We had a fantastic day at the West of Scotland, bringing home a new Intermediate Champion, a Reserve Imperial, an Imperial, an Olympian certificate and four Best of Breed/Best in Colour awards, as well as having won Best Foreign Adult and Best in Show Non-Pedigree. Shogun also picked up a CC and Best of Breed, Foghorn/Rilla won Best Pedigree Pet Kitten, and Lainni won the first Cagaran Grand certificate! To top off the weekend, Anita got in touch to tell us that Cailin had won Best in Show New Breed at a FIFé show.
Last weekend was a good weekend for the Cagaran Cats. Saturday was the silver anniversary (25th) show of the West of Scotland Cat Club, of which both Richard and I are on the committee. We took Friday afternoon off work to help set up the show hall, and had been shopping earlier in the week to get some silver clothing to dress up for the silver theme. We always like to support the Scottish shows by entering as many cats as we can afford, but since this was a special show (and therefore more expensive to run), we agreed to enter even more than we usually would! A couple of our previous kittens were also there with their new owners, making a total of three Cagarans in the main Pedigree section and one in the Household Pets. Unfortunately the lighting in the hall was very yellow, so most of my photos either didn’t come out or came out a horrible yellow colour!
Donny and Quinn were there, in the kitten classes, and completely took it in their stride. Quinn was a little unsure to begin with, but very sweet about it, and Donny was just fantastic, rolling around on his back to get his tummy stroked, and snuggling his face into your hand when you reached into the pen. Both won first in their Open class, and he took Best of Breed over his sister.
Shogun’s owner (Sarah Davidson, Karakoram Burmese & Asians) and his breeders (Kagura Asians & Burmese) had all agreed that we could try him out at a couple of shows, so we took him along to the West. Since he is four, and hasn’t been shown since he was a tiny kitten, we weren’t sure how he would take to it, but he was an absolute star. He was a little bit wide-eyed initially, but once he’d been stroked for a few minutes, he settled down and sat in his pen looking regal, with an expression that said “Yes, I am a God, and you may worship me”. He looked very handsome, and won his CC and Best of Breed!
Annas was up for her second Olympian certificate, looked gorgeous. As always, she was beautifully behaved and was awarded the certificate in a competitive class.
Since Kia had picked up Intermediate certificates at both Yorkshire and the Ulster, we decided to take her along for her third, and qualifying certificate. This she won, along with Best of Breed and lots of praise from the judges for both her lovely head and her temperament.
Kia’s daughter, Foghorn, is now called Rilla, and her owners brought her along for a shot in the Pedigree Pet section, like we did with Grace over in Ireland. When the judge first visited her pen, she tried to dive onto the floor as soon as the door was opened, and then got a bit of a fright being bundled back in. Thankfully, the judge visited her again later in the day, once she had calmed down again, and she not only won her first and Best of Colour, but went on to be awarded Best Pedigree Pet Kitten, so her owners were delighted!
Lona brought Lainni along to try for her first Grand certificate, which she won. This is the first Grand certificate for our prefix. Much to Lona’s delight, Lainni then went on to best Annas for Best of Breed – not bad for a kitten of our prefix to be beating a UK & Imperial Grand!!
Like her babies, Dàrna also had a good day, winning Best of Breed and the Reserve Imperial. I was working on the table at the show, managing the Best of Variety and Best in Show paperwork. The first stage of this is taking all the Best of Breed results and transcribing them onto the sheets for the Best of Variety Adult, Kitten and Neuter judges, so I knew which of our cats had been awarded Best of Breed. I then received those sheets back in, and had to copy the winners of each of those onto a new set of sheets for the Overall Best of Variety judges. As I filled in the Best Foreign Adult result, I copied over pen: “161”, gender: “F”, date of birth: “26/02/09” and then started to write breed number “68 43hsq”, but only got half way through writing it before registering that Dàrna was the only Tiffanie of her colour in the show, and that she had therefore gone Best Foreign Adult! This was her first win at that level, and although surprised due to the quality of the cats she had beaten, we were obviously delighted.
Once again, though, our star of the show was Jinny, who won the Imperial certificate, Best of Colour and first in all of her side classes, and then went on to win Best in Show Non-Pedigree again! She always looks so gorgeous up there in the top pen, and takes the whole thing in such a laid back manner that it is almost impossible to believe how terrified she was of everything when we got her. The thought of the progress she has made can still bring tears to my eyes. We came away with a trophy and a lovely stack of catty prizes including food, a bed and a covered litter tray, which is always useful!
The following day, I received a text from Anita giving me the wonderful news that Cailin had once again gone Best in Show New Breed at a FIFé show. The judge this time was from Switzerland, and was apparently so delighted with her that he had her out for about 15 minutes (they’re only supposed to take two or three minutes) and kept taking photographs to show the other judges back on the continent. Anita had her new Ocicat stud boy, Chippy, at the show as well, and Anita said that Cailin was fantastic at calming his nerves. Aside from being delighted for Anita, I’m also really pleased that little Cailin is proving such a brilliant ambassador for the Tiffanie breed in FIFé, where they are not currently recognised. Congratulations Anita, and long may she continue doing so!
Most of the kittens have gone to their new homes, as has Tármus. Cailin had a spectacular day at the Fifé Winners Show, and our lot had good days at both the Yorkshire and the Ulster shows. We will soon hopefully have kittens on the way from Fiona…
Wow, it’s been almost two months since my last update, and plenty has moved on since then. You’ll be glad to know that everything is fine, though, and the reason for the delay is simply that we’ve been ridiculously busy!
We took three cats to Yorkshire this year: Kia, Grace and Cailin.
Kia was up for her first Intermediate certificate, which she won, along with Best of Breed, and Cailin also won her Best of Breed and first in her kitten class. She was nearly awarded Best of Variety kitten, but after several minutes of debating, the judges decided that they weren’t certain enough that we had her colour correctly registered, and so decided not to risk it. She is registered as a full-expression chocolate silver ticked, but her markings are so dark that the judges wondered if she might actually be a brown burmese restriction silver ticked instead. I was obviously disappointed that she didn’t get it, but it’s still good to know that they considered her type good enough to bother arguing over the colour! Grace was just in the ped pets, because she can’t go into competition in the pedigree section due to being a variant. Both kittens (and Kia, actually), were absolutely fantastic with the judges, giving them cuddles and purrs, which is always lovely to see!
