Kitten Update Week 4

Dàrna’s kittens continue to grow and develop, taking their first solid food and starting to use the litter tray. Alek and Lainni are well settled in their new homes, and Soolay is still looking for his.

Dàrna’s kittens continue to do well, with the smallest now being 371g, and the largest 456g.  Still making regular alterations to my guesses on colour, with the current best guesses being:

Kitten 1 (female) – cream silver shaded (ghost spotted)
Kitten 2 (male) – blue silver ticked tabby
Kitten 3 (male) – lilac BCR silver shaded
Kitten 4 (male) – chocolate BCR (smoke?)
Kitten 5 (female) – chocolate tortie ticked tabby
Kitten 6 (female) – cream silver shaded

Tiffanie kittens suckling from their dam
The babies feeding from Dàrna - Kitten 6 is the one across the top, and the others, from left to right are: Kittens 4, 5, 2, 1 and 3

Since the paperwork for Katie’s litter still hasn’t come through, I am currently trying to choose names, so that we can get the registrations in earlier for this lot.  Like the last litter, the intention is that the names should mean something in gaelic, but these ones will all begin with the letter ‘B’.  The only one whose name I am happy with at the moment is Kitten 4, who is always off investigating something, and will be called Bramán-Beag, which means ‘Little Imp’.  I am considering Briotas for Kitten 5, which means ‘Whisper’, because she is a bit quieter than some of the others in her behaviour, but I’m not fully decided yet, because she can out-shout most of the others if she thinks her dinner is late!

Tiffanie kitten aged 4 weeks - Kitten 1
Kitten 1 - adorable expression!

Tiffanie kitten aged 4 weeks - Kitten 1
Kitten 1 showing her neat nose

Tiffanie kitten aged 4 weeks - Kitten 2
Kitten 2 watching his mum

Tiffanie kitten aged 4 weeks - Kitten 2
Kitten 2 looking unsteady

Tiffanie kitten aged 4 weeks - Kitten 3
Kitten 3 with a Burmese scowl

Tiffanie kitten aged 4 weeks - Kitten 3
Kitten 3 exploring

Tiffanie kitten aged 4 weeks - Kitten 4
Kitten 4 showing off his darker ears and nose

Tiffanie kitten aged 4 weeks - Kitten 4
Kitten 4 watching his siblings intently - he loves pouncing on them!

Tiffanie kitten aged 4 weeks - Kitten 5
Kitten 5 looking sweet

Tiffanie kitten aged 4 weeks - Kitten 5
Kitten 5 from the side

Tiffanie kitten aged 4 weeks - Kitten 6
Kitten 6 showing her longer head

Tiffanie kitten aged 4 weeks
Even shading on Kitten 6

They are all really starting to develop individual personalities now, but it is a bit more difficult to pick out their individual characteristics than it was with Katie’s litter, because there are so many more of them.  Kitten 2 is quite into people, and will often follow us across the room when we go to leave.  He and Kitten 5 both enjoy their cuddles more than some of the others at present, and will clamber up onto you if you sit on the floor, but he will then crawl all over you, whereas Kitten 5 will just settle down – she is more like Alek from the last litter.  Kitten 4 is quite mischievous and likes to explore, while Kitten 6 is quite independent and strong-willed, more like Lainni was in the last litter.  Kitten 3 is a bit of a mummy’s boy, doesn’t like being told what to do, and loves cuddling up in whatever basket Dàrna is in – he is most like Soolay.  Kitten 1 is a bit of a mystery still, since her personality isn’t really showing through yet, but she will get there.

After Dàrna moved the kittens out of their pen into the middle of the floor, I had used their play tunnel to set up a barricade to at least keep them restricted to that end of the room.  However, on Friday evening, Kitten 2 managed to find his way through, and started sharing his mum’s wet food!  Several minutes later, he moved over to try her dry food as well.  Since it appeared that they thought they were ready for solids, I brought up a dish of Royal Canin baby mousse, and sure enough, Kitten 1 joined Kitten 2 in eating it.  Kittens 5 and 6 were happy to eat it if I put some in their mouths, but Kittens 3 and 4 were not interested at all, and would spit it out if made to take it.

Kitten 2 trying his first solid food

Yesterday evening, I took up a dish of Royal Canin Instinctive Kitten, which instead of being a paste/mousse, is a runny gravy with small lumps of meat.  Kitten 2 was straight into it, with his front paws in the middle of the dish (covered in gravy), and his face shoved right down between the lumps.  This time, however, he was joined by Kitten 3, who was rather neater about the whole thing, but spent several minutes feeding.  The other four were not interested at all, including Kitten 5, who had enjoyed it so much the night before!  This morning I tried them with a different flavour and texture of food, which Kitten 2 ate a small amount of, but was basically uninterested, and Dàrna ended up eating most of that herself!

