Track the progress of current Moonspun Persian Cat litters as well as gain insights into the life of a cat breeder!

Friday, 23 September 2011

Goodbye, Sweet Boys

Well, this is it, and I don't even know how to put it into words. This is my last night with my baby boys before they head off for their forever homes tomorrow.

I'm sorry that I haven't written in a while. I've been a bit down in the dumps for quite a few reasons, and just haven't been able to force myself to put pen to paper to write. Even if I had managed, I don't know how doom and gloom it would have bene, so thought it better to avoid the blog. I didn't realise how much time had passed in between when I'd last written and now, so apologies for that.

There isn't terribly much to report this week, or perhaps there is and I'm just not able to think of it because my mind is trying to say goodbye to these little boys before they leave tmorrow, and the easiest way for me to do that is to detatch from them... I doubt I'll succeed I'm afraid.

They're really enjoying sleeping in bed with me, and I'm hoping this is something the new owners will continue to allow them to do. Whenever I go to bed at night, little Millie is straight in there and up on my pillow for cuddles, and when I wake in the morning it's to find all three cuddled around my head and as happy as can be. Tia doesn't sleep by my face, so it's a rare treat that I'm really enjoying.

They had their last vaccinations just yesterday as the vet was fully booked when they should have gone on Tuesday, but as usual, they had no reaction to it other than sleeping a lot yesterday. They also had their microchips done. Poor Millie had to have hers done twice as the first one came out within about an hour of being put in there. Poor babies. They were wormed and had their claws clipped too, so they were really put through it. Millie also had her DNA test done, so I should know this time next week whether she's PKD negative or not, and whether she carries chocolate. Of course, I know she won't test positive for PKD as her parents are both negative, but I test just to be double sure.

I bought them some new toys this week. Some new, stronger cubes which they're absolutely mad about, and some other bits and pieces like small balls etc. Da Bird continues to be a massive hit in this house, and the kittens play until they drop or until my arm gets tired. It's usually the arm that gives up before the babies do though.

Ok, I can't make myself write too much more tonight. The pain of letting these babies go is immense, and the tears are just flooding from me the more I force myself to remember their last week. Their time with me is so short, and I don't even think I treasured it enough. I don't know how I could have loved them more, but when you know time is coming to an end, it just never seems enough, does it? I have to just keep reminding myself of the joy and excitement I had at bringing my first cat home, and how grateful I was that the breeder had made the sacrifice so that I could add a furry friend to my family. If I can do that for someone else, then I've done well. That only goes so far though.

The boys will both go to the same home which is just about the best I could hope for. They will go to friends of mine who are absolutely lovely people. Two little boys will most likely not get much sleep tonight as they lie awake thinking of the cats that will come to join them tomorrow. I couldn't have asked for a better home. But I'll probably not get much sleep tonight either thinking of the two little lives that will leave me for good tomorrow. I'll confess that I don't know how to deal with it propperly. In fact, I don't know how to deal with it at all.

I'm afraid that's all for now. Sorry to end on such a low note, but I just don't have it in me to be cheerful tonight. I hope this gets easier with tim,e but a tiny, very truthful part of me knows it probably won't.

Wednesday, 14 September 2011

It's Competition Time!

I'd like to diverge away from kittens today, but believe me, it'll be worth it! Why, you ask? Because I'd like to take the opportunity to run a competition.

I am offering one lucky person the chance to win a pair of tickets to visit the Supreme Cat show which will be held on the 19th of November in the NEC in Birmingham. This is an absolutely amazing show which is the equivalent of Krufts in the cat world. Normal cat shows get anywhere between 200 and 300 entries, but the Supreme gets an average of 1600! All the pens are decorated, and cats have to qualify by winning a CC to enter, so it's only the best of the best that can be shown there. This is truly a cat lover's paradise. If looking at cats all day isn't enough, there are tons of trade stands there, most of which have special offers, and all of which sell just about anything you can imagine for the cat lover and their cat. you will be able to see pretty much every breed of cat that is registered with the GCCF, and maybe get to cuddle a few too! You also have the opportunity to watch them being judged, something which is usually forbidden in GCCF shows. Household pets enter too, so there is literally every type of cat imaginable there! This is an amazing prize, as tickets are quite expensive.

