Another Catch-Up Post – Kittens Soon!

Lots of catching up, with four shows out of the way, the possibiltiy of four litters soon, and plenty of cat-related club business and socialising. Fi is due her kittens next week, so we’re hoping for an easy birthing and a nice healthy litter!

I would start by saying that it seems like months since I last posted, but it virtually has been!  I have never been as busy as I have been these past few months, mostly due to having taken on an enormous contract at work – a roll-out of audio systems (speakers and amplifiers) to 290 Edinburgh Woollen Mill and Duvetco stores nationwide.  That project reached its successful conclusion on Friday of last week, however, coming in at just 0.38% better than my estimated figures.  Now that it is finished, I’m hoping I might have more time for updating this and our website more often, and also finally completing my part of the GCCF rules revision.

I’m trying to remember what all has happened since my last post, but it’s all a bit of a blur.  In terms of showing, my last post was the day before the Lancs show, so there’s that, plus the Preston & Blackpool, the Scottish Shorthair and the Bedfordshire/Cambridgeshire double show.  There’s also been another meeting of the Asian Breed Advisory Committee (BAC), the annual GCCF Gala Dinner, the Edinburgh & East AGM, the AGCS AGM, a West of Scotland Committee meeting and the AGM, a RACCS committee meeting, a Langford’s Breeders’ Seminar and two choir concerts (one singing Alto with the Stirling Gaelic choir, and the other as a Soprano for Mendelssohn’s Elijah with the Stirling City choir)!  Aside from that lot, and meetings at work, we also tried to fit in a few days away with my parents, from which Richard had to return for work reasons after just the weekend (but we did manage a lovely mountain climb!), and I had to spend the middle day working on the EWM roll-out.  Geez, I feel exhausted just typing that!

The view from the mountain behind Melfort Village
The view from the top of Cruach nam Fearna, looking South-West (ish) towards the north of Jura and the Dorus Mòr

So… which bits will you be interested in?

Apollo at the Lancs
Gorgeous Apollo in his pen at the Lancs


At the Lancs, Dàrna won the Reserve Imperial in a class of three, while, I completed the final engagement towards my steward’s badge, with Peter Collin in the Burmese section.  I had been looking forward to my day with Peter, since stewarding for a Burmese judge is an excellent way to learn about the Asian type (they should be the same), and I thoroughly enjoyed working with him – I received my steward’s badge a couple of weeks later, so am now officially a GCCF Steward!  I had also suggested to Pippa (who almost bought Cailin) that she bring her Tiffanie girl to that show, since it’s not too far from her, and it was lovely to catch up with her, and meet her girl, who won the CC but lost the Best of Breed to Dàrna.  The star of the show was a Russian Blue boy of Elisabeth’s breeding, Korei, owned by Donna and Dave Johnson (Koreshka Russian Blues), who not only won the CC at his first adult show, but went on to become overall Best in Show – Elisabeth was ecstatic, as you can imagine!

Dàrna looking beautiful at the Lancs
Dàrna looking gorgeous at the Lancs

Annas at the Preston & Blackpool
Stunning Annas modelling the classic Burmese/Asian 'scowl'

Elisabeth's Silvabel
Another beautiful head - Elisabeth's Silvabel looking lovely

There were no certificate wins at the Preston & Blackpool, though the three we had taken, Annas, Dàrna and Apollo, all won their Best of Breeds.  Elisabeth had another good day, with Korei winning his second CC, Zach his qualifying Imperial certificate and Ziva her first Grand.  I had an enjoyable day stewarding for Helen Marriott-Power, including my (rather nerve-wracking) first experience of being the sole steward for Best in Show.  I have been getting ribbed ever since for having an extremely studious expression on my face throughout, but I didn’t want to mess up handling someone’s cat with everyone watching!

Apollo looking sleepy in his blankets
A sleepy Apollo peeks out of his blankets

Stewarding for Helen Marriott-Power at the Preston & Blackpool
Looking through the crowd at me stewarding for Helen at Best in Show - I was concentrating hard!

