Kittens: Learning about parenting from my cat

Violet had beautiful babies almost 6 weeks ago and she has taught me a surprising amount about being a mom. 

When she was pregnant, I really saw how uncomfortable she was, especially towards the end. For some reason it really hit home how difficult those last few weeks are for human mamas. Maybe it’s because she didn’t have to pretend like she was loving every minute of it, or maybe I just haven’t been around that many pregnant women. We knew when she was going to have them because she just looked DONE with it all. 

She was a birth-giving champion. I know cats have less work than humans, being that the babies don’t have to go through a pelvic ring of bones, but she had four of them without any help from anyone else. I’m so thankful that everyone was happy and healthy. She really taught me to just let go and believe in the process. In general, she has made me realize that freaking out does no good, and everyone is almost always going to be just fine.

I think the thing that surprised me the most was the amount of time she spent away from them from the very beginning. During the first day she didn’t really leave them, but from the second day she would spend some big chunks of time away from them looking for pets from us which I called “Adult Time.” 🙂 She needed time away from her four starving nurslings and she took it. She was always close enough to hear them and would come if anyone seemed particularly distressed. They had each other to stay warm, and they were fine.

I also learned that right after giving birth is not a good time to change life-long habits. We were trying to keep her inside after she had the babies because I was scared that she might run off if she got out and what was I going to do with four tiny newborn kittens? She kept meowing at the door and would make a dash for it every time someone came or went from the office. Finally we just let her out. She was gone for about 2 minutes and came back in. As the babies got older she would go for longer, but rarely more than 15 minutes. It all worked out.

Have faith in the mama who was meant to do this, Emily!


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