As is often the case, we had Elisabeth and her cats with us, but this time also Karen Hettman and her cats. Once again, Zach had a fantastic day, winning the Imperial and then Best of Breed and finally Best Foreign Neuter again!
Anita drove up from Rugby to meet us at the show, and she took Cailin home from there. Within a few hours, she was completely settled in and sleeping curled up with Anita’s new baby Ocicat boy, who is only a couple of weeks older than she is. Keela wasn’t too sure what to make of the newcomer, because Keela has always been Anita’s baby, but Cailin is straight onto Anita’s lap the minute she sits down. Keela seems to be coming around, though, and if our experience of Tiffs is anything to go by, they will end up being the best of friends.
Dàrna’s kittens had their first vaccinations the week after that, so we had to choose names to be able to put something on their vaccination cards! The girl’s pet name is Quinn, short for Harlequin, due to the pattern on her face. She is a typical naughty tortie, so her pedigree name is Dòrlach, which is gaelic for ‘handful’. The boy’s pedigree name is Deathach-Donn, which is gaelic for brown smoke, and his pet name is Donny, from the latter part of his name. I’m hoping that he does indeed turn out to be a brown smoke, rather than just a brown, or his name is going to look pretty silly!! Both kittens are growing well, and at a bit over 11 weeks, are 1.25 and 1.15kg, which is pretty well bang-on the expected weight.
The first weekend this month saw us heading over to Belfast for the Ulster show, which involved a slightly crazy 26-hour round-trip, leaving our house at about 23:30 on the Friday, and getting back at about 01:30 on the Sunday morning. Like last year, we had Kate Ekanger and Elisabeth with us, but this time we also had Karen’s two Russian boys instead of one of Sarah Davidson’s lot.
We had a great day, with Kia winning her second Intermediate and Best of Breed, Grace winning first in her Ped Pet class, and Best of Colour, then going on to be chosen as overall Best Household Pet, and Annas winning her Best of Breed and the first Olympian certificate ever awarded to a Tiffanie! Kate’s two both won their respective classes and their Best of Breeds, and Karen’s boys won the Reserve Imperial and the Imperial, and in the case of Zach, also the Best of Breed and then Best Foreign Neuter! Some of our friends also had a very successful day, with their boy Coen (Glendavan Roderick-Jaynes) winning his fifth and qualifying Olympian, to make him the first ever shorthair Olympian. The star of the show, though, was Elisabeth’s little Lucy (Zach’s daughter), who won her class and Best of Breed, then went on to take first Best Foreign Kitten, then overall Best Foreign, and finally overall Best in Show!
Maltech’s New Home
Maltech was neutered the week after my last post, and I took him to his new home the day after the Ulster show. He is now living with a lovely family in Bridge of Allan, and is to be called Simba, after the Lion King, which it suits him perfectly! Since Maltech/Simba and Tármus had become close, and she was being bullied by Xaria, we asked if his owners would be interested in taking the two of them, and after meeting her, they agreed. The wee girl whom he is living with had a toy snake on a stick, and she and Simba ran around playing together the entire time I was at their house. Tármus was less sure of herself, and just sat on the sofa with one of her new owners stroking her. When it came time for me to leave, Simba was so busy playing that I didn’t even get a second glance, but when I went over to stroke Tármus, she rolled over onto her side and immediately started purring, which set me off into floods of tears. I’m sure it’s the right thing to do for her, but it doesn’t make saying goodbye a great deal easier.
That evening, I had a very excited phone call from Anita, telling me that she had manage to get a last minute pass to take little Cailin to the Fifé Winners Show (Fifé being an alternative to the GCCF), and that she had only gone and won overall Best in Show New Breed! I knew that Anita was planning to take Cailin on exhibition, but she hadn’t told us that she had managed to get her into competition. The show’s organisers had made an exception this year, to allow kittens between four and six months to enter the show without qualifying, whereas all other exhibits had to have qualified at a previous show. Little Cailin was too young to have managed to qualify, but she delighted the judges and their decision to have her as Best in Show was unanimous! I am absolutely delighted for Anita!
As a random aside, alongside the photos from the Winners Show, Anita also sent me some photos of Cailin and Keela at home, which I thought you might like to see.
We then had a couple of weeks off before the Supreme, where we had Annas on exhibition for the Asian Group Cat Society and Bombay & Asian Self Clubs. We also had Xaria up for her second UK Grand certificate, and Dàrna along because I wanted a pen to put pretty pictures of our kittens on top of! As it happens, the judge debated for ages over whether to give her the Best of Breed, which he didn’t do in the end, but just the fact that he considered it made me very happy! Both girls placed second in their UK classes, which was better than I thought Dàrna might manage, but rather disappointing with Xaria.
Keela was also there, and placed third in a class of five lovely girls, which wasn’t too bad. I also got to meet Luna, who is almost a full sister to our first litter – she has the same sire, and her dam is a full sister of Katie’s. Luna looks very like Lainni, which isn’t surprising given their pedigrees!
Fiona is due for mating, and since we were so pleased with Cailin and her brother, we decided to take Fi to their sire, Kagura Shogun. Unfortunately, Sarah has had someone ask if she can take back a cat that she sold a while ago, due to a change in their circumstances, and she was trying to decide where to put this other cat. We came up with the solution that we have Shogun ‘on loan’, so that she can use his pen to house the returning cat, and since he has never sprayed, we are able to have him in our spare room and let him mate Fi in the comfort of her own home! She’s not keen on strange cats, so we weren’t sure what the introduction would be like, but she must fancy him, because there wasn’t even a hiss, and she started flirting within him almost as soon as they were introduced. We also have Keela here at the moment, having brought her back from the Supreme so that she could go to him as well!