I will be attending the show with two of my cats, and thought this would be a nice chance to give others the opportunity to attend. It really is a smashing day out. Of course, if you win, I'd ask that you come and find me and my beautiful cats, but you would anyway, right?

To enter, please just leave a comment on this blog telling me why you would like the chance to visit the Supreme. The winner will be picked by a random generator, and the competition runs for 2 weeks. Even if you don't live in England, you can still enter. If you want to travel to the show then I'm happy to help source hotels for you, or if you'd rather not come but know someone who would love to, then you are welcome to donate the tickets to others. I would also ask that you spread the word to as many others as possible through Facebook, Twitter etc. Now, let the competition begin!

Monday, 12 September 2011

11 weeks old!

My, how time flies around here. Already, the hooligans are 11 weeks old, and it's hit home that if they all find their forever homes when they should, I only have another two weeks with them. I don't know how I'm going to cope!

The Baby now has her name. It took its time in coming, but thanks to a good friend of mine, we've found something suitable. She'll now be called Millie. Her weight gain has been all over the place this week, and I'm doing my best not to worry unnecessarily. She's a lot smaller than the two boys still, and I'm just not sure how much of that is to do with the fact that she's the only girl and how much is potentially to do with some hidden problem. I keep consoling myself with the fact that the vet did say she could find nothing wrong with any of them when they had their check ups two weeks ago.

Introducing Millie!

Millie is such a character. She's really discovered shoulders this week. Before, she'd climb on you, yes, but now she wants to get up there and stay up there. I call her a parrot, because she'll happily sit there for as long as you'll let her. She supervises the making of coffee, laundry folding, hoovering, you name it, she watches it. She's also gotten very, very attached to me and will wake out of a dead sleep to run after me if I move from the room she's in.

Millie wants to play...

Hamster is a little doll. He's the most placid of all the kittens, never playing rough, never fighting what you want to do to him even when it comes to bathing. But when it's time for a simple eye clean? Well, that boy gets a massive case of the freaks! He wriggles like his tail was on fire, and it takes twice as long to do him as it does the others. Strange really. They all had a bath today, and he was the easiest to do out of the lot. You'd think that he'd fight that even more, but nope, he just sat and took the soaking, then when it was time to be dried, even though he was quite frightened (they all start out frightened of the dryer at first), all he did was hide his head under my chin or in my hand. It was a classic case of "If I can't see it, it doesn't exist", and I laughed so hard I almost pulled a muscle. He's a real sweetie though. He just gets run rough-shod over by the others here because he's content to hang back and just wait until you have time for him rather than being in your face like the other two are. I have a massive soft spot for him, and I make sure he has his individual lap time as often as possible without the others pushing him off or hogging the attention.

Fat Boy peeking over the edge.

Porker has turned into a right attention hog. If I'm sitting down and Millie or Tia aren't on my lap, you can guarantee that within about, oh, I don't know, a second or so, there's the most pitiful, "Help me, I'm just about to die of loneliness," meow from wherever Porker happens to be, followed by him walking onto your lap and then throwing himself down for a sleep. No, this kitten doesn't arrange himself in the typical, careful cat manner. He just lifts his legs from under him when he's ready to lie down, and you get his belly flop whether you wanted it or not! Of course, I want it. I find it incredibly cute, and he always gets a belly tickle, which he loves perhaps more than anything else. He was the hardest out of the three to bathe, and I think that as hard as I try, his bathing manners are going to be an ongoing training goal for his new owners. It's not because he's malicious. He's just so, so frightened. He got in such a state today that he actually pooed himself while I was drying him. I think next time, I'll pop him in a carrier to do it and see if that stresses him less. Funny, because as a tiny baby, he was the one who needed the most baths, so you'd think he'd be used to it by now, but not by a long shot. Gone are his tough boy days though. While I'm typing, he's pawing desperately at my arm for a belly rub, while Hamster cuddles on my shoulder.

