Mostly Kittens

Donny won his third Imperial at the Cumberland, we had a good holiday, and the kittens continue to do well. The older kittens are now eight weeks old, and have names, but the little one is only four weeks old, and hasn’t yet been named.

It’s been just over four weeks since my last post, but not because there’s been anything wrong.  We were away for a week’s holiday in the middle of last month, with Tracey looking after the cats, though we took Ayla and the kittens with us!  Since we got back, I’ve been caught up with arrangements for the RACCS and West of Scotland shows in December, and completing judge bookings for next year’s Scotia show.  This show management lark takes a ludicrous amount of time!  In light of that, I will post the text just now, since it is written, and will add the photos on as I have them ready, so check back!

Feeding Eiteag’s Kitten

When I left off last time, Eiteag’s kitten was in with Ayla, because her mum had rejected her, but I was having to bottle-feed her to try and get her going.  I went up a couple of times during the morning to give her another feed, but when I went up for lunch, she was latched onto Ayla, and suckling away.  I tried putting her back with her mum again, at that point, but she behaved exactly as before, curling up to prevent the kitten gaining access to her teats, and then trying to bite the kitten whenever she tried to force her way in.  I therefore gave her back to Ayla, and have continued to monitor her weight closely, because she has sometimes found it difficult to compete with the bigger kittens for milk, so I have given her a top-up feed whenever her gains haven’t been good.

Cumberland Show

We hadn’t planned on going to the Cumberland this year, because it was the day that we were meant to go on holiday.  However, at the North West, I was persuaded to put in a late entry, since Eiteag hadn’t won his qualifying Grand that day, and Donny’s judge at the Cumberland was to be the same one who had just given his mum the Imperial, so seemed worth a punt.  We pushed our holiday departure back by a day, but Richard stayed at home to get things ready, so I took the cats down the Cumberland myself.

I had an excellent day, having breakfast with Tracey after the cats were penned, and then the two of us headed off for a walk on Hadrian’s Wall, and climbed around the inside of a semi-ruined castle.  We then went for lunch in the village of Brampton, and sat around chatting until after 3pm, so that the show was almost finished by the time we got back!  When I penned the boys in the morning, they had both been in excellent moods, but the cat in the pen next to Eiteag was very growly, and he therefore shouted whenever he was taken out of his pen, just like his mum used to do.  As a result, his judge decided not to handle him, and he was left unplaced, which was rather disappointing.  Donny, on the other hand, followed his mum’s example from the previous show, and won the Imperial, in spite of having a very nice Abyssinian as competition.  Perhaps Grace (the judge) is softening towards the Asians?

Holiday

The following day, we were almost ready to go, when I decided that we couldn’t leave the kittens for Tracey to look after, and so we packed them up and took them with us.  We were going for a week on a boat on the Clyde, but long-term readers of this blog will remember that we’ve had cats and kittens away on the boat before.  In this case, we set up one of the forward toilets as a kitten pen, with a cardboard blockade across the door, and their heat mat, bed and litter tray on the floor.  Ayla’s litter tray was in the shower, which she had to jump up to get into, so that kept the two trays separate, and her food and water was up on the worktop by the sink.  Her kittens had their food and water on the wooden podium by the base of the toilet, which sounds a bit random, but the area had been thoroughly cleaned beforehand, and then lined with cardboard for extra safety.

The kittens hadn’t actually seen solid food before we arrived there, but when I put their biscuits down for them, there was such a fight over them that I ended up having to add a second dish, so that they could both eat at the same time.  I’ve never had Asian kittens who are so protective of their food, so I presume that must come from the Australian Mist side.  They also started using their trays for the first time over the first couple of days that we were away.

Obviously, Eiteag’s kitten wasn’t at that stage yet, not even having her eyes open at that point, but she was quite happy cuddled up in her little nest with Ayla to feed her.  Each night and morning I brought the kittens through to our cabin to let them run around, and played with Ayla with a feather stick to wear off some of her excess energy.  The little kitten would crawl around the bed for a bit, and then eventually settle down to sleep.  Her eyes opened towards the end of our week away.

We had an excellent week, starting off by heading straight to Campbeltown, and seeing two Basking Sharks and a Minke whale on the way.  We were there for a couple of days, which gave us a chance to do some walking, and then headed up the coast to Tarbert (on Loch Fyne).  We saw the Minke whale at almost the same place as we had seen it on the way down, plus some Porpoise, and all manner of seabirds.  A couple of days in Tarbert gave us a chance for some more walking, including going up into the castle, which was always cordoned off when I was younger, but has now been made safe, so that you can get up and into the tower.

On the Saturday, we headed across to where the dolphin lives (my brother has christened her ‘Kimi’, or something like that – a dolphin called Kimi.  Really?!), and spent ages going back and forwards beside her territory, to let her come out and play under the bow.  She doesn’t like people circling around her territory, nor does she like people getting into the water with her, but she absolutely loves being given the opportunity to ride a bow wave for a while.  She won’t stray more than about half a mile, though, so you have to do figure-of-eights or circles beside her territory, to allow her to ride along without getting too far from home.

We spent the last night in the Kyles of Bute, and then headed back to Kip, where we’d left the car.  The middle of that week saw me going down to London on the sleeper train, for a couple of business meetings, and the GCCF Council meeting.  Having been away the previous week, Richard couldn’t take the time off to come down this time, so I did my best to speak for both the Scottish and West of Scotland clubs.  It’s actually easier to speak for the West, because I’m on the Committee and therefore get to hear what the Committee think about things, whereas the Scottish doesn’t tend to tell me what they want said.

