding every couple of hours--at first the kittens did not like it, but we soon got into a routine. The kittens would sometimes crawl out of their igloo in the middle of the night, and wake me up often just for comfort and cuddles. I'd catch some sleep whenever I could--the 2 adult Burmese did not seem to want to be involved at first. Naomi was curious but basically ignored the kittens (she spent days looking for Willow though.) Later she did become a good little aunt playing with the kittens. Cinders who was pregnant with an oops litter thanks to resident escape artist Gandalf (he doesn't care she's not a Korat--she's a girl) just grumbled at them and sometimes swatted them. I thought maybe Cinders was remembering how Willow treated her (which wasn't very nice--Willow didn't dislike her, she mostly ignored her--it was like Cinders didn't exist; but if Cinders ever stepped out of line Willow would let her have it) and was taking it out on the kittens.

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Daisy and Zeke
Daisy
"Daisy" and "Baby Zeke"
"Daisy"

 

On July 6 2000 that all changed--Cinders went into labor and 'super-mom mode'. I found her in a carrier in the cat room with 2 of Willow's kittens. She was quite upset when I tried to take them away from her. I ended up leaving them with her until she had her 5 kittens (3 girls and 2 boys) then I moved mom and babies into my bedroom (where I usually have kittens) where Willow's kittens were. Cinders adopted all 4 of Willow's kittens without question. I still bottle fed the kittens, but let Cinders look after the runt of Willow's litter.The other kittens would nurse on her too--mostly at night, which meant I could get some much needed sleep. Cinders loved and nurtured these kittens as her own--being just as protective to them as her own kittens.

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Because Willow's kittens were older, they were more active and would wander a bit. This used to frustrate poor Cinders so much--oh how she wanted those little grey fur balls to stay put! They would climb out of the carrier and wander out to find me (they were climbing off the bed where I had the igloo at 2.5 weeks--amazingly they could climb back on the bed too. Even the runt of the litter). Cinders would come running after them meowing and scolding them, picking them up and taking them back. It never lasted long--they were soon off exploring much to Cinders consternation.

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Baby Willow
Baby Willow and Bear
"Baby Willow"
"Bear" and "Baby Willow"

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Time passed and both litters grew. When Willow's kittens were 8 weeks old the runt died. I came home one Sunday evening and couldn't find him--he wasn't at the door to greet me as he usually did (he was quite small closer in size to Cinders' kittens). Earlier that day he seemed a bit out of sorts and kind of cool when I picked him up. I put him in with Cinders and her kittens so she could cuddle with him and keep him warm--that was the last time I saw him alive. I eventually did find the little guy--Cinders must have realized something was wrong with him, she laid on him and smothered him. But she was a very attentive mom to the little guy right to the end.

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Now both Cinders' and Willow's kittens were pretty much eating solid food (well I have one problem child of Willow's of which there may be another tale at some point--but I digress) but Cinders continued to nurse ALL 8 remaining kittens. She wass pretty much being a 'super-mom'--something I have seen before in some of my Burmese. In fact she kept mothering all the kittens until the day theywere ready to leave for their new homes. She was thin for a while,, but very happy--a perfect picture of motherly love. And I have 8 very happy well adjusted kittens.

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Cinders has since been retired and has gone to live in a home where she is much loved and doted on.

Cinders Award

Do you have a pet that you feel deserves the "Cinders Award"? Click on the image above for more information on the award and to apply for it.

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