Hello Jjajang!

by - Monday, July 06, 2020

Hey guys. It’s been a hell of a weekend. I finally found time to sit down and update what actually went on during Mumu’s labour. Grab your coffee because this post is going to be pretty long. But here's a TL;DR for people who isn't into wall of texts, Mumu gave birth to 3 kittens, firstborn froze to death, second one was a stillborn, so we are left with the last little one, saved through C-section.

I'm not sure if you have read this on my kitties' Instagram yet, but thought I should do an update here for people who are not following. Mumu went into labour on the 29th June 2020, at around 9:30AM. She was cuddling with me on my bed when she suddenly sat up and looked at me with an extremely confused face. I immediately turned on my lights, and check on her, only to realized her water bag broke, and she looked really sorry that she wet my bed. I immediately carried her to her maternity tent and she made herself comfortable really quickly. Thank goodness I prepared most of the stuff needed near her birthing tent before this, so I didn't have to waste too much time prepping myself up for her.

I honestly don't know where to start with this.. It's been a really saddening period for me and my family because we were really looking forward to welcoming the babies to our home. Things obviously didn't turn out the way it should, and all the events that happened were extremely unexpected. Did not help that all the people I sought out for help that day, were not as experience as I thought they should be. And their advices killed Mumu's firstborn, and put a stop to her labour, hence a C-section was required for her third little one.

I am definitely furious having lost one of her babies because of my lack of experience, and listening to advices from people to not touch the baby fearing the mom may reject it...? This is not at all true.

Mumu is a very different kitty. All that talk about “Queens will never show you when they’re giving birth.”, “They’ll want to be alone.” did not apply to her. She followed me all over the house halfway through labour, and wouldn’t let me leave her sight. I sought help from a couple of self proclaimed experienced rescuers, and was told to cover up her birthing tent, pretend I am not home and let her “do her thing” because if she knows that I am there, she will not be able to deliver her babies. Not only did she tried to tear down the tent, she left her firstborn in the cold, started crying and looking for me, AND stopped her delivery. By then Mumu already delivered 2 of her kittens, with the second one being a stillborn. Development for that baby stopped halfway and it did not make it. Third kitten was then stuck, so I figured I need to get her to the vet and seek help. Just like this, her firstborn froze to death.

When her firstborn came, it had such a loud cry. It was really active, and looked really healthy. But Mumu being a breeding cat had no idea how to nurse her kittens apart from eating away the placenta and grooming herself. Did not help that I, too, did not know how to handle the firstborn. The kittens were not warm enough despite all the towels I’ve left in the nest. (I was also told not to cover or wrap it up because she wouldn’t be able to find the kitten if they're hidden, wow genius). Well the first thing I should have done during then was to pick up the baby, and give it warmth, and guide it straight to Mumu’s mammary glands instead of believing the myths of Queens abandoning their kittens because it has another scent. Mumu isn't a stray, and she's reeeeally comfortable at home.. So me touching her kittens shouldn't cause her to reject her babies because it's still the scent of home.

I don't know who needs to hear this but,

DO NOT leave your Queens to do her thing, DO NOT leave them alone during their labour.

They are household cats for a reason, and all these advices not only killed her firstborn, it also sent Mumu into a tremendously stressful ordeal. A tiny life was lost, and I will blame myself forever for not being able to save her little one. And people I trusted to be experienced were actually a bunch of pseudos. Which makes me really upset because I really trusted these people, but they failed me time and again. Please do not teach people how to take care of their cats if you’re just a self proclaimed rescuer reading everything off Google because we can do that too.

You thought that was the end of the nightmare? Well, we’re just getting to the climax. I rushed Mumu down to Westside Emergency with my usual vet’s referral because they ran out of a certain vitamin that was needed for the Queen. Mumu at this point was already in a lot of stress and really scared, not knowing what is going on. All she wants is me to be next to her at all times, but I wasn’t allowed in the emergency, so things were explained to me through phone call instead.

This is probably the most ridiculous thing that ever happened throughout the day. It wasn’t even a consultation at Westside Emergency, it was a quotation. The vet(Dr Lee) said Mumu was really aggressive and refuse to let them do a thorough check up. Neither can they do an ultrasound to see if the babies are alive simply because the ultrasound guy isn’t in that day. (Weren’t you an emergency unit?) They then insisted I do an X-ray to see how many kittens are still in her tummy thought we are unable to tell if they're alive, but with Mumu being so aggressive, she needs to be sedated. Since they are gonna sedate her, we might as well go for C-section at the same time. Here comes the infuriating part. “Our cost here is actually pretty high because we are after all an emergency. If the price is not comfortable for you then maybe you can try calling other clinic?” She then went on telling me the whole procedure will take up to $10K SGD... (Sedation, blood test, X-ray, C-section if there are still kittens in her, admission and stay-ins.) Long story short, I went back to my usual veterinary after signing discharge and no treatment upon professional advices of the vets agreement. They wasted 2 hours of my life doing nothing at all and busting $160 off my pocket just to tell me all the cost that will be incur if I decided to go ahead with anything at the emergency. The only takeaway from Westside Emergency was more stress for poor Mumu, who was so afraid of being alone at that point of time. It does seem like a 'the poor dies faster' situation there if I have to be blunt.