Hopefully both girls will soon have kittens on the way, which would be the first generation born to a Cagaran parent…
The kittens have continued to do well, and are all looking lovely. Cannach and Foghorn have gone to their new homes, Cailin has a new home to go to, but Maltech now needs a different home. Our cats had a good day at the Ocicat and RBBA shows, and I have enjoyed stewarding at both the North West and the Cumberland, though we didn’t have any cats of our own entered.
Once again, it’s been over three weeks since my last update, because things are still very busy in the ‘Cagaran Household’. We’ve both been caught up at work, and had a family funeral to attend down in Devon, then on top of that, we’ve attended three/four shows, so there hasn’t been much spare time!
Katie’s kittens were vaccinated a couple of days after I last posted, and Cannach was neutered the week after that, then went to his new home a few days later. He seems to have settled in nicely, and is getting on with the older Asian neuters that his family own, as well as cuddling up with the family themselves.
His sister is not going to be going where we thought she was, because her intended owner visited another breeder and fell in love with one particular kitten there. Sometimes a kitten chooses their owner, rather than the other way around, and that can make for a really strong bond, so I advised Pippa to pay attention to that.
I had shown photos of the kittens to my friend Anita (who has Keela, from Dàrna’s first litter), and when I mentioned that I was going to have to look for a new home for the girl, Anita asked if she could have her. I wasn’t expecting Anita to want her, so was a bit taken aback, but absolutely delighted. They weren’t keen on the pedigree name, and the registration documents were just being sent off, so I gave Anita the choice, and the girl is actually going to be Cagaran Cailin-Anizz, Anizz being Anita’s prefix. Cailin is gaelic for ‘Damsel’, but is a pretty name in its own right, and is going to be her pet name as well. Cailin has come on an absolute treat, and is so promising that I am starting to wish that we were keeping her ourselves!
Kia’s kittens had their second vaccinations last week, and were thirteen weeks old yesterday. We dropped Foghorn off at her new home, and as always, it was lovely to watch her exploring her new room, and then playing with her new family. She will be sleeping in their spare bedroom to begin with, and the ‘kids’ (a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old) are going to take it in turns to sleep with her. Her new family wanted to understand everything that we do with the kittens, including clipping of claws, and microchipping, which are both things that we normally do where nobody else is watching. I was quite nervous doing them with an audience for the first time, but little Foghorn was beautifully behaved and didn’t even squeak when the needle went through her skin!
Maltech’s intended owner has unfortunately lost her job, and as a result she cannot take on the responsibility and cost of looking after another cat. I have therefore started the process of looking for an alternative home for him. I will be having him neutered this week, and it’s not a moment too soon, because he’s already getting interested in Katie and Fiona! He and Grace are the most adorable pair of rascals, tearing around the room with Fi and then rushing up to rub against you and purr.
Dàrna’s kittens are developing beautifully, and I am delighted to say that both are now looking distinctly smokey! They are little monkeys at the moment, rushing about and getting into all sorts of mischief, just as their Burmese ancestors are famous for. Whenever you walk into the kitten room, they come running over and climb onto your feet, clinging to your ankles. Richard calls them the ‘foot gremlins’, as a result. My parents looked after the kittens for us while we were down in Devon for the funeral, and I couldn’t help but laugh listening to my Dad trying to deal with being rushed by the babies! We took an absolute stack of photos yesterday, so I couldn’t resist sharing a selection here:
The weekend after my last update, we took Elisabeth down to the North West show, which we couldn’t actually enter ourselves because we wanted to support the Ocicat show the following weekend. Instead, I was given a stewarding engagement with a Dutch judge, who was my first experience of working with a foreign judge, and was an excellent test of my awareness of the system etc.
The following weekend was both the Ocicat and the RBBA (Russian Blue) shows, and the two were in venues about an hour apart. Elisabeth borrowed Karen Hettman’s two boys again, and we dropped her off at the RBBA with them and Xazzle, so she had three cats of her breeding, but none of them actually owned by her! Zach was the star of the day, winning the Imperial (on his first try), and also Best Male Neuter.
We couldn’t take Kia to the Oci show, because her kittens were born too recently (they must have been born at least 12 weeks previously), so we could only take our neuters along to support the club. Breckin won her first Grand certificate, and Tármus had her first time out in the Pedigree Pet section, winning her first Master Cat certificate and Best of Colour, bless her! As always, she loved the attention and I was reminded of how enjoyable she is to show.
Last weekend was the Cumberland show, and again we couldn’t enter our own cats because of having shown the previous week. Instead, I was stewarding for Ann Gregory, and we were obviously giving Elisabeth a lift with her cats. Ann is the only all-breed judge in the GCCF, and very well respected, so I was a bit nervous in case I made any mistakes. The day went well, however, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself. Our pick of the day was a most beautiful blue Burmese who had Ann and I in raptures for several minutes. That girl went on to win Overall Best Burmese, so we obviously weren’t the only ones who thought she was stunning. Our friends, the Miskellys (Glendavan Abyssinians and Ragdolls), who own the sire of Kia’s kittens, also had a fantastic day, with the beautiful Coen (Glendavan Roderick-Jaynes) winning overall Best in Show!
The kittens are all doing well, with the oldest ones almost ready to go to their new homes. I attended my first meeting of the Asian BAC, and we had a good day at the Scotia show.
The past three weeks have been ridiculously busy. I started this blog post when it was titled ‘Nine, Seven and One Week’, then updated it and changed the title to ‘Ten, Eight and Two Weeks’, then ‘Eleven, Nine and Three Weeks’, and now finally the current title! I’ve managed to get a few words down each time, but didn’t have a chance to pull some photos together until earlier this week, and then couldn’t get half of them to upload, grrrr. So… hope it’s worth the wait!
All three litters are doing well, and the older kittens are now the best of friends. To watch them playing, you would think they were littermates, chasing around like a herd of elephants, and pouncing on eachother. For the past couple of weeks they have had our Tiffanie neuter, Annas, as company as well, to help them get used to other adult cats. The kittens were, however, completely unphased by her presence, though she spent the first week or so scowling at them from the windowledge, and only jumping down when she thought they were asleep, to scoff some of their food!