Yorkshire Show

The following weekend was the Yorkshire show, which we had been planning to do ever since we weren’t able to visit Richardson’s Rosettes when we were down for the Teesside.  Richardson’s make the rosettes for both the RACCS and West of Scotland shows, so we wanted to visit them to view their various ribbons etc.  They were up in Perth for a show the day of the Teesside, so we arranged with them that we would come and see them when we came down for the Yorkshire.  It’s still a trip of a couple of hours, but it’s less than half the distance that it would be from home!  We had a great trip there, beginning with a chat about what the clubs were looking for, over tea and home-made cake, and then rummaging through their stacks and stacks of ribbon.  What better way to spend an afternoon?!

Anne Gregory was going to be doing the Imperials for both Dàrna and Donny, and since she loves both of them, this was a great opportunity to try and get Dàrna’s last certificate, in particular.  Steve Crow was doing the female neuter Olympian, so I also decided to bring Annas down just in case the competition wasn’t too strong.  As expected, though, her Olympian class was huge, and very competitive, so she didn’t place.  That didn’t bother me, but I was rather more miffed about the Imperials – Anne hadn’t been able to come to the show, and so the classes had been reassigned, which is fine, but they had been given to judges who I know don’t like Dàrna and Donny.  Shirley Bullock was given Dàrna’s class, and she has never liked Dàrna, so I certainly wouldn’t have entered if she had been the judge originally, and Donny’s was judged by Maria Chapman-Beer, who withheld the Reserve on Donny at the Chester, and therefore definitely wouldn’t have been chosen for him.  I don’t mind losing to better cats, but it is really annoying to have the judge changed to a judge who you know is never going to give the certificate to your cats.  Humph!

The Kittens

Okay, so now we can bring the kittens up-to-date.  Ayla’s two were eight weeks old yesterday, and the little one was four weeks (both litters were born on Wednesdays).  The big kittens are absolute hooligans, careering around the room like a small herd of elephants.  The boy is definitely the gentler of the two, and likes to come under the covers for a cuddle, but once his sister realises he’s there, she starts pouncing on him from on top of the covers, and your nice cuddle descends into anarchy that generally ends with him being rapidly ejected from the bed!  They are very sweet, and love people, but the girl is definitely more boisterous than I would expect from an Asian, so I presume that’s the Australian influence.  When she’s worn herself out, she adores cuddling up on someone, and looking like butter wouldn’t melt, and giving cute little kisses, but beware trying to cuddle when she wants to play – it doesn’t work!

Eiteag’s kitten, on the other hand, is very wide-eyed and watchful, and is one of the gentlest kittens I’ve ever come across.  She just lies there in your hands, and if you stroke along her side, she rolls onto her back to get you to stroke her tummy.  If she’s not asleep then she’s watching what’s going on, and will answer back when spoken to, which is very cute.  In the past few days she has grown big enough to start pouncing back when the big kittens jump on her, and she will roll around with them, but she’s still far too small to really hold her own in a kitten tussle.  She is just at the stage of starting to try the big kittens’ wet foods, but she’s not found any that she’s really enamoured with yet.  Ayla thinks it is high time the kittens stopped feeding, though (fair enough when you consider that hers are eight weeks old, but not so good for the four-week-old), so we’re hoping that the little one decides to wean fairly soon.

Eiteag's kitten sitting looking straight up at the camera with an alert expression on her face
Eiteag’s kitten watching intently – apologies for the poor quality photo!

The older litter is our ‘G’ litter, and since these kittens can’t be shown under their pedigree names, we don’t have to use the less obscure names.  We’ve decided on Griseánach for the girl, which means ‘Rascal’, and is pronounced Krish-nach (ch as in loch), and Gliocas for the boy, which means ‘Sensible’, and is pronounced Klikas.  Their pet names are nothing to do with their pedigree names, though, and were chosen by Tracey.  Since the girl likes to give kisses, Tracey named her ‘Frenchie’, and since ‘Frenchie’ is a character in Grease, the boy is called ‘Zuko’.  We haven’t decided on either pet or pedigree names for the little one yet, but I think her pet name is probably going to be either Rizzo or Sandy.  There are no Gaelic words beginning with the letter ‘h’, because ‘h’ is used in lenition (a morphological feature of the Gaelic language, used in various places, but for instance to indicate past tense – see http://www.gaelicgrammar.org/~gaelic/mediawiki/index.php/Lenition), which means that it comes after letters and not before them.  We are therefore looking at various Scots words and names instead of Gaelic for this one.

Kitten Update

Fi’s kittens are continuing to do well, and are now starting to wean and use the litter trays. Dàrna and Grace are both pregnant, and due around the second week in July, whereas Katie was pregnant but unfortunately lost the kittens. Donny and Quinn both won their first certificates at the Durham show, and we had an excellent weekend with Anita and Rob and our 30th birthday party.

Fi’s Kittens

Katie with Fi's kittens
Katie with Fi's kittens at just over 3 weeks

Fi’s kittens are now five weeks old, and doing really well.

Kittens 1 and 3 are the most typey, with very little to choose between them.  At the moment, I would say that Kitten 1 is fractionally the better of the two, which is very exciting, since she’s the one who seems to have chosen us and will therefore be staying here.  She has a beautiful rounded head, stunning nose break and muzzle and big, expressive eyes.  She’s also an absolute sweetheart, who purrs as soon as we stroke her, and who will come running across the room to say hello when they’re playing outside the pen.  She is definitely a chocolate tortie BCR silver, and I still think she’s probably a spotty, but the colour is still just coming in on the body.  Unfortunately, like her mother and grandmother before her, she is an absolute devil to photograph, pulling all sorts of hideous faces when the camera is on her.  She consistently looks worse than her siblings, which is exactly what Fi used to do to me when she was a kitten!