Hurried over to Animal Ark Binjai(Best vet reco from a friend till date) the moment we got Mumu back from the emergency, and checked Mumu in. Told the nurses Mumu showed signs of contractions, she may wanna drop her another baby in a bit, so they allowed me a quieter room to let Mumu get comfortable while they tend to other fur-patients and prepare the X-ray for her. About 30 minutes passed and Mumu still showed no signs of pushing, so they helped her with an X-ray to check for any remaining kittens. There was one left in her, so we immediately brought her over to the ultrasound room and did a scan to see if the little one is still alive. Mumu was really cooperative with the nice people there, though she was still very clingy and refuse to let people flip her around for scans and jabs, all she wanted to do was to cling onto me and hug my hand. The vet gave her a jab of oxytocin to induce contractions, hoping that Mumu may push the kitten out on her own, but to no avail. So another dose of oxytocin was tried again, and I was told if it doesn’t work, we got to send her for Caesarean. Which we eventually did because poor Mumu really just wasn’t pushing anymore. She had stopped her labour on her own with all the drama going on. And watching her suffer breaks my heart so much, I just wanted it to end as soon as possible.

What’s most heartbreaking was how Mumu wouldn’t stop clinging onto me. She needed me to be everywhere she is to let her know that it is okay, that I am not abandoning her. I had to follow her into the opt room because she wouldn’t let the nurses shave and IV her. I cried hearing her purr and whine when they were inserting the needle, and I cried even more when Mumu went limped in my arms shortly after the GA was in her system and then entirely motionless but still semi conscious. Despite all these torture I’ve put her through, she still kept her eyes on me while I left the room. That’s the worst. I was all she had in this world, and I failed her. Thinking back on all these events bring tears to my eyes again. I would never want to lose Mumu ever. I got so angry thinking just how these series of events were all repercussions caused by an organization’s negligence and self-righteous rescuers' advices. But ultimately me, because I sought out the wrong people for help and brought her so much misery. I absolutely hate how Mumu still have to go through all of these despite having been adopted and given a proper home. She had trusted me but I failed to even realize she was stressing out all these time because she wasn’t sterilize at all. (This is a story for another day because the case is still pending right now, but if I do not get any response, I will be updating you guys what exactly happened.)

Jjajang was handed to me first while Mumu was still getting herself stitched up in the opts. Little Jjajang was extracted through C-section with an extremely frail heartbeat and she had to be resuscitated immediately because all newborns cannot breathe on their own when they come into this world. Queen have to lick them down and clear their airways in order to let them breathe on their own. I thought Jjajang couldn't make it when I heard the nurse resuscitating her mumbled to himself saying, "Ugh, c'mon!" But a few minutes later, I hear cheers coming from the operating room and there popped Jajjang in the nurse's hands! She looked so tiny in his hands, it's so adorable lah.

I got to nurse Jjajang before Mumu joined us after her surgery, and got to carry a 15 minutes old newborn kitten in my hands. You have no idea how happy I was because Jjajang was the last of Mumu’s litter, and she can no longer have anymore babies from now on. I was so afraid Mumu will not be able to nurse her own baby again, so Jjajang was really a blessing.

I was taught how to hand feed a kitten in case Mumu is too frail to nurse them. As if trying to keep them warm isn’t tough enough, Jjajang just have to be a picky kitty like her momma. She was rejecting the KMR whether in syringe or bottles, and has zero intentions of drinking the milk powder. We were so worried Jjajang doesn’t know how to suckle that’s why she was rejecting it, but to our surprise, when we placed her with Mumu, she immediately suckle on one of Mumu’s mammo gland!

Both of them got discharged fine, Mumu was also nursing Jjajang when we got home, but shortly after, nightmare began. Mumu started hissing and growling at Jjajang, she even clawed her. The horror came true, Mumu was rejecting her baby again. AGAINNNN. I guess Mumu probably woke up from her anaesthesia and realized Jjajang smelt like a clinic, so she freaked out..... Remember how Jjajang refused KMR? The same happened again when I tried to nurse Jjajang. None of the methods told to me or shown to me worked. The same rescuers were telling me how I was definitely doing it wrong, not because the newborn didn't like to be hand fed and if I still don't manage to get food into Jjajang, she will take her from me to nurse because what I am doing is extremely dangerous and will kill the baby. It’s as if I didn’t know Google existed, and I had to rely on these people’s textbook advices on how to nurse a newborn.

