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…
Katie’s kittens are now a week old and doing well, Kia is almost at her due date, and Dàrna is back from stud and looking pregnant. Fiona won her first two CCs at the double show in Doncaster on Saturday, also the first two CCs for our prefix!
Katie’s kittens are growing well, both having sailed past their double-birth-weight one-week target at about five days old. As of this morning, they are a good bit over 200g, and the boy’s eyes were just starting to open in the inner corners. He is hilarious when he’s eating, because he does the same sort of huge ‘star-jump’ motion that his half-sister Lainni did last year!
I haven’t actually checked genders again since I first decided on them, so I really ought to have another look now to make sure we do have one boy and one girl. I haven’t the faintest clue whether they are Asians or Tiffanies at this stage, only that they both look to have about the same length of coat, though I could be completely wrong there!
Kia is now very close to her due date – I’m thinking either tonight or tomorrow night. Jinny is in with her at the moment, and the two of them seem to be best mates at the moment.
Kia has started to move into her birthing box, though she prefers if one of us climbs in there with her. I turned her heat pad on the other day, and then spent about half-an-hour hunched up in the box with her to keep her company whilst she rolled around on it. Her box has a lid on it, because she quite likes caves, but at least it’s a good bit bigger than Katie’s, otherwise we’d never fit!
We collected Dàrna from Ally and Arty on Monday, and she is definitely still looking pregnant, and eating lots, so fingers crossed there, too.
We were down at the Humberside and Lincolnshire double show on Saturday. The two clubs hold their all-breed shows in the same hall, and cats can therefore enter both shows. We had only taken Fi, but she did us proud, winning not only our first Cagaran CC (Challenge Certificate), but also the second – taking the certificate in both shows! She now only needs one more to become a champion, so fingers crossed she can do that the next time she’s out…
Katie has two kittens, born overnight last night – our first for 2011. Initial guess is one female, one male – a black silver shaded and a black ticked tabby.
Apologies to those who have been waiting for this update to go live – I actually wrote it on Tuesday evening, but have been having issues with the Internet since then, and hadn’t been able to get it to upload. Hope it’s worth the wait!
Katie’s Kittens Are Here!
Well, Katie’s kittens arrived bang on schedule, just like last year. This time, she started having them at the rather more civilised time of 10pm, and had settled down to feed them and sleep by midnight.
At about the 5th week of the pregnancy, we moved Katie from isolation into a room with Fiona, and she got quite upset about it. We moved her in the evening, and by the following morning, she had gone from looking fairly heavily pregnant, to having no visible bulge whatsoever. For a few days, we wondered if she’d aborted the pregnancy completely, but it gradually became apparent that she was still pregnant. We guessed, however, that the size reduction probably meant that she had reabsorbed some of the kittens.
It looks like that assumption was probably correct, because instead of producing the expected four or five kittens, she had just two. Even more telling, she actually produced three placentas, but I couldn’t feel a third kitten still inside. I took her to the vet this evening to get them to double-check that, and they agreed that there was no sign of a third kitten. She must, therefore, have reabsorbed the kitten whose placenta the third one was, but not reabsorbed the placenta for some reason.
Her body definitely thought that she was going to have more than just the two, because she’s got lots of milk. Last year, she was very economical with her milk production – she only had four kittens, so she only ever activated six of her eight teats, then dropped this to four teats when she lost one of the kittens. She also seems slightly confused by the fact that she only has two kittens in her nest, bless her.
As before, Katie is proving to be a fantastic mother, having done everything herself, including removing the amniotic sacks, cleaning up the placentas and getting the kittens dry and suckling. After the births, we gave her a big meal of (Applaws) tuna and prawns, and changed the bedding in the birthing box whilst she was distracted.
The first kitten is a black silver of some description – probably a shaded. At birth, I though it was a female, though its not nearly as clear now. I’ll leave it a few days and then check again, because it’s notoriously difficult to tell from when the kittens are a few hours to a few days – it’s supposed to be easier at birth, so I’ll assume that she is a female for the time being. She was 85g at birth, and was up to 101g by this morning, gaining a whopping 16g in just 11 hours – that would be a good gain for a full day!
I’m pretty certain that the second kitten is a boy, and he looks to be a non-silver black of some description – probably a black ticked tabby. He was just 79g at birth, but was already up to 93g by this morning, again a huge gain – 14g in less than 10 hours! Clearly the kittens are making the most of the fact that their mum’s body is producing milk as if she had a litter of five to feed!
Both kittens are already attempting to stand, which is much earlier than either of last year’s litters. Hopefully these two are going to continue to make the most of having their mum’s attention split just two ways!
Kia is now almost 8 weeks pregnant, so she’s well past the point at which she miscarried last time. Her kittens are quite active, and can be clearly felt, along her sides. She’s obviously getting a good kicking, because she’ll be lying sleeping and then will suddenly jump awake, bless her. Probably no more than about 10-14 days left for her, so I’m starting to get excited now. Fingers crossed she goes full term!
Katie is at 65 days today, so there is a good chance that she will have her kittens this evening. We actually thought that she might have had them Saturday night, because she was behaving as if she was in the early stages of labour. Nothing happened that night, though, and by yesterday she was much calmer. The kittens have been much more active over last night and into this morning, and are definitely starting to move backwards, so I think that’s them getting themselves arranged into position. Tonight could be a sleepless one!
Dàrna is still at stud, and the news is hopeful! She came into call almost as soon as she met Graham (the stud), but after a few days, the stud owner, Ally, sent me a message to say that the call seemed to have stalled and that she would just leave Dàrna in with Graham until she came back on. About a week later, Ally messaged me again, saying that she was starting to wonder whether Graham had “sneakily done the deed”, because Dàrna had been sick a few times. I don’t know whether I mentioned it on here, but Dàrna suffered from morning sickness throughout most of her last pregnancy, so the sickness was actually good news.
This morning, I had another message from Ally to say that Dàrna appears to be pinked up already. That would be just over 14 days, and therefore very early, so a bit of a surprise. Having said that, although Dàrna pinked at a more normal time last year, Katie was showing at 14 days. This year Katie pinked on schedule, so it would be just typical if Dàrna was the one pinking at an unusual time this time around! Dàrna has now been moved to a separate run to see whether that brings her into call, or whether she starts eating more and stays pink. Fingers crossed there, too!
Hopefully I’ll have some new kitten photos to post in the next few days…