Just Kittens

Dàrna has had a single Tiffanie kitten born by C-section, Grace’s Ocicat kittens have had their first vaccinations, and Ayla is ready to go to stud.

Just a quick post to give you some kitten updates:

Ocicat Kittens

Grace’s kittens were nine weeks old on Sunday, and are therefore old enough for their first vaccinations.  Since Monday was a Bank Holiday, I wasn’t working, giving me time to collect the kittens (including finding the little blighters!) from Diane’s, take them to our vet’s for their vaccinations, and then take them back to Diane’s again.  They were beautifully behaved, and are all really good weights for their age, the lightest being over 1.03kg!

The kittens in their basket in the vet's waiting area - I love that Cainnt is clearly so stressed by his first visit to the vet's, that he is falling asleep in the middle!

Dàrna’s Kitten

Dàrna was due between Wednesday and Sunday of last week, so when she still hadn’t started labour by Monday, I took her with me when the Oci kittens went for their vaccinations.  The vet scanned her, and could see no sign of infection and (he thought) two good, strong heartbeats, so he told me to “sit tight” for another couple of days, and bring her back in if she hadn’t had them by Wednesday.  On Wednesday morning, she had quite a bit of discharge, and was rather restless, so the vet suggested leaving her one more day to see whether she was going to deliver them naturally.

In the blanket, coming back from the vets
In the blanket, coming back from the vets - I held him like this, rather than risk Dàrna falling on him in the moving car (I wasn't driving!)

When she still hadn’t had them by yesterday morning, I took her back along, and the vets tried to stimulate contractions with a shot of Oxytocin.  That caused a few contractions, but they were rather half-hearted, and unproductive, so we decided to do a C-section.  It turns out that she only had one kitten, who is large and was the wrong way around – not just his tail facing the birth canal, but actually his back, so there was no way she could have delivered him like that.

Dàrna absolute knackered after her C-section, asleep with her baby between her paws
Dàrna absolute knackered after her C-section, asleep with her baby between her paws

The effects of the anaesthetic pass through to the kitten as well, so he was rather immobile and dopey yesterday afternoon, meaning that he didn’t start to feed until late evening.  However, he was up 5g on his birth weight by the time we were going to bed, and up a further 2g when I got up this morning, so he seems to have got the idea now.  He looks very like his Daddy (Eiteag), and I think he’s some sort of cream: maybe a standard shaded.

Looking more contented this morning, and with the baby feeding
Dàrna looking more contented this morning, and the baby feeding

Ayla Going to Stud

Okay, so it’s not strictly about kittens yet, but that is the desired result!  Ayla had her snap test (FIV/FeLV) this morning, ready to go home with the stud owner after the London Pet Show tomorrow.  I am not looking forward to saying goodbye to her – I know we’re not meant to have favourites, but I am ridiculously fond of Ayla, and can’t imagine having her away for several weeks.  We took Eiteag into the vet at the same time, for his certificate of entirety (the paperwork confirming that all his ‘bits’ are in the right place!), which needs to be lodged with the GCCF before his kitten can be registered.

Incidentally, don’t forget that if you’re in the Earl’s Court area tomorrow, you can come and visit us (and a whole host of different pets, from dogs and cats to birds, micro pigs, fish and exotic beasties) at the London Pet Show.

Two New Champions and Other News

I’ve been holding off doing an update until we had the results of Bru’s tests – I didn’t expect that to take a month!  In the meantime, there has been plenty to update you with…

Preston & Blackpool Show

The Preston & Blackpool show was the last weekend in March, and saw the ‘creation’ of two new Cagaran Champions!  Ayla and Eiteag both won their third CC, making them up to Champion at the age of just 10 1/2 months, in ‘straight shows’.  For the first time, Eiteag actually beat his sister for Best of Breed, but I think we’ll give him a bit of a break now, because he was very interested in the female Devon in the pen next door, and was a little ‘frisky’ as a result.  Ayla was, as always, utterly adorable, and a real pleasure to show.

Ayla looking very pretty with her qualifying certificate
Ayla looking very pretty with her qualifying certificate

Mature-looking Eiteag
The only decent photo of Eiteag, and he's hiding his certificate!