Obviously, with a change in diet from milk to solids, comes a change in production of wastes, but it looks like they are going to cope fine with that transition, too.  Kitten 5 used the litter tray this morning, and a couple of the others were in scraping around in it, preparing to go.  These kittens are a lot younger in moving on than Katie’s were, which seems strange, considering how laid back their mum is – I thought they might take longer.

Katie’s Litter

I have had photos through of both Alek and Lainni this week, looking thoroughly settled in their new homes.  I can’t tell you how good it feels to see them contented and enjoying making a new family very happy.  I just wish we could find someone for Soolay now, before we get any more attached to him.  The other cats are also starting to accept him as part of the family, so it is going to be harder for them the longer he stays.  I am also going to find it so hard to part with him already, and I guess it’s only going to get harder.

Soolay (Tiffanie kitten) eating with the adult cats
Soolay eating with some of the adults - from left to right: Xaria (just visible), Coimhlion, Amlach, Kia, Soolay, Katie, Annas, Jinny & Call

He was playing on Richard’s lap after we had lunch earlier – cuddled up asleep one minute then pouncing on Richard’s hands the next, and trying to undo the zip on his fleece.  He is a wee monkey, always into something unless he’s cuddled up with someone, but that makes him so adorable.  I hope all of the kittens we produce are as pleasurable to live with as he is!

Soolay (Tiffanie kitte) lying on Richard's lap
Soolay looking adorable on Richard's lap
Soolay playing on Richard's lap

Kitten Updates – 3 weeks & 15 weeks

Soolay attends his first show, and we continue our debates over what colour the younger kittens are. Lainni and Alek also settle in well at their new homes.

The kittens are now three weeks old, and should all be over 300g by this evening.  I still think we have three boys and three girls, but am no more sure on the colours.

Tiffanie kittens aged 2 weeks, with their mum
The babies clambering over Dàrna

Colour Debates

The bluey one (‘Kitten 2’ or ‘The Blue’) has come up really silver underneath, but with the sort of clear line between marking and base that you get on a blue Abyssinian, so I’m thinking he’s probably a silver ticked tabby.  As for marking colour, the brownish cast that his fur had for a while seems to have mostly disappeared, so I’m guessing he is possibly a plain blue, rather than a blue-based caramel, as I thought before.

Tiffanie kitten aged 2 weeks
The Blue showing his facial markings

Tiffanie kitten aged 2 weeks
The Blue showing his side markings

I still think that the tortie is a chocolate tortie, but her undercoat has lost its silvery look, so I’m now not sure whether she is just an unsound self, or a ticked tabby in which the ticking hasn’t yet come in. She has lovely rich red, especially on her face, which has very even red blazes.

Tiffanie kitten aged 2 weeks
The Tortie showing her pretty blazes

Tiffanie kitten aged 2 weeks
The Tortie showing her side markings

The two ‘lilacs’ are now very different colours, and one is quite clearly a Burmese Restriction (‘Kitten 4’ or ‘the BCR’), because he has much darker ears and muzzle than the rest of his body.  His nose leather and paw pads are also much darker than his brother’s – a browny-pink rather than the rose pink that his brother has.  As a result, I am wondering whether he (the BCR) might even be a chocolate, or certainly a lilac-based caramel.  The other boy (‘Kitten 3’ or ‘the Lilac’) is almost certainly a lilac, because his colour has remained a sort of rosy dove-grey.  Both boys seem to have silver undercoats, and since they are developing an area of darker marking on the tops of their heads, I’m guessing they are either shaded or ticked tabby.

Tiffanie kittens aged 2 weeks
The two 'lilacs' showing the difference in nose leather colour. 'The BCR' is on the left, and 'the lilac' on the right. The difference is now more pronounced.

Tiffanie kitten aged 2 weeks
The 'lilac' showing the 'cap' that is appearing on his head

Tiffanie kitten aged 2 weeks
The BCR showing very faint markings on his face

The two red-series kittens are still very similar in colour, with either cream or apricot over silver.  One has faint spots, whereas the other is evenly coloured, so I’m not sure whether that means that one is a spotted and the other a ticked or shaded, or whether both are shaded, but one ‘masks’ spotted tabby and has ghostmarkings showing through, while the other ‘masks’ ticked tabby, which gives no ghostmarkings.

Tiffanie kittens aged 2 weeks
The four dilutes showing the differences between their colours. The two red-series are on either end, with the 'lilacs' in the middle. The ghost-spotted one is on the left, but you have to look very closely to see any sign of the markings because they are so faint

I’m kind of hoping that at some point before these are ready to leave, one of the ‘Asian colour experts’ will get a chance to call in on us and take a look!