Two of our good friends came up to stay with us over the first weekend this month, and spent lots of time playing with the kittens. It was great to see how well the kittens responded to meeting strangers and being handled. Tracy and Gary came up to visit when we had kittens last year, so whether they come up to visit us or the kittens would be an interesting matter for debate! Mind you, we’ve also stayed at their house with kittens in tow – the last time they saw any of our kittens was when we stayed at their house the night before the AGCS show back in January, with Tabh, B-B and Fiona. They were amazed to see how grown-up Fi now is, and she was all over them giving cuddles!
Katie’s two had their first vaccinations over a fortnight ago now, and are booked to have their second on Friday of this week. Katie was due her booster at the same time, so we took her with the kittens, and she spent her time trying to snuggle under them to hide, whilst they just sat there peering out at everything going on around them, totally unconcerned.
They now have pedigree names, and I will be sending the registration documents into the GCCF this week. As usual, the names are gaelic, and will have our prefix, Cagaran, on the front, and since these kittens are our third Tiff/Asian litter, they begin with ‘C’. At the moment the boy has the same name for both pedigree and pet, which is Cannach, pronounced Kanach (-ch as in loch) and meaning ‘Mild’, since he is a sweet wee man. The girl’s owner had contacted me fairly early on, so I was able to give her a choice of names, and she picked Càirdeas, which is pronounced Kyrstas (-ky as in sky) and means ‘Friendship’, due to the way that she welcomed the Oci kittens when they were put in with her as newborns. We are using Kirsty as a pet name, but her owner is probably going to change that once they get to know eachother better.
Pippa, whom Kirsty will be living with, has had neutered Burmese until now, and loves their temperament, but prefers the flowing Tiffanie coat. She is considering breeding Tiffs, so she came up to visit us, and she and I got on really well. She loved the look of Kirsty, who has developed beautifully (as has her brother!), so she will be joining Pippa’s Burmese neuter from around the end of the month.
A week past yesterday, we drove up to Aberdeenshire to see the family whom Cannach will be going to live with. They have two female Asian neuters (who are rather nice!) and until recently had a Burmese boy who was an ex stud boy. Unfortunately, he died a couple of months ago, and they have been missing having a boy around, so we took Cannach up so that they could meet him. We took Kirsty as well, to keep him company, and the two travelled together beautifully. They had a little tub of litter in the back of their basket, and both used that on the journey. When we got to the house, the two daughters got the kittens out of their basket and gave them a cuddle, then they put them on the sofa, where they promptly curled up with the girls’ Dad. Since Cannach is actually to be a birthday present for him, that was quite a smart move on the part of the kittens! Thankfully, the family were delighted with the wee lad (who is not so wee now, actually, at 1.25kg!), and decided that they would like him, so he will be going up there at the start of next month, after he has been neutered.
The Oci kittens had their first vaccinations on Friday of last week, so can now start ‘entertaining’ potential owners. I’ve had a fair bit of interest in them, which is a relief, because I was really worried that nobody would want the Variants. Whether any of the homes will come off, I have no idea, but at least there is some interest. The two girls now look much more like their brother than they did when they were younger, and I’m really pleased with the way they are turning out. All three are a really good size, being well over 1kg already, and Maltech is absolutely enormous, at over 1.2kg!
We have chosen names for them as well as the Tiff kittens, but decided to run the Oci litters separately and have therefore gone back to ‘A’ for their names. We’ve used up some of the difficult to spell and pronounce names with this litter: since they are Variants and therefore cannot be shown, there is no chance of a poor show manager having to pronounce their names! The boy is Aomáilteach, which is pronounced ‘Oomaltech’ (-ch as in loch) and means ‘Mischievous’, with a pet name of Maltech or Mal. The first of the Oci girls is Altachdainn, which is pronounced Altachd-eye and means ‘Grace’, and Grace is her pet name. The second Oci girl is Adhairc, which is pronounced Aghurk (-gh is similar to ch at the end of loch, but more gutteral) and means ‘Foghorn’, since that’s what she’s been known as since the start, though she’s a lot quieter now that she’s older.
We will be keeping Grace, and I’m hoping that we have a pet home lined up for Maltech. Foghorn has two potential owners, because she had been booked to go to a couple down south, but they have had some financial issues, so aren’t sure if they can afford to look after another cat at the moment. If they are not having her, then she is possibly going to live in Edinburgh with a family who used to have an Abyssinian, and have recently relocated from America. They have held off having a cat since their Aby died several years ago, because they knew that they would be moving at some point, but now that they have completed the move they want to add a cat to their family again. They couldn’t decide between an Abyssinian and an Ocicat, so our ‘Ocabys’ would be the perfect compromise. We have them coming to visit this evening, so we’ll see what the kittens think of them!
Dàrna’s babies had their eyes fully opened by the time they were ten days old, and are now pouncing on each other and starting to play. We rearranged their pen at the weekend, to add a litter tray and a dish of food, so that they can start to make use of those when they are ready. Dàrna is still determined to have the kittens anywhere other than where they are supposed to be, and has moved them to every bed, basket and cubby-hole in the kitten room, including (of course) the ‘human’ bed. Her current favourite location for them is in a little basket in the corner of the room, sandwiched between a chest of drawers and the wall. Every time I go into the room I move them back into the pen, so that they have the litter tray and food nearby, and every time we go back into the room, she has moved them again. Last year we eventually gave up and let her keep them in the middle of the floor (which is where she had chosen for last year’s litter), but for the time-being, I am trying not to let her win again this year!
Both kittens are developing beautifully, with lovely short muzzles, rounded heads and good nose-breaks. The boy is starting to develop ghost-markings on his face, so I’m hoping that means that he is a smoke. I saw Tommy Goss (one of the owners of Fi’s sire) at a BAC (Breed Advisory Committee) meeting yesterday, and he thought the boy looked like a smoke in the pictures I had, so fingers very crossed. The girl has always looked paler down her sides, but whether that is just due to the tortie or actually that she is silver as well, I am not sure yet. They are definitely a brown and a brown tortie, but beyond that we’ll just have to wait and see!
