But this is also a story about Valentine.
Dreamer was loved and accepted by all my cats. The other dogs were just as friendly, never any growling or hissing. I worked days as a courier, and the husband worked nights being a security guard.
One night, about 2:30 in the wee morning hours, Dreamer came into the bedroom, and with wet nose and tongue touched my hand that was outside of the blankets. This was something she had never done before. She licked my hand until I woke up. I sat up, with my legs over the bed touching the floor. I asked her “what’s up girl?” I didn’t hear any strange noises from outside the bedroom or the house. It was a confusing moment.
Then, she very gently took my hand in her mouth, and I KNEW, she wanted me to go with her to see something. Something important enough to wake me up. I left my hand in her mouth, being a Lab, they have what is called a “soft mouth”, so she could take me to where I needed to be.
She brought me to Valentine who was in hard labor. Dreamer laid down beside her, gave her a lick of loving encouragement, and stayed with her the whole time during the deliveries.
I looked closely at my pregnant girl, and I could see how tired she was, how hard she was pushing, but there was no kitten emerging. I took a closer look and there were TWO babies trying to come out at the same time! Now I have been a witness to many cats and dogs who have given birth. But never had I witnessed this dilemma. Fortunately I had a clue thanks to various books I had read and shows I had seen on TV. But those shows had all been about horses and cows who had this problem with birthing. Which means larger animals have much larger birth canals than one tiny little house-cat.
I looked at my fingernails to see that they were clean and trimmed very close. I washed my hands well. Got a bowl of fresh water, a towel, and a roll of paper towels, too. I got down onto the floor, talking to her the whole time. I hesitantly but firmly inserted one finger into the canal and could feel both babies. I sat there praying to God to help me do the right thing the right way and waited for the right moment when she wasn’t trying to push them out, to push one of them back and out of the way of the other one. I was so scared I would hurt and/or damage one or both of them and Valentine, too.
But I was successful and with the next mighty push Tang came out. A beautiful little orange tiger boy with all parts attached and squirmingly happy to be free. Val quickly gave another push and out popped Little More, another successful birth of a baby boy-cat. By this point it was obvious how exhausted Valentine was, and my Dream dog took over the birthing duties of cleaning the babies and pushing them to their first meal. After all of that effort, I think we were all grateful that the last two kittens’ arrivals were stress-free and quick. The last two were girls, and I named them Gemma and Marble.
Dreamer had saved Valentine and her litter by waking me up and bringing me to them. She knew Val was in serious trouble and must have consciously thought “Mom can help”.
There are many stories like this “out there” I’m sure. But this is mine and a memory I have cherished for many years.