Shows & Kitten Update Week 10

The kittens continue to grow, and also have their first bath – the first couple have homes booked now. We have a good day at both the Ulster show and the Supreme.

It feels like months since I last posted a blog update, rather than just over three weeks. As you might expect, plenty has happened in that time, both with the kittens and the rest of the household.

Shows

At the end of my last post, I mentioned that we were heading over to Ireland for a show the following day. That was a tiring, but very enjoyable experience.  There was a special deal on the ferry, meaning that we could take two others with us for the same price.  We took Elisabeth, obviously, and also Kate Ekanger (Cloudborn Devons & Laperms).  In addition, Sarah Davidson (Karakoram Asians & Burmese) asked if we would mind taking one of her cats over as well, which of course we were happy to do.

Kate drove to our house first, and we headed off at about 22:45, collected Elisabeth en route, and drove down to Stranraer for the 03:30 ferry.  We arrived in Belfast around 06:30 and grabbed about an hour’s sleep, before the show day began around 08:00.  The day went really well for our three, with Coimhlion winning her 2nd Grand Prem, Katie winning her 1st Grand Champ and Xaria winning another Reserve Imp.  Katie and Xaria both also won their Best of Breed awards.

Xaria with her rosettes at the Ulster show
Xaria

Katie with her rosette and Grand certificate at the Ulster show
Katie

Coimhlion with her Grand rosette at the Ulster show
Coimhlion

Kate’s LaPerm girl hadn’t been to a show before, but took the whole thing totally in her stride and won an Intermediate, which counts towards the forward progression of that breed.  The girl whom we had taken on behalf of Sarah also did really well, picking up an Imperial.  We got the 20:00 ferry back to Stranraer, finally getting back to our house at about 01:30 on the Sunday morning – almost 27 hours after leaving the house!  Poor Kate still had another couple of hours further to go after us!

Coming forwards a fortnight, we were down in Birmingham for the Supreme last weekend.  Once again, we were taking Elisabeth with us, but this time we also had the RACCS (Russian & Abyssinian Cat Club of Scotland) stand to set up on the Friday, so we travelled down first thing that morning, spent the afternoon setting up the stand and then stayed with Richard’s parents overnight.  Richard and I have travelled down and stayed with his parents the night before the Supreme the past two years as well, because it means that we have a rather civilised 50 minute journey in the morning, instead of several hours!

This year I was unbearably nervous, because the two cats we were taking, Annas and Xaria, were both entered in the prestigious UK Grand classes – the highest available.  The winner of each UK class (thankfully they were in different classes – Annas against the Asian Group, and Xaria just against the Russians) wins a UK certificate, and two UK certificates affords the cat a UK title, which means that they have to take the certificate in two separate years.  I was particularly nervous about Annas’ result, because she won the certificate last year, meaning that a win this year would give her the title – the last thing she has left to win!

Both girls showed themselves beautifully, and did us proud by winning not only their UK certificates, but also their Best of Breed awards – an impressive feat against the quality of cats who are seen at the Supreme.  Annas’ win made her the first UK-titled Tiffanie, but also only the third cat in the whole Asian Group to win the UK title, and also just the second in the group to hold both the UK and Imperial titles!  Xaria’s win was also significant, though, because it made her the first Scottish-bred Russian to win a UK certificate, and was also the first cat bred by Elisabeth to win a Supreme BOB!  Needless to say, we were both a bit teary that day!

Annas being judged at the Supreme 2010
Annas being judged

Xaria in her pen at the Supreme 2010
Xaria in her pen

Kittens

Now onto the bit that you are probably actually reading this for – the kittens…

Maya aged 9 weeks
Maya dancing around instead of standing nicely

Ben aged 9 weeks
Ben looking worried about the clicking of the camera

Ghost aged 9 weeks
Ghost taking a break from playing to stare suspiciously at the camera!

B-B aged 9 weeks
B-B finally sitting still for a second but still pulling a silly face

Tassy aged 9 weeks
Tassy looking adorable

Fiona aged 9 weeks
Fiona posing beautifully

When Dàrna was first taken away from them,  they had a bit of a ‘wobble’ weight-wise, particularly B-B, who was the least weaned.  However, they have come along beautifully since, and even little B-B was over 930g last night (at a day under 10 weeks), with all the others now being over 1kg, and Ghost, who is the largest, being over 1.3kg!  Their first vaccinations are booked for Monday, and we have our first visitors coming to see them the weekend after that.  At the moment it looks like we have homes for all three of the girls plus at least one of the boys, though nothing is definite yet.

