So, what happened yesterday? A long week, that's what. I sat down late last night to write the blog, and... Suddenly it was midnight, I had a crick in my neck from falling asleep on the sofa, and Gabby had written 2 whole pages of random letters while she slept on the keyboard on my lap. I gave up at that point and just went to bed. There then followed a manic day at work, then lots of kitten cuddling and litter tray cleaning when I got home, so this is the first chance I've had to write. Sorry!
So, the kittens are three weeks old now. Actually, they're just turning 3 weeks as I write this! They're doing so, so well and are making big strides every day now.
Yesterday I removed the Vetbed from the pen and replaced it with a much smaller bit that will allow the kittens to begin differentiating between their bed and the play area. This is quite important for them to do prior to litter training as I find that it makes for slightly less accidents that way. Initially, there was lots of wailing and shrieking as they stepped onto this new surface and their legs went out from under them! It's only lino, but of course, they were used to Vetbed which has excellent grip for little claws, not this shiny, slippy thing that you couldn't hold onto. However, the scaredy cat phase didn't last for long.
Soon they began to trundle around quite happily, and not long after that, Stripey discovered that this new floor was great for running on! Of course, the running consisted mostly of falling, but still, it's the thought that counts, right?
As they settled, they got more and more adventurous, and eventually, Stripe and Apache picked up the courage to climb over the lip of the pen and out onto the carpet. Mind you, they turned into chickens as soon as they realised how big the real world was, and hightailed it back into the safety of familiarity. This is their first independent foray outside the confines of the pen.
They all now love tummy tickles. I spend a lot of time with them and now, most times when I come into the room, Stripe and Apache in particular will come racing to the front of the pen and literally squeal non stop until I get in there and give them some love. I even got my first consistent purr yesterday, and you'll never guess who from! Little Dreamy. He's decided that he loves rubbing under his chin and along his neck, and he will literally fall over as soon as you touch him there. Apache also had a purr, but then remembered that she was supposed to be being a brave adventurer, and everyone knows that brave adventurers don't have time to stop and purr so she gave that up for a bad job and went trundling off to beat up her sister instead.
I gave them all their first taste of food today. I wouldn't normally force weaning this young, but as I wanted to encourage Apache to eat to catch up with her sibs, I thought I might as well give them all a taste. Apache wasn't too thrilled but swallowed a tiny amount. Berry absolutely hated the stuff, and decided that surely it must be poison, but then she couldn't help but have a little extra lick just to make sure. Dreamy wasn't having any of it, and just clamped his mouth shut and refused. No surprises there. I knew he would be the hardest to wean, as eating requires effort. Red boy (I still haven't got a name for him! Any suggestions?) was neither here nor there, but Stripey? Well, she started by hating it, and how did she tell me? Well, by screaming of course. Then she decided she'd tolerate it. Then she decided she loved it, and almost ate my fingers to get more! I only gave her a few mouthfuls though, as I don't want them having too much too fast at this age. However, now begins the weaning encouragement. I'll pop a little food in their mouths a few times a day, but I'll not force the issue any more than that. They'll eat when they're ready after all.
So that's it so far. More tomorrow... If I don't fall asleep!
Here's a photo taken right after Stripe and Apache went adventuring, and they'd all had their first taste of the lino. As you can see, all that hard work builds an apetite!