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.

Apollo

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!

West of Scotland Show & Another Win for Cailin

We had a fantastic day at the West of Scotland, bringing home a new Intermediate Champion, a Reserve Imperial, an Imperial, an Olympian certificate and four Best of Breed/Best in Colour awards, as well as having won Best Foreign Adult and Best in Show Non-Pedigree. Shogun also picked up a CC and Best of Breed, Foghorn/Rilla won Best Pedigree Pet Kitten, and Lainni won the first Cagaran Grand certificate! To top off the weekend, Anita got in touch to tell us that Cailin had won Best in Show New Breed at a FIFé show.

Last weekend was a good weekend for the Cagaran Cats.  Saturday was the silver anniversary (25th) show of the West of Scotland Cat Club, of which both Richard and I are on the committee.  We took Friday afternoon off work to help set up the show hall, and had been shopping earlier in the week to get some silver clothing to dress up for the silver theme.  We always like to support the Scottish shows by entering as many cats as we can afford, but since this was a special show (and therefore more expensive to run), we agreed to enter even more than we usually would!  A couple of our previous kittens were also there with their new owners, making a total of three Cagarans in the main Pedigree section and one in the Household Pets.  Unfortunately the lighting in the hall was very yellow, so most of my photos either didn’t come out or came out a horrible yellow colour!

Donny and Quinn were there, in the kitten classes, and completely took it in their stride.  Quinn was a little unsure to begin with, but very sweet about it, and Donny was just fantastic, rolling around on his back to get his tummy stroked, and snuggling his face into your hand when you reached into the pen.  Both won first in their Open class, and he took Best of Breed over his sister.

Donny behaving just like his Mummy!
Donny behaving just like his Mummy - almost impossible to get a decent photo...

Quinn posing beautifully
..while his sister poses beautifully!

Shogun’s owner (Sarah Davidson, Karakoram Burmese & Asians) and his breeders (Kagura Asians & Burmese) had all agreed that we could try him out at a couple of shows, so we took him along to the West.  Since he is four, and hasn’t been shown since he was a tiny kitten, we weren’t sure how he would take to it, but he was an absolute star.  He was a little bit wide-eyed initially, but once he’d been stroked for a few minutes, he settled down and sat in his pen looking regal, with an expression that said “Yes, I am a God, and you may worship me”.  He looked very handsome, and won his CC and Best of Breed!

Annas was up for her second Olympian certificate, looked gorgeous.  As always, she was beautifully behaved and was awarded the certificate in a competitive class.

Annas with her huge Olympian rosette
Annas with her huge Olympian rosette

Since Kia had picked up Intermediate certificates at both Yorkshire and the Ulster, we decided to take her along for her third, and qualifying certificate.  This she won, along with Best of Breed and lots of praise from the judges for both her lovely head and her temperament.

Kia’s daughter, Foghorn, is now called Rilla, and her owners brought her along for a shot in the Pedigree Pet section, like we did with Grace over in Ireland.  When the judge first visited her pen, she tried to dive onto the floor as soon as the door was opened, and then got a bit of a fright being bundled back in.  Thankfully, the judge visited her again later in the day, once she had calmed down again, and she not only won her first and Best of Colour, but went on to be awarded Best Pedigree Pet Kitten, so her owners were delighted!

Rilla sitting in her litter tray
Rilla looking obstinate and sitting in her litter tray - you can just see the edge of her Best of Variety card on the top of her pen

Lona brought Lainni along to try for her first Grand certificate, which she won.  This is the first Grand certificate for our prefix.  Much to Lona’s delight, Lainni then went on to best Annas for Best of Breed – not bad for a kitten of our prefix to be beating a UK & Imperial Grand!!

Like her babies, Dàrna also had a good day, winning Best of Breed and the Reserve Imperial.  I was working on the table at the show, managing the Best of Variety and Best in Show paperwork.  The first stage of this is taking all the Best of Breed results and transcribing them onto the sheets for the Best of Variety Adult, Kitten and Neuter judges, so I knew which of our cats had been awarded Best of Breed.  I then received those sheets back in, and had to copy the winners of each of those onto a new set of sheets for the Overall Best of Variety judges.  As I filled in the Best Foreign Adult result, I copied over pen: “161”, gender: “F”, date of birth: “26/02/09” and then started to write breed number “68 43hsq”, but only got half way through writing it before registering that Dàrna was the only Tiffanie of her colour in the show, and that she had therefore gone Best Foreign Adult!  This was her first win at that level, and although surprised due to the quality of the cats she had beaten, we were obviously delighted.