Ocicat Kittens

When we were originally asked if we would take Bru back, we didn’t know whether he had something infectious or not, so I was concerned about bringing him back into the house when we had such young kittens.  A friend of ours very kindly offered to take the kittens until we could find out what was wrong with Bru, and since Grace seems perfectly settled at Diane’s, they are going to stay there for the time-being.  That puts us in the unusual position of having to go and ‘visit’ our own kittens!

Kittens 4, 5 and 6 at 7 weeks
Kitten 4, 5 and 6 at 7 weeks

Kittens 3, 4, 5 and 6 at 7 weeks
Kittens 3, 4, 5 and 6 at 7 weeks

All 6 kittens at 7 weeks
All 6 kittens at 7 weeks

The two 'spotties' at 8 weeks
The two 'spotties' at 8 weeks

Thankfully, Diane and her kids are taking great care of them, and they seem very happy, healthy babies – they are actually a lot sweeter than our last litter of Ocicats were at the same age.

The tawny Ocicat girl having a cuddle with Elisabeth

Being one step removed like this does make it more challenging for us to choose names, because I have to rely on Diane’s family, particularly her daughter, Maude, to help us get a feel for their temperaments.  I suggested various possibilities, and Maude has helped me narrow them down:

Kitten 1 (cinnamon Variant male): Cainnt, which is gaelic for ‘Speech’, because he’s the most talkative.  It is pronounced ‘Kaynch’.

Cainnt at 7 weeks
Cainnt at 7 weeks

Cainnt at 8 weeks
Cainnt at 8 weeks

Kitten 2 (cinnamon Variant male): Crannag, which is gaelic for ‘Hedgehog’, because he likes to curl up in a little ball.  It is pronounced ‘Kranak’.

Crannag at 7 weeks
Crannag at 7 weeks

Crannag at 8 weeks
Crannag at 8 weeks

Kitten 3 (tawny Ocicat female): Ceann-Ciatach, which is gaelic for ‘Beautiful Leader’, because she has always been the first into everything, and the others all follow her, but she is also the most typey in the litter. If any of the kittens go for breeding or show, it will be her, and I liked the idea of using her gran’s pet name in her name – Kia was short for Ciatach.  Ceann-Ciatach is pronounced ‘Kyawn-Kee-atach’.

Ceann-Ciatach at 7 weeks
Ceann-Ciatach at 7 weeks

Showing her gorgeous spots
Showing her gorgeous spots

She is also an absolute sweetheart, and the quickest to purr.  If we weren’t planning to focus on the Asians and Tiffanies, and therefore giving up with the Ocicats, I would be keeping her without a moment’s hesitation.

Ceann-Ciatach at 8 weeks
Ceann-Ciatach at 8 weeks

Doing her best meercat impression
Doing her best meercat impression

Kitten 4 (cinnamon Variant female) is narrowed down to a few possibilities, but we haven’t actually chosen one yet.  She is the quietest and gentlest, but also the most shy, so the names are all a variation on that theme: Ciùin, which means ‘Quiet’ or ‘Gentle’, and is pronounced ‘Kyewn’; Caomh, which means ‘Fond’, ‘Soft’, ‘Gentle’ or ‘Tender’, and is pronounced ‘Koov’; Cionált, which means ‘Sweet’, and is pronounced ‘Kinalit’; and Corrach, which means ‘Unsure’, and is pronounced ‘Kawrach’.

Kitten 4 aged 7 weeks
Kitten 4 aged 7 weeks

Kitten 4 aged 8 weeks
Kitten 4 aged 8 weeks

Kitten 5 (tawny Variant male): Ceafán, which is gaelic for ‘Rascal’, which is pretty self-explanatory!  It is pronounced ‘Kyawfan’.

Ceafán at 7 weeks
Ceafán at 7 weeks

Ceafán at 8 weeks
Ceafán at 8 weeks

Kitten 6 (cinnamon Ocicat female): Ciaran, which is gaelic for ‘Glimmer’, because of the delicate colouring of her spots.  It is pronounced ‘Kee-aran’.

