On December 30th, 2018, the non-profit rescue organization TinyKittens, posted a teaser photo on their Facebook page. It was to be the next arrival the group would be dedicated to helping. Shrouded in secrecy, the dimly lit photograph was highlighted by two yellow eyes peering at the camera. A tiny patch of white fur could be seen.
The group has over 100,000 followers on their YouTube page which features live videos of the cats in their care. But it was their more than 1.5 Million followers on Facebook that were anxiously waiting the confirmation of the mysterious new face. Not to keep everyone waiting, the page was happy to announce the arrival of TWO new beautiful black “house panthers” later that day.
Both female cats, they were pulled from a hoarding situation the night before and needed TinyKittens help.
The older cat was estimated to be about a year and a half old and the younger, about 10 months old…and her daughter! They were named Lorelai and Rory Gilmore after the popular TV Show, Gilmore Girls, following the life of a single mother and her daughter.
There was one VERY big difference for the feline Gilmore Girls though. Lorelai was pregnant again and extremely close to giving birth! TinyKittens founder, Shelly Roche and volunteers knew they needed to keep a close eye on Lorelai from the moment she arrived.
The rescue team is well aware of the challenges and difficulties that labor presents for cats, no matter how many times they’ve done it before. From her veterinarian exam, they estimated that this would be her fourth litter! Lorelai was found to have another risk, adding more danger for the sweet girl.
Knowing their followers were just as invested in Lorelai’s well-being, they planned to show her birth live on their web cameras. It would be the last time the sleek black beauty would be giving birth.
TinyKittens were sure to honestly warn their viewers of the dangers she faced though.
“RESCUE REALITY TV WARNING: Lorelai’s kittens are at risk for Neonatal Isoerythrolysis (fatal blood type mismatch) because Lorelai has type B blood. This is not a risk for cats with type A blood, which includes more than 90% of the population.”
“I will need to blood type each kitten as soon as it is born, using blood from the umbilical cords. This may look alarming to new viewers, but it is the only way to ensure the safety of each kitten. We have consulted with our awesome vet team, and have a solid plan in place.”
“The good news is that NI is only a factor during the first 24 hours after birth. We will need to bottle feed any type A or AB kittens for the first 24 hours. The anti-A antibodies in Lorelai’s milk will attack and kill the red blood cells in any type A or AB kittens during that time frame.”
“After 24 hours, kittens will be able to digest the antibodies rather than absorbing them. It will [then] be safe for them to return to Lorelai and nurse normally.”
The next week was full of nerves and excitement as Lorelai began to show signs of labor.
She was filmed preforming pre-labor grooming rituals and they knew her babies would be coming along shortly. Her swollen belly pulsed with the little lives growing inside.
Fortunately, a male cat was also pulled from the hoarding environment and believed to the the father to Lorelai’s babies. They called him “BabyDaddy” and he was taken into foster care through the TinyKittens family.
“BabyDaddy’s foster mom was awesome enough to bring him by this evening after his neuter (yay!), so we could blood type him. Thankfully, he is Type B, which means any of Lorelai’s kittens fathered by him will be safe from Neonatal Isoerythrolysis!”
There was still a chance that he WASN’T the father of some or all of the kittens. Just in case, they’d still be testing them as they were born.
On January 8th, 2019, the big moment arrived!
The hour and 46 minute birthing video has now been viewed over 35,000 times! Mama Lorelai was a trooper and 5 little babies were introduced to the world.
Even better, all of the kittens blood tested turned out to be Type B, so they were safe to nurse naturally. They were all between 89-102 grams in healthy weights. There was one lone male in the litter FULL of girls.
Four days later, their official names were chosen and announced, easily distinguished by the colored bands on their necks (that don’t hurt them).
Donning the green neck wear is Lane and rounding out the sisters in yellow, Sookie.
Holding his own as the largest kitten, blue for solo boy Luke.
They will remain with their mother until they can all be fixed and then put up for adoption, likely with mom Lorelai becoming available too.
Big sister Rory is already ready to find her purrfect forever home!
If you are interested in adopting any of the adorable cats and kittens at TinyKittens, please apply at: TinyKittens.com/adopt.
For the rest of us, we don’t have to miss out on anything…literally, not a second, by following their live feed found on their YouTube channel. They also have an Instagram page for those who can’t get enough.
REMEMBER: ADOPT, DON’T SHOP; FOSTERING SAVES LIVES & SPAY AND NEUTER!
Related TinyKittens Story: Kitten With Cleft Palate Survives Against All Odds; Her “Aura” Is Exceptionally Strong!