Dàrna being a total pain to photograph as usual
Dàrna being a total pain to photograph, as usual

Once again, though, our star of the show was Jinny, who won the Imperial certificate, Best of Colour and first in all of her side classes, and then went on to win Best in Show Non-Pedigree again!  She always looks so gorgeous up there in the top pen, and takes the whole thing in such a laid back manner that it is almost impossible to believe how terrified she was of everything when we got her.  The thought of the progress she has made can still bring tears to my eyes.  We came away with a trophy and a lovely stack of catty prizes including food, a bed and a covered litter tray, which is always useful!

Jinny looking lovely in her BIS Pen
Jinny looking lovely in her BIS pen - we were allowed to use the camera flash for this one, so the disgusting yellow is banished!

The following day, I received a text from Anita giving me the wonderful news that Cailin had once again gone Best in Show New Breed at a FIFé show.  The judge this time was from Switzerland, and was apparently so delighted with her that he had her out for about 15 minutes (they’re only supposed to take two or three minutes) and kept taking photographs to show the other judges back on the continent.  Anita had her new Ocicat stud boy, Chippy, at the show as well, and Anita said that Cailin was fantastic at calming his nerves.  Aside from being delighted for Anita, I’m also really pleased that little Cailin is proving such a brilliant ambassador for the Tiffanie breed in FIFé, where they are not currently recognised.  Congratulations Anita, and long may she continue doing so!

Cailin with Chippy in their Christmas-themed decorated pen
Cailin with Chippy in their Christmas-themed decorated pen

Cailin being held up by the judge
Cailin being held up by the judge

Cailin being judged on the table
Cailin being judged on the table

Cailin waiting in her Best in Show nominees pen to hear the results
Cailin waiting to hear the Best in Show results in her nominee's pen

Cailin being announced as the overall winner
Cailin being announced as the overall Best New Breed winner

Kitten Update: 14 Weeks, 13 Weeks and 7 Weeks

The kittens have continued to do well, and are all looking lovely. Cannach and Foghorn have gone to their new homes, Cailin has a new home to go to, but Maltech now needs a different home. Our cats had a good day at the Ocicat and RBBA shows, and I have enjoyed stewarding at both the North West and the Cumberland, though we didn’t have any cats of our own entered.

Once again, it’s been over three weeks since my last update, because things are still very busy in the ‘Cagaran Household’.  We’ve both been caught up at work, and had a family funeral to attend down in Devon, then on top of that, we’ve attended three/four shows, so there hasn’t been much spare time!

Kittens

Katie’s kittens were vaccinated a couple of days after I last posted, and Cannach was neutered the week after that, then went to his new home a few days later.  He seems to have settled in nicely, and is getting on with the older Asian neuters that his family own, as well as cuddling up with the family themselves.

The two litters together
All five kittens cuddling up before Cannach went off to his new home

His sister is not going to be going where we thought she was, because her intended owner visited another breeder and fell in love with one particular kitten there.  Sometimes a kitten chooses their owner, rather than the other way around, and that can make for a really strong bond, so I advised Pippa to pay attention to that.

I had shown photos of the kittens to my friend Anita (who has Keela, from Dàrna’s first litter), and when I mentioned that I was going to have to look for a new home for the girl, Anita asked if she could have her.  I wasn’t expecting Anita to want her, so was a bit taken aback, but absolutely delighted.  They weren’t keen on the pedigree name, and the registration documents were just being sent off, so I gave Anita the choice, and the girl is actually going to be Cagaran Cailin-Anizz, Anizz being Anita’s prefix.  Cailin is gaelic for ‘Damsel’, but is a pretty name in its own right, and is going to be her pet name as well.  Cailin has come on an absolute treat, and is so promising that I am starting to wish that we were keeping her ourselves!

Cailin showing her beautiful 'Burmese scowl'
Cailin showing her beautiful 'Burmese scowl'

Cailin having just woken up
Cailin looking sleepy having just been woken up

Kia’s kittens had their second vaccinations last week, and were thirteen weeks old yesterday.  We dropped Foghorn off at her new home, and as always, it was lovely to watch her exploring her new room, and then playing with her new family.  She will be sleeping in their spare bedroom to begin with, and the ‘kids’ (a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old) are going to take it in turns to sleep with her.  Her new family wanted to understand everything that we do with the kittens, including clipping of claws, and microchipping, which are both things that we normally do where nobody else is watching.  I was quite nervous doing them with an audience for the first time, but little Foghorn was beautifully behaved and didn’t even squeak when the needle went through her skin!

