The story of little Jitterbug’s arrival.

I promised to write about Jitterbug’s arrival.  I’m just now feeling organized enough to tackle a blog entry.  Thank God, Sequoia didn’t have a normal sized litter.  I’ll do my best to answer the many questions I’ve seen streaming past on KittyCam, Facebook, and YouTube.  Clearly a lot of people are interested and watching this little saga.  Libya is in the news, a hurricane hits the east coast, Texas is on fire … and we are all focused on the saga of one tiny kitten and her momma.  It’s good to have your priorities in order.  That’s what makes sharing this with you such fun.

The arrival of Sequoia’s kitten has been much anticipated.  I’m not sure why.  Has it been any more so than any other litter?  I don’t know.  In any case, we knew it was going to be just one kitten due to an ultrasound.  We also knew that the possibility of complications might arise since a single kitten is often larger than many kittens.  I’ve been asked many times if it’s unusual for a cat to have a singleton.  No, it’s quite common, but I don’t know the percentages.  This is my first singleton.

Sequoia went into labor on Wednesday, September 7th at about 1:30 pm.  I thought, “WONDERFUL, a decent time of day at last.”  After two hours of hard labor, my optimism began to flag.   Whether or not and when to take a laboring queen to the vet is always a tough decision.  Ideally you want to avoid a “C” Section or even the stress of loading her in the carrier at such a time and rushing to the vet.  Surgery comes with a lot of risks to mother and baby (or babies), on the other hand not doing it when it’s necessary can be catastrophic.  Sequoia had good, strong contractions and was not making any progress.  At the time of the ultrasound the vet told me to wait an hour.  I waited two.  All of my research and reading has come up with guidelines for this scenario that range from one  to two hours of hard labor.  Another factor to always consider is WHAT TIME DOES THE VET CLOSE?

So, off to the vet we went.  They did another ultrasound and xrays to determine what was what.  The xray indicated that there was in fact only one kitten.  It was perfectly positioned for delivery, but too large to pass through the pelvic opening.  The ultrasound showed that the kitten was alive and not yet in distress.

Upon deciding to do a “C” section, the breeder is generally given the choice of whether or not to spay the cat at the same time.  Cats can have multiple “C” sections and go on to have normal births in between.  Sequoia is a solid, healthy little girl, but I had the dilemma of her personality and general CATitude.   I also know that my breeding career is in the winding down stages — maybe only a few more litters at best unless I re-home my spay/neutered cats.  Having breeding cats can be stressful enough for cat and breeder if all goes perfectly with temperament and various other things, there was no point in keeping a questionable queen intact at a time when de-stressing my life and the life of my cats is a priority.   After some consideration, I felt that both Sequoia and I would be happier if she were a pet rather than at the mercy of her hormones.  I elected to have her spayed.

I brought mom and baby home at about 8 pm, only an hour or two after her surgery.  Sequoia was extremely drugged, out of it, and disoriented.  She clearly couldn’t care for the baby.  This is my third “C” section.  The first two times I had Sahara standing by with a week old litter and I simply slipped the new babies in with her and the post surgery moms took over without a hitch a short time later.  Sequoia was different.  Her recovery seemed rougher and her acceptance of the kitten at all was in question.

What to name the only kitten in the “J” litter?  I poured over my lengthy list of names as I rushed around trying to get organized and one that I had not considered a strong candidate suddenly popped out at me.  Little ‘Baby J’ became ‘Jitterbug.’

Jitterbug went into my incubator where she would be nice and warm.  I bottle fed her for the first two nights and a day.   The following was captured by ‘BlueCatEyes’ while watching the KittyCam:

The evening of the second day, I brought the incubator out into the living room to see if any of my other females would take an interest in her.  To my surprise and delight Tiny Bear did!!

Tiny Bear tended the kitten throughout the evening and until I came down for her middle-of-the-night feeding.  For some reason after that the kitten was very fussy and wouldn’t stop screaming despite both Tiny Bear’s and my efforts.  So I moved the incubator back into the nursery and put Jitterbug in with Sequoia.  At first Sequoia shied away from her, but after some encouragement, she relaxed and allowed the baby to snuggle up to her.  From that moment on she became quite bonded to the little one.  Rather than disturb Sequoia, I set up a small corral around the spot on the floor she chose.

At the writing of this blog, Jitterbug is three days old and holding her own.  She’s quite a strong little kitten as you can see from the photo below where she has scaled mom and is draped over her!  She’s nursing well and gets an occasional supplemental feeding from me.  Sequoia is much more alert.  She’s eaten several good meals, though it’s still a challenge to get her to move far enough from the baby in order to see to her own needs.  Still, I’m hopeful that this will turn out well for both baby and mother.

To my delight, Jitterbug is a 'Sequoia junior' - a little patched tabby with white (and, yes! I did consider naming her Junior :D)

Jitterbug seems to love scaling mom and sliding down the other side like a little otter on a mud slide. I need to get them into a proper nesting box.


16 responses to “The story of little Jitterbug’s arrival.

  1. Thanks for the wonderful blog post! I was definitely wondering what The Big Story was. I’m glad everyone’s okay, including you. And yes, speaking of having priorities in order, your blog RSS feed is above all the others in my reader. I like your posts better than all my other reading. They soothe the soul. Hugs to you, and gentle hugs to the new arrival and Sequoia.

