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Wednesday, 5 September 2012

Day 24, Oh Crappy Day!

Well, I told you at the start that I'd try and give you the whole
experience of raising kittens. That involves the bad as well as the
good, I'm afraid.

Kittens are messy little things when they learn to wean. It feels like
you're constantly fighting a losing battle just to keep them clean,
and more oftten than not, you lose. normally this is Ok, but if you've
had a bad day, are feeling a bit tired etc, then it can easily get
overwhelming. I'm at that stage.

I had no sleep last night due to having a tummy bug (thank you work!)
and also due to Millie being an absolute horror. She's gotten into the
habit of flinging all of her litter out of the tray because she knows
it will bring me running to clean it up. I can't leave it everywhere
when there are kittens in the pen, and even though I ignore her
totally, she still thinks she's getting attention because I'm close,
so that reinforces the behaviour. This only serves to increase the
scratching. That carried on a grand total of 4 times throughout last
night, and that combined with the bug left precious little time for

Millie stepped things up a notch as the day began, now actively
kicking litter out of the tray to bury food, water and most of the pen
in general. So I moved the litter tray up towards the bed and away
from the food. Thwarted by this, she then resorted to systematically
destroying the inco pads I put on the floor to keep kittens clean and
dry while they're weaning. She tears right through the upper layer
until she gets at the fluff underneath. Then that fluff gets scattered
and goes into burying the food too. It literally gets stuck to
everything. I've cleaned the pen 14 times today, and am very, very
close to breaking point. She's fine while I'm in the room, but every
time I leave it the scratching begins.

On top of all this, the kittens have learned to poo, well, three of
them have so far. Up until they begin to wean, the mum cat will
physically stimulate them by licking their lower bellies and bums. She
eats what they produce. However, all of that stops when they wean. She
won't eat any of their poo, and when they're learning, they're so, so
messy. They normally sit down in their poo meaning that their whole
back ends are covered. If they don't sit in it, they stand in it and
track it everywhere. If they don't stand in it, someone else will roll
in it just to make sure maximum coverage is achieved... It normally
is. When you have a mum cat who is also actively flinging the contents
of the pen flooring around, well, things get very messy very quickly.
Millie keeps insisting on lying in the litter tray, so rather than
looking at it as a place to toilet, the kittens are seeing that as a
bed and the bed as the toilet. I swear, I'm glad I love Millie. It's
at times like this that that love counts for a lot...

So, as well as cleaning the pen pretty much all day, trying to take a
break long enough to eat and do normal things as well as resting to
get over this bug (there's a joke), I've been scrubbing very
uncooperative kittens. I the time it's taken me to write this blog,
Millie has been in and out of the pen 5 times, has over turned the
litter twice, and, the final straw which has caused me to give her a
very firm time out from the kittens for a while, was when she
overturned her water dish onto the five, then sat there and just
watched as they screamed and huddled for warmth. She howled blue
murder from the other side of the door as I changed bedding yet again,
put in a heat pad, refilled the water, refilled the litter tray,
refilled the food and dried cold kittens, but I let her. If it's not
her howling it will be me soon, and I know which one I'd rather have!
She won't settle with them for long, and with the other cats in the
house, I really don't want to move the pen out of my bedroom, but if
she carries on like this, then I'm going to have to. Tia did this last
year and would only finally settle when she could see me, so perhaps
Millie is the same.

To those of you thinking of breeding just because you want a cute
litter of kittens from puss, and "Oh, but wouldn't it be lovely to
watch them grow?" think very, very carefully. Could you put up with
this?Ok, rant over. Fancy a photo?

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