We had better results at the Scottish Shorthair – although Annas had the Olympian withheld by Grace Denny (she was placed first, though!), Lona was there with Laini, who won her second Grand, and Tabh, who won his second PC!  Annas took Best of Breed.  I’m guessing Lona’s two will probably be out for their qualifying certificates at the Nor’East, which unfortunately we are missing this year, due to it being on the same weekend as the London Pet Show.  Gutted!  Elisabeth’s lot also had another good day, with her imported stud boy winning his second CC, and little Dukey going Best Foreign Kitten!

That brings us on to the Beds/Camcat (Bedfordshire & District Cat Club & Cambridgeshire Cat Club) double-show at the weekend just gone – two all-breed shows sharing the large hall at Wood Green animal shelter near Huntingdon, which is one of my favourite show venues.  This must be one of the largest shows after the Supreme, and has a real buzz about it as a result.  We took a half day at work on Friday and collected Elisabeth before driving down to spend the night at Anita’s (Anizz Ocicats and Tiffanies) in Rugby.  On Saturday morning we packed everyone’s stuff and cats into our people-carrier, and set off to the show – five adults (myself and Richard, Elisabeth and Anita and Rob) and eight cats (three of ours, three of Elisabeth’s and two of Anita’s).

We had both an AGM and a committee meeting during the show day, so I had very deliberately not booked to steward or do tablework.  While we were getting the cats penned, they were calling over the tannoy that they desperately needed stewards, and could anyone willing to steward come up to the table, and I’m standing there going “I’m not going to do it, I’m not going to do it” – I find it very difficult not to offer to help when it’s required.  However, I managed, and I’m actually glad I did, because it was really nice to have a day where I could actually take my time over checking results, and get a chance to cuddle my cats and talk to other exhibitors.  I love stewarding, but it was lovely just to be an ordinary exhibitor for a change, even if we did have meetings in the afternoon.  In particular, it was great to get a chance to catch up with Amanda (Rushbrooke Asians, Burmese and Bengals), whom I haven’t seen since last autumn, and she has been very seriously ill in the meantime.  She was looking great on Saturday, and had a nice cuddle with Annas (whom she bred) and Donny.

Donny in his pen at the Beds/Camcat
Donny looking very mature for his eight months!

Korei looking handsome
Donna & Dave's Korei looking handsome in his pen

Elisabeth and Anita both took certificates home, with Elisabeth’s Ziva winning her second Grand, and Anita’s Chippy winning the CC in one of the shows.  Elisabeth was also thrilled because Korei won his qualifying CC, making him something like the 30th titled cat she has bred!  I was delighted to find that little Cailin won the CC in both shows, meaning that she only needs one more certificate.  She has developed into a very pretty girl, but still has lots of maturing to do.  That means that we currently have three Cagarans requiring one more certificate – Cailin, Laini and Tabh.  I wonder whether it will be Tabh or Cailin who is the first to become the third titled Cagaran?!

Cailin looking gorgeous
Cailin looking gorgeous - we are delighted at how well she's turned out

Cailin looking beautiful
I look at photos like this, though and kick myself that we didn't keep her!

I wasn’t expecting Annas to win the Olympian, because I guessed that Mylward Sassafras and Danleigh Starburst would be there, and sure enough, they were.  They got the Oly and Reserve in one of the shows, but in the other the reserve went to a beautiful Mainman Burmese (the Oly was still won by Sassafras, though!).  We had actually only entered Annas in one of the shows, because Grace Denny was the judge in the other (same as the Scottish Shorthair, but with more competition!), and likewise Donny.  Both won their Best of Breed and did well in their side classes.  In certificate terms, our star was Dàrna, who was entered in the two shows, and won the Reserve Imperial in both, against what I would have considered to be stronger competition – I was very surprised!  She will now be retired from the bench for this year, to hopefully have some kittens with Apollo.

Darna with her two Reserve Imperial rosettes
Darna surprising us with her two Reserve Imperial rosettes

Annas looking stunning
Annas delivering another beautiful scowl and looking stunning


Speaking of kittens, we have everything happening at once again this year.   Fi did indeed get pregnant the weekend of the Ocicat AGM, and is due her kittens next week.  She looks nice and fat, so I’m hoping for a sensible-sized litter, rather than the two-kitten nonsense that we had last year!  Fingers crossed for at least some Tiffanies, since that’s what everyone wants from us!