The weekend before the one just gone saw us heading down to the North East of England to run Elisabeth Stark (Dushenka Russian Blues) to the Northern Counties show. We took the opportunity of heading in that general direction to pay a visit to friends who are moving to Australia next month, so going all that way to take someone else to a show wasn’t as daft as people suggested! Elisabeth had a really good day, with her little Russian girl, Lucy, taking Best Foreign Kitten again! Our friend Olive Holt (Nemorez Asians and Burmese) also had a good day, winning Best Burmese Adult with the little Burmese boy whom I took down to her from Sarah Davidson (Karakoram Burmese and Asians) back in the spring.
On the Saturday just gone, we were a bit closer to home, at the Scotia show in Milngavie, just outside Glasgow. Our pedigrees are mostly ‘tied up’ with kitten duties at the moment, so we took the two mogs (Jinny and Ali) and decided to pop Annas out as well, since she had been looking longingly at the baskets whenever we were taking the others to shows recently. Sure enough, she seemed quite content to be back out on the bench, though Jinny was our star, taking Best Non-Pedigree again (the highest award available at the Scotia). Annas took the Best of Breed over her little niece, Lainni (Katie’s daughter from last year – Cagaran Asgaidh-Àlainn), who did us proud, winning her 3rd and qualifying PC – a second title for the Cagaran prefix, yay! Lainni’s ‘stable-mate’, Gus (a half-brother of our first Aby, Gealbhan) also had a good day, winning his second Olympian certificate. The Abys had a pretty good day, actually, with Coen (Glendavan Leonidas) winning his third Olympian, and Abys going Best Foreign Neuter and Best Foreign Adult. The Best Foreign Kitten award went to Dushenka Carabella, who was bred by Elisabeth, but is owned by other friends, the Pontellos (Pontaby Abyssinians, and soon Russians as well!).
Sunday was also an interesting day, being my first meeting with the Asian BAC (Breed Advisory Committee), which you may remember that I was voted onto at the AGCS committee meeting back in the summer. I flew down to Stansted in the morning, where I was collected by Steve Crow and Tommy Goss (who had already collected Carolyn Clark), and they kindly ran me to the meeting and back again, afterwards. I wasn’t sure what the meeting itself was going to be like, because you have multiple potentially ‘rival’ views coming together, but everyone was professional and civil, and I found it an enjoyable experience. I’m already looking forward to many more…
Dàrna’s kittens have arrived, and the older kittens continue to do well. Fiona won her third and qualifying CC at the Teesside show, giving us our first Cagaran title.
It’s been about ten days since my last update, and things have certainly moved on in that time. Katie’s kittens are almost eight weeks, Kia’s are six and Dàrna’s were born on Wednesday of last week as expected. We also had an exciting day on Saturday, at the Teesside show…
Teesside Show – First Cagaran Title
We have a bit of a soft spot for the Teesside, both because it was the first all-bred show we did (with Annas, three years ago), and because they were the club who sponsored our prefix application. It therefore seems somehow fitting that it should be the Teesside that witnessed the first title for that prefix – little Fiona won her third CC, making her officially Champion Cagaran Beannachd-Fionn!! Breckin also had a good day, winning her third and qualifying PC, making her now a Premier as well as the Champion title that she won before being spayed. Elisabeth had a good day as well, with Zach winning his Grand Title, then going Best Foreign Neuter again, and one of her kittens receiving a Best in Show nomination!
We were expecting Dàrna’s kittens around the middle of last week, and sure enough she delivered bang on schedule. Unfortunately, she did indeed only have two. Earlier in the year we treated all three girls for an infection, but the only treatment available is an off-license drug that has therefore not had any studies undertaken on it. We had to sign forms to say that we understood that when the vets prescribed the treatment, and it looks like there has been some sort of effect on Fertility. With three girls now having had markedly smaller litters than would have been expected, I don’t think there can be much doubt. We just have to hope that the effects don’t last.
On a more positive note, however, both kittens are looking very nice, with lovely rounded heads, short muzzles and good nose breaks. We have one of each gender, but as usual are not sure on colours, beyond the certainty that the girl is a tortie of some description. It is possible that the boy is a brown smoke burmese pattern, and the girl a blue tortie smoke burmese pattern, but we won’t know for a while yet. Both parents are burmese pattern, meaning that the kittens have to be, and Graham doesn’t carry the chocolate gene, so the kittens can’t be chocolate. Were that not the case, at birth I would have guessed them to be full expression: a chocolate self and a lilac tortie self.
Most litters are produced overnight, so we expected Dàrna’s to be the same. Instead, they were already there when I arrived home from work – tucked up in the bed of course, meaning that sheets and duvet had to be washed, instead of the still clean towels in the birthing box. Fi had been living with her mum in the run-up to the birth, as company, but we had planned to remove her to give Dàrna the privacy that most queens prefer. We would have taken her out that evening, but since the kittens arrived during the day, Fi was still there, and was busy cleaning her mum, and toileting the kittens. We tried taking her out to give Dàrna peace, but Dàrna just stood at the door and shouted until we put Fi back in, and she has been making a fab job of sharing the mothering duties ever since.
The Older Kittens
On Friday we decided to move Kia’s kittens into the front bedroom with the two Tiff kittens, since five is a much better number for playing together than a two and a three! The Tiffs were very interested in the new arrivals, but the Ocis were not enamored with the move, and spent that first evening growling and hissing under a chest of drawers. The following morning they had started venturing out, but there was a sort of invisible line across the room, which the Tiff kittens seemed to more-or-less stay on one side of, and the Ocis on the other. By yesterday the kittens were playing alongside eachother, with the demarcation gone, but they still weren’t playing together. Today, however, they were playing together and curling up with eachother to sleep.
Katie was delighted at the prospect of more kittens to mother, though whether or not she recognised them as the ones whom she suckled as tinies, there is no way to tell. The Ocis initially rejected her advances as well, but today has seen two of them feeding from Katie alongside Katie’s own kittens, so it looks like they have decided to be one big family!