Kitten 1 showing off her chocolate paw pad
Kitten 1 showing off her chocolate paw pads

Kitten 1's beautiful profile
Beautiful profile

Kitten 3 also has a fabulous rounded head, excellent nose break and muzzle and lovely big eyes.  He still might turn out to be better than his sister, but at the moment his eyes are just marginally straighter in set.  The colour is developing on his body, and his spots are getting stronger by the day, so it definitely looks like he’s going to be a spotty.  I still think he’s a cream BCR silver, but there is so little colour there that it’s difficult to be sure.  We had various friends, family and colleagues round for a birthday barbecue on Saturday, and when one of my friends’ daughters came up to see the kittens, this lad sat on her knee as if he’d met kids every day of his life.  He’s the most gentle of all the kittens, and is going to be a big softie who just wants to be loved, bless him!

Kitten 3 stunning profile
Kitten 3's gorgeous profile

Cute little face
Cute, surprised little face

Kitten 2 has a good dome, muzzle and eye shape.  Her head is a little longer, and her eyes are a bit smaller, than the two above, but she’s still extremely nice.  If she wasn’t in a litter with the two above, we’d be absolute delighted with her, and quite happy to keep her to show!  Her markings are still looking lovely, though the ‘kitten fuzzies’ mean that they look crispest when viewed from the back.  She is a real character – very vocal and opinionated, but also a bigger purrer.  In both looks and temperament, she reminds me of our Katie-Shogun girl from last year, Cailin.  Since Cailin has two CCs in GCCF and two Best-in-Shows in Fifé, that can’t be bad!

Side shot of Kitten 2's head
Profile shot of Kitten 2

A bad attempt at showing kitten 2's spots
A bad attempt at showing her spots

Kitten 4 is the least typey, but is still a gorgeous kitten, and his type is perfectly acceptable.  If we weren’t looking at him in comparison to his extremely typey siblings, we’d probably be saying that he’s quite nice – everything is relative, and this is just an extremely nice litter.  Shogun and Fi have done us proud!  He has the longest head and the smallest eyes, but still has an excellent nose break, lovely chin, well-placed ears with a nicely rounded head between, and nice eye shape.  I’m now wondering if he might in fact be an apricot rather than a red, but we’ll just need to wait and see how the colour develops as he gets older.  He is the most variable in behaviour, being all soft and sleepy one minute and then jumping on his siblings the next.  I’ll be very interested to see how his temperament develops.

Kitten 4 yawning
Kitten 4 yawning

Kitten 4's cute little face
Kitten 4's cute little face

All four kittens are now using litter trays and are therefore out-and-about in the kitten room.  They have just discovered the bottom step of the stairs onto the windowledge, and play cute games of peek-a-boo on it, but they haven’t yet noticed that there are other steps above that one.  Their favourite place is on a furry cushion in the alcove below the window, and the look absolute adorable piled up on it.

They are also starting to eat solid food, though this lot are much more into biscuits than wet.  Kitten 4 is the only one who seems to prefer wet to biscuits, and the only thing he’s interested in so far, is what I call ‘kitten mush’ – babycat mousse mixed with kitten milk.  Mind you, put down a plate of kitten mush and he virtually hoovers it up in seconds, so at least he’s got the idea of using a dish!  His siblings are all tucking into biscuits like little piglets.

Kitten 3 eating his first biscuits whilst his siblings play

We had a lovely prospective owner here yesterday, to meet the babies, and she had all four clambering on her.  When she first arrived, Kitten 3 spat at her, which is just about the funniest thing imaginable when it’s coming from a teeny kitten.  By the time she had been here for a few minutes he had forgotten his initial dislike and was joining his siblings climbing around on her legs.  She was particularly taken with the character of Kitten 2, but loved the appearance of Kitten 4.  We did have a few people who had expressed an interest in these kittens, though, so whether she gets one of these or one of the next litter will depend on whether this lot are already booked.

Katie’s Kittens

Yes, Katie was indeed pregnant.  Unfortunately, she had two kittens still-born, one delivered herself, and one by C-section.  The kittens were both black silver shaded boys, and looked perfectly formed, so there is nothing to suggest why they died.  When the vets had Katie opened up for her Caesarean, I asked them to check her reproductive system for cysts etc. but they couldn’t see anything to suggest a problem, so we are none the wiser.

Breeder friends had told me that it is a lot less distressing to have still-born kittens than it is to lose a kitten that is born alive, but I wasn’t convinced.  I was surprised to discover that, whereas I was gutted when we lost little Aithreachas and absolutely devastated when we lost B-B, all I felt with the still-borns was sorry for Katie.

Katie cuddled up with Fi's kittens

She wasn’t at all happy when she could see the first still-born kitten, but seemed much happier once I had taken him away.  She and Fi were living together, and since she lost her babies, Katie has adopted Fi’s instead.  Helping to look after them has given her something to take her mind off her loss.  The kittens think it is great having two mums to feed from!  Generally, the boys seem to prefer their mum’s milk, whereas the girls seem to prefer milk from their ‘Aunty’ Katie.

Katie looking after Fi's boys
Katie looking after Fi's boys

I now have a real dilemma over what to do with Katie next time around, though.  You may remember that we ‘won’ a mating with a Burmese stud boy, in the auction at the Gala Dinner, and my intention was to send Katie down there.  If she’s not going to carry successfully, however, I don’t want to ‘waste’ such a valuable mating.  I could try putting her to Donny again, to test whether she’s going to carry successfully, but then who do I put to the Burmese?

At least I’ve got a few months to make up my mind, and in the meantime, thankfully we’ve got the other kittens to focus on instead.

Dàrna and Grace

Katie’s litter may have been still-born, but it still looks like we are going to be over-run with kittens in the next couple of months.  Grace and Dipsy are both pregnant and already starting to show, which could well mean that they are having larger litters.  Grace is only 4 1/2 weeks pregnant, and Dàrna 5 weeks yesterday, so they’re just a bit over half-way.  Dàrna is still living with Apollo to keep him company, but I will bring her in later this week, and she and Grace can move into the kitten room.  I’m not sure who we’ll put out to keep Apollo company then – perhaps Ali, bless him!