Fat Boy Staring up for attention!

Last night, they were allowed access to the bedroom for the first time. I don't let them in there until I'm 100% sure there's no possibility of an accident, as the carpet isn't stain proof. They've been totally clean now for over a week, so I thought it about time that my sleep schedule became non-existent. They loved it! Porker had a super romp, climbing onto cabinets, dive bombing the others from the bed, attacking my toes under the blankets and generally having a wonderful party. Hamster did a more sedate exploration, preferring to mostly stay on the bed with me. He didn't want cuddles, mind you, or at least, not at first. He'd much rather run at full pelt round and round the bed chasing prey only he could see. Millie ran riot as well, feeding off Porker. If she could have bounced off the walls, she would have been! This lasted just until the point where I was seriously considering booting them all out again and giving the whole thing up as a crazy, never gonna work idea, when all at once, it stopped. Porker crawled under the bed to cuddle with mum, Hamster settled down beside my pillow, but Millie climbed right onto the pillow with me, burrowed in so tightly against my neck that I was worried she'd hurt herself, and then never moved until I got up this morning. I was up a few times in the night to pull the boys out of mischief, but she never moved a muscle except to snuggle in again when I came back to bed. She's such a little treasure.

So that's it again for another week. Pictures, as usual, will follow courtesy of my friend, so keep checking back! I'll give you the weights as I always do.

Millie: 1042 grams, the size of a 10 week old kitten, so she's catching up!
Hamster: 1272 grams, the size of a 12 week old kitten. So much for him starting out as the slow gainer!
Porker: 1336 grams, the size of a small 13 week old. He still earns his name!

Monday, 5 September 2011

Ten Weeks Old!

Well, the little monsters are 10 weeks old today, and time's flying by. I realised just the other day that I only have another three weeks with these little ones, and I'm dreading it. The time has flown up until now, so I know it's going ot go in much more quickly than I actually want it to.

Every week they learn something new. This week, Hamster learned to cuddle. Not with me though, with his mum. I came upon them the other day all snuggled together on the sofa. Nothing abnormal in that except that Tia had a front paw over Hamster, and he had his paws wrapped around her neck. It was too sweet for words, and one of those moments when I really wished that I could see enough to use a camera. He's been ever so sweet with her this week, and her favouritism is slowly shifting from Porker to him. He doesn't bug her for milk as much now which is also helping this. Whenever they try to suckle, she'll mostly get up and move away a few times before giving up and letting them get on with it, although I did see her discipline a kitten the other day when they got too pushy in the search for milk. I'm glad to see this. She gives me the impression that she's about ready to be rid of them, and I can't blame her. After constant suckling for 10 weeks from things that have had teeth for 6 of them, she must be very sore!

She won't share my lap with any kitten but Porker. She just about tolerates Hamster, but if the Baby comes for a cuddle when Tia's sitting with me, she'll flounce off my knee in a real snit, and won't come back again even when the Baby's long gone which she inevitably does as soon as Tia gets off. Obviously, mum has found something much more interesting to do than have cuddles from the boring old human, so she has to go check it out. This does her no favours in Tia's book bearing in mind that she's just tried to get away from her. Yep, I think Tia will be glad when they go.

The Baby too has learned a new skill. I was cuddling her the other day when she rolled right over on her back, reached up with a paw and bopped me on the nose. I laughed but thought nothing of it. After all, kittens' paws are everywhere. But when she very deliberately did it a second time, I was forced to admit that there was thought behind it. Cheeky madam! She's ever so cute though. She absolutely will not use claws when she's playing with your fingers any more. She doesn't even like to slap them very hard, but will lie on her back and let you do pretty much anything to her that you want. I'll admit, I exploit this a little. I know she won't bite me, so I handle her all over and do things I know she doesn't like just to get her used to having them done. The vet will have no trouble checking this little lady's mouth, I can tell you! Through it all though, she just sits until I'm done.