Fi looking nice and fat

You may remember that Katie had a sore eye for a couple of months?  It has now cleared up, and we are no longer having to give her eye drops, though it remains to be seen whether there will be any permanent scarring of the iris.  Anyway, whilst it was still causing an issue, we decided to separate her from the others, in case it turned out to be infectious, but rather than keep her by herself, we decided to move Donny out with her, since it was going to be several weeks until he was next due at a show.  To our surprise, however, we discovered him mating her a few days later, when he was just over seven months old!  That was almost a month ago now, and Katie doesn’t seem to be able to quite make up her mind whether or not she is pregnant – one day she is pinked up and the next day it seems to fade, only to return the following day.  We shall see.  It is Katie that I would have intended mating Donny to eventually, but I wasn’t expecting him to be so young at the time – most Asian boys don’t start working until they are over a year old!

Gracie will also hopefully be having kittens in the not-to-distant future, since she is currently at Rosemary Caunter’s (Thickthorn Ocicats), to hopefully mate with her cinnamon boy, Curry, as you may remember was suggested by Stacie (Ameeka Ocicats and Abyssinians), at the Ocicat AGM.

We didn’t intend to have all the matings bunched up like this – the plan was that Fi would have had kittens in January (remember, she originally went in with Shogun in October), Grace and Dàrna would always have been due for mating around now, and then we’d have kept Katie back until later in the summer, because she’s not such a prolific caller, and can therefore wait longer between matings than Dàrna can.  Instead Fi is just having hers as Dàrna and Grace go in with studs, and Katie might already be half-way through a pregnancy.  I kind of hope she isn’t!!  Either way, we will just have to borrow Amanda’s mottow and “manage the situation”.

Other Catty Bits

The RACCS show is now going to be back-to-back with the Supreme, something that has never been done before, and is both a great opportunity and horrendously complicated!  The Asian BAC meeting was again interesting, and I am delighted that I was voted on – we have a new Asian probationer judge, and have also put one forward to progress to become a full judge at the June Council meeting.  Speaking of people going forward at the June Council meeting, Elisabeth is going to be on the list to be voted on as a probationer judge of Russians!

The Gala dinner was another excellent event, with lots of good ‘cat chat’, a fun quiz (which our team won again this year!) and a fundraising auction in which we managed to bag the fantastic prize of a mating with a stunning Burmese stud cat, who isn’t usually available!  The Langford’s Breeders’ Seminar was in Birmingham on the Sunday just gone, and like the last one, was an extremely beneficial day – the most interesting bits for me probably being Lesley Lyons talks on disease genetics and then later, colour genetics.  There is another one being held in June, and we are definitely planning to be at that one as well – Elisabeth and I are also attending the FAB (Feline Advisory Bureau) study day in Edinburgh in a few weeks, which is on Feline emergency medicine, and should be very interesting.

Richard is now on the committee of the Edinburgh & East – I managed to step out of the way faster this time!  I have been voted on as a full delegate to Council, for the West of Scotland, which we are both on the committee of, and for which Richard is now secretary.  That lot out of the way, I think you’re now fully up-to-date on what’s been happening in the Cagaran Household.  Hopefully the updates should be more frequent now that my EWM roll-out is completed.

The next item on our ‘agenda’ (other than Fi’s kittens, of course), is the London Pet Show, which is a fortnight from the weekend just gone.  We’re taking Donny down to represent the AGCS with Anita’s Cailin, and she’s taking both Azi (Kia’s 3/4 sister) and Chippy to represent the Ocicats.  It was such a great day last year that I’m really looking forward to it, and we’re busy harness-training Donny at the moment!

Donny's first day of 'harness-training' - he wasn't impressed
Second day of 'training' - ignoring the harness and playing instead

That’s it for tonight.  The next post should hopefully be with photos of Fi’s kittens, so keep your fingers crossed for an easy labour for her…

A New Home and Two Shows

Kia and Quinn have been spayed, and Kia has settled into her new home. Apollo also seems to have settled, being a much happier boy since the Scottish. Fi may or may not be pregnant, but Keela definitely wasn’t, and is now back with us to have another shot with Shogun. Shogun is now a Champion, and Apollo won his first Grand.

