clue, Juno

Day 2 and redistribution of wealth

Clue’s tanker trucks.

Last night I was working for quite a while to get Clue’s littlest boys (Bosco and Iggy) to nurse well. They were born in the mid-9s and were down to 8.5 when the others were already gaining. Clue’s got scads and scads of milk, which is actually the problem. Puppies have to open their mouths really wide to nurse, and the littest ones just pop off too easily. One moment of inattention and a big puppy steals your faucet.

Juno, on the other hand, has almost no mammary tissue – seriously, if you saw her you might think she was coming off a heat cycle, definitely not nursing – but what is there is mighty. Her puppies latch on and start desperately gulping almost instantly and they’re gaining ridiculously fast.

Ordinarily I end up spending several days managing each feeding to make sure the pee-weedlies get milk until they grow a little more. But last night I was pretty much fainting with exhaustion and was considering waking up a kid to spell me for a while so I could nap, and then said oh, heck, I can’t take this, and grabbed the littlest boy (Bosco) and put him on Juno.

Clue looked up and said “What the heck?” and I said “Settle, honey, it’s OK,” and like the angel she is she laid back down again to sleep. Juno went “Who are YOU? You smell like my mom, and – TYPICAL – she’s not keeping you fat enough. Well, tuck in, tuck in.” And the puppy said “Hello, gorgeous,” and went through three teats in a row until he finally popped off and passed out on the blanket. I poked him and he only groaned faintly and burped.

Since then he has gained a tenth of an ounce an HOUR. He’s at 10.1 now. And the remaining littler guy, Iggy, found that just that bit of opportunity allowed him to get the softer tissue he needed, and he started getting better and better with each feed. So now I have fourteen two-day-old puppies ranging from 10-14 oz and shiny and fat, and you can’t get much better than that.

Juno’s expanded brood – Bosco is the one with the arrowhead on his collar.

Clue is still very aware that Juno’s got her puppy – she has let me know clearly that she sees and hears him and that she’s only tolerating it because I told her to – and Juno also knows it and is feeling quite boss about it. He may be moved back in a couple of days or we may extend the lease if it works out well; I don’t know yet. What I do know is that they’re all peaceful and quiet and I got six hours of sleep. Boo yah.


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  • Reply micaela August 23, 2011 at 12:57 am

    love this! After the day I had, I needed to read something *exactly* like this to make me smile & hopefully help me sleep tonight. I shall go have dreams of your beautiful Clue & Juno and their growing, groaning puppies ♥

  • Reply Cassie Petersen August 22, 2011 at 11:22 pm

    What good mamma’s you have! And smart thinking on your part!

  • Reply Amayon August 22, 2011 at 11:33 pm

    Thats so funny they are cool with musical teats. What good girls you have!

    On a side note, I am LOVING the wonky marked pied one in the second pic, bottom left

  • Reply Raegan August 23, 2011 at 12:51 am

    This is utterly fascinating. Glad it’s someone else in the hot seat though!

  • Reply LouisatheLast August 23, 2011 at 9:01 am

    Having done a bit of pregnant cat rescue before, I had an interesting experience when two mothers had litters just a week apart from each other. They wound up sharing the same room, and every once in a while, if she heard crying babies, a mom would stop and climb into the box to let them nurse. The catch was, it didn’t matter WHICH mom. By the time the kittens were old enough to be climbing out of the boxes, they would nurse with either, though they definitely did show a preference for their own mother. The mothers didn’t seem to mind the arrangement at all, though they got along well before they had their babies, too.

    • Reply Lauren August 23, 2011 at 2:03 pm

      Cats actually aren’t the solitary creatures people think they are. They form loose prides. the co-nursing thing happens all the time. And very often when the 2 moms are mother/daughter the mother/grandmother will preempt ALL the kittens and put them in a giant pile. Her daughter will go and snuggle up to the giant kitten-pile to snuggle and nurse babies, her own and her half-sibs. Sisters will do it to, but a little less often.

      Often, when the females are all related, you’ll walk into a barn and see a big kitty pile with babies spread over a few weeks in age. The moms only claim their kittens for their very own when they’re old enough to tag along.
      It’s pretty cool.

      BEAUTIFUL puppies and very glad they’re all doing so well!

  • Reply Mary August 23, 2011 at 6:34 pm

    I love Felix’s position – look at those front paws on the top photo! Beautiful, shiny babies.

  • Reply Leila August 23, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    I can’t get over how shiny and fat they are! And their pink noses and feet!

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