Three Little Kittens, sharing a group hug.

She's gotten very people oriented, well, even more so than she was, over the last few days. Yesterday she kept crying for me to pick her up. She did this so much that I actually thought she might be ill! In the end, the only way she'd settle was if she could lie on her side on my shoulder and bury her face in my neck. She stayed like that for maybe 10 minutes, but of course, she waited until I was in the middle of cooking dinner to do it. Why do they always hold back until you're really busy before demanding attention! Please, someone tell me why!

Porker's tough man image is crumbling. He's purred quite a bit, then caught what he was doing and stopped, but he always forgets again. For the last two days when he wants attention he puts his two front paws against my leg and scrabbles and cries piteously until I pick him up for a snuggle. As soon as he's in my arms he turns to mush. These boys are super sweet.

Porker on the scratching post.

You know, even though I'm a bit worried about finding new homes for them, part of me wouldn't care if they were never sold. I want to keep them all for myself. I don't want to miss out on any of their new little quirks. If there are any future owners reading this, be warned, I will be blubbing before you've even got your kitten out the door!

Baby getting ready to pounce.

Kittens fighting!

Well, that's it for today I think. Pictures will be added later on today courtesy of my super friend! Check back and you'll see 'em. As always, here are the weights. The Baby has gained spectacularly! Actually, I forgot to mention that, or at least, I think I did. Another breeder commented that she's had a few fussy eater kittens in the past, and that might be the reason why the Baby wasn't gaining. I put down some hills along with the Animonda, and I've never seen a kitten eat so much! So although I hate feeding it, it's gone down every day since, and she's gaining steadily. She's still far behind her brothers, but considering she'd dropped to 780g on Tuesday morning, she's doing marvellously!

The Baby: 942 grams, but she was 967 earlier today!
Hamster: 1150 grams.
Porker: 1249 grams (He's the size of an 11 and a half week old kitten!).

Friday, 2 September 2011

Kitten Update

I don't know what's come over me lately. I just have no inclination to write, and I can't think of a reason. Every time I've thought of updating the blog, something else has happened, or I've found something else to do, or I've been too tired... The list goes on, but underneath it all, it's this lack of motivation to write. This often happens to me, but usually when I'm in the middle of penning a short story, or, more commonly, the night before an article is due and I know I have limited time. I do know it passes. I just hope you'll stick with me until it does.

I'll tell you right off that there aren't any photos this week. I've had a job offer which has necessitated an awful lot of really quick organising as they want me to start in 3 weeks. My photo snapping friend is also back at work which means he's only available on weekends, so this weekend I'll get him to take a load for me. No doubt you'll see them at the 10 week old stage.

Well, they've had their vaccinations. Vets and other breeders, knowing what a worry wart I am and no doubt wishing to avoid the numerous, panicked phone calls from me, warned me in advance. "They'll be quiet and withdrawn," they said. "They might not play or eat the same for a day," they said. "You'll enjoy the peace," they said. Really? Nobody told the kittens that! They slept for about 2 hours after bringing them back from the vets, but then going there is a big adventure for them, so no wonder they had to sleep off the excitement. After that though, they cleared a whole bowl of food, ran around like lunatics, and generally partied just as hard as any teenager whose parents have gone away for the weekend. Peace? This word means something, yes?

The Baby's weight gain over the last week has been awful again, and even with nutri-drop dosing, it's done little good. I was worried sick (yes, that's getting familiar now, isn't it?) about her when I took her to the vets on Tuesday. I was thinking heart problems, lung problems, liver shunt. They checked her though and said they could find no obvious problems. I took advice from other breeders and increased the variety of foods I set down... And I found her weakness. This baby absolutely loves Hills food. Typical really, as I've worked so hard to get Tia off that and eating something with a better meat content. I'm not giving in though. Even though there's a bowl of Hills down, there's also a bowl of Animonda, and I won't take it up even if she does prefer the Hills. I've caught her sneakily eating Animonda quite a few times though, so perhaps she just wanted the choice. Either way though, she's eating like a little piggie and piling on the weight again. It really doesn't take them long to catch up, does it?