Foghorn looking lovely
Foghorn looking beautiful but very Abyssinian!
The three Ocis in a bed
The three Ocis: Maltech (left), Foghorn (front), and Grace (right)

Maltech’s intended owner has unfortunately lost her job, and as a result she cannot take on the responsibility and cost of looking after another cat.  I have therefore started the process of looking for an alternative home for him.  I will be having him neutered this week, and it’s not a moment too soon, because he’s already getting interested in Katie and Fiona!  He and Grace are the most adorable pair of rascals, tearing around the room with Fi and then rushing up to rub against you and purr.

Maltech
Maltech looking like he is up to something

Dàrna’s kittens are developing beautifully, and I am delighted to say that both are now looking distinctly smokey!  They are little monkeys at the moment, rushing about and getting into all sorts of mischief, just as their Burmese ancestors are famous for.  Whenever you walk into the kitten room, they come running over and climb onto your feet, clinging to your ankles.  Richard calls them the ‘foot gremlins’, as a result.  My parents looked after the kittens for us while we were down in Devon for the funeral, and I couldn’t help but laugh listening to my Dad trying to deal with being rushed by the babies!  We took an absolute stack of photos yesterday, so I couldn’t resist sharing a selection here:

Both kittens together
Both kittens together - I love the girl's look of grudging tolerance!
The girl from the side
This shows off the girl's lovely little nose and beautiful break
The girl looking cute
The tortie markings are more obvious on her right side than her left
Dàrna cleaning her daughter
Dàrna cleans her daughter - this reminds me of the scene in Disney's'The Lion King', when Simba says "Mom, you're messing up my mane"
The boy chewing his paw
The boy looking utterly adorable, chewing on his own paw

The boy lying on his back looking cute
The boy lying on his back looking cute - he had just finished attempting to bite Richard's fingers and catch the camera lens in his paws

The boy showing his stunning profile
Profile shot of the boy showing his gorgeous break, short nose and rounded head
The boy looking gorgeous
The boy looking gorgeous

Shows

The weekend after my last update, we took Elisabeth down to the North West show, which we couldn’t actually enter ourselves because we wanted to support the Ocicat show the following weekend.  Instead, I was given a stewarding engagement with a Dutch judge, who was my first experience of working with a foreign judge, and was an excellent test of my awareness of the system etc.

The following weekend was both the Ocicat and the RBBA (Russian Blue) shows, and the two were in venues about an hour apart.  Elisabeth borrowed Karen Hettman’s two boys again, and we dropped her off at the RBBA with them and Xazzle, so she had three cats of her breeding, but none of them actually owned by her!  Zach was the star of the day, winning the Imperial (on his first try), and also Best Male Neuter.

We couldn’t take Kia to the Oci show, because her kittens were born too recently (they must have been born at least 12 weeks previously), so we could only take our neuters along to support the club.  Breckin won her first Grand certificate, and Tármus had her first time out in the Pedigree Pet section, winning her first Master Cat certificate and Best of Colour, bless her!  As always, she loved the attention and I was reminded of how enjoyable she is to show.

Breckin with her rosettes
Breckin with her rosettes

Tarmus taking a quick break from eating!
Tármus looking thoughtful

Last weekend was the Cumberland show, and again we couldn’t enter our own cats because of having shown the previous week.  Instead, I was stewarding for Ann Gregory, and we were obviously giving Elisabeth a lift with her cats.  Ann is the only all-breed judge in the GCCF, and very well respected, so I was a bit nervous in case I made any mistakes.  The day went well, however, and I thoroughly enjoyed myself.  Our pick of the day was a most beautiful blue Burmese who had Ann and I in raptures for several minutes.  That girl went on to win Overall Best Burmese, so we obviously weren’t the only ones who thought she was stunning.  Our friends, the Miskellys (Glendavan Abyssinians and Ragdolls), who own the sire of Kia’s kittens, also had a fantastic day, with the beautiful Coen (Glendavan Roderick-Jaynes) winning overall Best in Show!