Ciarán at 7 weeks
Ciarán at 7 weeks

Ciarán at 8 weeks
Ciarán at 8 weeks

As it happens, having the kittens living with someone else proved very useful, because we had to go down to Devon for Richard’s Gran’s memorial service and the interment of her ashes.  If we’d had young kittens at home, we couldn’t have been away from home for more than one night, which would have meant a couple of very long days.  As it was, we were able to head straight down to Devon from the Preston & Blackpool show, with major thanks due to Ian Thomson (Saladin Abyssinians) and Elisabeth for taking Eiteag and Ayla home for us, and feeding all the others.  Richard’s parents had rented a cottage down there for the week, so we stayed with them for a couple of days, attended the service and interment on the Monday, and then I had a business meeting on the way home.  Tracey very kindly came in at least once each day, to feed and cuddle the cats, and sort their trays for the remaining couple of days until we returned.

Bru’s Results

When I last posted, we were going to be taking Bru for a scan the following week, which my Mum actually ended up taking him to, because it was the same day as the interment in Devon.  The vets did an echocardiogram, as planned, and also took some x-rays and ran a tube into his lung to take a sample of the fluid.  The heart scan showed no defect, which was a relief, but it did appear to show something abnormal about his lung.  On the x-ray, it looked like the left lung was collapsed, and the fluid from the infection could be seen in the right lung.  The fluid sample was sent for analysis, and came back as a mycoplasma infection, which we then treated with Baytril and another antibiotic for the next fortnight.

Bru and Cheeky Cuddled Up on the Bed
Bru and Cheeky cuddled up on the bed - you wouldn't know they had been apart!

After that, we took him back in for another x-ray, which showed that the infection was cleared up in the right lung, but there was still something odd about the left lung, so he then had a CT scan.  The CT scan showed a nice healthy right lung, but the result for the other side was rather less expected – when the Cardiologist looked at the slides, he said to our vet: “Well, I’ve never seen that before”.  He knew what he thought he was seeing, but sent the slides down to the experts at Liverpool for analysis, and they came back to confirm his diagnosis: Bru has no left lung!  The vet called me last week with the confirmation from Liverpool, and told me that there has only been one other case of a cat with Bru’s condition, and that was in the US in 1990!  Yet another case of us having a virtually unique problem.

Scottish Shorthair Show

The weekend before last was the Scottish Shorthair show, and although we hadn’t entered this time, because we were showing at the weekend just gone (you are only allowed to show once in every two weeks), I went along to steward for Elisabeth.  We had some stunning cats, including a lot of very beautiful Abys, and a chocolate silver spotted British with proper British coat texture – very unusual on a silver, let alone one of the newer colours!

Lona was there with Tabh, who was the only cat in his Grand class, because the only other entrant was absent.  Unfortunately, the judge didn’t like him enough to award the certificate, so poor Tabh is still waiting for his final Grand.  Lesley and Fraser were also there, with Derk and Ella (Eiteag and Ayla’s littermates), both of whom picked up their 2nd CCs, and Ella took the Best of Breed this time.  She was looking particularly stunning, with a fabulous Burmese scowl, while Etak drove all the judges crazy in the morning, shouting for cuddles whenever anyone came into view!  Unfortunately, I forgot about taking photos until the very end of the show, by which point the cats were ready to go home, and I only had time to get some really rubbish phone shots:

Derk in his pen at the end of the show
Dreadful photo of Derk...

Ella
... and an equally bad one of Ella!

Joint Beds-Camcat Show

Last weekend was the double show for the Bedfordshire and Cambridgeshire Cat Clubs.  As with other joint shows, the two clubs share the show venue and judges, which enables the clubs to split the costs, but also gives the exhibitors the advantage of being able to try for two certificates on the same day.

Pretty Ayla showing off her gorgeous eyes
Pretty Ayla showing off her gorgeous eyes

A more usual photo of Ayla
A more usual photo of Ayla, rolling around in her pen and generally being an idiot!

We had taken three cats – Ayla, Tilly and Bru.  Ayla was only there because she is a delight to show (she is far too immature and small to win a Grand at the moment), and Tilly was only there so that Anita could see her again (we stayed with Anita on Friday night), so it was only Bru who we were actually hoping for a win from.  Sure enough, he picked up the Premier certificate (and Best of Breed) in both shows, leaving him only needing one more to win his Premier title.

Bru with all his prizes
Bru with all his prizes

Telling us that it's time to go home
Telling us that it's time to go home

These PCs were the first certificates won by a Cagaran Ocicat, which is quite exciting.  I was also touched to realise that the three cats we were showing are the grandson and daughters of our three foundation queens – Ayla being Dàrna’s granddaughter, Tilly is Katie’s granddaughter, and Bru is Kia’s grandson!  As a final little benefit, Lhasa’s mum was there with her owner/breeders, and won her third and qualifying CC, making her up to Champion!

