Day 29 - 27 June
There is a
movie for today
Yes, it's litter-training time. There have been little puddles appearing for a few days now - these are usually announced by quite a lot of shouting and walking around the nest looking agitated. Shortly afterwards, a warm corner of the fleece is the scene of some serious concentration and then - hey presto! a puddle!
Now all I have to do is persuade them that the interesting plastic trays placed all around the play area and filled with nice pieces of compressed recycled newspaper (with soy-based ink which is safe to eat) are for peeing in, and not for walking through on the way somewhere else. I have already found several nice pieces of dampened litter showing that they ARE using the trays, just not exclusively. I have a wonderful
movie of Ellis thinking very hard about using the tray, but then giving up!

Day 30
There is a
movie for today
There have been a couple of suggestions of names for the little girl, but none really fits - I'm sure she will tell me her name soon, but for now she's just being a sweetie. Their weights continue to fluctuate instead of climbing steadily, and a chat with my vet suggested that they may have worms (I have to admit, I would have said they definitely didn't look wormy!), so I have started them on a very light dose of panacur liquid which he has made up. As it's so milk I have to give them a dose every day for five days. They are not impressed. They now run, jump, and even climb - it seems that they have suddenly started doing these things with almost no wobbly exploration stage in between, and I'm very impressed, and Ellie is pleased that she now has someone to play with as Libby is too fat to do anything these days.

Day 31
Weights looking good, but still not showing a steady climb. Ellis holds his own a50-60 gms below his sister, Dudley is known as 'Fat Dudley' and continues to refuse to let me hold him, and my beautiful little girl continues to keep silent about her name... 'What do you think, mummy?"

Day 32
There is a
movie for today
Weights still a bit shaky, but the kittens are very active and seem happy and energetic. Today for the first time, they weren't just beating each other up when they played: the little girl found a fluffy toy mouse and rushed off into a corner with it, where she hissed and spat at anyone who came near her. We were all very frightened... Poor Libby looks like the back end of a bus, she's so huge. I think she's finding it a bit much as well, as she spends most of her time flopped out on a squashy cushion within easy reach of the babies, but not with them.

Day 33
There is a
movie for today of Ellis being a pest.
This morning I had the dubious pleasure of hearing one of the kittens screaming repeatedly in pain for quite a long stretch. The first poo usually elicits quite a loud announcement (I think it must hurt the first time they do it for themselves) but by the looks of it Dudley had been hanging on to this event for about 4 days - I've never seen such a long poo! It was about 7 inches long, but normal apart from that. However, he SCREAMED throughout, and quite upset me and the mothers! He's
completely fine now. The wormer seems to be showing results as their colour is much better - their little mouths are pink now when they yawn, as are their paw pads. However the weights are still fluctuating, though steadily climbing in spite of that. I suspect Dudley will have lost about 50 gms after this morning's excitement though! (Yes, that's Ellis ogling the camera...)

Day 34
I think they have decided litter trays are a good thing, though occasionally I see one looking deeply satisfied on a blanket. However, I'm not worried about the blanket, and I know they will go for the litter trays in preference eventually. Dudley is slightly less horrified about being picked up, but is clearly not intending to be a big cuddler. It's rather disappointing, and I wonder if something happened to put him off so badly, though I don't think so. He's completely determined that being picked up is a prelude to torture.

Day 35
There is a
movie for today
Five weeks old. although their weights are still higher than the averages for previous litters, they are not gaining anything like the weight they should daily. Their colour has improved though, which is one good thing. I think the only course is to encourage them to start taking solids, so today they will got their first taste of raw rabbit, in the hope that they will start to catch up again. They are still lovely and fat, but not fulfilling the promise of their early days, possibly because Ellie is easily distracted and isn't spending as much time feeding them as she was. I needn't have worried about weaning - once I got the raw meat into Eliss's mouth he caught on instantly, and stuffed his face - I could barely keep up with him. My little girl was a bit slower to get the idea, but also tucked in well. Dudley unfortunately didn't think chewing was so great, and tried to swallow several pieces whole, which resulted in him choking. He's not so impressed, but at least he didn't spit it out. The result of one big feed during the afternoon is that evening weighing showed they had all gained 30 gms rather than the 15 they had been averaging, and Ellis gained 53! I have finally decided my little girl MUST have a name...

Hello Ellis

Hello Kashmir

Hello Dudley