The kittens are now three weeks old, and should all be over 300g by this evening. I still think we have three boys and three girls, but am no more sure on the colours.
The bluey one (‘Kitten 2’ or ‘The Blue’) has come up really silver underneath, but with the sort of clear line between marking and base that you get on a blue Abyssinian, so I’m thinking he’s probably a silver ticked tabby. As for marking colour, the brownish cast that his fur had for a while seems to have mostly disappeared, so I’m guessing he is possibly a plain blue, rather than a blue-based caramel, as I thought before.
I still think that the tortie is a chocolate tortie, but her undercoat has lost its silvery look, so I’m now not sure whether she is just an unsound self, or a ticked tabby in which the ticking hasn’t yet come in. She has lovely rich red, especially on her face, which has very even red blazes.
The two ‘lilacs’ are now very different colours, and one is quite clearly a Burmese Restriction (‘Kitten 4’ or ‘the BCR’), because he has much darker ears and muzzle than the rest of his body. His nose leather and paw pads are also much darker than his brother’s – a browny-pink rather than the rose pink that his brother has. As a result, I am wondering whether he (the BCR) might even be a chocolate, or certainly a lilac-based caramel. The other boy (‘Kitten 3’ or ‘the Lilac’) is almost certainly a lilac, because his colour has remained a sort of rosy dove-grey. Both boys seem to have silver undercoats, and since they are developing an area of darker marking on the tops of their heads, I’m guessing they are either shaded or ticked tabby.
The two red-series kittens are still very similar in colour, with either cream or apricot over silver. One has faint spots, whereas the other is evenly coloured, so I’m not sure whether that means that one is a spotted and the other a ticked or shaded, or whether both are shaded, but one ‘masks’ spotted tabby and has ghostmarkings showing through, while the other ‘masks’ ticked tabby, which gives no ghostmarkings.
I’m kind of hoping that at some point before these are ready to leave, one of the ‘Asian colour experts’ will get a chance to call in on us and take a look!
Dàrna decided part-way through the week that she wanted the babies in the middle of the floor, rather than in their pen. I tried everything I could think of to get her to keep them in the pen, short of actually shutting her in with them, but in the end we have had to give up and let her keep them on the floor. I have put the purple basket behind where she likes to keep them, and they are at least sensible enough to clamber off into the basket whenever she isn’t feeding them. When she thinks it is time for a feed, she lies down in front of the basket and calls to them.
Kittens Settling In
Lainni and Alek both seem to have settled into their new homes perfectly, and I am receiving regular updates about both. Lainni’s new ‘mum’, Lona, sent me an email a couple of days after we dropped Lainni off, saying that she wanted to submit a complaint, because we had said we were giving her a kitten, when really we were giving her a mutant parrot. Attached to the email was a photo of Lainni standing on Lona’s husband’s shoulder (looking lovely, I might add)!
The day after she had arrived, Lainni demanded to be let out of the puppy pen where she was being kept to settle in (her mum did the exact same thing when she arrived with us). She then clambered onto Lona’s lap at breakfast and wouldn’t let any of the other cats up to share. She has, however, been running around the house with her new playmate, a ginger moggy kitten called Flynn. She has also become quite fond of their older Aby boy, Gus, whom she cuddles up with when he is sleeping.
Alek seems to get on well with both his human ‘sisters’, and has taken over the house. Fiona (Alek’s ‘mum’) says that it feels like having another baby, because they have his stuff everywhere – toys, food dishes, beds… She is loving waking up each morning with him cuddled into the back of her legs, purring. Mark (Alek’s ‘dad’) also seems to have bonded with him, which is really good news, because Mark was more taken with Soolay when they came to visit.
Speaking of Soolay, I was really disappointed last week, when I thought we had found a nice home for him in Aberdeenshire, but it didn’t work out. A week past on Friday I got in from work to find an email from a lovely-sounding woman who had previously had a Tiffanie and seemed genuinely interested in him. I replied that evening, but the email had come from her work address, so I had a tense weekend waiting to hear whether she would be ‘the one’ for Soolay. Unfortunately, when the email came through on Monday, it wasn’t good news – her husband had seen an advert for Chinchilla kittens over the weekend, and having gone to see them had fallen for one of the little girls!
I was gutted, and it was only then that I realised how much I had been hoping that would work out. Soolay is such a sweet baby that he would make a lovely family pet. Although Richard and I could obviously keep him, the reason for starting to breed Tiffanies in the first place was because we felt they weren’t well enough known, and wanted more people to experience their fantastic natures. Keeping him would be nice for us, but would rather defeat the purpose of breeding them in the first place! I just hope we can find a home for him soon, because it will already be very hard to part with him – he is 16 weeks today and is very handsome!
We had entered Annas (for Best of Breed/BOB only), Xaria and Katie in the Cumberland show, which took place on Saturday. When it became obvious that we were very likely to still have Soolay by the time of the show, we spoke to the show manager, who agreed to take an extra entry for him. We therefore had our first ‘Cagaran kitten’ out on the bench on Saturday.
He did really well, winning his BOB and a 1st and 2nd in his side classes, but more importantly, taking the whole experience completely in his stride. He really seemed to enjoy all the attention and cuddles, and the judges liked him and said that he handled well. I was lucky enough to get his Open judge, Joyce Green (a Burmese breeder), and also Ann Gregory (the only All-Breed judge) to come and give me their opinions on him once they had finished judging, and both thought he had a lot of potential. Neither of them were worried that he will be too chunky, because they felt that he will probably grow into his legs and paws.
Annas and Katie both won their BOBs, and Katie beat another rather nice Tiff to do so – I’ve just realised that means that we did the hat-trick of BOB Adult, Kitten and Neuter for the first time ever! Katie didn’t get her Grand, but we didn’t really expect her to, because she still looks quite kittenish, in spite of having had kittens of her own.
Xaria was our star of the show (apart from Soolay, of course), winning her 3rd Imperial (only two to go – yay!) as well as her BOB. As far as I can work out, that also put her further out ahead at the top of the RACCS (Russian and Abyssinian Cat Club of Scotland) table of points. We are hoping that she might do well enough this year to become the first ever Russian to win Overall Best in RACCS. My calculations of the results so far put her 21 points clear at the top. However, that could all change with just one good show by the cats placed joint second at the moment – all it would take was for one of them to go Best in Show, especially if it happened at the Supreme, and she would be back into second place! Fingers crossed that doesn’t happen…