We still haven’t decided which of the ‘cream’ girls we want to keep – Maya has the personality that I like the best, but Fiona might turn out to have the better type, so I will probably hold off making a decision as long as possible.  Whichever one we are not keeping is hopefully going to go and live with one of her cousins, which would be lovely for her, and the people sound ideal!

At the moment it looks like B-B will have the best type of the lot, so I am hoping that he has found a show home, again living with another Tiffanie, but also a Persian and a moggy.  Again, his prospective owners sound perfect, so I’m really hoping that goes ahead.

B-B side-on, pulling a silly face
B-B pulling a silly face - nightmare to photograph because he won't sit still!

Tassy has two separate families interested in her, but obviously the ones who asked first will get the first call.  She was the first whom we received an enquiry about, but that was a few weeks ago now, so it is possible they have found another kitten by now.  I am hoping to hear from them in the next few days so that they can come through and meet her if they are still interested.

Tassy tucked into the covers
Tassy tucked in, looking adorable

Wherever possible, I like people to meet the kittens at least once before they take them home, because it gives them a chance to form a bond early-on.  That’s me being needlessly sentimental, of course, because Tiffanies will always bond to whoever their ‘family’ are (including other pets), regardless of the age they move at – it just tends to be less traumatic for them as youngsters!

Just like human babies, kittens are exceptionally good at getting themselves in a mess, whether by jumping in their food (a common occurance during play), or managing to stand in something unpleasant in the litter tray.  The weekend before last, they had managed exactly that, so we filled a bath with warm water and popped the whole litter into it.  At that age, they have absolutely no fear of the water, and just seem to see it as an interesting warm place – Ben was even playing with a ball floating on the surface!

The kittens enjoying their bath, and afterwards getting dry with the assistance of Dàrna (their mum) and Kia (our Ocicat Classic girl)
B-B in the bath
Soggy B-B in the bath
8-week-old Tiffanie kittens drying after a bath
The kittens finishing the drying process on the radiator after their bath(from left to right: Ben, Ghost, Maya, Tassy, B-B, Fiona)

As you might expect by now, I still haven’t made up my mind about colours.  Tassy still looks like a chocolate tortie ticked tabby, and B-B like either a chocolate burmese self or a chocolate burmese smoke.  I think Ghost is a lilac burmese but I’m not sure whether he’s a silver ticked tabby or a silver shaded (or even if he’s definitely silver, frankly).  Ben is definitely silver, and I’m now leaning towards him being lilac, but whether he’s a smoke or a ticked tabby I’m not sure yet.

Ben, Ghost & B-B
Ben (centre), Ghost (right) & B-B (left)

That leaves the ‘cream’ girls, whose colour is now getting ‘hotter’ by the day, making it less likely that they are cream.  Their nose leathers are now slightly different colours, though, with Maya’s being pale pink and Fiona’s a pink so pale it is almost white.  I’m wondering, therefore, whether Maya is a red silver shaded and Fiona an Apricot silver shaded.

Maya & Fiona
Maya (left) & Fiona (right) - you can just see the difference in nose leather

Thankfully, Steve Crow (Kagura Asians & Burmese), who is a very well-respected judge, with many years experience breeding Asians and Burmese, is going to come and stay with us the night after the West of Scotland show in a couple of weeks.  He is often consulted by other judges at shows, if they are unsure of a cat’s colour, so we are very lucky to have him coming to give us his thoughts on this litter.  I am also hoping that he can perhaps give me a hand in the dilemma of which girl to keep for ourselves!!

Other News

Unfortunately, Breckin doesn’t seem very happy at the moment, so we have taken the difficult decision to have her spayed, and see if that makes a difference to her.  Obviously, that means we will be one queen down, but we still have the beautiful Kia to breed from.  I am hoping to take her down to stud in January, now that she has had plenty of time to recover from her miscarriage, so we will be hoping for one litter of Oci babies next year anyway.

The next show is the West of Scotland, and I am hoping to see at least one of Katie’s kittens there, though I haven’t actually checked about entries.  After that, we’re round to the New Year, and the Asian Group Cat Society’s show, which I’m hoping to take some of Dàrna’s babies to.  Must decide soon, though, because the closing date is in just a few days…

Kitten Update Week 6

Soolay goes to his new home, Dàrna’s kittens continue to grow well and develop personalities, and we have a good day at the Yorkshire Show.

I’ve had a busy couple of weeks for my job, hence the delay in posting the next update.  You will be glad to know that the kittens are all doing well, though.

