THE TIGER'S MATE

Chapter 15: The Kittens Have Arrived

Feral was rushed up to the maternity floor. In a well appointed room he was stripped, quickly prepped with monitors and IV as Dr. Wanser rechecked his vitals and updated the other attending physicians. A call for three pediatric teams for each kitten went out as a GYN. Surgeon was warned of a possible need for a caesarean section.

Khan stayed by his mate's side as Feral's labors became more intense and agonizing. His blood pressure continued to climb over the next hour despite medication. Concern was rising that a C-section may be necessary and no one was happy about it. A male hermaphrodite was not a good candidate for this type of surgery due to the different placement of organs compared to a female. The difficulty level was greater.

Khan felt anguish as he held his mate through yet another vicious contraction. Feral could no longer keep from crying out in pain. He'd never experienced something so intense and continuous before. He was exhausted. On his next check he had reached nine centimeters but a new problem arose. One of the kittens was in trouble. No choice now, surgery was mandated before another kitten went into distress.

Feral was quickly rushed to surgery. A saddle block would not work for him so a more risky general anesthesia would be used. The kittens would be more sleepy when delivered adding to their many risks as a multiple birth. Everyone was tense as the most experienced surgeon on staff made the first incision to Feral's belly.

Outside the surgery suite, an extremely worried Khan paced the floor. Felina and Ms. Briggs watched him in sympathy. Felina had arrived as soon as the mess at city hall had been cleared and had contacted the deputy mayor of the Commander's emergency transport to the hospital by the SWAT Kats. Ms. Briggs had arrived only a little while ago and was brought up to date by Felina.

Inside, the surgeon had the abdominal cavity open and was making the incision into the bulging uterus. Fluids rushed out and was quickly suctioned as the surgeon reached in and grasped the first of the triplets. It's cord cut it was handed quickly to the waiting paws of a pediatrician. The kitten wasn't breathing which can happen when a general is used. They worked over the little male for a few minutes before the blessed sound of a tiny gasp then cry was heard. The next kitten was a little more livelier and required only a moment of oxygen before she wailed her complaint. The last kitten was a little harder to reach being further up in the body but at last the tiny male greeted the light with an angry cry.

Relieved the kittens were alright, the surgical team concentrated on closing up the mother and getting him off anesthesia quickly. Thirty minutes later, Feral was rolled into recovery until he was more awake. Dr. Wanser, who had been assisting the surgeon, went out to speak to the new father.

Khan waited nervously for Dr. Wanser to walk up to them. "Congratulations, Mr. Khan. You have two males and one female. They are in excellent condition. Commander Feral made it through well and is being taken to recovery. Would you like to be with him when he wakes?" He smiled warmly.

"Oh yes, please. What about the kittens?" Khan said wrung out but happy.

"They are being cleaned, weighed, and measured. They'll soon be taken to the neonatal floor for a little while because they are soo tiny and because of the anesthetic used. They want to monitor them for a few hours. You will be able to see them as soon as they are set up and I'll take you there as soon as they give the word. Now let's go see the Commander?" Dr. Wanser said as he led the tiger down the hall to recovery.

"You want to wait until you can see the kittens and your uncle, Felina?" Callie asked.

"Oh yes! It's hard to believe I've got three new cousins and I want to see that my uncle is really okay before I leave. I was so glad that I was able to catch the SWAT Kats to give my uncle transport in time." Felina said hugging herself.

"Yes that was good timing. Well, I don't mind waiting either. I wonder what the kits look like?" Callie smiled warmly at Felina. They continued to sit and wait.

Feral woke groggily to the glowing face of his mate. "It's over?" He croaked.

"Yes my love. We have three beautiful and healthy kittens. Two males and one female. You were wonderful. I am well pleased." Khan said grinning. He leaned down and kissed his mate tenderly. Feral smiled back tirededly. Right now all he wanted to do was sleep.

It was midday by the time Khan, Felina and Callie were able to see the newborn kittens. Khan was allowed into the neonatal unit while the she kats waited outside the large pane window. The largest of the three was a male and Khan was allowed to hold him. He was in awe at the tiny creature laying in his arms. A smile of joy stretched his face as he carefully walked toward the window for Felina and Callie to see. They smiled back with pleased expressions at the sight of the beautiful little male. It had it's fathers tiger markings but it's mothers black hair.

It wasn't until the next day that Feral was well enough to be wheeled into the nursery to see his kittens. He was in awe of the tiny newborns and was almost afraid to hold them. A nurse handed him the little female. She yawned in its mother's face making Feral smile. He was amazed at the sight of the little creature that he had carried for five months and realizing he was a mother. Khan had crouched down to gently nuzzle his mate.

"They are soo beautiful, my love. I never dreamed I'd be this happy or love someone so deeply as I do you and them." Khan sighed with quiet joy.

"I'm still trying to get used to it." Feral sighed as he continued to stare down at his little daughter. "So what do we name them?" He asked his mate.

The tiger blinked in surprise. "You know, oddly enough we never did discuss that. Hmm...any thoughts?"

"Well, I think Kiara for this little one. Maybe Gaspar for the littlest male. I don't know about the big guy." Feral mused thoughtfully and glanced at his mate to see what he thought.

"Those sound alright. Maybe Casimir?" Khan mulled that over a moment and thought it perfect looking at Feral he saw a smile of approval. "Well that's it then, Kiara, Gaspar, and Casimir Feral-Khan. Sounds wonderful, my love. I'll get the paperwork done immediately. You want to stay a little longer or do you want me to take you back to your room?" He asked as he took their daughter and placed her back in her isolette.

"Take me back love. I'm still soo very sore and tired. I'll want to come back this afternoon, though." Feral sighed.

"Of course, love. I'll be happy to return later. So let's get you back to your room then." Khan said quietly as he rolled his mate's wheelchair toward the door and to the elevator for the ride up to Feral's room.

A week later, Feral and the triplets were released. A news conference was held in the hospital lobby so the public could get a quick peek at the celebrity kittens then they were all whisked away by their proud papa to their new home in the Khan Towers.