It started on Friday teatime with a loud mieow and a lot of pacing around the living room.
Then nothing for another hour or so and then another loud mieow. Queenie was determined to be right by my side and as I was in the living room, that was where she was going to have her kittens.
So kittening box(es) in place, the space behind the TV barricaded with cushions, we sat down to wait.
By 11 pm Alexei had gone to bed (No, I don't want to see the birth Mum, it will be too yucky) and Roland soon after (You don't want me, this is women's work). I sat and tried to provide a reassuring presence for Queenie as she intermittently paced and yowled.
The first and smallest kitten arrived tail first at 1am. Queenie decided to take an active birth decision and walked around with the kitten hanging from it's head. There was a scary moment when I thought it was dead but thankfully all was well.
And can I also say a special thank you to whoever invented puppy training mats as the floor was a patchwork quilt of these for several hours and thus saved the carpets.
Next kitten arrived half an hour later and the last half an hour after that. although the birth seemed quite easy, I didn't find it easy. I was scared. Scared that if things went wrong, it would be my fault, scared for Queenie, scared for the kittens. And white kittens do look quite gruesome at first.
She soon settled down to feed her family of three . . . and I dozed fitfully on the sofa.
Tiny is the noisiest and smallest but a very determined squirmer.
When the kitten on the top gets cold, (s)he burrows under the others to get warm, so you have a constantly moving bundle of kittens.
But things are cosy and happy inside the kittening box. Queenie loves this peach wool blanket, it really shows off the cream colours in her coat.
He is fine, as long as he isn't missing out on any extra food or his special spot between us on the bed, he is happy.
And us? We are besotted. They are terrible timewasters already.