Friends, let me begin by apologising for not posting yesterday. The human had a long day and was tired, and I had to have another stinky bath. When she was ready to post, things started happening. Normally I would tell you about those things, but to be honest, I have my mind on other matters right now. I am getting these urges. I need to find a safe, dark, warm, soft place. I have to prepare it, mark it with my scent, flatten it. I've been grooming a lot too. I don't know why, but I have this strong conviction that I need to keep myself very, very clean. The human is muttering something about pregnancy, but I don't really care. For once, it is all about me, and I have little time for anyone else, even this blog. For that reason, I'm going to hand the rest of this post over to the human and let her tell you everything. I have a bed to make.
Human: I never thought I'd be posting something like this, but here goes. I am mightily confused. A few months ago, I sent Tia out to stud, but it was unsuccessful, or so we were told. Neither of the boys managed to get anywhere near her thanks to her tortie temper, and yet, I find myself in my current position.
Last night in the early evening, Tia became very restless. In my house, my sofa sits a little away from the wall, and it is behind this that she goes if she wants to hide and observe strangers or new goings on in relative safety. Yesterday she was in and out of here quite a lot. I heard her scratching and thought she was going to the toilet outside the box again, but as soon as I got close, she'd cry at me, then run away as though I was invading her space. I thought nothing of it. After all, if she was going where she knew she shouldn't, it's to be expected that she wouldn't want to be caught in the act. Yet, when I showed her where the box was, she didn't seem interested. I gave her her bath as normal.
Usually Tia tells me off when I get her wet, but last night, she really let loose. At one point her cries were on the edge of cracking, you know that point just before it turns into a scream and a slash? But she never followed up. I also noticed that she's lost some hair around her lady bits, or I think she has. I'm not in the habit of touching here, so am not sure whether there should be less fur there than everywhere else, but it was noticeable last night. Still, I didn't worry.
She was strangely pliant during being dried off, but cried even then, something she doesn't usually do. I cuddled her afterwards, then gave her her chicken which she ate all of. Usually she leaves some for the following morning, but not last night. We went to bed then, but it was here that things really kicked into over-drive. Instead of cuddling as she usually does, she headed straight for under the bed and cosied up in between boxes that I keep there and the wall. However, her meowing continued. I ignored it because she'll often talk to me when she's exploring, just to let me know she's found something. In a few minutes though, she jumped back up, meowed right in my face, then got back down and under the bed. This carried on for another two repetitions before I gave in and came down with her. But all she wanted was company in her little nest. Well, I couldn't stay with her all night, but nor could I get her to settle. It occurred to me that this behaviour was typical of a mother close to birthing kittens, but how could she be?
She has showed no signs of pregnancy. Her nipples didn't pink up in the three weeks after she'd been with the boys. She hasn't put on weight. I could feel nothing in her belly (I checked). Hoover lady did say she ate shed loads of food while I'd been away though. Was it a phantom pregnancy? This isn't uncommon when an older girl goes out to stud for the first time, and I'd been warned of the possibility, but I was told it would only last a few weeks if it was there. Still, if she had been caught by one of the boys, the timing would be about right for the birth.
I slept uneasily, aided by the fact that Tia was very much a fidget, and a vocal one. At six this morning, I decided that I couldn't take any more. I'm blushing as I write this, but I made tiny kitten noises at her. I couldn't think of anything else to do. That got her attention right away. Quick as a wink, she was up with me, talking like I've never heard her talk before, nuzzling, then cuddling around my hand which had to act as surrogate to settle her, and assuming the "I'm ready for you to nurse" position. She seemed content enough as long as she cuddled my hand, so I left her like that and just watched for the next few hours. The nesting resumed as I was getting up, but as yet, there is no discharge which indicates labour, and I still can't feel a thing in her stomach. Her milk hasn't come down either, but then my reading says that a girl will try and nest for up to a week before giving birth, and the milk only comes down in the last few days.
I know that Persians often carry only one or two in their first litter. If it is one, and a small one, I suppose it's possible that we could have missed it, as first time mums don't always pink up. But I'm still torn. I called Hoover lady to tell her this morning and she says she noticed last time she checked that Tia's lady bits were a bit puffy. These could all indicate termination of a phantom pregnancy, but it could also indicate birth. I'm just not sure, and the last thing I want to do is send her to the vet again if she's ready to birth. I know of cases where the stress of that has caused a mum to kill the kittens when they are born because she's not settled.
I guess we just play a waiting game now. I'm half expecting to see a kitten when I get home from work today, but the reality check side of me says it's very, very unlikely. Have any of you had experience with similar situations or phantom pregnancies? I could do with some advice.