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You legitimately never know what you are going to encounter when crossing paths and caring for feral cats. Now, add in the raging hormones of an unknown mama cat getting ready to give birth. That could be a major recipe for stress and danger all around! But there are also “feral cats” who have never known the kindness of humans. And when you add protective feline motherly instincts on top of that, it’s easy to understand that rescuing them may not go easily. Such as the case with Delilah, a gorgeous Siamese cat who was pulled from the Florida streets with a very large pregnant belly.

Because when Delilah first arrived in foster care, she definitely wasn’t ready to let down her guard.

It was within the safety of Heidi Pape Shoemaker @fosterkittenmama home where we first met Delilah. Or in this case, the sink!

Here she is!! She is pretty freaked out and did the “jump all over the bathroom and try to climb the walls” feral bit.

I gave her a catnip rainbow, she has wet and dry food along with fresh water. I’ll be setting up her nesting box after she uses the litter box. I’ve learned with ferals they usually use the birthing box as their bathroom if it’s there before they get the hang of the actual litter box. I’m not sure how far along she is in her pregnancy and if I can’t touch her (which I don’t think will be possible for a long while) then I have even less of an idea.

By the next day, things weren’t calming down in Delilah’s fragile state. 

I think this girl is mighty feral. So far she has yet to eat or drink. This is very common of my ferals that come in and they usually start eating around the 2 day mark. She’s been here for 1 full day. I’m watching her like a hawk on the camera. I’m extra anxious to get her to eat to get flea and dewormer meds going as well as extra vitamins etc.

Slowly but surely, Heidi was able to do just that. The most important thing was to not rush it.
 
She would enter the room with Delilah, who would visibly shake at first. But Heidi simply sat in the room by her without attempting to touch her and upset her. This continued slowly and the feral tendencies began to fade! In just 6 days, Heidi was able to pet her with a back scratcher. And if you work with stray and feral cats, that’s a HUGE step in the right direction.

But since she wasn’t going to allow close inspection, it would be a “Baby Watch 2021” countdown on Heidi’s social media pages. 

Each day, Delilah updates were provided to her growing number of supporters. And little by little, a loving PURRsonality emerged from the “feral” cat. 

Baby Watch 2021: Day 9, Delilah Edition!
I came in and caught Delilah laying on her back, super relaxed and adorable looking!!!🥰🥰🥰 Oh how I wish I could feel that tummy!! I was able to pet her more with my scratcher which is huge as she usually tries to bite whatever comes near her!! So I’ll keep watching….and waiting!!💓🐾
Baby Watch 2021: Day 13, Delilah Edition!
So here’s a video of what happens to get her to the relaxed state!!😅 Don’t worry she’s fine, it’s just what has to happen to get her to understand all touch isn’t bad and can actually feel good. She got to the point where I could scratch her all over, even on her head and under her chin. I can’t believe we are approaching 2 weeks together, pretty crazy!!
 

Even when Heidi wasn’t in the home, she has a camera system set up to monitor the residents. And this is where she got to see Delilah truly letting it all hang out, comfy style! Their relationship had strengthened to where some days, she would accept minimal petting. But at least knowing that she was comfortable when alone, Heidi was happy enough just to see her less stressed and safe. 

Baby Watch 2021: Day 20, Delilah Edition!
Wanted to show you some of the utter cuteness I see when watching Delilah on the camera!! She’s so adorable always laying on her back showing her big tummy and stripe right down the middle!!😍

FINALLY, she began to go into labor and her babies began arriving…in the middle of the night!

Baby Watch 2021: Day 25, Delilah Edition!
ITS GO TIME!!!!!!! I kept checking her all night and woke up to a baby crying!! She had them on the floor so I ran up and was able to get them into the nest. She’s scared and nervous. Baby 2 came quickly after! Hoping to hop on LIVE soon!!!! I’m trembling……can’t believe this is finally happening!!!!!!
It was a very long and tense day as the labor waned. Heidi even planned preparations to bring her to the vet if it didn’t resume. 
So very thankful this little one made it out and labor picked up after a 4.5 hour break (this definitely isn’t typical). Panting is VERY normal and all cats do it. She will continue to pant for the first few days of nursing as well. All 3 babies are looking good and are now nursing!!! Now to wait for baby number 4!! Love hearing from you guys thanks for all of the support!!!🥰💓🐾
Yet even with her MASSIVE belly, there were only three kittens in the litter which was confirmed by the vet. Her large tummy turned out to be something else. But she had three very healthy, and hungry, perfect little baby kittens. 

I think Delilah may just be a big girl and she had 3 big babies, especially the tabby at 4.6 ounces!!!!😮. I am super happy to report that there were NO more babies left inside!!!🎉🎉 The Dr. thought for sure there were more as well based off of her size but she brought me back and showed me the X-rays. She said she’s full of food, 💩 and gas!! I’ll take that!!

@collieflowersbark

Now would come the task of raising and caring for the family until the kittens are old enough to be adopted out. 

New mama Delilah turned out to be an amazing mother cat, caring for her babies lovingly. She even allowed a bit of love to be showered upon herself! 

Many of you asked how Delilah was when I went in to see her and the babies. 🥰🥰🥰🥰 Next time may very well be a different story but for now, I’m happy with this!!!💞💞

 

 
 
 
 
 
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A post shared by Heidi Pape Shoemaker (@fosterkittenmama)

 

There were 2 little girls, Dakota (white) and Darby (grey)  and one little tabby boy, Diggory. And they were ALL as fluffy as a potato can be! 

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There was a surprise even bigger than Delilah’s pregnancy belly, waiting for them just around the corner. 

At only 2 weeks of age, Heidi shared a shocking post on her social media pages about the future of the kittens. And not to be left out of the good news was mama Delilah! 
📢📢📢BIG, HUGE ANNOUNCEMENT!!!!!📢📢📢
As I’ve mentioned many times, priority is given to those adopting in pairs and my mamas can be pre adopted with a baby (or more) at any point!! I’ve previously had several triple adoptions but this will be my first time having………FOUR adopted together!!!!!!! 😍😍😍 Yes, even our gorgeous and spicy Mama Delilah already has a home!!!!! Her new mama is ready to give her all the time she needs to feel comfortable and safe. Obviously since the babies are only 2 weeks old, I will still have them for another 8 weeks or so. More good news is she 
also says she will have an Instagram account for them!!! So happy for this precious little D family!!!💞🐾🎉🥔
Be sure to follow Heidi @fosterkittenmama for updates on the happy family! Congratulations and thank you  to everyone involved. 
All photos/video property of Heidi Pape Shoemaker
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