Salami, a stray cat, decided to give birth there since it was the only place she thought she would be safe.
Early in the fall of last year, Salami began visiting Ida Floreak’s home after observing Floreak’s cat relaxing on the back porch.
The Dodo was informed by Floreak, a painter who resides in New Orleans, that “she came by and she really loved him.” She was more interested in him than he was in her, and they would occasionally sniff around each other. It was nice to see that it was obvious she had come to visit him.
Floreak started leaving food out for Salami, and before long, the small black cat showed up at her house every morning, meowing at the door. Though Salami was eager for the free meal, she was skittish around Floreak.
Then, the little black cat started to get a bit of a belly. “My goal was to be able to take her in to be fixed and vaccinated,” Floreak said. “But before she was comfortable enough for that, she was visibly pregnant.”
During Salami’s pregnancy, she started to spend more time around Floreak, allowing herself to be pet and brushed. Then, one morning in early April, Salami showed up earlier than usual.
“She came by at 5 and was squeaking very insistently in a way that seemed out of character,” Floreak said. “So I let her in and she started to have her babies around 8 or 9 in the morning.”
“I was surprised because I kind of figured when she had them I wouldn’t see her for a couple of weeks,” she added.
When Salami unexpectedly gave birth to two kittens, Floreak hardly had time to spread out blankets and quiet her bedroom. Floreak felt Salami had completed giving birth to her children since she appeared to be satisfied.
Later that night, Floreak was on a Zoom call with friends when Salami produced two more tiny kittens. “I was super nervous never having seen or done anything like this before,” Floreak said. “But to watch her, it was clear she just knew exactly what to do. It was a really intense experience.”
With New Orleans under quarantine, Salami and her kittens received Floreak’s undivided attention for two months — and the little family is thriving.
“She’s an amazing mom,” Floreak said. “She’s super attentive and sweet.”
All four kittens have found permanent homes thanks to Floreak, but only Salami is still with her. There was no other option after everything they had to endure together.
Although he can’t wait for the kittens to be adopted, Floreak’s other cat appears to have adjusted to the new normal. “He’s not used to the kittens and kind of misses having the run of the home,” “explained Floreak. “He and Salami, though, are still getting along.