A pregnant, purebred British Shorthair showed Anglo Saxon spirit when she was left alone for 40 days in a locked Wuhan apartment with an open 20 pound bag of dry food and filtered water on the balcony. She gave birth alone and survived as did her four kittens named: Xiaowu, Hanhan, Xiaojia and Youyou (meaning ‘Wuhan fighting’).
Her name is Lele. It is a story of the awesome resilience of domestic cats. Her owner, Chen, and family were hospitalised one by one after becoming infected with Covid-19. By 25 January she had to be ‘abandoned’. He owner decided not to ask someone to look after her in case the apartment was contaminated with the virus.
They took a chance by leaving an open 20 pound bag of dry cat food in the flat together with filtered water for fish (and turtles?) and flowers on the balcony to which she had access.
So she was able to eat and drink. She gave birth successfully without anyone to assist. She ate the fish in the aquarium which was sensible. It is reported Lele had lost about half her body weight. It is remarkable that she was able to sustain herself and her kittens.
China Daily reports that Chen was surprised that Lele had given birth. The litter box was in a state as expected. The story went viral on Douyin, the Chinese version TikTok.
Comment: I am surprised she did not defecate elsewhere. Perhaps she did. The gestation period of the domestic cat is 63 days so it is not, in fact, surprising that she had given birth. Chen left a comfortable area for her to use as a nest.