Soolay went to his new home almost two weeks ago now, and his owners are a retired couple who absolutely adore him.  His new ‘mum’ says he wakes her in the morning with “velvet kisses”, and she also said that his favourite food is smoked salmon and cream cheese!  Elisabeth and I visited Alek in his new home, and he is also very well settled and looking gorgeous.  He has grown a lot since we last saw him, and has a beautiful Burmese head now.

Dàrna’s kittens have continued to develop nicely, with the biggest now being over 800g.  They will be seven weeks on Sunday, so their weights are either level with, or ahead of, target.  Unfortunately Dàrna has managed to do something to one of her legs, and was therefore up at the vet yesterday for an anti-biotic injection, pain-killer and anti-inflammatories, the combination of which means that she is no longer allowed to feed the kittens.  Poor girl is ridiculously full of milk today, and looks very uncomfortable, and there’s not a thing we can do for her.  At least her leg isn’t broken, though: it could be worse!

Their personalities are really showing through now, and Kitten 1 has taken a leap forwards in terms of personality since my last post.  She is the most people-oriented of the whole litter, purring the instant you touch her, and happily lying on her back in your hands while you stroke her head – so cute!  Kitten 5 is also still very cuddly, although she prefers to sit upright rather than be on her back.  B-B (Kitten 4) follows us around, and will sit on your foot and wrap his paws around your ankle if you try to leave the room – he really is adorable, although very mischievous.  Kitten 3 is still the most similar to Soolay, liking to think he is a lion until anything noisy happens, when he runs to hide, which is very funny.  His favourite game at the moment is to grab the side of their little basket and ‘fight’ with it, growling the whole time.  Kitten 2 still comes to greet us when we enter the room, but isn’t quite as much into cuddles at the moment.  Kitten 6 is still very strong-willed, very like Lainni, but does like to come and jump onto your lap if you sit on the floor.  All six of the kittens have now taken to sleeping on top of whomever is in the bed at night!

Kitten 1 aged 6 weeks
Kitten 1 showing her lovely head

Kitten 2 aged 6 weeks
Kitten 2 looking cute

Kitten 3 aged 6 weeks
Kitten 3 showing his lilac head colour

Kitten 4 aged 6 weeks
B-B looking like he'd like to kill us!

Kitten 5 aged 6 weeks
Kitten 5 walking into the camera

Kitten 6 aged 6 weeks
Kitten 6 looking smug

Colour comparison on Kittens 1 & 6
Comparing colour on Kittens 1 (left) & 6 (right)

Colour comparison on Kittens 2, 3 & 4
Comparing colour on Kittens 2 (right), 3 (left) & 4 (centre)

The jury is still out on the colours.  I am almost certain that Kitten 5 is a chocolate tortie ticked tabby and that Kitten 4 is a chocolate BCR (although he could be a smoke).  The other girls are either cream or apricot silver shaded, but I still don’t know which.  The other two are also causing me debate – the photo above shows the three boys together, and you can see that they are obviously different, but only slightly.  Kitten 2 could be blue, blue-based caramel or lilac, and either silver ticked tabby or smoke.  Kitten 3, on the other hand, is either a lilac or a lilac-based caramel, and I think he’s a silver ticked tabby.  As always, we will just need to wait and see.

I think we’re finished choosing names now.  Kitten 1 is Maya, with a pedigree name of Bean-Meala (Honeyed Lady).  Kitten 2 is Ben, with a pedigree name of Buinne-Gorm (Blue Stream).  Kitten 3 is Ghost, with a pedigree name of Bodachán (Little Ghost).  Kitten 4 is B-B, with a pedigree name of Bramán-Beag (Little Imp).  Kitten 5 is Tassy, with a pedigree name of Briotas (Whisper).  Finally, Kitten 6 is Fiona, with a pedigree name of Beannachd-Fionn (Fair-Haired Blessing).

I can hardly believe that the babies will be ready for their first vaccinations in just a bit over a fortnight.  They can then start ‘entertaining’ guests, and with each of these looking so different, it will be interesting to see who goes for which kitten.  We are still debating which of the two creamy ones to keep – one day I think one of them, and the next the other!

We had a good day at the Yorkshire show last week, with all three winning their Best of Breed, and Soolay getting down to the last three for Best Foreign Kitten, against stiff competition.  Xaria also won another Reserve Imperial, but since she already has an Imperial from that judge, I was quite happy for the other cat to have the certificate.  Katie won her first Reserve-Grand, which was rather exciting!  Now we just need to have a good day in Ireland tomorrow…