Both girls should be due the second week in July, and we’re just keeping our fingers firmly crossed for smooth deliveries and healthy kittens.

Durham Show

We took Donny and Quinn to the Durham show, the last weekend in May, where both picked up their first certificates: Donny the CC and Quinn the PC.  Both were also awarded the Best of Breed.  Their certificates were the 14th and 15th for our prefix, and they are the fifth and sixth cats of our prefix to win certificates.  We are obviously delighted, and I am looking forward to the next couple of shows, where we will see if we can get them made up to Champion and Premier, respectively.  Unfortunately, Donny appears to have inherited his mum and sister’s ability to look rubbish in photos, so I don’t have a single decent one of him!

Donny with his prizes
Donny with his awards

Quinn looking beautiful in her pen
Quinn looking beautiful in her pen

I had an excellent day stewarding for Chris Bamford in the Persian and Semi-Longhair sections, while Richard, Elisabeth and Karen (who had also travelled with us this time) enjoyed a barbecue with the Johnsons (Koreshka Russian Blues).  It was a gloriously sunny day, and the venue is surrounded by plenty of grass, so they had a fabulous time, though Richard ended up with slightly sore feet due to switching to sandals but forgetting to put sun-cream on his feet!  Thankfully there was decent air-conditioning inside, so we were nice and cool whilst judging the cats.

Quinn looking ridiculously grumpy
I couldn't resist putting in this one of Quinn, because she looks so hilariously moody, but was in fact purring at the time!

Other Bits

Richard was 30 back in April, and I am 30 later this month, so we were going to have a joint 30th party around the middle of May.  As it happened, the dates in the middle of May didn’t work for various reasons, so we decided to go for the first weekend in June, which turned out to be the Jubilee bank holiday weekend.  Anita and Rob (Anizz Ocicats and Tiffanies) were able to come and stay with us for the weekend, and we had a lovely time talking cat with them.  Anita and I also spent a considerable amount of time in the kitten room having ‘kitten cuddles’!

Katie and Fi with the kittens
Fi, Katie and the kittens cuddled up together while Anita and I talked!

Our party was on the Saturday, which thankfully stayed dry, though we didn’t see a great deal of sun.  We had several of our ‘cat friends’, a couple of my friends from choir and then various family members, and had a barbecue in the garden, which was a lovely, informal way to celebrate.  The Thomsons (Saladin Abyssinians) and Elisabeth stayed on afterwards, and we had a late tea of baked potatoes with some of the leftovers from the barbecue.  I think they ended up leaving about midnight, though Richard and I stayed up talking to Anita until well into the ‘small hours’.

We spent the Sunday at the Gardening Scotland show through at Ingleston, for which we had got low cost tickets courtesy of Groupon!  As usual, that was a good day, and we only had rain for about a minute, just as we were arriving.  On the Monday we went round Calendar House, which is only about 10 minutes from us, in Falkirk, and then took a drive across to the Falkirk Wheel.  It was just starting a lift when we got there, so we watched the boats going around – the first time I’ve actually seen it in motion.  After that, Anita and Rob had to head back south, but I’m so pleased they finally made it up here.  Hopefully they’ll be back soon!

Fi’s Kittens and the London Pet Show

Fi has four lovely kittens, two of each gender, who are possibly all Tiffanies. We had a fantastic day at the London Pet Show, with Donny being the most perfect breed ambassador imaginable. Annas also had a good day out at the Nor’East, winning another Reserve Olympian. Finally, we might have a further three litters on the way, with Katie looking like she is indeed pregnant, and Dàrna and Gracie both having been mated.

I’ve been getting emails all week from people desperate for an update with photos, so here you go.  I’ve got a few videos this time, as well.

Kittens

Fi's 'Contraction Face'
This is Fi's 'Contraction Face' - mouth pouting, slitty eyes and whiskers pushed forwards. She pulled it whenever she was pushing, bless her!

Fi has given us our first kittens of 2012, and in the process our first litter from a Cagaran parent!

The four kittens cuddling up together at a few hours old
The four kittens cuddling up together at a few hours old

An exhausted Fi takes a well-earned sleep after the births
An exhausted Fi takes a well-earned sleep after the births

She is proving to be an absolutely wonderful mum, and is looking after her kittens just as well as she looked after her mother’s last year.

Fi looking after her kittens
Fi looking after her kittens

She had a litter of four, born over the bank holiday weekend at the start of the month, so they might be four months later than we had intended that she have them, but at least they’re here and growing well.

Fi with her four kittens suckling

All four have quite a bit of fluff at the backs of their necks, so it is just possible we might have been insanely lucky enough to have only Tiffanies.

Kitten 2 showing the longer fur that might mean she is a Tiffanie
Kitten 2 showing the longer fur that might mean she is a Tiffanie

Like her mum, Fi had the first half head first (the first of which took just as long to emerge as Fi herself did, but at least I knew what to expect), with the remainder being breech-birth – in Fi’s case they were all ‘full breech’, which is tail first (Dàrna had two partial breech, with legs first, and only one full breech).

The third kitten arriving full breech

Kitten 1 is a girl, and was the smallest kitten at a birthweight of 66g.  She is now up to over 190g, which is still small, but is an acceptable gain compared to her birth weight.

Kitten 1 looking tiny in my hands at 1 day old
Kitten 1 looking tiny in my hands at 1 day old

She has one of the best heads in the litter, with a lovely short nose and broad muzzle.  She’s very pale at the moment, but with darker ears, so I’m thinking either a chocolate or lilac with BCR (Burmese pattern of darker head, legs and tail).  I’m erring towards lilac at the moment, but wouldn’t want to bet on it!  She’s probably a spotty, though it is difficult to tell until the colour develops on her sides.  Likewise, I will reserve judgement on whether or not she is silver until her colour is more developed (and possibly a long time after that!).  She has the shortest coat of the four, which could mean that she is an Asian shorthair, but it still looks longer than Cailin’s did at the same age, and she is undoubtedly a Tiffanie, so who knows.

