They've been running around like lunatics the last few days, sleeping where they fall, playing as hard as they sleep, and then sleeping some more. A friend mentioned today that I must have to be quite careful with the kitten herd under foot, and boy is she right. I sent her a response in an email which she's told me she found so funny that I must post, so I'll oblige!
Stalking on the carpet
Treading lightly is an understatement! I've developed an excellent Kitten Shuffle. It involves walking very slowly, saying "move, move, move" over and over again (Tia responds to that and I'm hoping they'll pick up on it and do it too), never picking your feet up from the carpet, stopping frequently to cuddle and kiss the one you've just barely nudged with your toe on the way past just in case you frightened it, stopping again to disengage the claws of another who thinks the top of your foot makes the ultimate transportation device, then just giving up and collapsing on the floor with them because the third one's crying because they didn't get any attention and the other two did! Meanwhile, the one you're cuddling is chewing on your earlobe and the one on your foot is now on your knee and shrieking because it doesn't know how it got inside the leg of your jeans, nor how to get out again! Then mum comes to see what's the matter, and she needs reassuring too... And all that just to get a drink of water!
They're incredibly cute, even if they are little ratbags sometimes. Hamster won't purr any more, and beats me up, bites me, claws my face when I rub it on his belly (I'm doing this to all of them so that if they go to little children, there's never a danger that the cat will panic and claw at their faces). The other two love this. Porker curls his body around my face, and the Baby, when she's not too excited, puts her two paws on my nose and just lets me get on with it. She beats everyone up and has to be regularly evicted from the sofa because she's hassling the other two when they're trying to sleep mind you, so she's no angel, but she's always the first to come for a cuddle.
She's so funny though, and almost painfully cute. Last night she was chirrupping away to herself. She's the only one who does this actually, and has done since she was about three and a half weeks old. The others just meow and cry. Anyway, she was running around chirrupping and obviously very pleased about something, so I got down on the floor to share her achievement. It took me a while to work out what she'd done, but it turns out that she loves pipe cleaners. I was sent these by another friend in a big toy exchange package from here in the UK to America, and Tia loved them too. The Baby had found one that I'd put out for the kittens, and, as I watched, she snatched it off the floor, held it in her mouth and did a lap of honour of the living room, still chirping away. Back she came and dropped it in front of me, then waited, obviously expecting something to happen. Dutifully, I made the pipe cleaner wiggle, and as soon as it did, she was off again. She moves so quickly, and her pouncing is incredibly accurate. I have a Da Bird for them as well which I'm introducing them too, and she can now jump from the floor to the sofa to catch it. She's a clever little chicken! She's so small though that her chirp sounds more like the chirp of a bat then a cat noise! Honestly, imagine a sleepy, content bat and that's the noise! Laughing yet? I do every time I hear it.
Porker is the real lap cat this week. He wants to sleep on me or near me and just loves his grooming and his fuss time. He's mostly stopped biting now, which is more than I can say for the other two! I thought the Baby had this sorted, but she showed me she hadn't today. All of them still get a tap on the nose when they do it, but Hamster's being the most persistent with not giving up. He's also still not purring, although JP, the resident friend, says that he's had him purring for him. Perhaps he's just a man's cat. All good things come to those who wait though, right?
They all went to the vets today for their first worming. I worm with Panacur, but to measure and administer the liquid when you can't see what you're doing is almost impossible. I didn't even try it. Everyone needs to turn into an octopus to hold a squirming kitten, pull up the right amount of liquid in the syringe, pry unwilling jaws apart, squirt it in, disengage the claws from your arm, rub the kitten's throat until it swallows etc, but when you need another few to feel where the bottle is, measure accurately, locate the kitten's mouth... Well, even the thought of the carnage that would have caused makes my blood run cold. I chickened out and thought I'd ask my lovely vet to do it instead, and I'm glad I did! Even though they're tiny, it took the two of us to hold and medicate them. They all had a fine time though having cuddles from the vet and her nurses, but weren't too thrilled with the idea of travelling in a carrier to get to and from the place. Tia went too as she needed a worming, so they're all done. I'm just waiting for the diarrhoea to start now. They always get runny bums when they're wormed, but so far mine have been poo free. They've been quite sleepy today though. Let's hope they have the runs when they're locked in the pen overnight, so that my poor carpet doesn't have to suffer!
Hanging with Tia
They got introduced to a new concept today; the covered litter tray. I wouldn't have done this for another few weeks yet, but the problem is that Tia, in her usual "I'm gonna be difficult" style, has chosen to use not the adult sized tray I put out for her, but the smallest kitten tray. She likes to pee right in the corners too, but when she tries to do this in such a small tray, her bum hangs over the edge and she misses. Luckily, I'd put incontinence pads down around the trays just in case the babies had an accident (they always seem to do this right next to the tray), so it didn't get as far as the carpet. Still, something had to be done.
It was the tray they used least, so I wasn't too worried about removing it for something they potentially weren't going to be able to use. My covered trays are deep, so it's quite difficult for them to climb in. Still, when I put them in one by one, they seemed willing enough, and thanks to the depth of the litter inside, they could get out easily. So I folded a towel to give them a step up, and they loved it! It's been an adventure for about the last hour to go in there, have a dig around, come out again, run around like a mad thing, then race each other to see who can be the first back in again. Of course, Tia has now started using the adult sized tray in the other corner. Typical, eh? I don't mind though, and the covered tray will stay. The sooner they use those ones, the better. I'm going to try and find some low entry covered ones to use instead, and I think I'll use them from the start with the next litter. The open ones are so, so messy, and terribly stinky too!
I've just said not so long ago that Hamster's not much of a cuddler this week, so guess who's just come up and snuggled right into my arm? Yep, that's right. Sometimes, I love sod's law!
I've got pictures for you too! Again, I'm relying on my usual friend to post them, but I know she will. The problem was with getting them, that's where the hold up was. you should have them later on today, so please do check back! I'm hoping she'll post some five week ones as well as some seven week ones.
As usual, I'll give you their weights. I'll give you them as of last night just for the sake of continuity!
The Baby: 674
The Baby and Porker didn't quite gain their 100 grams for this week, but he doesn't need to as much as she does. I wish she wasn't so much smaller than the other two! Oh well, just gives me something else to worry about, right?
(note from the photo-adder: More pics at Tia's blog, Cuddles & Catnip! There will be better captions as soon as I get straightened out which kit is who, stay tuned...)