The kittens are 9 weeks old today, and had their first vaccinations this afternoon. None seem to be the least bit phased by the experience, although surprisingly Soolay whined least about the injection. Considering the fact that he’s the noisiest of the three at home, that was not what I expected.
They are continuing to develop their individual personalities, with Alek being quieter and more independent than the other two. Strangely, though, if you do give him a cuddle he tends to be the one who will stay with you for the longest – the other two will come for a cuddle but then want to be off doing things again. He absolutely loves lying on his back in your hands while you stroke the sides of his head, and goes into a sort of blissful, dreamy state when doing so.
All three are now making determined breaks for freedom virtually every time their door is opened, so we are in the process of fitting baby-gates to contain them in one area of the house without stopping the adults from moving around freely. We have put up gates at one end of the hall and in the doorway of the bedroom at the bottom of the stairs. The other doors off that area tend to be closed anyway, so gating those doors means that we can keep the kittens in the area around the hall and stairs. This evening’s job is to hang another gate at the top of the stairs so that we can limit them to the landing outside their room when we’re not around to monitor their activity on the stairs.
They were so desperate to get out yesterday that I finally gave in and shut the two gates that we had already fitted so that I could let them out. They raced up and down the stairs, pouncing on each other, and also climbed to the top of the large scratching post in the hallway. Thankfully, kittens are pretty indestructible and are perfectly capable of bouncing down the stairs without injury. The adults were not at all sure what to make of these crazy, high-speed balls of fluff that were flying around their feet, and were generally very suspicious of them!
Lainni is thankfully now back on solid food, but Alek has now decided to go off it – I swear they are just trying to test us! Katie is back to checking in on them just once each day, in the evening, so she obviously thinks everything is fine, in spite of Alek’s refusal. I’m just hoping that Alek does what Lainni did, and goes back onto solids of his own accord after a few days. At 9 weeks, he jolly well should do!
Now that the kittens have been vaccinated, they can start ‘receiving visitors’, so I must get around to putting adverts on the kitten lists of the breed clubs etc. I am planning to put through their registrations with the GCCF this week, as well. Assuming everything goes to plan, they will have their second vaccinations around the 3rd week in September, have their neutering operations about a week after that, and go to their new homes a week or two after that. It’s quite nerve-racking to think that in as little as five weeks they could be leaving us to go to their new homes!
Dàrna is thankfully still pregnant, so it looks like she is going to hold it this time! It will still be another few days before we know anything about Kia, however. Both girls are eating more than usual, however, and are far more maternal about the kittens than any of the other cats (except Katie, obviously), so I’m hoping that is a good sign. A slightly scary thought, though, is the fact that Dàrna will be due in probably only about 3 weeks! Fingers crossed her litter is less wearing on the nerves than Katie’s lot have been.
We’re going down to the Teesside show this weekend, with Annas on exhibition, so I really must put together something to go on the top of her pen. This show will be her two-year anniversary of first being shown, so I’m quite looking forward to having her there as an example of where two years can get you! She is a much better example of the breed than she was two years ago, because it took her until earlier this year to really grow into herself. I have warned Lona that there is a good chance Lainni will be the same, but that fits with her anyway, because she is showing another of her cats at the moment, so is happy to do the bulk of Lainni’s showing once she is a bit older.
As a bit of an aside, I travelled down to the Abyssinian BAC (Breed Advisory Council) Seminar in Evesham on Sunday, which was well worth attending. Thankfully, we didn’t have to drive for a chance, because I managed to get a lift with David Miskelly (Glendavan Abyssinians & Ragdolls, Aberdeenshire). The seminar was themed around the subject of colour, and there were cats there representing a good number of the Aby colours, including Usual, Blue, Chocolate, Lilac, Sorrel, Fawn, Cream, Chocolate Tortie Silver and Fawn Silver.
The attendees were split into two groups, with a speaker and steward each. The speaker for my group was Helen Marriot-Power, with Lynda Ashmore stewarding. Both are very well-respected judges, so it was fantastic to hear their opinions on the individual cats there, but also on various aspects of the cat fancy more generally. Obviously, the talks were very interesting, but probably the best aspect of the day for me was just getting to discuss Abys, other breeds, stewarding, showing etc. etc. with these judges and the other attendees at the event. There was also a lovely meal, which always helps!
There is a Foreign-Group seminar in a few weeks time, and for anyone who is available to attend, I highly recommend it. I have only attended two seminars, but both have been extremely worthwhile and enjoyable, both from a learning perspective and just as a pleasant way to socialise. Besides, you get to look at lots of lovely cats!