Dàrna decided part-way through the week that she wanted the babies in the middle of the floor, rather than in their pen.  I tried everything I could think of to get her to keep them in the pen, short of actually shutting her in with them, but in the end we have had to give up and let her keep them on the floor.  I have put the purple basket behind where she likes to keep them, and they are at least sensible enough to clamber off into the basket whenever she isn’t feeding them.  When she thinks it is time for a feed, she lies down in front of the basket and calls to them.

Kittens Settling In

Lainni and Alek both seem to have settled into their new homes perfectly, and I am receiving regular updates about both.  Lainni’s new ‘mum’, Lona, sent me an email a couple of days after we dropped Lainni off, saying that she wanted to submit a complaint, because we had said we were giving her a kitten, when really we were giving her a mutant parrot.  Attached to the email was a photo of Lainni standing on Lona’s husband’s shoulder (looking lovely, I might add)!

The day after she had arrived, Lainni demanded to be let out of the puppy pen where she was being kept to settle in (her mum did the exact same thing when she arrived with us).  She then clambered onto Lona’s lap at breakfast and wouldn’t let any of the other cats up to share.  She has, however, been running around the house with her new playmate, a ginger moggy kitten called Flynn.  She has also become quite fond of their older Aby boy, Gus, whom she cuddles up with when he is sleeping.

Alek seems to get on well with both his human ‘sisters’, and has taken over the house.  Fiona (Alek’s ‘mum’) says that it feels like having another baby, because they have his stuff everywhere – toys, food dishes, beds…  She is loving waking up each morning with him cuddled into the back of her legs, purring.  Mark (Alek’s ‘dad’) also seems to have bonded with him, which is really good news, because Mark was more taken with Soolay when they came to visit.

Speaking of Soolay, I was really disappointed last week, when I thought we had found a nice home for him in Aberdeenshire, but it didn’t work out.  A week past on Friday I got in from work to find an email from a lovely-sounding woman who had previously had a Tiffanie and seemed genuinely interested in him.  I replied that evening, but the email had come from her work address, so I had a tense weekend waiting to hear whether she would be ‘the one’ for Soolay.  Unfortunately, when the email came through on Monday, it wasn’t good news – her husband had seen an advert for Chinchilla kittens over the weekend, and having gone to see them had fallen for one of the little girls!

I was gutted, and it was only then that I realised how much I had been hoping that would work out.  Soolay is such a sweet baby that he would make a lovely family pet.  Although Richard and I could obviously keep him, the reason for starting to breed Tiffanies in the first place was because we felt they weren’t well enough known, and wanted more people to experience their fantastic natures.  Keeping him would be nice for us, but would rather defeat the purpose of breeding them in the first place!  I just hope we can find a home for him soon, because it will already be very hard to part with him – he is 16 weeks today and is very handsome!

A black shaded Tiffanie kitten aged 15 weeks
Soolay looking gorgeous

Cumberland Show

We had entered Annas (for Best of Breed/BOB only), Xaria and Katie in the Cumberland show, which took place on Saturday.  When it became obvious that we were very likely to still have Soolay by the time of the show, we spoke to the show manager, who agreed to take an extra entry for him.  We therefore had our first ‘Cagaran kitten’ out on the bench on Saturday.

Tiffanie kitten aged 15 weeks at a show
Soolay looking thoroughly relaxed about the whole show experience!

He did really well, winning his BOB and a 1st and 2nd in his side classes, but more importantly, taking the whole experience completely in his stride.  He really seemed to enjoy all the attention and cuddles, and the judges liked him and said that he handled well.  I was lucky enough to get his Open judge, Joyce Green (a Burmese breeder), and also Ann Gregory (the only All-Breed judge) to come and give me their opinions on him once they had finished judging, and both thought he had a lot of potential.  Neither of them were worried that he will be too chunky, because they felt that he will probably grow into his legs and paws.

Annas and Katie both won their BOBs, and Katie beat another rather nice Tiff to do so – I’ve just realised that means that we did the hat-trick of BOB Adult, Kitten and Neuter for the first time ever!  Katie didn’t get her Grand, but we didn’t really expect her to, because she still looks quite kittenish, in spite of having had kittens of her own.

Xaria was our star of the show (apart from Soolay, of course), winning her 3rd Imperial (only two to go – yay!) as well as her BOB.  As far as I can work out, that also put her further out ahead at the top of the RACCS (Russian and Abyssinian Cat Club of Scotland) table of points.  We are hoping that she might do well enough this year to become the first ever Russian to win Overall Best in RACCS.  My calculations of the results so far put her 21 points clear at the top.  However, that could all change with just one good show by the cats placed joint second at the moment – all it would take was for one of them to go Best in Show, especially if it happened at the Supreme, and she would be back into second place!  Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen…

Russian Blue in her show pen
Xaria being a star

Kitten Update Day 12 & Week 14

Dàrna’s kittens open their eyes, Lainni and Soolay are spayed and neutered, and the other adult girls all call. Also, Lainni gets ready to go to her new home.