We have had interest in all of the older kittens, and with the Tiffs having their first vaccinations this coming Friday, they should be getting their first visitors in the next couple of weeks. We’ve already been introducing them to various friends and family members to make sure that they are well socialised, and I plan to introduce some of our other cats later this week, as well! Fingers crossed that we can find homes for these, that are just as wonderful as those we found for last year’s litters…
The kittens are continuing to do well, and are all past or approaching the 600g mark. Kia’s are now starting to show their ticking, and all five are becoming very lively and playful.
The kittens are all doing really well, and I actually made time to use the proper camera this week. Admittedly, you wouldn’t know that the photos were taken on a better camera, because the kittens won’t sit still, but at least I tried!
Katie’s kittens do indeed appear to be Tiffanies, and both are actually turning out to be quite promising, in spite of my previous misgivings about the girl. Unfortunately, the boy’s jaw set is not correct, so he won’t be able to be shown, but the girl has come on leaps and bounds, and is developing a beautiful expression. Her head has also balanced up a lot, so that her eyes don’t look too small any more. She really doesn’t like to sit nicely for photos, though!
Both kittens are now completely adapted to using the litter trays (without a single accident!), and are readily eating solid food, though still suckling from their mum at night. Both are over 600g, and have continued to exceed their weekly growth targets.
They are increasingly playful, so we have moved them down to the front bedroom, where they have more space and lots more toys. That also frees the kitten room for Dàrna to move into. We will start introducing some of the other cats into the front bedroom for short periods, so that the kittens can get used to interacting with adults.
I have their first vaccinations booked for a fortnight tomorrow – I never fail to be amazed at how fast the time goes. One minute you’re collecting a girl from stud and crossing your fingers that she’s pregnant, and the next the kittens are having their vaccinations and ready to start meeting potential owners!
Kia’s three are all developing lovely ticking now, and the first girl can look so like her mummy that it’s freaky. At the moment the boy is longer in the head, and has a more oriental eye set than the girls, so I prefer the two girls to him (which is good, since we want to keep a girl!). Their appearance is changing by the day, though, so we shall see.
All three are still growing like weeds, and the boy is already over 600g, with the girls not far behind. The boy started taking his mum’s biscuits on Monday, and at least one of the girls has now followed suit. We had the first ‘deposits’ in the litter tray yesterday as well, so the kittens are pretty advanced as well as huge!
We actually had Kia and her kittens away with us for four days at the end of last week. Back in April, I arranged with my parents that we would join them for a short break, and although I had friends and colleagues coming in to check on the cats and kittens multiple times each day, we didn’t like the idea of leaving the younger kittens, particularly given Kia’s previous scatter-brained behaviour.
We debated back and forwards for several days about whether to cancel, and in the end decided just to pack them up and take them with us. Kia seemed to love being away, and the kittens were quite happy curled up in their little travel basket with a twice-daily run around the room to keep them amused.
Back in the house, they’ve figured out how to jump onto the platform that I weigh them on, and are starting to try and clamber out of the front of the pen. I think we might need to raise the front tonight to stop them escaping. Kia obviously thought that it was time for them to start learning to hunt as well, because there was a toy mouse in the pen yesterday evening, which the kittens were merrily attempting to tear apart.
Dàrna – Pregnant or Not?
It looks like Dàrna is pregnant after all, but she still feels very soft, so I’m not sure that she’s carrying many. I’m hoping to be proved wrong, though, because I’d like more than the litters of two and three that we’ve had so far this year! Assuming that everything goes as expected (when does it ever?!), she is due the middle of next week, so keep your fingers crossed…
The kittens continue to do well, with the older ones now litter-trained and starting to eat solids, and the younger ones becoming more active by the day. We had a great day out at the Rexfest Show on Saturday, winning both Best Non-Pedigree and Best Pedigree Pet, and therefore obviously Overall Best Household Pet as well. Keela also did well at a show down south, winning her CC, BOB and having a red card day!
It’s been a busy few days since my last post, but everyone is doing well. No decent photos today, I’m afraid, because I haven’t had time to take any using the ‘proper’ camera, so I’ve only got the ones I’ve taken on my phone…
Katie’s kittens are five weeks this evening, and are now much more active and responsive. They are now using their litter trays, so have been given the run of the whole kitten room, and the girl comes rushing out to greet you when you walk into the room. The boy is still a lot quieter, but will come out and put his little paws on your foot if you stand beside his pen.
Both kittens are starting to take (very mushy) ‘solid’ food, but the boy is particularly interested in it, slurping away at the dish when it is put down. The girl will take some, but she is still going to be a while yet before she’s convinced of the idea! The boy looks to have the better head at the moment, because the girl seems to have slightly small eyes, unfortunately.
Kia’s kittens were three weeks at the weekend, and are still gaining weight at an impressive rate. The boy is only a few grams behind Katie’s son, and even the smallest girl isn’t more than 100g behind Katie’s daughter. They are already starting to examine their mum’s food, and will lick at wet food, so I think they’re going to be quite quick to wean. They are also incredibly steady on their feet, given their age, and are able to play pouncing games that I wouldn’t expect for at least another week or so.
Naomi Johnson (Vervain Burmese, Asians and Ocicats) was staying up here over the weekend, having judged at the Rexfest on Saturday. She called in today on her way home, to visit the kittens. She agrees that Katie’s daughter is a chocolate silver shaded (full expression), and thinks that both kittens are probably Tiffanies! We did have a look at the Oci babies, but they’re changing so much at the moment that it’s difficult to say anything much about which is better. At the moment the boy looks the best because his muzzle is stronger, but a few days ago, the girls had much better muzzles than he does, so who knows?!
Richard was working on Saturday, so I went to the Rexfest show myself, for the first time. We obviously don’t have any Rexes now, but it’s a great show with a completely unique atmosphere, so we decided to enter Ali and Jinny again. Elisabeth Stark (Dushenka Russian Blues) is training to be a pedigree judge, so had been asked if she would like to be one of the Household Pet judges (anyone can judge HPs). When I heard that, I couldn’t resist winding her up by entering Xaria as a Pedigree Pet. The hardest thing was remembering not to mention that we were entering, but thankfully I managed, because Elisabeth had absolutely no idea that any of our cats were going, let alone Xaria!