Dàrna with her daughter and Cailin
Dàrna with her daughter and Cailin

Kitten Updates and Rexfest Show

The kittens continue to do well, with the older ones now litter-trained and starting to eat solids, and the younger ones becoming more active by the day. We had a great day out at the Rexfest Show on Saturday, winning both Best Non-Pedigree and Best Pedigree Pet, and therefore obviously Overall Best Household Pet as well. Keela also did well at a show down south, winning her CC, BOB and having a red card day!

It’s been a busy few days since my last post, but everyone is doing well.  No decent photos today, I’m afraid, because I haven’t had time to take any using the ‘proper’ camera, so I’ve only got the ones I’ve taken on my phone…

Kittens

Katie with her sleepy kittens
Katie with her sleepy kittens

Katie’s kittens are five weeks this evening, and are now much more active and responsive. They are now using their litter trays, so have been given the run of the whole kitten room, and the girl comes rushing out to greet you when you walk into the room. The boy is still a lot quieter, but will come out and put his little paws on your foot if you stand beside his pen.

Katie

Both kittens are starting to take (very mushy) ‘solid’ food, but the boy is particularly interested in it, slurping away at the dish when it is put down. The girl will take some, but she is still going to be a while yet before she’s convinced of the idea!  The boy looks to have the better head at the moment, because the girl seems to have slightly small eyes, unfortunately.

Katie's kittens cuddling up
Katie's kittens cuddling

Kia's boy
Kia's boy looking impish

Kia’s kittens were three weeks at the weekend, and are still gaining weight at an impressive rate. The boy is only a few grams behind Katie’s son, and even the smallest girl isn’t more than 100g behind Katie’s daughter. They are already starting to examine their mum’s food, and will lick at wet food, so I think they’re going to be quite quick to wean. They are also incredibly steady on their feet, given their age, and are able to play pouncing games that I wouldn’t expect for at least another week or so.

Kia's first girl
Kia's first girl

Kia's second girl
Kia's second girl

Naomi Johnson (Vervain Burmese, Asians and Ocicats) was staying up here over the weekend, having judged at the Rexfest on Saturday. She called in today on her way home, to visit the kittens. She agrees that Katie’s daughter is a chocolate silver shaded (full expression), and thinks that both kittens are probably Tiffanies!  We did have a look at the Oci babies, but they’re changing so much at the moment that it’s difficult to say anything much about which is better.  At the moment the boy looks the best because his muzzle is stronger, but a few days ago, the girls had much better muzzles than he does, so who knows?!

Rexfest Show

Richard was working on Saturday, so I went to the Rexfest show myself, for the first time.  We obviously don’t have any Rexes now, but it’s a great show with a completely unique atmosphere, so we decided to enter Ali and Jinny again.  Elisabeth Stark (Dushenka Russian Blues) is training to be a pedigree judge, so had been asked if she would like to be one of the Household Pet judges (anyone can judge HPs).  When I heard that, I couldn’t resist winding her up by entering Xaria as a Pedigree Pet.  The hardest thing was remembering not to mention that we were entering, but thankfully I managed, because Elisabeth had absolutely no idea that any of our cats were going, let alone Xaria!

Ali rubbing against his pen door
Ali 'paddle-pawing' and rubbing his head on his pen door - he is so cheery at shows!

Jinny disappearing behind her rosettes
Jinny in her Best in Show Pen, disappearing behind her awards - she was curled up, virtually oblivious to all the attention

All three did well, Ali and Jinny winning their Grand certificatess and Best of Colour awards, and Xaria winning the Master Cat certificate and her Best of Colour as well!  That was Jinny’s third Grand, so she is now officially Grand Master Cat Jinny, and topped off the day by going Best Non-Pedigree again.  Xaria also went for the big one, taking Best Pedigree Pet, and then going one better and beating Jinny for Overall Best Household Pet (not chosen by Elisabeth, I hasten to add!).  Elisabeth didn’t know whether to laugh or cry at seeing her first-bred Imperial-titled cat winning the Household Pet section, and said that she wasn’t sure whether to tell anyone.  After I had pointed out that it is an indication of excellent temperament, however, she felt better, and decided that she would tell people about it after all!