Kia and Quinn were succesfully spayed the second week in January. When I collected them, the vet receptionist warned me that Quinn had been trying to lick her stitches, and had managed to remove the collar they had given her, three times whilst still in her pen at the practice. They didn’t think the collar would even last the evening, so we were just going to have to keep an eye on her licking, ourselves. She did indeed have the collar off within a couple of hours of getting home, so I put a tiny bit of Vicks vaporub in a circle around the area of the spay. Cats don’t like the smell (it’s menthol and eucalyptus), so she stopped trying to lick it and didn’t start again even once the vaporub had evaporated.  As an aside, I was fascinated to see that her skin is pale – normally a dark-coloured cat would have dark skin, but it must be because she’s a smoke, and therefore has a pale undercoat, that hers is pink.

Donny and Quinn cuddled up on the evening after her spay
Cuddling after Quinn's spay - note the pale skin!

The two cuddled up together
Quinn and Donny cuddled up together in the bed on the windowledge, looking adorable

Both girls had their checkup ten days later, and since there were no problems, I let Sheona know that Kia would be okay to move in with them that weekend. We then had several busy days, because I am the secretary for RACCS (Russian and Abyssinian Cat Club of Scotland), whose AGM was the third weekend last month, and the AGM notification and papers had to go out 21 days in advance of the meeting.  That was a welcome distraction from thinking about having to say goodbye to our sweet little Kia.  I still haven’t started looking for a home for Quinn yet – really must get onto that, but I just keep putting it off…

Kia’s New Home

The last Sunday in January, we got all of Kia’s paperwork ready, and then put her into her basket for the journey. Normally, when you opened the door to the room that she was in, she was right behind it, ready to say hello. This time, Richard had to collect her from the far side of the room, so she definitely knew something was going on, and that set me off worrying whether we were doing the right thing.

When we got to Sheona’s, however, I opened the front of the basket, and in typical Ocicat fashion, Kia was immediately out and running around to explore her new surroundings. Richard and I sat in the livingroom with Sheona and Bruce, having a cup of tea, and after a few minutes, Kia started rubbing around their legs, but wouldn’t come near us. She would rub around them and then stand in front of them, looking at Richard and I as if to say “These people are acceptable. You can go now”. Once she was sure we got the message, she then came and gave us a quick cuddle on the couch, before going back to exploring and playing with her new toys. She absolutely loves their windowledges (which Sheona had cleared ready for Kia’s arrival!), because the flat is on the 4th floor, with views down the River Kelvin, and plenty of birds to chirp at. Even better, they all have radiators immediatley below them to keep her warm!

Kia in Sheona's shopping bag
Kia in Sheona's shopping bag - "Don't go out, Mummy, I want to play!"

When we headed for the door, Kia took herself off into the bedroom and sat under the bed. It took us a few minutes to persuade her that she really was giong to be allowed to stay there, and then she came out to say a quick goodbye before going off to sit on one of the windowledges again. In some ways that actually made it easier, because she was so obviously perfectly content to move into a new environment.  We’ve since had updates from Sheona, and even a video of Kia exploring, and she has settled in beautifully, which if we were honest we always knew she would.  I think we just didn’t want to admit that she’d be fine without us!

Scottish Cat Club Show

The first weekend last month saw us going to the Scottish Cat Club show in Larkhall, just a bit south of Glasgow.  This is one of the more local shows for us, so we went along to help set up on the Friday, and were allowed to set up our own pens at the same time.  That meant that when we got there on the show morning, we only had to put down food and pop the cats in their pens.  This was just as well, given that we were running very late due to having had to give Apollo a bath in the morning.

When I went to get him, he’d obviously been having a mud bath overnight, so our lovely apricot silver was now a grey!  We got him cleaned up and had to put him straight into his basket without time to dry him off.  We stuck him next to the space heater in the car, in the hope that the hot air would dry him out, but by the time we got to vetting-in, he was still very soggy, and kind of squelched onto the vet’s table.  Given that this was the first time Steve was going to have seen him since we brought him home, this wasn’t the best possible start to the morning!  As it happens, once Apollo was in his pen, I managed to get him dried off with a spare blanket, and then we went over his coat with a slicker brush, so by the time the judges saw him you would never have known!