All three did well, Ali and Jinny winning their Grand certificatess and Best of Colour awards, and Xaria winning the Master Cat certificate and her Best of Colour as well! That was Jinny’s third Grand, so she is now officially Grand Master Cat Jinny, and topped off the day by going Best Non-Pedigree again. Xaria also went for the big one, taking Best Pedigree Pet, and then going one better and beating Jinny for Overall Best Household Pet (not chosen by Elisabeth, I hasten to add!). Elisabeth didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at seeing her first-bred Imperial-titled cat winning the Household Pet section, and said that she wasn’t sure whether to tell anyone. After I had pointed out that it is an indication of excellent temperament, however, she felt better, and decided that she would tell people about it after all!
We weren’t the only ones showing on Saturday – Anita was out at the Eastern Counties with Keela, who won her first CC and Best of Breed, and then went on to have a red card day, winning first place in all of her side classes. She is the third Cagaran Tiffanie to win a certificate, which is rather exciting. Anita texted me Keela’s results just after Best in Show had been decided at the Rexfest, so I was a bit overwhelmed!
Dàrna should be seven weeks pregnant at the moment, but we’re not sure. She does look pregnant, having gained weight in the right place, but we’re not convinced that she’s actually carrying anything other than extra fluid, so it could be a false pregnancy. If she is pregnant, the kittens should start moving in the next few days, which would obviously confirm the pregnancy. On the other hand, if it is a false pregnancy, those often stop at about this stage, so either way we should hopefully know soon. Watch this space…
A photo update for the two litters. Kia’s are growing at a very rapid pace, and Katie’s continue to do well.
We decided to take some photos of the kittens last night, so I thought I’d do a photo update to let you see how they are developing. Kia’s are growing at a ridiculous rate, with the boy now being over 300g. Considering that Katie’s son still isn’t over 400g yet, but is growing at a perfectly acceptable rate, that tells you the speed that the Ocis are coming on at! The smaller girl was the first to open her eyes, followed by the boy. The bigger girl (‘Foghorn’) still had one eye only partially open when the photos were taken, but has finished opening her eyes today.
Thankfully, Kia has continued to look after her kittens, feeding them (extremely!) well and keeping them nice and clean. We’ve not had any more episodes of her removing them from the box, and she is showing an interest in what happens to them without seeming as frantic as she did initially.
Katie is as fantastic a mother as ever, and her kittens are just starting to develop their individual ‘personalities’. They were starting to get increasingly interested in escaping their box, so we have now taken the box out of the pen, so that they just have the whole pen to run around in. They are still too small for us to want to leave them out in the room unsupervised, but the pen gives them some extra room without exposing them to any danger. It also allows us the space to add a litter tray and small food and water dishes, so that the kittens can start to think about eating solids and learning to use the tray.
The girl definitely has a fluffy tail, so we’re still thinking that she is a Tiffanie. The boy’s tail is noticeably less fluffy than his sisters, but his coat is a good bit longer than something like the Oci kittens, so we’re not sure whether he is just a fluffy shorthair (it could be a difference in the coat types between the breeds), or a Tiffanie who just has a shorter coat than his sister.
The kittens both seem to have inherited their mum’s lovely short nose, and good break, which is promising. I think the girl might be a touch chunky when she is older, but that is to be expected from Katie.
The kittens continue to do well, and Dàrna is still definitely pregnant. Lainni won her 2nd PC at the Edinburgh show, and we had our first meeting with the committee of the AGCS, where I was voted onto the BAC.
Katie’s kittens are now three weeks, and Kia’s already ten days old. They are all growing well, and both mums are looking after their own kittens. We’ve only had one episode of Kia moving her kittens to somewhere inappropriate, and they’ve been properly ensconced in the birthing box since Thursday. Hopefully, that’s us past the point of having her moving them, but I wouldn’t want to guarantee that!
We realised part-way through the week, that Kia’s second ‘boy’ is actually a girl, so we have one boy and two girls. The boy is the most Abyssinian of the three, the first girl is somewhere between the two breeds, and the second girl is very much an Ocicat. Whenever anything disturbs her, she starts talking in a voice that sounds like that of an adult Ocicat, rather than the usual ‘squeak’ of a kitten. We are considering naming her Adhairc, which is the gaelic for Foghorn!
We still aren’t sure whether Katie’s two are Tiffanie or Asian, but we’re starting to suspect that the boy might be an Asian and the girl a Tiffanie. The girl has a ‘bottle-brush’ tail, that seems much fluffier than her brother’s, though even he has a longer coat than I would have expected from an Asian, so perhaps the tail doesn’t mean anything. We think the girl is probably a chocolate silver shaded, rather than black silver. When you see her next to her mum, it is obvious that their shading is not the same colour, but a more brownish tone.
Katie is still proving to be an excellent mother, and both kittens easily passed their three week old four-times-birth-weight target. The girl passed it by a massive 60g, and is now over 400g! She is very active, and is getting increasingly interested in what we’re doing outside her box. If we talk to her she immediately starts squeaking at us, and if you look over the edge of the box, she comes straight over and sits at the edge, looking up at you, and tries to climb up the edge. Very cute!
Another Cat Weekend
Saturday was the Edinburgh & East of Scotland show, which was held in Leith Academy again this year. I was working on the table, having my first experience of running a section alone, which was actually quite satisfying. I handled everything from receiving the judges slips and sorting out any issues, to marking up the catalogue for the GCCF, writing the Master Cat certificates, and sorting out which rosettes were to go to which pen. A good introduction to some of the tasks that I would have to organise if I ever do train as a show manager!
We had taken Breckin and Fiona, but Lona was also there with Lainni. Breckin won her second Premier certificate, as did Lainni – the fourth certificate won by a cat showing our prefix. Unfortunately, Fiona decided to shout whenever taken from her pen, again, so the judge placed her second to another young Tiffanie girl. So there are now two Cagarans sitting on two certificates, and Lona is quite hoping that Lainni will be the first Cagaran to win a title!