Xaria in her BIS pen
Xaria in her BIS pen with her rosettes - lilac is Xaria's favourite colour, too

Other News

We weren’t the only ones showing on Saturday – Anita was out at the Eastern Counties with Keela, who won her first CC and Best of Breed, and then went on to have a red card day, winning first place in all of her side classes.  She is the third Cagaran Tiffanie to win a certificate, which is rather exciting.  Anita texted me Keela’s results just after Best in Show had been decided at the Rexfest, so I was a bit overwhelmed!

Dàrna should be seven weeks pregnant at the moment, but we’re not sure.  She does look pregnant, having gained weight in the right place, but we’re not convinced that she’s actually carrying anything other than extra fluid, so it could be a false pregnancy.  If she is pregnant, the kittens should start moving in the next few days, which would obviously confirm the pregnancy.  On the other hand, if it is a false pregnancy, those often stop at about this stage, so either way we should hopefully know soon.  Watch this space…

Lakeland Show & Kittens Imminent!

Another good day at the Lakeland Show, an enjoyable couple of days, and preparing for the imminent arrival of kittens.

The Lakeland & District Cat Club had their show in Kendal on Saturday, and we took Breckin, Xaria and Ali this year.  Last year at that show, Tármus and Xaria both made up to Premier, and both that hall in particular, and Kendal in general, are lovely locations for a show, so we were hoping for an enjoyable day.  This year, Xaria was looking for her first Imperial, and Breckin and Ali for Grands (Challenge and Mastercat).

As usual, we had packed the show case a few nights beforehand, so that we didn’t have a mad rush on the morning of the show.  On Friday night, we also shut the three who were attending in the front hallway (with ‘facilities’), so that we knew we could find them in the morning.  We had offered to take Xaria’s brother, Xander, in our car again, since he seems to do better when he’s travelled next to her, and this was to be his third (and qualifying) Grand, if he behaved well enough to win it.  She was also glad to have one less basket to take, since she was also taking her stud boy, Teddy, one of her girls, Sophie (Xaria’s Grandmother), and one of her most recent litter of kittens, little Zach.

We had arranged to be at Elisabeth’s for 6am, so left the house about 5:15am, and had a good clear run through to Glasgow.  We arrived a bit before 6am, and just in time to have a cup of tea!  A good run South saw us arrive at the show hall just after 8am, which meant we were early enough to sail straight through vetting in: half an hour later, and there was a sizeable queue.

Breckin was a bit unsure to start with, because this is the first show we’ve had her at where we’ve not had Kia, Monty or one of the Tiffs to pop in the pen with her for the first half hour to help her settle.  Margaret Rodger did say to me later, though, that she was absolutely fine when she was being judged (and that she’s gorgeous!), which is good to know!  Ali was penned next to the gorgeous Agacat, owned by Steven & Stuart (Esanes Bengals, Pixiebobs & Maine Coons), who had taken Best Household Pet at the Nor’East a few weeks ago.  We fully expected Aga to win, but losing is never a problem when you’re been beaten by something as gorgeous as him.  As it happens, we were both beaten for the Grand Mastercat certificate by a ginger that we don’t know.  Personally, I still think Aga should have got it!

The Sports Centre where the show takes place has a nice cafe upstairs, but it isn’t big enough to cope with the influx of exhibitors when the show ‘chucks out’, so we got up there just before 10am, to ensure we got seats (and bacon & sausage rolls!).  We had managed to secure one of the window seats, which meant that I could watch Xander being judged (and Xaria, after that).  Thankfully, Xander behaved impeccably, which meant that Elisabeth was able to come down from her panic station and actually enjoy the rest of the day!  Xaria behaved beautifully, as always.

We then took advantage of our seats to mark up show catalogues, and also have another round of tea/coffee.  By the time we finally went back down into the hall, Xander and Xaria’s results were up, and we were delighted to see that both had won their certificates.  In fact, I checked Xander’s result first, and was so excited to see that he had won his Grand, that I forgot to check if Xazzle had won her Imperial!  Elisabeth had been sidetracked by another of our friends, whose two Abyssinian boys had ‘done the double’ again, winning both the Imperial Grand Challenge and Imperial Grand Premier certificates.  That meant I got to ‘break the news’ of Xander’s result to Elisabeth, which was quite a nice job, really!  When we did look at Xaria’s result, we were delighted to see that she had also done us proud and won her first Imperial.