I had to video down the process to show them how Jjajang was really rejecting the hand feeding not because I was doing it wrong. So I stayed up the entire night trying to get food into Jjajang so she will stay hydrated and not die. I even went to the extent of restraining post-opt Mumu, just so Jjajang can have a little bit of momma’s colostrum to develop anti-bodies for her first 24 hours. That’s really stressful for Mumu and extremely heartbreaking to see her growling and struggling in restraint, but I really want to protect the last of her litter and I really have no idea how else can I do this. I was so afraid I may break Little Jjajang apart if I continued to force feed her, so I can only restraint Mumu.

I guess most people misunderstood thinking I was nursing a kitten.. I was trying to feed a literal newborn of 8hrs, not a few weeks old kitten. Newborns and kittens are two entirely different entities. So whatever these self righteous rescuers were trying to “teach” me were obviously wrong and not working.

Let’s just be real. How often do you get to rescue strays straight out of birth? And why the hell would you even do that? Queens will never leave their newborns, and if you actually do find a litter and take them away from the momma, you are obviously the worst scum of the Earth. I honestly believe none of these rescuers have ever nurse rejects, because all they do is steal kittens from stray Queens, claiming them to be abandoned and try to rehome them for a fee which these people are not worthy of pocketing. So what rights do you have to guide me when you don’t even have the experience? Surprise, I have the same Google knowledge as you do.

Jjajang has zero contact with her mom when she got into my hands. She basically had no idea what it’s like to be sucking on a mammary gland, or how it feels like to be licked by her mom. But what she does register after latching onto Mumu is that Mumu is her mommy. Every mammary gland has their own unique scent that helps the kitten identify their "personal milk duct". So Jjajang wouldn’t stop crying for Mumu, and it made her reject the hand feeding even more.

It was seriously stressful because Jjajang was really small and literally just a few hours old. She only had a little milk in her despite me staying up the entire night constantly trying to get however little milk I can get into her. I was seriously so afraid she might just die in my hands. My friends brought over a nipple suckle later in the afternoon to try make Jjajang drink from bottle once more, but she rejected again. We had no choice but to turn to our last resort; reintroducing Jjajang to Mumu again and pray that Mumu will stop reacting so violently towards her.

This is where things finally started to look up. I headed to Mumu and started to pat her to calm her before placing Jjajang next to her. She did a few sniff, but this time, she did not hiss or growl. She was definitely curious, but after I guided Jjajang to her nene, Mumu started sniffing and licking Jjajang’s butt. And the rest is history. You have no idea how relieved I felt during then. Mumu is finally showing signs of accepting Jjajang, (inserts tears of joy)

I guess Mumu was just not feeling it due to the surgery. She was probably in a lot of pain and she just wanted to recuperate. That didn’t change the fact that she has no idea how to nurse Jjajang tho. I had to guide her on how to lie down to feed Jjajang and how to groom Jjajang to ignite her mother instincts again. She even accidentally sat on Jjajang a few times and freaked out when Jjajang screamed. It was actually pretty hilarious, Mumu was like a first time mom even though she's have had a few litters before this.

The solution had always been really simple: Reintroduction. To hell with all that advices for hand feeding and stressing the poor baby out. Mumu didn’t realize she actually still have a newborn because the only two kittens that she delivered passed away. And she obviously have no recollection of the surgery, so she don't realize Jjajang is her baby. All we had to do was to let Mumu register Jjajang’s scent(on a cloth used during her labor) with her mammary glands and slowly let her remember she still has a baby for her to start nursing Jjajang again.

Momzy and baby have settled down now. It was a gruesome 24 hours, but looking at how Mumu has finally stopped over grooming and finally has her own kitten to nurse, it’s all worth it. I hope Jjajang will grow up strong and healthy, and become a really active kitty. I will update their progress regularly on their Instagram, so do follow up there if you are interested. I probably wouldn't have the time to be writing in a few weeks time. Kitten can really be quite a handful, but they are such bundle of joy. I get so happy just staring at them and I can literally do that the entire day, hahaha.

If you’re too experienced in bottle feeding stray kittens but are not part of any organizations, please stop separating the kittens from their Queen. Sometimes the Queen may just be hungry and left a while to look for food. There is no way that many kittens get abandoned that often for you to feel experienced enough to “teach” another person. Please keep that self-righteousness and ignorance in check. That's the worst combo to have in a person.

If you've read this far, thank you. I don't know how you guys can tolerate my rants and frustrations because I most definitely will find myself annoying. Hahahahaha. So thank you, I really appreciate you all! ♡

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