Apollo looking gorgeous
Gorgeous Apollo sitting in his pen with his Grand rosette

We also took Shogun, Annas, Ali and little Donny.  Lona was there with both Lainni and Tabh, so this was the first show where there have been three Cagarans in competition, which was rather nice!  It was particularly lovely to see Tabh again – we haven’t seen him since the last time he was out on the bench, at this show last year, when he left us to go home with Lona!  Lainni didn’t place in the Grand, but did well in her side classes, and Tabh won his first PC, making him the fourth Cagaran to win a certificate.

Lainni in her pen at the Scottish
Lainni looking pretty in her pen

Tabh in his pen at the Scottish
Tabh peering peering at the camera

Annas won the Reserve Olympian, Ali got the Reserve Grand and came second in the last ever Scottish Royal Canin final (winning £20, which covered his entry fee!), Apollo won his first Grand, and Shogun won his third and qualifying CC, so he is now a Champion!

Shogun peering out from behind his rosettes
Shogun looking adorable

Ali looking adorable
Ali paddle-pawing on his vetbed

Donny with his rosettes
Donny with his rosettes

Annas in amongst her rosettes
Annas in amongst her rosetttes

Donny is still just a kitten, so wasn’t up for any certificates, but he did well in his sides, and the judges liked his type, so that was the main thing.


Ever since we got Apollo at first, he had been uptight and nervy, refusing to settle.  We thought we would try him at the Scottish, since it isn’t too far to travel, and see how he coped before entering anything else with him.  However, the show saw him have a complete personality transplant, and he rolled around in his pen rubbing his head on anyone who stuck their hands in, and generally being adorable, so there’s no issue there.  Even better, he has continued the transformation since we got back, and has been utterly adorable ever since.  When we go out to his pen now, he comes out of his house and will rub against us and purr loudly, and gets so soppy that he virtually falls over in his efforts to get you to stroke him all over.  We couldn’t be more delighted with the change, as we now have the sweet boy that we were expecting, though he still ‘talks’ with a loud Essex accent, lol!

Apollo looking cute
Apollo rolling around demonstrating his new, sweeter temperament

Coventry & Leicester Show

A fortnight after the Scottish, we took the Friday afternoon off work, and drove down to stay with our friends, Tracy and Gary, collecting Elisabeth on the way.  Tracy and Gary seem to put us up every few months, with assorted cats in tow, and are always gracious and good-natured, regardless of our odd departure times, and habit of arriving later than we thought.  We are so lucky that they put up with us!

We were a couple of hours down the motorway when we realised that my handbag had been left at home.  The main issue was that it contained the vaccination cards for not only our cats, but also for Keela, because we had forgotten to leave hers with Anita when we returned Keela in January.  Thankfully, the GCCF has a rule that if you forget your vaccination card, you can send it in to the GCCF office within 7 days, so we had a debate about whether to turn around and go back, or carry on and just fill in the paperwork to send the cards in.  I phoned Anita and asked if she would be okay with us doing the latter, and she said that was fine, as long as I was sure about the rule.

Poor Katie has had an eye infection for several weeks, starting around the time of the Notts & Derbys.  You may remember that we didn’t take her to that show, because she was pulling funny faces on the show morning?  It seems those silly faces were the beginning of this infection, for which we’ve been giving her eye drops ever since.  It is improving, but the progress has been very slow.  Since she’s supposed to get her drops every hour or two during the day, we couldn’t leave her at home whilst we went down to the show, so she came too.  I sat in the back seat, and took her out of her basket every hour to put her drops in.  We had to pull into a services at one point, because the bottle had fallen on the floor and rolled away under the seats – perhaps Katie pushed it off deliberately!

We got to Tracy and Gary’s a bit later than planned, but still in time to have a nice dinner with them, and a bit of a catch-up.  Just after we had gone to bed, I heard a strange noise, and turned the light on to discover that Katie, whose stomach has been rather upset by her medication, had had a ‘little accident’ on the blanket over the top of the bed, and Donny was busy getting it all over his feet trying to clean it up.  Thankfully it hadn’t gone through the blanket to the duvet underneath, so Richard got a bin-bag (we always carry some when travelling) and stuck the blanket in that, outside the front door (!), whilst I took Donny into the bathroom and got him cleaned up.  We washed the blanket when we got home, and will post it back down to Tracy and Gary, because it didn’t seem fair to have them clean that up as well as looking after us!  Oh the joys of travelling with animals.  Actually, that’s not fair, because we’ve never had a problem before – there’s a first time for everything, I suppose.