Well, it took me a bit longer to find the time to do this update than I expected.  I have been working late all week trying to complete a very important tender for work (potentially work at least £150k to our family business!).  With the adult cats and two litters of kittens to look after on top of that, there just hasn’t been time to think, let alone update our blog.  However, the tender is now in the post (deadline for arrival is noon on Monday), and one of the other Directors told me to “take the rest of the week off”.  All 1 1/2 hours of it!

Anyway, since I last posted, Lainni and Soolay have been neutered, and the younger litter have all opened their eyes.  One of the boys in that litter is being very slow about the whole thing, but his right eye was finally fully open yesterday, and his left eye is more than 3/4 open.  The others all have fully open eyes, and are starting to look about.  Now that she’s properly got the hang of what she is to do, Dàrna is proving to be a wonderful mum, and her kittens are all nice and plump, and sparky-clean!

Lainni and Soolay had their operation on Tuesday, and seemed so little when I was leaving them at the vets.  Thankfully, both did really well, and by Tuesday evening were already pouncing on eachother (doing nothing for my nerves, I can tell you!).  I don’t think Soolay has even noticed that anything is different – at that age they haven’t yet become proud of their ‘bits’, as they do later on, so he’s blissfully unaware of what has been done.  The operation is also relatively minor, with no stitches required, and they heal almost immediately.

For the girls the operation is rather more significant, because it means major abdominal surgery, so Lainni has a nice set of (purple!) stitches up her tummy, like a little zip.  We were worried that she might lick the wound and irritate it, but she’s been as good as gold.  She is highly confused by its presence, though, and keeps propping herself up so that she can get a good look at the stitches, then sits gazing at them with a perplexed expression on her face.  Bless her!

Tiffanie kitten showing her spay scar
Lainni lying on her back showing her purple 'zip'

Alek is doing well in his new home, and both his new human ‘sisters’ seem to have taken really well to him.  He has continued being a really cuddly baby in his new home, and his new ‘mum’, Fiona, is thoroughly enjoying waking up with him purring and cuddling into her legs in the mornings!  I am so thrilled that we managed to find him such a fantastic home – it makes parting with them so much less traumatic when you know they are going somewhere that they will be adored!

Speaking of which, Lainni is going to her new home on Sunday, and Lona (her new ‘mum’) is so excited that she says it’s “like Christmas”!  We are driving up with Lainni to Inverness, because Lona lives all the way up near John O’ Groats, so Inverness is about half-way.  I am gutted not to be able to take Lainni to her new home myself, to watch her settling in the way that we did with Alek, but with everything else that’s going on at the moment a 12-hour round-trip to the north of the country just isn’t sensible.  Hopefully we can go and visit them in a few weeks once Lainni is settled in, but if not, at least we know we will be seeing her at shows in the future.

Soolay still doesn’t have a new home booked, which I can’t say I am altogether upset about, because he can ‘fill in’ until Dàrna’s litter are big enough to be playing and giving us cuddles!  I must confess to being surprised that he’s the one who is left, because he is such a sturdy, strong-feeling kitten, and has the most adorable temperament.  One minute he’s racing around the room like a nut-case, and the next minute he’s crashing into your lap for a cuddle, with huge purrs.  I am sure the right home will arrive for him eventually, and in the meantime, we get to enjoy him for longer!

Breckin finally started calling the Friday before the Wyvern show, and then stayed in season for over a fortnight.  The second week of her call, Katie came into season as well, so we had the two of them trying to out-shout eachother.  They would roll around on the floor at either end of the hall-way, taking it in turns to shout, and getting louder every time.  Thankfully, they both finished their calls at the weekend, but now Kia has started, and is really shouting.  She keeps going out into the run and making the most awful racket (she does make the strangest noises) – I’m just hoping none of the neighbours hear it and complain!

Unfortunately, I’m not very sure what to do about mating Kia now, because there has been a bit of a misunderstanding relating to Mickey, who she went to last time.  It turns out that the owners of his sire, and his dam’s sire (his grandsire) didn’t want any boys sold for breeding, but Rita hadn’t realised this when she sold him.  At the moment it is looking like he will have to be returned to Rita, and she will probably have to neuter him, so the mating is very unlikely to be able to be repeated!  We’ve now got to try and find a different boy to use, but with less time to arrange things.  Oh joy!

I love showing, but I must confess to being quite glad that we have nothing on tomorrow, because it means that we can get caught up around the house, and also enjoy some last cuddles with Lainni.  Other than taking Lainni to meet Lona, this is the first weekend in ages that we’ve not had something specific to be doing.  After the amount of work that’s gone on this week, I am really looking forward to it!

Now if I can just persuade Richard to do the driving on Sunday…