  2. ooo molly you always give us such excellent detail, pictutes videos and eveerything in amidst the bussiness of all the cats and kitties you look after. Thank you so much. We love you, hope YOU get some sleep and care as well, and hope Seq and baby Jitterbug (adorable name) have a lovely happy time together…

  3. Molly…you just amaze me! You are a wonder woman…able to care for Sequoia, Jitterbug, the other kitties, hopefully eat & sleep, and still take the time to keep us updated with pictures, videos, and a blog post! Thank you just doesn’t cut it in describing how I feel and I’m sure I speak for everyone else! We all love you so much! I’m so happy to see Sequoia and Jitterbug doing so well!

  4. Thanks so much for letting us know exactly what took place when little Jitterbug came into the world!! What an amazing entrance! So happy to see little Koi Koi being such an attentive mommy now!!! Getting spayed does NOT look like a walk in the park. Maybe little Jitterbug would be a kitten to keep???!? 😉 So glad things have settled down a bit for you Molly. And, of course, this was the most important news of the week!!! Thanks for letting all of share in this delightful event 🙂

  5. Molly !!! you really are an amazing person – I really mean that. You explained everything in this Blog – how on earth have you the energy to produce such adorable and interesting captions , photos , videos etc.,
    I have watched lots today during your night , Koi is becoming a super mum, I and I am sure she will progress in the weeks to come and little Jitterbug becomes a treasure to us all. God Bless – and Take Care !!!

  6. Thank you for the update, Molly. Jitterbug has fans all over the world and she doesn’t even realize it! Wendy

  7. Molly thank you so very much for making time to post an update, rather than a much needed and well deserved nap!
    Devoted we are to you and your beautiful family: no power blackout was going to stand in the way of a good hike to find WiFi and check in on Koi Koi and Baby J. There it was. A miracle of compassion in Tiny Bear tending Baby J while Koi Koi recovered. Lost perspective… not. Rather, we’ve been gently reminded how precious every life is!

  8. This is the post I’ve been dreading. Not the details of Sequoia’s labor and Jitterbug’s birth, but the mention of winding down the breeding operation. I knew it was coming, but I wonder at how selfish I’m being. A less stressful life certainly should be what’s next for you.

    A thousand thank-you’s for all the joy you’ve given us.

  9. Molly, thank you so much once again. As everyone before me has already said, it really is amazing that you take the time to keep us up to speed when you must be absolutely shattered yourself. I looked in on the kittycam, it must have been not long after you brought Sequoia and Jitterbug back from the vets as I could see that you were obviously sitting on the floor tending to them and each time I looked, you were still there. It’s your unfaltering patience, love and care for your cats that bring the results that they do.
    I’m so pleased that Koi Koi and the ‘baby bug’ are doing much better now and bonding so well and yes, you’re quite right, as far as the Mythicbells followers are concerned, Sequoia has eclipsed all the world headlines at the moment. Tomorrow will hold some very sad memories for many people but as long as we can see a ‘little miracle’ now and again, then we know there can good times too.

  10. I’m just going to echo all the above posts in saying thank you so much for taking the time to update us on Seq and little JB’s progress. We’re all so happy they’re doing well. Thank you for all your enthusiasm and dedication and for allowing us to follow you and your kitties through your breeding career. I will be so sad once the “last litter” is announced, but it is what is best for both yourself and your babies – and I’m sure the big kits can keep us all entertained for years to come!

  11. How absolutely precious! And you are the best surrogate Mom ever!


  13. Hope Sequoia and baby Jitterbug are soon both out of danger and you can breathe again, relax a bit and enjoy them. What a star is Tiny Bear also, looks like she’ll step in to help.
    An awful lot of work for you Molly but many congratulations once more, glad the decision is made about spaying KoiKoi, must be a relief to know she’ll be OK and thanks so much for allowing us to share the story of your delightful menage!

  14. Thanks so much for the update, Molly, and for the pics, and the videos, for everything else you do! I’m very sad that Sequoia (and Sirocco & Tiny Bear) won’t have any more babies in the future, but then again, I applaud you for always doing what’s best for the kitties, and for putting their happiness first. I hope Koi Koi continues to improve and “Baby Bug” (I love that!) continues to thrive. Wish I could be in the lottery, should you decide not to keep her, but I certainly wouldn’t blame you if you decide not to part with her — I’m sure she will be an irresistible, funny little person just like her momma!

  15. Madam, I do not speak English well and work with an interpreter. Please excuse me for bad English. I am very happy for the beautiful pussy of Sequoia. I cried with joy when I saw it first, and never miss a video of your beautiful cats. I live in another continent, but every day I am glad your videos and love kittens. I have a big request: Let Sequoia kittens stay with you!!! You take care and perfectly brilliant! With greeting: Olga Mahri – Bulgaria, Europa

  16. Dearest Molly, When M read the news to me quite literally we both had tears of Joy. I’m so relieved that Koi and Jitterbug are both doing well. You are soooooo blessed to have witnessed all these little miracles. Tiny Bear is a classic example of the love and care you have given to these marvelous little angels. Little Molly woke me this morning with her usual affection. Something I’ve grown to endear. Thank you Molly

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