Now that Katie’s kittens have grown a bit, they were getting too big to be able to all feed at the same time when she is curled in the purple basket. That space was fine when they were a few hours old, but the size they now are means that she really needs to be properly stretched out on her side to allow them all to latch on. Unfortunately, she still seemed determined that she wanted to stay in that corner. In desperation, I tried swapping ends in the pen, with the birthing box moving to the right-hand end, and the basket and litter tray to the left-hand end. Thankfully, Katie didn’t seem to mind the change from basket to box, as long as she was able to stay in her chosen corner, so she can now stretch out on her side (she seems to like putting her head on the heated pad), and the kittens can all fit on to suckle. Being in the box also has the advantage that if the kittens felt cold they could just crawl onto the heated pad.
All four have had much bigger gains today (probably because they could actually reach a teat properly!) – red-toes is up 13g to 162g, purple-toes and blue-toes are both up 17g to 149g and 166g respectively, and orange-toes is up 18g to 165g. That means even the smallest one only has 31g to go to hit the double-birth-weight target that I would like to see them all at by the end of their first week. I have also checked their genders again tonight, and I’m still sure that the two silvers are girls, and one of the black ticked tabbies is a boy. The fourth kitten I am now thinking is also a boy, which would give me a nice split of two boys and two girls.
Kia’s First Outside Adventure
We built a run in the garden, to enable the cats to have some time outside without being able to get right out and get run over, lost, injured or, in the case of the girls, get pregnant by the local Tom. Only the neuters were using the run, however, because we hadn’t shown any of the girls what the catflap was for. One of the times we were visiting Elisabeth, she commented that the girl she has in to stud at the moment doesn’t seem to know how to use the catflap, so has to be shut in the stud house overnight. That got me thinking that perhaps we ought to get the girls used to being outside and using a catflap before they go off to stud, to make the transition a bit easier for them (obviously, it’s too late for Katie!).
Yesterday we were going to be out doing the garden all day, so that seemed like a good time to have them outside for the first time. The run is connected to the house by a suspension bridge (eight metres long, and weighed a tonne to put up there!), and Dàrna didn’t go beyond the bridge, preferring just to sit up where she could enjoy the view. Kia, however, was almost straight down into the run to explore, and spent the next few hours racing around the run chasing flies then running back up onto the bridge, and then back into the run again, going round and round shouting almost continuously. She seemed to have a great time, and even after we had her in for dinner, she was in and out of the catflap for the rest of the evening. In the video you can see that Xaria was also out enjoying the good weather!