Tilly looking very grown-up and pretty
Tilly looking very grown-up

Pulling a silly face
Pulling a silly face

Tracy and Gary came up to visit us at the show, bringing Emily, who has grown since we last saw her, and was fascinated with the cats.  We let Ayla sit on her lap for a cuddle, and when we tried to put Ayla back in her pen, Emily started crying, bless her!  We also had the AGCS AGM in during the morning, and a RACCS Committee meeting during the afternoon, so it was rather a busy day.

Ayla meeting Emily - I was too slow getting my camera out, and missed the moment when Ayla gave Emily a kiss

After the show, we headed up to Wakefield where there was a party being held ‘in honour’ of two of our friends, who emigrated to Australia 18 months ago and are back for their first home visit since leaving.  We spent a couple of hours with them on Sunday morning before heading back up the road, and it was great to catch up, and also see their two sons, who were just three and one when they left.  We’ve been invited out to see them in Australia, too…

Bru & Tilly playing in the hotel room
Bru & Tilly playing in the hotel room

Ayla playing in the overnight bag
Ayla playing in the overnight bag - she was joined by Bru a few seconds later

London Pet Show

Long-term readers of our blog will know that we have had at least one representative at the London Pet Show (LPS), both the last two years.  This year the 3rd LPS is on the 11th and 12th of May, putting it the week before the World Cat Congress (WCC) weekend, which includes a double show – the special WCC show and the Suffolk & Norfolk club going back-to-back.  As a result, it has been more of a struggle than usual, to find enough cats and people to represent the different breeds, many of those who would normally have done LPS preferring to enter the WCC double.

We are going to be attending the WCC show (the Gala Dinner is on the Saturday night, and a Seminar on the Sunday, so there’s no way we’d be missing it!), but the LPS is too great an opportunity to miss, so we’re not going to actually take cats to the WCC.  Since the LPS was struggling to find enough cats, we are taking ten cats to represent a whole selection of breeds: Tia for the Burmillas, Donny for Asian Smokes, Ayla and Eiteag for the Tiffanies (though Eiteag, being a tabby, is also the closest we have to an Asian Tabby), Cheeky and Bru for the Ocicats, Kenga (Grace’s sister) for the Abyssinians, and three of Elisabeth’s Russian Blue kittens to represent the Russians.

Kitten Plans

Dàrna is due this week, but she’s not particularly big, so we’ve been assuming just a couple of kittens.  In the past couple of days, however, she has expanded a bit, so it could be that she’s carrying four.  If she does have just two, I think we might just have her spayed.  Having had six kittens in her first litter, we had hoped that her subsequent two-kitten-litter was due to the after-effects of the Ronidazole treatment that she had for the Tritrich, and that the effect would wear off after a while.

Dàrna from above, showing her small bump
Dàrna from above, showing her small bump

Dàrna relaxing after having her tummy shaved - we always do that to make it easier to help any problem kittens latch on
Dàrna relaxing this morning, after having her tummy shaved - we do that to make it easier to help any difficult kittens find a teat and latch on

Following my recent post regarding my disappointment that the Tibetan breeders had decided not to use Tiffanies in their programme, I have been contacted by Angela McCallum (Chaka Balinese, Tibetan and Oriental Longhairs), to say that she would definitely be interested in using a Tiffanie for her Tibetans.  Since the ideal Tiffanie for the Tibetan programme is a self with burmese restriction, the mating that we were originally going to do was Lhasa to Donny.  I don’t really mind whether we mate her to Donny and Tia to Eiteag, or the other way around, so I am quite happy to do the former, if the result can be of assistance to the Tibetan programme.  So… that makes that decision, finally!

After the LPS, Ayla will be going home with an Australian Mist breeder, instead of us (sob!), and will be going to one of her stud cats to begin our cinnamon outcross programme.  You may remember that we also bought in our Somali, Sonia, to form the other half of the initial outcross, so we will be mating her at the same time.  I haven’t yet decided who to mate her to, though!  These matings are a big step for the cinnamon programme, but they do represent the start of something like four or five years of work to get to the point where we have a showable cinnamon Asian or Tiffanie!  Wish us luck…