Anyway, we got up and away on Saturday morning basically on schedule, and the journey took us less than an hour, putting us at the hall just after 8am.  This is the show’s first year in a new venue, which wasn’t too far from the motorway and had excellent parking.  Sue Moreland was the duty vet, and she is always easy to deal with, so we got the vetting-in paperwork completed without problem.  Whilst I finished penning the cats, Richard went off to buy a slicker-brush and grooming glove, because those were in the handbag that had been left in Scotland.  We had taken Annas, Dàrna and Donny, and all three looked lovely – especially Annas, whose coat showed up beautifully under the lighting in the new venue.

Annas looking very black
Annas looking very black

Donny sprawled in his pen
Donny sprawled in his pen

After penning the cats and getting them ready, Richard and I went off to get breakfast in the cafe, whose food was excellent and reasonably priced.  Richard then went back to check on the cats, whilst I went to find the judges room and mark up my steward’s card.  The show had received record entries, and three of the judges had been so popular that their original ‘books’ (list of cats to judge) had been just under 140 cats each!  To put that into context, the recommended maximum number is 70, and 50 is considered a fairly heavy book.  My judge, Elaine Culf, was one of the popular ones, but thankfully the show managers had managed to bring in some other judges, and move some of Elaine’s less critical classes over to them.  Elaine only judges in the Semi-Longhair section at the moment, and we had some stunning Maine Coons and Birmans, in particular, and an absolutely gorgeous Siberian, who was her pick for Best Semi-Longhair kitten.

At one point, I collected a beautiful cream Birman neuter female from her pen, and when I realised that it was Mylward Sassafras (there are not many 12-year-old cream Birmans being shown, let alone ones that gorgeous), I knew that Annas wasn’t going to have got the Olympian, particularly given that the equally stunning Danleigh Starburst was in the pen next to Sassafras.  Both girls have been extremely successful and are already Bronze Olympians, and Annas just isn’t quite up to their standard, beautiful as she is.  Sure enough, Sassafras and Starburst had been awarded the female neuter Olympian and Reserve, but not placing in a class of eight fantastic exhibits is no great failing.  I’ve never seen such big classes at the top levels as were there yesterday – it is lovely to see a class of 14 in an Olympian and ten in an Imperial.  That’s proper competition!  Dàrna was in the 10-in-the-Imperial class, and also didn’t place, but again I can’t get upset about her loosing out against such competition.

Gorgeous Dàrna looking funny, as usual
Gorgeous Dàrna pulling a daft face, as she likes to do in photos!

Donny won his kitten class and Best of Breed, and also did very well in his side classes – probably his best result being 2nd in the Foreign 50th Birthday class, which was huge, and against adults and neuters as well as kittens.  The winner in that class was a beautiful Mau, and the judge said that Donny only lost out on maturity!  I spoke to a couple of the judges after the show, and they were saying how lovely his head is, and how much he’s come on since they saw him at the AGCS!  It’s lovely to get such good feedback for one of our own-bred kittens.

Catty Meetings

A week past yesterday, I had a day-trip to Newcastle for a work meeting with the northern account manager for PRS.  I managed to pop briefly into the office at the very end of the working day, but had to leave sharp because we had the West of Scotland committee meeting in Glasgow that evening.  This was the post-show meeting, so there was plenty to discuss, and by the end of the evening I was very much ready for my bed.

We are back into ‘AGM Season’, so Saturday saw us driving down to Anita’s, to stay overnight before the Ocicat AGM on Sunday.  It was great to see little Cailin again, though she was a bit wary with us – probably because the last time we visited Anita’s we were dropping Keela off, and she was rather unpleasant to Cailin afterwards.  We had a lovely meal with Anita and Rob, and plenty of cat-chat, then a nice easy start the next morning with just a 40-minute drive to the AGM.

As always, that was an enjoyable event, with a meal beforehand and tea and cake afterwards.  We had taken Katie with us again, because she’s still on the eye-drops, and thought we might as well take Grace as her travelling companion, rather than Dàrna, as we normally would.  That meant that I was able to take Grace in after the meeting, and let the experienced Oci breeders give me their thoughts on her.  Rosemary thinks that she has the potential to give us some really good type kittens, and Stacie has suggested that we take her to Curry, who is Rosemary’s cinnamon Ocicat stud.  He carries classic, so that would suit us perfectly, since it would have the potential to produce both Ocis and Classics, as well as the almost inevitable variants.  We will probably take her down to Rosemary in a couple of months.

