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

Wednesday, 19 September 2012

Father Time

<p>When you have a large litter of kittens, work full time, have older
cats to care for and also need to feed yourself, time management
becomes key. The smallest unexpected event can throw your whole day
off, and you spend the rest of it feeling like you're chasing your
tail and trying to catch up. That's what happened to me yesterday. So
what's the routine of a cat breeder?</p>

<p>5:00 AM. Time to get up as the kittens are hungry and kitten
bellies wait for no man. There's now a feeding routine in this house.
First, Gabby needs fed (Tia isn't in this equasion as she refuses to
eat anything but dry which is left down for free feeding). If I feed
Gabby and Millie together, Millie barges Gabby out of the way until
she's had her fill. Meantime, Gabby has the attention span of a six
month old kitten, because that's what she is, and gets bored and
wanders off, then can't be bothered to eat when you bring her back.
So, Gabby is fed first. While she's eating, I'm mixing Tia's dry food
(they have a blend of three different types. The high protein dry
gives them loose tummies, so the proportion of that has to be
carefully monitored along with the other two that I mix for
nutritional content). As Gabby finishes, Millie is let out of the pen
and the bowl is refilled. Why don't I feed her in with the kittens?
Because if I do, she eats every scrap of their food and they go
hungry. Why don't I feed her in a separate room? Because she wants
whatever someone else has, so the only way to make sure that someone
else eats is to fill them up first. Next, kittens get fed. Thankfully
they all now know what food is, so don't need to be hand fed. However,
the trick is to keep Millie out of the pen and occupied for 20-30
minutes as if she's left to her own devices, she'll go and stand in
front of the pen and cry to be let in, then kittens will start crying
and forget about eating. Why does it take so long? Because these
kittens, like any small babies, have short attention spans, so will
eat a little, then run off to play, then eat again. After half an
hour, Millie can be let back into the pen to clean up what's left.</p>

<p>Next comes litterbox duties, and with 4 big boxes and 2 kitten
ones, that takes a while. This is followed by a full scrub down of the
pen. That normally takes me to when I leave for work (about 7 AM), so
I normally end up snatching breakfast in the car.</p>

<p>I don't get home again until 6:30 (don't worry, the kittens are
checked on regularly through the day) and then the feeding and
cleaning and litterbox routine starts again. Then it's time to feed
myself. I won't lie. I've been going for convenience foods lately as I
just don't have the time to cook anything super fancy for myself at
the minute. Cuddling of my big girls also needs to be factored into
this. With three of them, that takes some time as I like to give them
all a lot of individual attention. They are my pets after all. Their
grooming is done every other day. Gabby alone takes about 10 minutes,
not much in the grand scheme of things, but when every minute is
accounted for, that's a hefty chunk.</p>

<p>I also have to leave a solid hour or so for working with the
kittens. Of course, I handle them on and off throughout the day, but I
like to have quality time with them as well. This gets them used to
lap cuddling, being held for prolonged periods, and also gives me time
to work on their biting and their general manners. We've now gotten to
a point where red is the only one regularly biting now. The others
will try their luck, but give up after the first try. The next thing
to work on is claws in if they grab a hand. That one's always more

<p>Somewhere amongst all that I have to find time to shower, make
lunch for work (that's not been happening for a while now), and blog.
The blog is the first thing that goes as it's not as essential as me
eating, but it then means that the next day, I write a more involved
update which again takes longer! I normally get to bed around 11.</p>

<p>Yesterday I had an unexpected doctor's appointment which took an
hour, so my evening routine was absolutely messed up. As you can see,
having kittens is not all sweetness and light. Mind you, when Stripey
crawls onto your shoulder, grunts at you, purrs, sticks her foody face
right in your ear (why do they always have to do this!) then settles
down for a sleep (with face still in ear), it does make it all

<p>The kittens progressed from food saucers to food bowls yesterday
without a hitch. They're growing up!</p>

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