When I found Delilah, she had been dumped in my barn. She was about four weeks old, had a severe upper respiratory infection, terrible infections in both eyes, and one eye was completely out of it's socket, pushed out from the swelling/pus/infection causing pressure behind the eye. She almost died on me half a dozen times. Many vet bills and a minor surgery to reset her eye later, she was on the road to healing. I was in need of barn cats, but my vet cautioned me that Delilah would likely never recover any vision at all and be blind.
As she healed, she started showing clear signs of being able to see. The scarring in her eyes steadily retreated until now, one eye is completely clear, and the other eye (the one that was completely out of it's socket), while you can still see scarring, she still has a fair bit of vision out of. She spent the winter in my house recovering, and went out to the barn this spring, and had never looked back nor seemed to miss being a housecat.
Delilah is hunter extraordinaire. I've seen her leap up into the air to catch birds, watched her catch as many as 10 mice/shrews in one day, bats (which I don't love, I'd prefer to keep the bats around for mosquito control). Needless to say I keep her hyper-vaccinated and wormed.
But I made one major mistake. I didn't add up her age correctly, and since she is still very petite (and always will be) I had it in my head she was still too young, and failed to get her spayed in time. Being that I am very involved in pet rescue, this makes a huge hypocrite out of me and something I feel terrible about.
A week or two after I discovered she was pregnant, my other barn cat, Kevin, who I would assume is the father, disappeared, I believe my neighbor's dogs got him. So Delilah came back into the house for her pregnancy and until she is spayed.
She had a difficult labor and I ended up needing to give her a couple shots of oxytocin just to make it. Poor little tiny petite cat had a litter of seven, but the last two were stillborn, and the third to last passed a few hours after birth. But we have four healthy babies. Two boys, two girls. The two boys already have homes lined up, and the two girls will be staying with me, and their mother - all will get spayed before the trio are moved back out to the barn. Hopefully Delilah will teach her girls to be as good of hunters as she is! I had concerns that Delilah might not be much of a mother, since she was pulled from her own mama so early, and obviously suffered a serious lack of care. She did not free any of her babies from the sac and get them breathing when they were born, so I had to step in, but once they would start mewing she stepped up to the plate and has been a diligent mama ever since.
Anyways - pics! Eyes are just now opening - the first and second born eyes are open, but third and fourth are still closed.
Mama - Delilah:
Firstborn - calico girl, marked just like her mama:
Secondborn - tiger and white male
Third, another calico girl, this one a muted calico:
And last but not least, a little, very noisy ginger and white boy (which was a hard temptation for me, I have a thing for ginger cats, all three of my indoor cats are gingers):