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Catty?

When I am on duty on a sunny Thursday morning, my phone rings around 10.00am. 'It's started I think,' says a familiar female voice. 'The contractions started 05.00 and are now coming every five minutes'. Fifteen minutes later, I turn into their street and park the car right by their house.

Upon entering, it actually looks very cosy. The couple has and modern newly built house with warm colours stylishly decorated. The husband points me upstairs where I greet his wife in the bedroom. She gives me a friendly smile and lets me know she is glad I am here.

Next to her on the bed, a young kitten is curled up against her and doesn't care about its owner who needs to concentrate on a contraction every now and then. I get a cup from the animal when I come and sit next to her to examine her. 'You are already 4 cm dilated,' I say after performing my examination. 'I'll go ahead and call the hospital to ask for a place for us,' I say and actually want to grab my phone already. 'Already?' she says startled. 'Can't we stay home for a bit longer?'

The couple has indication to give birth in hospital. In the previous delivery, the placenta did not come by itself and she had to go to hospital to have it removed. In doing so, she had ample blood loss which we would like to avoid this time. I explain to her that now we still have time to go to the hospital and that it might not be possible if we wait a few more hours. 'But at the hospital they don't have a delivery cat,' she says regretfully. The kitty in question looks at me, stretches and curls up against her belly again. I burst out laughing and say, ' There are lots of delivery cats in the hospital only they don't want to sit on your lap!" I say while giving a wink to her husband and sister who look at me laughing.

Moments later, we are in the car on the way to the hospital. Once we arrive, things move quickly. She doesn't have time to take a shower or sit in the bath because the contractions come quickly and a healthy son is born. Even the placenta presents itself a few minutes later. The couple is overjoyed with their son and I congratulate them warmly. She says she still found it a nice experience despite the journey in the car with contractions. 'How's your delivery girl,' I ask her teasingly. 'She's a bit upset,' she says with a smile and I hand her a warm flannel. 'We don't have a cat at home but actually it's a cat!' she says. 'At least now I was able to make you smile during labour,' I say as I shrug. Gratefully, she waves to me as I leave a little later.

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