And early this month, she began showing signs of nesting. In human Washington, that usually means lots of crazy shipments from Pottery Barn Kids or Great Beginnings. But in her case, it meant shredding bamboo or cradling an apple.
As far as we know, Tian Tian did nothing.
His "vintage sperm" was taken from the same frozen sample that gave the panda couple a baby in 2005. He didn't even have to go for the porn.
And then, on Sunday, the folks on duty saw Mei Xiang's quiet, little miracle.
"She kind of breathes funny and then she jerks her body, and then she stands up and kind of looks at something for just seconds . . . and then picks it up," marveled Don Moore, associate director for animal-care sciences.
Zoo officials have been hearing squeaks and cries ever since, and are watching Mei Xiang cradle that little bit in her big paws.
Relax, Daddy-O. Go watch the Redskins, or the Nationals or the election. It's a big year in Washington, and your lady just made sure you'd get to stick around to see it.