Durham County Cat Show

The Cagaran cats had a very good day at the Durham, winning two Premier certificates, one Grand, one Reserve Imperial, one Imperial and four Best of Breeds!

We were at the Durham County Cat Club show on Saturday, and had a FANTASTIC day!  The most critical result being that Annas won her fifth Imperial certificate, making her the first ever Imperial-titled Tiffanie!!  We took Annas, Xaria (competing against each other for the Imperial!), Coimhlion and Monty.

Annas with her 5th Imperial
Annas making up to Imperial

We had to be up at 03:30 in order to get down there in time.  A good run as far as Berwick meant that we had time to stop there for breakfast (at MacDonalds, hardly the healthiest start!).  We had a good onward run from there, too, and arrived at the Nissan Sports & Social Club in Sunderland just a bit after 07:30.  We had taken a flask of hot water with us, so we were able to have a cup of herbal tea (no need for milk!) before taking the cats through vetting in.

Once the cats were penned and settled, and we had been ‘thrown out’ of the show hall for judging, we adjourned to the RACCS mobile (Lenny Pontello’s Alhambra) to watch a Top Gear DVD.  I was feeling decidedly restless (the prospect of an Imperial title will do that to you!), and had checked the results board at least twice before any of our results actually went up.

Elisabeth had come in with me, and she checked the result for her stud boy, Teddy, whilst I checked for the Imperial result.  The Imp wasn’t up yet, but Teddy had won his Grand, in spite of being fairly badly tarnished, so Elisabeth was thrilled.  When I checked Coimhlion’s Grand result, we both fell about laughing, because she had actually been awarded the Grand, which I didn’t for a moment expect.  Coimhlion was only entered because she absolutely loves going to shows.  She had also taken the Best of Breed against a rather nice boy!

Coimhlion at the Durham Show
Coimhlion peering out from her Show Pen

It was another couple of hours before the Imperial result went up, and when it did, I struggled not to cry – not only had Annas taken the Imperial, but Xaria had taken the Reserve, which was the best possible result we could have hoped for.  Monty had also had a good day, winning his third Premier certificate, making him up to Premier.  To top that off, Xaria had completed her day by winning another Premier certificate, and all three had won their Best of Breeds.

Xaria at the Durham Show
Xaria with her prizes at the Durham
Monty at the Durham show
Monty looking for cuddles
Annas asleep at the Durham show
Annas sleeping behind her rosettes

After Xaria’s other Reserves, she has been grumpy for a few days, but this time she obviously knows she did a good job in ‘letting’ Annas have the Imperial, because she’s in a great mood today!

Windowledge Play Centre

We’re continuing to get the kitten room ready for the girls to have their babies in it.

Katie’s favourite place is still the windowledge in the kitten room, but it’s only about an inch wide, so there’s no way she’s going to fit on it once she’s bigger.  On top of that, she’s giving Richard and I palpitations watching her jumping on and off.  We therefore decided that we needed to widen the windowledge and build some sort of more gradual route for her to get up and down.  We also wanted it to be removable so that the room makes a better spare room when it’s not being used for kittens.

Our solution was to create a ‘play centre’ with two scratching posts supporting the wider ledge, with then a flight of stairs covered with scratchy carpet leading up to the ledge.  We also needed a way to block up the gap under the bed, because we don’t want the girls taking their kittens into the back corner where we can’t reach them.  The solution to that problem was to build a set of under-bed storage boxes, which can then double as somewhere to keep all of the kitten ‘paraphernalia’.

We spent most of Saturday in the garden with the circular saw, mitre saw and an assortment of drill and counter-sink bits!  The weekend was roasting, so being outside was no bad thing, although I did get a bit sunburnt.  Sunday was then spent preparing the room by giving it a thorough clean and getting the play centre/windowledge, under-bed storage, and birthing box set up.

