The best intentions are just that; intentions. I intended to hoover the house yesterday, friend did it instead. I had planned to make a few nice desserts, the ingredients are still in the cupboard. I had been intending to update my blog, I didn't. I think I'm going to have to do these updates in the mornings if i'm to do them regularly at all. Previously, I've done them at night so that I can give you a flavour of what's happened that day, but for the past few nights, I just haven't had the time. Not once since my last update have I been to bed before midnight for various reasons, and when you have a biological clock that wakes you up at 8 AM whether you've just gone to bed or not, then when it gets past 12, you want to get to sleep pretty sharpish. Last night I had the intentions again, was even supposed to make phone calls, but instead I got taken to the cinema, and the movie didn't let out till almost 11. I then had to walk home, feed cats, order cat food, feed cats again as mum had cleared the plate, dash off a few emails, feed cats for a third time as mum had obviously decided to make a bid at the world record for most cat food eaten in two hours to stop babies having any, put a wash on... The list goes on. I went to bed at 1 this morning and was so tired that I doubt I could have even told you my own name, let alone put together a coherent blog post.
So, what to tell you? Well, the amount of poo on the pen floor is decreasing by the day. I took the little ramp away from the litter tray that they'd been using to climb in and out, and for some reason, rather than hindering, this has really helped the litter training process. They still get mucky bums, Porker in particular, but they're gradually learning that when you poo, it's not necessarily a good idea to sit down and try to do it, because 1, it gets all over you and either you leave it not feeling very nice or you have to have a go at cleaning it off, and 2, if you don't clean it off, the big evil monster woman will come along and rub you with a baby wipe, and if that doesn't work, will actually bath you!
Solids continue to be an up and down process. They will all go to the dish now on their own except when mum is around. I had thought that Tia's milk was drying up nicely, but last night, she was so full that I could have sworn she had mastitis. I actually thought she did, so put a kitten on the affected teat to drain the milk. The best way to get rid of mastitis is to express the milk, and the best form of that is a hungry kitten. When she came out about ten minutes later, the swelling was gone. Cats will only produce milk in relation to the demand, so I'm presuming that the little piggies are feeding from her all night long which is why she's still producing so much. I don't really know whether I should start trying to dry her up or just leave them to it. At the moment, I'm keeping them from suckling all day long, and they are eaing the solids quite happily, so maybe I'll just leave things as they are.
The Baby has been the last to break 500 grams, but she did it yesterday. She's so, so small compared to the other two though, and feels terribly light. There's times when I wonder if I wasn't mixing her up with Hamster in those early stages you know. I put collars on hem all about a week ago, just a very thin, soft piece of elastic with a few beads on so that I could tell who was who. It's helped enormously!
They'll be coming out of that pen soon, whether I like it or not. A few days ago, they learned to climb right to the top of the mesh, and Porker actually managed to scramble over the top; something I'd not have thought was possible if I hadn't been there to see it myself. That pen is over 2.5 ft high and he's only a tiny little thing! I rearranged things so that the mesh now starts from the bottom and there's a solid pannel on top and that seems to have controlled the hoard for now. It won't be long though. Hamster can now jump, yep, you read right, jump to the very top of the mesh. A few more days and they'll be over, so my big push this week is litter training and eating from a bowl rather than a saucer. It's also kitten proofing my house!
We've taken them out a couple of times, and I tell you something, they run riot. In about 0.1 seconds, my living room degenerates into kittens running madly in three different directions, mum trying to round them all up and then lying on her side, offering them her teats and screaming at them to come and have a drink (of course, this is much less effective than it is in the pen, as hungry little piggies would rather go and reek havoc elsewhere), three people desperately trying to keep up with kittens and colliding with each other in the process, and desperate shouts of "No, not under the sofa!/ no, not under the TV cabinet!/No, no, no, help!" They love those forays into the great unknown though, and it's a teller how well socialised they've been, as they fear nothing. Hmmm, perhaps I've done too good a job?
All three now scream to be picked up when I come in first thing in the morning, and all three climb the mesh like little monkeys until you give in. I've had to take them all out at once now, because if I leave any behind, they shriek at the injustice so much that mum comes flying to see who's torturing the kids. It's odd though. The Baby is the only one who purrs consistently, and even then, only for a few seconds before she's off doing something else. She's a very busy little person, and is the most active out of the lot of them. I did hear Hamster purr under his breath this morning, so I have hope, but Porker, whilst being the cuddliest, and maybe the most placid, shows no signs of it yet.
This week is also the week of learning not to bite, and although it's going well, the babies aren't enjoying it one little bit. I permitted gentle nibbling when they were exploring the world with their mouths, when hands were big scary things that needed to be rationalised, when they were just learning to play. Now that their teeth are in though, they don't just nibble. They grab hold with paws and bite... hard. None has drawn blood, but that's still behaviour that I'm not willing to tolerate, and the habit needs to be broken young. Each time someone bites, they get a tap on the nose, or, if you're Porker/Hamster, several taps until you let go of the finger that certainly isn't food! The baby, as usual, has caught on pretty quickly, and although she'll test her luck with a bite now and then, she will mostly check herself just as her teeth are about to sink in, and will give you a head bump instead. And I've just been interrupted by her. I picked mum up for a cuddle, and as soon as she heard me talking, she screamed so much that mum went running as usual. As soon as I picked her up, she started purring like a motorboat! These babies are such time wasters, really they are. I've been up for an hour already and I've got nothing done!
They've got lots of toys in their pen now that they're mostly done pooing on the floor. Ping pong balls have always been there because they can be disinfected and washed, but now they have a furry mouse that chirps like a bird when touched (the irony, right?), a rope mouse that they can get really rough on, a ball with feathers sticking out of it, a crinkle ball and a ribbon hanging down from the top that can be batted. I also introduced them to dangler toys yesterday as they were watching Tia play with them and seemed fascinated. I had a Da Bird for Tia, well, a cheaper version which had fallen apart, but I kept a feather back and taped it onto the string. This was the perfect size for fraidy cat kittens, and after a bit of teasing and, yes, I admit it, judicious poking and tummy tickling with said feather, the chase was on. Nobody, but nobody, not even a feather, gets to touch their tummies unmolested, and after this ultimate insult, they vowed to kill the offender and kill it good. At one point, there was one on the feather itself, one on the shaft, and another on the string... I think they won!
I ran out of Bozita, so they've been changed to Animonda until I can get some more. It's not flavour of the month. They eat it, but aren't too enthusiastic about it. I cheated last night too. Normally, Tia cleans their plate as soon as I go to bed which means that they're starving first thing in the morning, and is probably why they're suckling so much. Last night though,I put a full tin of pilchards in a separate bowl in there for her. She gets these occasionally, and absolutely loves them. Needless to say, she didn't bother with boring old kitten food. I even caught one of the babies having a go at the fish, so it was a hit!
I'm still toying with pedigree names. They will need to be registered soon, so I need to settle on something pretty sharpish. I'm thinking Moonspun Isntshe Lovely for my girl, but not sure about it as it's a bit cliche. What do you all think? And any suggestions for the boys would be super too!
That's about it, I think. Sorry it's been so long in coming, and also sorry there still aren't any pictures, but I'm still waiting for them to be given to me. I hate these delays!