Pregnancy Update

Fi was finally mated the last weekend in January, and having seen a mating, we now know that one of the issues (aside from her being a pain and rolling onto her back!) is that she is very long in the body, whereas he is quite compact, so he actually finds it quite difficult to mate her!

A week ago, she was very slightly pinked up, which can either mean a pregnancy, or that they are coming back into season.  Obviously, we were hoping for the former, but when I got up last Saturday morning, Fi was rolling around on the floor, standing in the classic calling pose, and even making little calling noises.  This was the first time she’s actually come properly into call like that, so I scooped her up and took her straight up the stairs to Shogun, who could hardly believe that I had finally brought him a girl who was both in season and happy to be mated – he kept sniffing at her and then looking at me in astonishment.  After a few minutes, however, he got over his shock and proceeded to mate her four times inside half-an-hour.  We then had to leave to go to the Oci AGM, but when we got back on Sunday, I popped her in with him for another ten minutes or so, and saw another two matings.  Hopefully that will be enough to finally result in a pregnancy.

Keela unfortunately decided that she didn’t want to be pregnant after all (exactly what her mum did the first time), so we brought her back from the Coventry & Leicester show to try again with Shogun.  She seemed to have forgotten who he is, and spent the first few days growling and hissing at him from the corner of the kitten pen, which we put her in until she settled a bit.  He wasn’t quite sure what to make of having his loving little companion (Fi) taken out of the room and her being replaced with a screaming demon, bless him!  She has now calmed down, though, and seems fine with him, so when she next comes into season we’ll be hoping that he can successfully mate her as well.

By the time Keela goes back to Anita, we will know for sure whether or not Fi is pregnant, and if she’s not, we might stick Katie in with Shogun instead, since she is also much shorter in the body, and therefore easier for him.  She had beautiful kittens by him last year, and we haven’t yet kept anything from her, so that would also be fine.  Fi could then go in with Apollo, who is getting a bit desperate for a girl, but I don’t want to put anyone with him until I know for sure what’s happening with Shogun.  The complexities of cat-breeding!

Kitten Visit

The past couple of days have been rather busy for me at work, starting with a 4:30am rise yesterday, to drive to Liverpool for a 10:30am meeting with Sound & Secure, who are one of our installation partners.  After that, I scooted across for an update meeting with Wren Kitchens in Howden, and a first visit with the Relish Bar and Grill in Doncaster.  Since I wasn’t very far from Barnsley at the end of the day, I had contacted June, who owns Rafa (one of the kittens from Katie’s first litter – originally known as Soolay), to ask if I could pop in and say hello – something that she has always said we are welcome to do.

Rafa in his favourite seat - June's!
Rafa in his favourite seat - June's!

She suggested that not only should I come to say hello, but that I should stop with them for dinner, and then stay the night!  I was bowled over by such a generous offer, and feel very lucky that we found such fantastic owners for Rafa.  I was treated to some proper Yorkshire hospitality, with a delicious stew for dinner, copious quantities of tea, and hours of cat-chat.  Rafa has grown into a really handsome boy, with the most spectacular ruff and incredibly rich colouration considering that Katie is a ‘high silver’ (i.e. bright silver with no rusty tones).

Rafa showing off his fantastic ruff and incredible colour
Rafa showing off his fantastic ruff and rich colour

He also has the most adorable temperament – if he is lying in a seat that June wants to sit in, she just picks him up, and moves him to another seat, and he just lies there in whatever position she puts him down!  She was telling me that he is working through all of the ‘non-cat’ people that they know, converting them one-by-one to how wonderful cats can be – what a fantastic ambassador for the feline population in general, and Tiffanies in particular.  He and his companion, Riley, are obviously doted-on, and have everyone wrapped around their little paws.

Rafa lying in the position in which June put him down
Rafa lying in the position in which June put him down

This morning I had a meeting in Newcastle, with a new manager for another of our clients, Blue Inc.  On the way back up the A1, I passed within a couple of hundred yards of Sophie’s owners, and knowing that their cats are often visible through the glass door, I couldn’t resist popping off to see if I could see her.  Sure enough, when I arrived at their house, I could see her sitting in one of the windows, and when I went around to the door, she came into the hallway to look at me through the door.