Windowledge Scratching-Post Play Centre
Play Centre

Katie has got the idea immediately, and uses the stairs to get on and off the windowledge.  It looks like Dàrna is going to take a bit more work, since she generally just leaps onto the ledge from the floor, and then launches herself off the side when she wants down again!

Much as I love sunny weather, I’m hoping it cools off again soon, because even with fans positioned around the house, the cats are still getting too hot.  Poor Call keeps ‘splatting’ on his tummy on any bit of cool floor, and Katie’s definitely feeling the heat.

No Doubt About It

One of our Tiffanies starts to really show her pregnancy

I noticed Katie’s tummy jumping this morning, and then she did a little cry and came rushing over to me for a cuddle.  Not sure what that would be, because she’s only about four weeks gone, so the kittens shouldn’t be moving yet, I don’t think.  Other than that, she seems happy enough, and is continuing to eat far more than normal.  She’s just starting to develop a swagger, so there’s now no doubt whatsover that she’s pregnant.  We’ve added Royal Canin Queen and Kitten food to their usual mix now, so we’ll gradually change them over this week.

She had taken one of her toys into the ‘kitten food box’ when I woke up this morning, which is hardly ideal, since we cut the holes to theoretically allow the kittens in but not the adults.  Admittedly, she’s not heavily pregnant yet, but if she can get in whilst pregnant we obviously didn’t get the holes the right size!  Mind you, the point of it was to stop any of the ‘fat cats’ being able to get in once the kittens are downstairs with the others, and I doubt they’d manage – it doesn’t really matter if Katie can get in there because she tends to keep herself nice and slim anyway.

Dàrna is back to being medium pink again this morning, and is still purring away constantly.  Her hormones really must be all over the place, bless her.  Still no idea if she’s pregnant or not!

Katie Expands

One of our Tiffanies continues to expand, whilst we still debate over whether or not the other one is pregnant.

Katie is continuing to expand, but seems quite contented.  Whenever you start to stroke her she responds with a warm purr, and seems to be enjoying looking out from the tiny windowledge in the kitten room.  We’ve decided to build a broader ledge for her, because she can fit up there at the moment, but give it another couple of weeks and there’s no way she’ll get on there!  We’ve also built a set of under-bed storage boxes today, as a way to block up the gap under the bed in the kitten room.  It’s impossible to get under the bed without one of us lifting the side, so we really don’t want to risk the girls taking their kittens into the back corner!

Dàrna seems to have finished her call (no more shouting or tail moving), but has continued with her almost constant purring and rubbing up against us both during the day and at night.  Her nipples are still about three times their original size, but appear to have lost all of their colour this morning, so I don’t know what to make of her behaviour.  She determined not to let us know whether she’s carrying or not, so it’s definitely a case of just waiting with her!

No, Really!

More wrangling over whether or not one of our Tiffanies is pregnant

Dàrna is now shouting, but has stopped moving her tail to the side.  She’s also doing a lot of purring.  If this is a call, it’s a very strange one, and isn’t following her normal pattern.  We’re taking it in turns to sleep up with the girls, or down with the others, and she’s actually keeping us awake at nights by purring in our faces, climbing on us, and trying to rub herself all over us, all of which she’s never done before.  She’s also pinked up again, with her nipples now being about three times their normal size and a medium pink (Katie’s are now about five times their normal size!).

All we can do is just be content with Katie being pregnant, and wait to see what happens with Dàrna, because I don’t have the energy for all this second-guessing!

Pregnant or Not?

Our Ocicat Classic proves just how odd she is when she calls, and one of the Tiffanies continues to develop in her pregnancy.

Kia and Amlach have started pouncing on Katie and Dàrna, so I’ve moved the girls upstairs to the kitten room. I had hoped to keep them down with the others for a while yet, but I don’t want them being upset at this stage. Katie’s abdomen is definitely starting to feel firmer, and there is no doubt now that she’s pinked up – her nipples are bright pink and about three times their normal size. I’m not sure about Dàrna at all – she’s actually behaving as if she’s calling, with lots of wriggling and rolling, and full-on tail out to the side behaviour, so it’s not look ing too good. She’s still pinked up, but I don’t think it’s as strong as it was.