Comparison of colour between kittens 1 (above) and 3 (below)
Comparison of colour bewteen kittens 1 (top) and 3 (bottom)You can see a creamy tone to kitten 3, and a beige tone to kitten 1

Kitten 2 is also a girl, but was the largest kitten at 95g birth-weight.  She is over 265g now, and still the biggest.  She is definitely a spotted tabby with an underlying mackerel pattern, which is quite exciting, because mackerel is very rare in Asians.  I’m pretty sure she’s a chocolate silver (full expression, i.e. not Burmese pattern), and she has one of the longest coats, so I think she’s probably a Tiffanie.  She is very striking because of her markings, but her head is a little longer than her sister, so we shall see how she looks as she grows.

Kitten 2's cute little face at a day old
Kitten 2's cute little face at a day old

Kitten 3 is a boy, and is the palest of the four, being almost white at birth.  He was in the middle at 83g birth-weight, and is now up to just under 260g.  The boys have to be red, cream or apricot because of Fi being an apricot, and I think he must be a cream silver shaded BCR to be so pale.  He does, however, have very faint spotty ghost-markings, so it’ll be interesting to see whether those grow stronger or fade as his colour develops.  Like the paler girl, he has a lovely little head – possibly the best in the litter, in fact, so I can’t wait to see how he develops.  He has the second shortest coat, but does seem to have quite a bit of fluffiness to his tail, so I’m keeping my fingers crossed, since we’ve got someone wanting a Tiffanie boy to show.

Kitten 3's little face poking out between my hands
Kitten 3's little face poking out between my hands

Kitten 4 is a second boy, who started off at 92g, and has closely followed his big sister ever since, being only a few grams behind her, still.  He looks to be a red BCR (a lovely vibrant tangerine colour), but whether he is a self or some sort of pattern, and silver or not, I haven’t a clue at this stage.  He’s got the longest coat of the four, but I think also has the longest head, so we’ll just have to keep an eye on his development to see whether he could be show quality or purely a pet.  We have people looking for both!

Kitten 4 showing his colour and fluffy neck
Kitten 4 showing his fluffy neck - the colour here, is a bit washed out in the bright light, and is also stronger now that he is older

The girls have both eyes open, and the smaller boy has one eye open and the other half open.  Kitten 4 only has one eye half open and the other just a slit, making him the furthest behind.  For some reason, the boys are always slower than the girls at this stage.

London Pet Show

A panorama of the show
A panorama of the show, taken from above

The London Pet Show was, once again, an excellent opportunity to introduce our beautiful breeds to the public, and Donny proved to be a fantastic ambassador for the Asian Group.  He was everything we could have hoped he’d be, and more – walking up to people to say hello, and then lying in his basket letting everyone stroke him without the least bit of fuss.

Donny relaxing while visitors to the show stroke himHe has a lovely 'Burmese scowl', but it doesn't mean he is angry!

We were able to lift him into the laps of wheelchair users, and let little kids pick him up between two of them when he was too big for one alone.  If someone bent down to him he would kiss them on the nose, and every so often he turned around and reached up my front for a cuddle, which obviously had everyone exclaiming over how cute he was.  He was an absolute dream, and I couldn’t be more proud of him.

Donny relaxing in his basket
Donny relaxing in his basket

His only ‘naughty’ moment the whole day was when he stole a little toy mouse from a child, but then I can’t really blame him for that, given that the child was waving the mouse in front of his face.  Donny did exactly what you might expect, having been woken from a nice snooze to find a mouse waving in front of his face – he reached up a paw, neatly swiped the mouse and proceeded to play with it.  Thankfully, the kid’s mum had seen the whole episode and took the child away saying “well, what did you expect?”.

Donny sleeping under the AGCS banner
Donny sleeping under the AGCS banner

Donny playing with his acquired toy mouse
Donny playing with his 'stolen' toy mouse - here he's chewing its tail

Cailin also did very well, though she was just coming off call, so was less keen to be out and handled.  She did come out whenever someone was particularly interested in feeling the Tiffanie coat, or seeing a Tiff at close quarters, but most of the time she just played or slept in her pen.  She was a lovely advert for how pretty they are, and I’m glad we had one there so that the public could meet them.  The only thing I feel was missing from a good cross-section representation of the Asian Group was a greater diversity of colour – a red-series and/or dilute would have been nice, because I had a few people look at Donny (brown smoke) and Cailin (chocolate silver shaded) and ask if they come in any colour other than brown!  I realised once I was there that because Donny and Quinn are both still kittens, we could actually have had the two of them sharing a pen, with Cailin in the other one (she is an adult already), which would have given us tortie, at least, but it can’t be helped.

Cailin having a cuddle with Anita
Anita and Cailin cuddling on one of Anita's visits to the AGCS stand

As always, Anita was very hospitable, giving us a delicious meal of lasagne (my favourite, though she didn’t know it) on the Friday night, and then packing rolls, crisps, tea and muffins for our lunch, before putting us up for the Saturday night as well.  It was lovely actually, to get to spend a bit more time with her and Rob than we normally manage when we’re only there for the one night.  Unfortunately, we didn’t see much of her at the LPS itself, because the Ocis had joined the show late, taking a cancellation, meaning that their stand was situated where the cancelled stand had been, instead of being given the option to have theirs near ours like last year.  Rob’s daughter, Kirsten, joined Anita on the Ocicat stand, and Richard and I looked after the Asians, so at least we had the two covered.

