Monday, December 19, 2022

A Surprise Lesson

Well, life with cats is often surprising, especially when they are rescue-cats. Zofia went into heat yesterday.

We in the rescue-group estimated little Miss Zed’s age to be approaching five months. She is likely half a year old. When Zofia was brought to us, she was under-fed, under-weight and small; even the veterinary had trouble placing her age, which she thought was close to our estimate. We were wrong.

Another cat in our rescue was older than Zofia – now, strangely, she’s the same age! – but looked it: fuller, bigger and nearer adulthood. This one, however, had been fed well for the period previous to her abandonment. Zofia was found wandering about the town; she had clearly been without adequate nourishment for a while, possibly since being weaned. The photograph below was taken the day she arrived at the Cosy Apartment. We thought she was about three months old then; she was probably six weeks older, which is a big difference when one is that young.

Saturday, she started rambling about the apartment trilling and cooing. I thought it was just a progression of her vocal socialisation; it seemed plausible that this was its next step. Yesterday, she continued making those sounds, but she also adopted an unusual stance. She would stretch herself out – resembling a dachshund, to my mind – her rear resting on her feet, rather than her toes, as a cat typically walks. Yet she also continued to run and play normally. I thought of the ‘floating patella’ that the doctor reported Zofia as having; I didn’t think they were causing her pain, merely feeling odd, and the strange posture her way of dealing with it.

Still, a little concerned, I took a video of the kitten and sent it to a colleague in the rescue. She recognised the symptoms immediately. Zofia was in heat. Below is a still taken from the video.

I had not seen a cat in heat before; I’d heard them outside numerous times, but had not seen one. Fortunately, as it is her first cycle, Zofia likely is not feeling much discomfort. As I write, all is quiet, and Miss Zed is sleeping, though last night, there was plenty of cooing and trilling, and she and Hector chased each other enough to knock over the Christmas tree. This cycle will last a few days; her spay will have to wait a while, even if it were not physically preferable, as the veterinary hospital doesn’t have an opening until after Christmas. Zofia will be going there on Tuesday, but merely for a vaccination booster. We should be able to fit her in before her next heat cycle.

Yes, life with cats is often surprising, especially when they are rescue-cats. This week’s lesson, courtesy of little Miss Zed.


  1. I had been thinking she'd need to be spayed before long; she's just the age of my Kate when we had to take her in for the operation. I'm glad you can take care of that soon.

  2. Miss Zed is a hilarious riot with going into heat. How I remember that from Angel Seney a life time ago. We had her scheduled for spaying, but she went into heat too soon. All that rolling around, showing her bee-hind off and making the cutest sounds. A couple weeks later, it was taken care of. You will have fun seeing this little girl trying to be a big girl. Good thing your boys are "fixed".

  3. Oh MY! I never expected that! Miss is on the way, sweetheart and your dachshund imitation got mom smiling! A lot!

  4. I didn't expect this either! I'm glad Zofia won't have to wait long to be spayed. I remember Annie went into heat AFTER she had been spayed, and she had to be spayed again (they left ovarian tissue the first time, or so I was told). Hopefully Zofia will have a competent vet!

    1. We've not had a problem so far. You'd think a vet would have done enough spays to know better; maybe it was someone relatively new.

  5. Boy, things are never dull at the Cosy Apartment. But luckily, Zofia will be fixed soon.

  6. Oh I'm so glad Miz Z won't have to wait long. She will feel ever so much better after her spa day!

  7. Isn't that something; she's so young, but she's have a belly full of kittens if she wasn't in care!
    Spay and neuter is the only way out of the overpopulation of pets; wish we could make everyone understand this.

  8. Miss Zofia is very lucky she is with you or in a few weeks she would be carrying kittens. She is not much bigger than one herself.

  9. Oh yea, we went through that with our Kiki, hopefully we won't experience that again with Macy. Good luck.

  10. Well, little Miss Z is full of surprises. Good thing you didn't decorate the Christmas tree.
    I guess I got luck with my three girls as I don't recall any of them going into heat. Thank goodness for that!