It's hard to believe that exactly a week has passed since these babies
arrive. Normally for me, the first week is the slowest. It feels like
it drags. Kittens do nothing but eat, sleep and cry, and mum normally
does nothing but squash them. Although Gabby's done her fair share of
that, her kittens haven't needed excessive involvement and are all
fat, chubby and very, very viggorous. Even little tiny 2-splodge is
fighting merrily for her nipple, and normally my tinies need an awful
lot of input which you'll see if you look back at the posts from
Gabby seems to be back on form and more willing to feed. We've worked
out a compromise. She's very insistent that she wants free access to
her pen, and while this concerns me, i.e possibility of her moving
kittens, if she wants it, I can't really do much about it. She's an
awkward cat at the best of times so it doesn't surprise me that even
in kitten raising she insists on having her own way. So far, and I'm
saying this very, very quietly, she hasn't even attempted to move
them, but I'm giving her clean bedding as often as she wants it,
sometimes twice a day! However, as I say, we've compromised. I let her
come and go as she likes, and she feeds the babies on a rigid 1.5 to 2
hour slot. I put the heat pad on to keep them warm in between and she
lies in front of the door to the nest and guards them against any
possible fierce predators (my house is full of people just waiting to
swoop down on poor unsuspecting kittens and kiss them and cuddle
little squidgy fat bellies). She squeaks at me to tell me she thinks
they need fed, and I get up and move them for her so she can lie down,
or move them so they wake up. She hasn't quite grasped that you have
to lick your babies to make them wake and let them know you're there,
and gets quite indignant when she cuddles down ready for nursing and
they completely ignore her!
She seems to be over her off colour stage. Weight gains were amazingly
good yesterday. Not so hot this morning but not terrible either, and
no baby wanted the bottle last night which is a good sign. All tummies
are nice and podgy and fat, and my biggest kitten is looking like a
little barrel! They've all grown in so much more fluff than they had
when they were born, and are a lot more sociable. nobody has their
eyes open yet, but it won't be long. They are already starting to hear
as they now get quite animated when i come into the nest, probably
because they know it normally means that mum isn't too far behind me,
bringing yummy milk.
None have doubled their birth weights, but mine rarely do in the first
week. They always start small, then grow like weeds from about week 3.
By the time they're ready to go home, they're big monsters and well
over the average weight for their age, so I don't worry about it at
this early stage.
This, for me, is where the fun really begins. This is where they start
to develop and blossom so quickly. Already, they're all purring when
they suckle, and 2 are just starting to purr for pleasure. Today, the
thing that always makes me melt happened. As I popped my hand into the
nest to help pop kittens against Gabby's tummy (she likes me to do
this so they don't shriek for too long), one of the little whites
lazily rolled over, put their paws in the air and just lay there
showing off his tummy (don't know if it's a he, but I can't call a
kitten it, so they can all be he until proven otherwise!). Well, what
could I do! I started tickling, and this tiny little 1 week old kitten
started stretching his paws right out, wiggling, and nibbling on my
finger. When lying on his back was too much, he rolled to his side and
just lay until I was good and finished. I actually had to physically
move him to the milk bar before his sibs drank it dry, as he was quite
content to stay there and purr and be cuddled.
They're already climbing all over my hands when I put them in, and
soon they'll start doing that to actively seek attention instead of
just because they're there. They only moan now instead of distressed
screaming when I take them out to weigh, and quiet almost immediately
when picked up and held again.
Persians really are the sweetest breed for taking affection when
they're tiny, and already I can see this in them. Typically, it's the
2 smallest ones that I'm falling in love with. I just have to remind
myself that I don't want to keep any! Cuz that's worked really, really
well in the past...
We're snapping photos of them on and off today, so will pop some up in
tomorrow's post. They got a new bed because they were too mobile, and
busily chucking themselves out of the first one. Again, I've never
seen a litter do this so young. They can't stand yet, but they were
purposely moving out of the old one, one after the other, and even
when I returned them to mum, straight out they'd come again. This new
bed is a material one, so sadly will have to be binned after they're
done with it, but it has much higher sides. So far, it's kept them in
one place, and if Gabby does squash one, the sides are soft enough
that the kitten shouldn't be in any real danger, something which might
mean I get more sleep at night now!
It's funny. With all my other girls, they accidentally squash kittens
for the first few days, then stop altogether. With Gabby, she was very
careful initially, but now if she lies on one, she just continues
feeding the rest like nothing is happening, while the poor unfortunate
kitten screams blue murder from underneath her!
The kittens have a first tomorrow. I'm getting someone else to watch
them so I can have an afternoon away from the house. I can't wait!
Cabin fever is extreme at the moment. But when you're cuddling a
sleepy bunch of babies, it all seems worth it.
Anyway, enough waffle for today. Photos tomorrow hopefully!