Mind you, Elisabeth (Stark – Dushenka Russian Blues, Glasgow) says girls can sometimes behave like they’re calling because they’re getting a message from their hormones that they misinterpret, although this apparently doesn’t normally include tail-to-the-side stuff. Amanda (Colgan – Rushbrooke Asians, Burmese & Bengals, Cambridgeshire) says that her lot sometimes appear to be out of sync between head and body – i.e. the body is pregnant, but it takes the head a few weeks to realise that, so it goes on with normal behaviour. I’ve also read somewhere that a girl will occasionally call a short while before implantation, just to give herself the option of changing stud – if a better one comes along she will take on a pregnancy from him instead. We’re not giving up hope yet…

Kia’s calling is such a strange noise that Richard and I find it hard to continue conversations when she’s doing it – we just sort of look at eachother and laugh! I got a new phone this week, and it has a video record function (it has an audio record function too, but I didn’t find that ’till later), so I couldn’t help but record the strange sound she was making. I will try and upload it when I figure out how!

Nor’East Show and Pregnancy Update

Our Ocicats do well at show, and the Tiffanies show some more potential signs of pregnancy.

We attended the Nor’East of Scotland show today, and had a pretty good set of results, the most significant being Breckin making up to Champion (her 3rd CC), and Kia getting her qualifying Merit (4th from a different judge – actually her 6th, I think).  Jinny got her 2nd GMC (Grand Master Cat) certificate, Monty got his 2nd PC and Xaria took the Reserve Imp and another PC (her 14th?).  Call crashed and burned (3rd in a class of 3), but we expect that when we take Call out – he was only there as the ‘free’ 5th entry (Breckin was added later, after missing out on her 2nd CC at the Essex).

Kia has started calling for the first time, which might be a further indication that the older girls are pregnant – she could have been waiting for their status to change before starting.  I have honestly never heard an animal make such a strange noise: she sounds like a cross between a bull-frog and a rumbling tummy!  The other cats all keep stopping what they’re doing and running along to peer at her whenever she starts, because they can’t figure out why she sounds so odd either!

Dàrna has started climbing onto, into or under everything in the house, as if she’s looking for something.  I’m not sure if she’s searching for a nesting site, although it would be rather early for that.  She’s never been up on the wardrobes before, and doesn’t usually go under drawers etc. but she’s been both on the top of and underneath the wardrobe and the chest of drawers in my room, and in and out of every high or low space in the house!  She also appears to be suffering from ‘morning sickness’: she looks queasy from first thing in the morning until early evening, and the only meal that she’s eating properly is her tea.

First Signs of Pregnancy?

Our Tiffanies show the first signs of ‘pinking up’.

We had Lorraine and Maureen (Pontello – Pontaby Abyssinians – Cumbernauld) ’round for coffee and a chat this evening, and had some potentially exciting news. We had been attending the Cally Longhair AGM in Glenrothes this afternoon, and by coincidence, they were over visiting Heather Kelsall (also Fife – Khabasha Abyssinians) at the same time. We agreed that I would text them when we were leaving Glenrothes, and that would give them time to get finished up at Heather’s and make their way over to ours but still give us enough time to get in and sorted first.

We were sitting ’round in the living room, and Dàrna hopped up on Maureen’s lap for a cuddle. Maureen had a look at her tummy and had Lorraine look too, and they both agreed that it looked like she was already starting to pink up! They then had a look at Katie and though the same! Obviously the next couple of weeks are critical, because implantation hasn’t taken place yet, but it’s a good sign. Generally pinking up isn’t visible until 21 days, but because Dàrna and Katie are high silvers they have no colour to their undercoat, and white skin, making any sign of pink very obvious.