The Ocicat Club stand
Chippy in his pen on the Ocicat Club stand

Anita with Chippy
Anita with Chippy
Azi in her pen - she is Kia's sister
Azi in her pen - she is 3/4 sister to Grace's mum, 'our' Kia

Like last year, the show was so busy, and I was enjoying telling people about the Asians, so much that I didn’t actually manage to have a wander around the rest of the show.  I didn’t even get outside of the World of Cats area except when I popped up onto the balcony to take a video of the show from above.  I managed to snatch a quick chat in the morning, with Teresa Bryant (Brumeux Nebelungs) on the stand behind us, and then at the end of the show, with Vanessa Marriott (Rumba Burmese) on the stand opposite, and Tricia Bristow (Gossamyst Australian Mists) on the stand next to ours.

The Nebelungs in their basket
The Nebelungs in their basket

I would wholeheartedly recommend the show to any animal lover, and am already looking forward to next year and thinking about who we might take!

The view across the show from above, including a zoom-in on Donny

Other News

The Nor’East of Scotland show was also on last Saturday, and Elisabeth and the Thomsons were kind enough to agree to take Annas up there for us.  She did us proud once again, winning the Reserve Olympian from John Hansson, no less – I am delighted to think that John would award her a certificate of that level, because he won’t hesitate to withhold an Olympian or Reserve if he doesn’t think the cat is worthy!  She also won her Best of Breed, beating Lainni and Tabh again.  Lainni was awarded the Reserve Grand, but poor Tabh had his PC withheld – he was never intended to be a show cat though, and Lona only takes him for a bit of fun, so that’s not a huge surprise, though a bit harsh, since he’s such an absolute sweetie!  The Glendavan cats had an excellent day, winning everything from a kitten 1st and BOB through a CC and PC, Grand and Imperial to an Olympian for the stunning Kaiser!  Elisabeth’s lot also had a good day, with her star being Zach, who won his first Olympian and then went Best Foreign, much to Karen’s delight.

We owe a huge thanks to Karen for recording all the show results in our catalogue for us, in spite of her exciting results.  We also owe an even bigger thanks to Elisabeth and the Thomsons, because not only did they take Annas to the show, they also checked on the kittens and fed Fi both morning and evening for us!

After the LPS on Saturday, we drove down to Rosemary’s, and collected little Gracie, who Rosemary thinks had been mated by Curry on the Wednesday.  There were no observed matings, so we can’t be sure, but their behaviour suggested she had been mated, so we shall keep our fingers crossed.  Dàrna was also mated the week before last, by Apollo, and is still living in his run to keep him company – they are like a little married couple!  When Elisabeth and the Thomsons were round after the Nor’East, they decided to check on Katie, and they are of the opinion that she is indeed pregnant.  A week on, and I’m pretty sure I felt a kick today, which would confirm it.  I don’t really mind either way – if she is, Donny will be proven and we should hopefully have a litter including some Tiffanies.  If she isn’t, it’s one less litter to handle at the same time as the others, and she’ll be going to a beautiful cream Burmese boy later in the year.  What will be, will be, and we’ll just have to deal with the consequences!

Quinn

Before I finish, I had promised to post up some photos of Quinn for a friend, so here you go.  She’s a demon of a cat to photograph, because she’s always into something!  I am hoping that she can find a home with one of the kittens leaving this year, but in the meantime she’s keeping her brother company in the kitchen.

Quinn looking up at something instead of at the camera
Quinn looking up at the lights, instead of at the camera

Quinn coming to pounce on the camera
Coming to pounce on the camera because she heard the click

Quinn in one of her mischief-making poses
In one of her mischief-making poses - what is she up to?

Finally looking at the camera without trying to pounce
Finally looking at the camera without trying to pounce on it

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

First Cagaran Ocicats!

Kia has give us our first Ocicat kittens – a litter of ticked tabby Variants from the gorgeous Stanley, Riverfern Vulcan. We have had problems getting her to look after them, but Katie stepped in for a while, and Kia now seems to have figured out her job. Katie’s kittens have their eyes fully open and accepted the arrival and departure of their temporary litter-mates without complaint.

We have our first Ocicat litter! They were born overnight at the weekend, to our beautiful Ocicat Classic girl, Kia. Admittedly, they are Ocicat Variants, rather than (spotted) Ocicats or Ocicat Classics, but they are fully-pedigreed Ocicats, all the same. Abyssinians are one of the Ocicat’s two parent breeds, and the only one still permitted as an outcross – this means that we can pair an Ocicat and an Abyssinian in order to improve the genetic diversity in the Ocicat breed.

The newborns
The three kittens as newborns

We decided to take Kia to a beautiful Abyssinian boy, whose pedigree is different to any of the other Abys used in Ocicat pedigrees at the moment. Due to the genetics involved, all kittens born to an Abyssinian x Ocicat mating are ticked tabby, the same as the Abyssinian, rather than spotted or classic, as would be seen in a normal Ocicat/Ocicat Classic mating. In this case, we have three ‘tawny ticked’, which basically look like Usual Abyssinians, and are rather stunning! There are two boys and one girl, I think.

The two boys
The two boys tonight

Unfortunately, Kia wouldn’t settle after giving birth, and it took me about four hours to get the kittens latched on and suckling. I had an hour of sleep and then had to get up because Call was due at the vet for his booster vaccinations. When I got back from the vet, Kia still had the girl in her nest, but had moved the two boys out onto the middle of the floor.

I spent a few minutes trying to get her to accept them back in the nest, but she wouldn’t settle again, and kept moving them out. She also wouldn’t feed any of the kittens, settling down so that her tummy was pressed into the floor, preventing them from accessing her teats. I had to go to work, so in the end I tried taking the two boys up to Katie, who accepted them immediately, gave them a good clean and then settled down to feed them alongside her own kittens, who look huge next to the newborns.