Sophie looking out of the window
Sophie sitting in the window looking at me

Sophie looking at me through the glass door
Sophie looking at me through the glass door

She has also grown into a beautiful cat, and although Fi definitely has the better head of the two, Sophie has the most amazing tail.  Last time I called in like that, I ended up with her moggy housemate climbing all over the inside of my car, but I didn’t see him this time.  Sophie and William, their other Tiffanie, talked to me through the door for a while, and then I headed home to get ready for the Lancs show tomorrow, and the Asian BAC meeting on Sunday.

Sophie and William looking out through the glass door
Sophie and William looking out through the glass door

I swear once you start, the world of cat showing and breeding takes over your life!

Montrose Visit

A weekend visit to my sister, Kirsty, in Montrose; another AGM and returning home to the cats

I have my birthday this week, and Kirsty (my sister) has hers next weekend, so we decided that it would be good to get together for a meal out.  Since Richard and I still hadn’t visited Kirsty’s ‘new’ house in Montrose, which she moved into last summer, we thought it was about time we did so.  We have the Lakeland show on Saturday, and Kirsty is away on holiday the following weekend, so the weekend just gone seemed the best bet.

Kirsty and I thought it might be nice to have Calum (our brother) join us for the weekend, and never one to pass up a free meal, he accepted the invitation.  Richard and I didn’t want to leave Katie for more than one night, so close to her due date, so we said that we would drive up on the Saturday morning.  In order to ensure that we could get an early start, Calum stayed with us on Friday night, although he did go home to Mum’s for his tea first!

We got up pretty sharp on Saturday, although it was almost 9am by the time we had segregated the cats into various groups according to what food they were to be left with.  Breckin, Tármus and Ali are all on ‘light’ food, so they were grouped together, and shut in the Livingroom and Study to give Tármus and Ali access to the run.  We left Dàrna shut in with Katie in the kitten room, which meant they could both have plenty of ‘Queen mix’.  Xaria, Annas and Jinny were shut in my room with a mixture of Senior and normal ‘Neuter mix’; not that Xaria and Annas need Senior food, but they get on well with Jinny, so seemed like good company for her.  Call, Kia and the Devons were all shut in the Hallway and Stairwell, with ordinary ‘Neuter mix’; it would have been good to leave Kia with something higher in energy, but we don’t want the others gaining weight, and she’s much to hyperactive to be shut in the kitten room for two days.  That only left Monty, who is limited to Royal Canin Sensible due to his jippy tummy.  After a bit of a debate, we decided that the only option was to shut him in the front hall by himself: not ideal, but we couldn’t come up with anything better.

Saturday was spent doing Kirsty’s garden, interspersed with lunch at a local farm-cafe and a walk to the beach, and the followed by an evening meal at the local Indian, which was very good.  Sunday we had a leisurely start and then headed down to Brechin Castle country park, where we had lunch and wandered around the farm: they have three litters of piglets at the moment, which are extremely cute!

Kirsty and Calum on a tractor
Kirsty and Calum 'playing tractors'

Kirsty had an early meeting in Stirling today, so she was travelling down to stay at Mum and Dad’s last night.  That meant we were able to dispatch Calum home with Kirsty, while we stopped off in Dundee to attend the Nor’East of Scotland AGM and subsequent ‘High Tea’.  The AGM was interesting, with quite a lot of constructive discussion, and it was good to get to know some of the other club members at the meal afterwards.

By the time we got home, it was certainly mid evening, and I was anxious to see how Katie would have got on.  As you might expect, she was absolutely fine, although pleased to see us, and I think quite pleased to have a break from Dàrna!  I wasn’t sure it was even possible, but Katie has obviously grown further just in the 36 hours we’ve been away, and is now actually finding it difficult to reach around herself to clean properly.  I’m hoping Dàrna will step in to help, because Katie would prefer that to having me clean her with a cloth, but I might have to do so later in the week.

Fingers crossed for a nice peaceful week, followed by a good show on Saturday and an uncomplicated labour on Sunday or Monday of next week!