I am fostering a wonderful Mama cat for our local Humane Society. This is the fourth Mama we are fostering and I absolutely love it. These mama cats are usually strays or abandoned and by going to a private home rather than the shelter, they have a nice, warm, safe, quiet place to give birth. The kittens can then also get used to house noises and be socialized before going to the shelter to be adopted, once they are weaned.
I am still in wonderment over the whole process, even after four litters. I love watching the kittens nursing happily, while Mama lies there purring gently, also looking quite content.
Mama cats know exactly what to do. Nobody ever told them a thing, they just know. When they give birth, they cut the umbilical cord, they clean the kittens who somehow know to find their way by smell (their eyes being closed) to Mom to start nursing. Mom cleans everything up.
I also observed that Mom lies on one side to nurse, and the next time, she switches to the other side. How does she know to do that?
She didn't read parenting or how-to books. She didn't take birthing or breastfeeding classes. And, gasp, she didn't even consult a lactating expert!
Could it be that us humans have lost the ability to rely on our instincts and learn instead to rely on books to tell us how to do everything? It seems so if you walk through your local bookstore: there are self-help and how-to books for virtually everything these days. Same thing with information on the Internet. There's a website for everything. Information overload!
The kicker? There's even a parenting expert who wrote a book on how to learn to rely more on your instincts to raise your child.
My instincts tell me I don't need that book. So there.