The tiny Ocis with Katie's kittens
The Ocis looking tiny in a heap with Katie's kittens

At lunchtime, I decided to weigh the kittens, and found that the two boys had gained 16g each with Katie (both having started at 107g), whereas the girl that was left with Kia obviously still had not been fed, and had lost 6g (from a start of 102g). I didn’t know what else to try, so I moved her up to join her brothers with Katie.

The three Ocis feeding from Katie
The Ocis lined up along Katie's side

That night, Richard and I gave Kia’s room a complete clean to try and get rid of all smells of the birth, and then sprayed her nest box with Feliway, and put a Feliway diffuser on in the room. We collected her kittens from Katie (who accepted their removal as calmly as she had accepted their arrival), and took them back to Kia. Kia proceeded to move them all out of the nest onto the bed, but did at least settle down to feed them there.

After a while, we moved the duvet (with Kia and kittens on top), into the nest box, to see if that would help any. She initially looked like she might take the kittens and run off round the room with them again, but did eventually ‘agree’ to stay in the nest with them. We left her like that, and checked on her periodically throughout the evening, in the hope that keeping her quiet might settle her down.

Kia with her babies on the duvet
Kia with her babies on the duvet

When we were starting to get ready for bed, we tried removing the duvet and then sitting in the box with her until she had settled down again. This seemed to work, and we managed to finish getting ready for bed without her leaving the box. Richard and I are taking it in turns to sleep with the two girls, and it was my turn to be in with Katie last night. About an hour after I had gone to bed, Richard asked if we could move the kittens back up to Katie, because Kia was fine in her box with the kittens as long as he was sitting up on the bed, but as soon as he tried to lie down, she moved the kittens on top of him!  Katie had the kittens overnight, having once again accepted them without complaint.

The girl
The girl

The first boy
The first boy

The next morning, I got up early so that I had time to try and settle Kia with her kittens again, leave her for a while and then check if she still had them in the box. When I left the room, she was still in the box, giving them a good feed, and they were still there when I checked on her at lunchtime, and again in the evening. She is much now completely settled, and is toileting the kittens properly, which she wasn’t doing to start with. Hopefully, she has now got the idea and we won’t have any more issues.

The second boy
The second boy has his Dad's lovely dippy profile

The girl's profile
The girl's profile is more like their mum's

Katie’s Kittens

Katie with her kittens
The kittens feeding from Katie

Katie’s kittens have continued to grow well, with both passing their two-week growth target days in advance. The girl is now over 300g, and is starting to focus on people when they come into view. Both kittens have their eyes fully open and are becoming even more active than they were initially.

The kittens cuddling
The kittens cuddling

When we added the younger kittens to Katie’s litter, the older kittens were so incredibly cute – they started purring, and cuddled up to the little ones, as if they were delighted to have more ‘siblings’. Katie likes to be quite economical with her milk, and tends to ‘turn off’ any teat that isn’t regularly used. Katie’s daughter was so good with the younger kittens that she even moved onto a lower flow teat, in order to let the little ones have the best teats. That is very un-kitten-like, because kittens generally fight for the teat they like the best, but it is very Katie-like!

Female looking at the camera
The girlie peering at the camera

The boy looking cute
The boy looking cute

The girl is looking quite nice at the moment, with a lovely domed head. She appears to have inherited her mum’s beautiful little nose and good break. She might be a bit chunky, though – the boy is actually the finer of the two, though his head doesn’t look quite as good!  Fingers crossed they both continue to develop nicely…

The girl from side-on
The girl showing off her lovely nose!

First Kittens of 2011

Katie has two kittens, born overnight last night – our first for 2011. Initial guess is one female, one male – a black silver shaded and a black ticked tabby.

Apologies to those who have been waiting for this update to go live – I actually wrote it on Tuesday evening, but have been having issues with the Internet since then, and hadn’t been able to get it to upload.  Hope it’s worth the wait!

Katie’s Kittens Are Here!

Well, Katie’s kittens arrived bang on schedule, just like last year. This time, she started having them at the rather more civilised time of 10pm, and had settled down to feed them and sleep by midnight.

Katie asleep with her kittens
Katie's kittens feeding while she sleeps

At about the 5th week of the pregnancy, we moved Katie from isolation into a room with Fiona, and she got quite upset about it. We moved her in the evening, and by the following morning, she had gone from looking fairly heavily pregnant, to having no visible bulge whatsoever. For a few days, we wondered if she’d aborted the pregnancy completely, but it gradually became apparent that she was still pregnant. We guessed, however, that the size reduction probably meant that she had reabsorbed some of the kittens.

It looks like that assumption was probably correct, because instead of producing the expected four or five kittens, she had just two.  Even more telling, she actually produced three placentas, but I couldn’t feel a third kitten still inside.  I took her to the vet this evening to get them to double-check that, and they agreed that there was no sign of a third kitten.  She must, therefore, have reabsorbed the kitten whose placenta the third one was, but not reabsorbed the placenta for some reason.

Her body definitely thought that she was going to have more than just the two, because she’s got lots of milk.  Last year, she was very economical with her milk production – she only had four kittens, so she only ever activated six of her eight teats, then dropped this to four teats when she lost one of the kittens.  She also seems slightly confused by the fact that she only has two kittens in her nest, bless her.

Katie Giving Birth

As before, Katie is proving to be a fantastic mother, having done everything herself, including removing the amniotic sacks, cleaning up the placentas and getting the kittens dry and suckling.  After the births, we gave her a big meal of (Applaws) tuna and prawns, and changed the bedding in the birthing box whilst she was distracted.

The first kitten is a black silver of some description – probably a shaded.  At birth, I though it was a female, though its not nearly as clear now.  I’ll leave it a few days and then check again, because it’s notoriously difficult to tell from when the kittens are a few hours to a few days – it’s supposed to be easier at birth, so I’ll assume that she is a female for the time being.  She was 85g at birth, and was up to 101g by this morning, gaining a whopping 16g in just 11 hours – that would be a good gain for a full day!