Sunday saw us going down south for our first committee meeting for the AGCS (Asian Group Cat Society), which Richard and I both sit on. The meeting was only about twenty minutes from the home of the person whose stud one of Elisabeth’s girls was visiting, so we dropped Elisabeth off there before going to the meeting, and then collected her and Ziva before heading home.
The committee meeting was held over lunch at the outside tables of a rather nice pub, and with glorious sunshine throughout, was a very enjoyable experience! I was delighted to be voted onto the Asian BAC (Breed Advisory Committee), which is the group of people who decide which judges are allowed to progress on the Asian judging list, and what the breeding policy and breed standard should say. It is very flattering to know that the other breeders trust my opinion enough to want me on the BAC, and I hope that I can do the role justice!
After the meeting, we went back to Ann’s, to collect Elisabeth and Ziva, and obviously were able to meet Ann’s other cats in the process. Like Elisabeth, she has been breeding Russians for about 30 years, and has some absolutely stunning cats, which we were thrilled to meet.
Dàrna is now about five weeks pregnant, and is finally starting to expand. Until now, it was only the fact that she was (very!) pinked-up that indicated that she was pregnant. In the past three or four days, though, we can now feel a definite firmness to her abdomen, and she is visibly filling out, so I am getting increasingly excited!
Kia has give us our first Ocicat kittens – a litter of ticked tabby Variants from the gorgeous Stanley, Riverfern Vulcan. We have had problems getting her to look after them, but Katie stepped in for a while, and Kia now seems to have figured out her job. Katie’s kittens have their eyes fully open and accepted the arrival and departure of their temporary litter-mates without complaint.
We have our first Ocicat litter! They were born overnight at the weekend, to our beautiful Ocicat Classic girl, Kia. Admittedly, they are Ocicat Variants, rather than (spotted) Ocicats or Ocicat Classics, but they are fully-pedigreed Ocicats, all the same. Abyssinians are one of the Ocicat’s two parent breeds, and the only one still permitted as an outcross – this means that we can pair an Ocicat and an Abyssinian in order to improve the genetic diversity in the Ocicat breed.
We decided to take Kia to a beautiful Abyssinian boy, whose pedigree is different to any of the other Abys used in Ocicat pedigrees at the moment. Due to the genetics involved, all kittens born to an Abyssinian x Ocicat mating are ticked tabby, the same as the Abyssinian, rather than spotted or classic, as would be seen in a normal Ocicat/Ocicat Classic mating. In this case, we have three ‘tawny ticked’, which basically look like Usual Abyssinians, and are rather stunning! There are two boys and one girl, I think.
Unfortunately, Kia wouldn’t settle after giving birth, and it took me about four hours to get the kittens latched on and suckling. I had an hour of sleep and then had to get up because Call was due at the vet for his booster vaccinations. When I got back from the vet, Kia still had the girl in her nest, but had moved the two boys out onto the middle of the floor.
I spent a few minutes trying to get her to accept them back in the nest, but she wouldn’t settle again, and kept moving them out. She also wouldn’t feed any of the kittens, settling down so that her tummy was pressed into the floor, preventing them from accessing her teats. I had to go to work, so in the end I tried taking the two boys up to Katie, who accepted them immediately, gave them a good clean and then settled down to feed them alongside her own kittens, who look huge next to the newborns.
At lunchtime, I decided to weigh the kittens, and found that the two boys had gained 16g each with Katie (both having started at 107g), whereas the girl that was left with Kia obviously still had not been fed, and had lost 6g (from a start of 102g). I didn’t know what else to try, so I moved her up to join her brothers with Katie.
That night, Richard and I gave Kia’s room a complete clean to try and get rid of all smells of the birth, and then sprayed her nest box with Feliway, and put a Feliway diffuser on in the room. We collected her kittens from Katie (who accepted their removal as calmly as she had accepted their arrival), and took them back to Kia. Kia proceeded to move them all out of the nest onto the bed, but did at least settle down to feed them there.
After a while, we moved the duvet (with Kia and kittens on top), into the nest box, to see if that would help any. She initially looked like she might take the kittens and run off round the room with them again, but did eventually ‘agree’ to stay in the nest with them. We left her like that, and checked on her periodically throughout the evening, in the hope that keeping her quiet might settle her down.
When we were starting to get ready for bed, we tried removing the duvet and then sitting in the box with her until she had settled down again. This seemed to work, and we managed to finish getting ready for bed without her leaving the box. Richard and I are taking it in turns to sleep with the two girls, and it was my turn to be in with Katie last night. About an hour after I had gone to bed, Richard asked if we could move the kittens back up to Katie, because Kia was fine in her box with the kittens as long as he was sitting up on the bed, but as soon as he tried to lie down, she moved the kittens on top of him! Katie had the kittens overnight, having once again accepted them without complaint.
The next morning, I got up early so that I had time to try and settle Kia with her kittens again, leave her for a while and then check if she still had them in the box. When I left the room, she was still in the box, giving them a good feed, and they were still there when I checked on her at lunchtime, and again in the evening. She is much now completely settled, and is toileting the kittens properly, which she wasn’t doing to start with. Hopefully, she has now got the idea and we won’t have any more issues.
Katie’s kittens have continued to grow well, with both passing their two-week growth target days in advance. The girl is now over 300g, and is starting to focus on people when they come into view. Both kittens have their eyes fully open and are becoming even more active than they were initially.
When we added the younger kittens to Katie’s litter, the older kittens were so incredibly cute – they started purring, and cuddled up to the little ones, as if they were delighted to have more ‘siblings’. Katie likes to be quite economical with her milk, and tends to ‘turn off’ any teat that isn’t regularly used. Katie’s daughter was so good with the younger kittens that she even moved onto a lower flow teat, in order to let the little ones have the best teats. That is very un-kitten-like, because kittens generally fight for the teat they like the best, but it is very Katie-like!
The girl is looking quite nice at the moment, with a lovely domed head. She appears to have inherited her mum’s beautiful little nose and good break. She might be a bit chunky, though – the boy is actually the finer of the two, though his head doesn’t look quite as good! Fingers crossed they both continue to develop nicely…