They got wormed again this week too. Thankfully, this time they're big enough to use Milbamax which means no battle to get them to swallow icky liquid. I've noticed that it doesn't give them the same level of diarrhoea either. Thank goodness!

Well, Hamster has turned into an absolute sweety. This week, he's the only kitten who actively seeks cuddles. In fact, sometimes he'll be sleeping on the back of the sofa and start whimpering in his sleep. As soon as you talk to him, he wakes up just enough to stand, half stumbles half tumbles off the back of the sofa, drags himself into your lap and snuggles down to resume dreaming. He will quite happily come for cuddles when he isn't sleeping too, and now the Baby's following his example again.

She's such a happy, confident baby. She flitters around the place, usually chirping, tail stuck straight up in the air. And she gets so, so excited when it's time to greet someone. When I come out of the bedroom in the morning (for the sake of my sanity, they're not allowed in there to disrupt my sleep... yet), she runs like crazy to be the first at the door, then stands at my feet, that little tail quivering, purr rattling her whole body. The boys are always close behind, but she's the first to get attention thanks to her winning ways!

Porker has decided this week that laps are for girls, and he couldn't possibly ever dream of sitting in one. That is until either someone else is in it and he thinks they've got something better than him, or until he gets tired and wants a cushy, self-heating bed to lie in. He has also decided that purring is not on the agenda, although I've sneakily caught him at it when he's half asleep and forgets that he's supposed to be pretending to be too tough to purr. They really do go through stages, don't they? They've all been through what Porker is going through at the moment, and I'd be surprised if it lasted longer than a week!

And breaking news. the Baby has just come and plonked herself in my lap and settled down. Yes, you did read that right. The busy little bee made herself comfy, then clambered to lie against my chest, started purring... And stayed there, without moving, for a whole five minutes! Amazing! Of course, the boys have mastered the staying still skill weeks ago, but for her, there was always something more interesting, a spot on the floor that needed investigating right now, a toy to play with that she hadn't seen in, oh, a second, that she had to beat up right now! It was always right now with her, so this is a milestone! And she's just done it again. Amazing!

The pen is totally gone now. It stayed up as long as it did just in case the wormer gave them the runs so bad that they had to go back in there until it had worn off, but when I saw they were still managing to make it to the trays, or almost, I knew there was no need for it. So down it came. Tia has thus reclaimed her scratching post as her own, as they can't jump that high on their own yet, and were using the pen to climb onto before stealing her post as a sleeping spot. She seems grateful to have a peaceful area back all to herself! The kittens now all sleep on the back of the sofa. It's terribly nice to lean your head back, have one of them cuddle it while you get stereo purring from either side. Tia will sometimes join them up there too.

I've left her without her jacket this week just to see how things go. I've also allowed kittens to suckle when and where they want. Thankfully, her milk isn't coming back in in great supply, even though when they suckle, they do it hard!

They've also now been given access to the hall which they love. Firstly, there's more room for all their toys, and secondly it means that they have a nice long stretch to run up and down, stalk each other, and generally create mischief. They move so fast now. I hadn't got the full experience of a term that so many cat owners use, Thundering Herd of Elephants, until these kittens showed me how it goes. It's crazy to here the noise one mum cat and three tiny bodies can generate when they run!

Hmmm, what else to tell you. I think that's about it really. I feel like I've talked for ages! Hope it was worth the weight, and I promise, pictures will come as soon as they've been taken. As usual, here are their weights. Remember that these are from Monday, just for consistency's sake.

The Baby: 833 grams Hamster: 1032 grams (he gained loads!)
Porker: 1114 grams (Well, he's called Porker for a reason!)