Female kitten
The Female Kitten

I’m pretty certain that the second kitten is a boy, and he looks to be a non-silver black of some description – probably a black ticked tabby.  He was just 79g at birth, but was already up to 93g by this morning, again a huge gain – 14g in less than 10 hours!  Clearly the kittens are making the most of the fact that their mum’s body is producing milk as if she had a litter of five to feed!

Male kitten
The Male Kitten

Both kittens are already attempting to stand, which is much earlier than either of last year’s litters. Hopefully these two are going to continue to make the most of having their mum’s attention split just two ways!

The two kittens cuddling
The two kittens cuddling

Kitten Update Day 20

Nothing dreadful happened to the kittens while we were away at the show, and they have all continued gaining well.

The kittens were, of course, fine when we got back on Saturday evening, and my fears about something dreadful happening whilst we were away proved to be completely unfounded.  Katie was extremely pleased to see us, because I think she felt a bit lonely up there with nobody other than her kittens for company.  She has been rather unsettled and clingy ever since, to the point that I’ve actually had to shut her back in the cage this morning, because she’s being too restless to actually allow her kittens to feed properly!  Whether that will help, though, I’m not sure – even when she’s with them she’s not being particularly helpful about letting them feed.  Hopefully she’ll calm down over the next day or so, and things can go back to normal.

Katie being awkward and sleeping in a position from which her kittens struggle to feed

The babies had grown noticeably even just in the 36 hours we were away, and all three had gained brilliantly by Saturday evening.  Sunday’s gains, by comparison, were pretty pathetic, I think because of Katie’s restlessness.  Having had Katie shut in her pen today, however, things were back on track by this evening, with the gains since Thursday evening now ranging between 46g and 63g, and all the kittens being well over 350g.  Red-toes has even managed to hit 400g today!

Kitten Update Day 17

The kittens are caught in the act of fighting, and we have our first trip away from them.

The kittens are continuing to grow well, with all three being above 330g last night.  I had to weigh them just half-way through the day today, because we’re taking Kia and Dàrna to stud this afternoon, and won’t be back until tomorrow.  Even so, they had still gained a minimum of 9g in a bit under 12 hours!  This is our first trip away from them, and I am SO nervous.  I will be absolutely desperate to see them again tomorrow.

Katie is now eating a full bowl of dry food plus 1/4 of a can and 2-4 pouches of wet every day.  This should continue to increase until probably the week after next, by which point the kittens will be moving onto solid food of their own, and the load on Katie will gradually decrease.  She is very chatty at the moment, and will call to her babies whenever she gets back into the birthing box, probably because they are now responding to sounds.

The boys are still basically just interested in sleeping and Mum’s milk, although they will now sit quietly in our hands when we pick them up for a stroke.  The girlie (red-toes), on the other hand, is definitely responding to us now, and when you look down into the pen, you are normally met with a little pair of blue eyes.  If you sit by the side of the box and talk to her, she will actually get up and come over to the side where you are, and if you put your hand in the pen and don’t stroke her, she comes over and nudges it until you do!  She also loves cuddles, and will roll around in your hands for you to stroke all of her.  If she carries on the way she is at the moment, she’s going to make someone a fantastic cuddly pet.

The kittens may be sweet, but they are still capable of violence against each other when fighting over a teat.  The second from back teat on Katie’s left side is the favourite with all three kittens, and they will fight over it, even though there are perfectly good teats right next to it.  They have been doing this since they were only a couple of days old, but I am normally so busy laughing at them that I forget to film it.  Last night, I had my phone right beside me, though, so I managed to capture the moment.

Red-toes and blue-toes fighting over a teat

We clipped their claws on Tuesday night, because they had become really quite sharp, and I was worried that they might catch eachother in the eye and do some damage: even whilst doing them, I noticed that blue-toes had a tiny cut on the top of his head, presumably from one of his siblings.  I also didn’t want them scratching Katie whilst suckling.  Now that they are bigger and stronger, Katie is also a lot less tolerant of them moving around whilst suckling, so I assume they are actually starting to hurt her now.  I noticed earlier this week that they have teeth now, too!

Fingers crossed for a good day tomorrow, and that we come home to a nest of healthy, happy babies!

Kitten Update Day 3

Katie’s kittens continue to develop, and surprise me by how happy they make me feel.

Katie’s kittens are developing nicely.  The black silver ticked tabby has darkened up a bit, and the two black ticked tabbies (I’m pretty sure that’s what they are now) are developing a stronger brown in their undercoats. I’ve also heard one of the kittens purring today, for the first time. Katie has been doing so almost continuously since her babies arrived, but I haven’t heard any of the kittens until today. They seem very contented, though, and I love how close they are at this stage; cuddling up together.

Katie's Tiffanie kittens cuddling up together aged 3 days
Katie's Tiffanie kittens with their 'arms' around eachother

Red-toes had a smaller gain tonight, up by just 8g, but combined with the 23g gain yesterday, that’s an average of a nice, healthy, 15-16g per day. Orange toes was up by 15g today, whilst blue-toes is up 14g. Once again, it’s only really purple-toes who isn’t gaining as much as I would like, having gone up just 10g. Having said that, everything is relative, and although she’s gaining slower than her siblings, my established breeder friends tell me that 10g is still acceptable.

I have been amazed at my own reaction to the kittens. Obviously, we thought we would enjoy the experience of breeding, or we wouldn’t have got involved, but I had no expectation of just how much I would enjoy it. Nobody told me I would find myself smiling every time I look at the babies!  Have a look at this video of the babies suckling and see if it has the same effect on you.  I love the way their ears ‘waggle’ as they suck!  The fourth baby is there, by the way – you can just see it’s rear end sticking out from under Katie’s leg.

The kittens suckling from their very contented mum