Wednesday, March 17, 2010
A Kitty Midwife, A Loving Sister
This short video shows an interaction which I believe to be unique in the animal world. It shows sister cats, one actively helping the other to deliver her litter of kittens. Miss Caroline had her babies one week ago. Her sister, Miss Maryland, went into labor in the wee hours last night. She insisted on having her babies in her sister's nest box. Her sister dutifully acted as midwife. Lots of licking and purring and some panting goes on. Miss Caroline licked her sister, breaking her water and ultimately licking the newly born kittens to break their sacs and stimulate their breathing. She even chewed the umbilical chords and helped Miss Maryland to eat the placentas (yeah, I know, yuck!). In between arrivals the two sisters took naps together collecting their strength and keeping the tiny kittens warm and nursing. The one week old kittens joined the crowd and by morning all fourteen were happily nursing wherever they could regardless of mother of origin. It was an AMAZING night!