As already mentioned, Ali didn’t win the Grand Mastercat, nor did Breckin win her Grand.  We didn’t actually expect Breckin to get it, though, because she is still so young, and the cat that did win it was the beautiful Freya, a Tiffanie girl owned by another friend, Sue Dykes (Kashi Tibetan Terriers).  Freya is one of the most stunning examples of the breed that most people have ever seen, and is out of the stud that I had originally hoped to be able to use before we even got our first girl.  Unfortunately, he is no longer working, so we just have to be content with seeing his gorgeous offspring at shows!

Once we were allowed back in to the cats, we did the rounds, telling them how clever they had been (all of them), and then gave them lunch.  We then headed off for a leisurely walk in glorious sunshine, to find our own lunch.  We couldn’t resist heading back to the same place as last year, the Natland MillBeck Ice-Cream Parlour.  Needless to say, we all enjoyed ice-cream sundaes to finish!

When we returned to the show hall we went straight over to check the remaining results, and another of our friends came up to say that Elisabeth needed to go and check baby Zach’s pen.  When we did so, we discovered that to top off the day, Zach had taken Best Foreign Kitten!  The two Imp-winning Abys had also taken Best Foreign Neuter and Best Foreign Adult, so regardless of who took Overall Best Foreign, one of our friends had it!  In the end, it was the stunning adult, Coen (Glendavan Roderick-Jaynes), who also made up to Imperial on the day.

Sunday was another lovely sunny day, and we spent the first half getting some of the garden back under control (two weekends where we were busy on the Saturday and then it rained on the Sunday, followed by last weekend at Kirsty’s meant it was needing the work!).  The afternoon and evening were spent through at Elisabeth’s, where she was having her annual barbecue.  Another delicious meal, helped along by Lenny Pontello’s barbecuing skills, and also a chance to meet some of Elisabeth’s family, as well as catch up with Lorraine and her baby, Lina.

This evening I have been out with my family to celebrate Kirsty’s and my birthdays.  When the others decided to sing ‘Happy Birthday’, we discovered that the two names actually work quite well for joint celebrations – “Happy Birthday, Heather and Kirsty”!  How we didn’t discover that years ago at our joint parties as kids, I don’t know.

Katie is really heavily pregnant now, and has become really proud of her tummy in the past 24 hours.  She will roll onto her back to ask you to stroke it, which is something she’s never done before.

Katie's pregnant tummy

Before going out tonight, we noticed that Katie’s sides had relaxed off, which I’ve been told means that labour is starting, and she was being quite chatty today, so I think she’s going to go tonight.  Her kittens are also being really active, although I didn’t manage to record their most active period because I was too busy watching it myself!

Katie's kittens moving around inside her

We filled her birthing box with towels before going out, just in case she decided to have her babies while we were eating, but she is still wandering around the bedroom happily now.  In preparation, I’ve brought up the scales and a notepad and pen to record weights, and also a selection of nail-polishes to mark kitten toenails so that we can tell them apart.  Wish us luck!

Nor’East Show and Pregnancy Update

Our Ocicats do well at show, and the Tiffanies show some more potential signs of pregnancy.

We attended the Nor’East of Scotland show today, and had a pretty good set of results, the most significant being Breckin making up to Champion (her 3rd CC), and Kia getting her qualifying Merit (4th from a different judge – actually her 6th, I think).  Jinny got her 2nd GMC (Grand Master Cat) certificate, Monty got his 2nd PC and Xaria took the Reserve Imp and another PC (her 14th?).  Call crashed and burned (3rd in a class of 3), but we expect that when we take Call out – he was only there as the ‘free’ 5th entry (Breckin was added later, after missing out on her 2nd CC at the Essex).

Kia has started calling for the first time, which might be a further indication that the older girls are pregnant – she could have been waiting for their status to change before starting.  I have honestly never heard an animal make such a strange noise: she sounds like a cross between a bull-frog and a rumbling tummy!  The other cats all keep stopping what they’re doing and running along to peer at her whenever she starts, because they can’t figure out why she sounds so odd either!

Dàrna has started climbing onto, into or under everything in the house, as if she’s looking for something.  I’m not sure if she’s searching for a nesting site, although it would be rather early for that.  She’s never been up on the wardrobes before, and doesn’t usually go under drawers etc. but she’s been both on the top of and underneath the wardrobe and the chest of drawers in my room, and in and out of every high or low space in the house!  She also appears to be suffering from ‘morning sickness’: she looks queasy from first thing in the morning until early evening, and the only meal that she’s eating properly is her tea.