Day 36
[the cable network has been offline for days, so updating has been a bit difficult!]
Ellis is a bottomless pit - as soon as I offer him raw rabbit he just munches away until it's gone, and then comes back for more. Unfortunately he hasn't quite sussed out that he can come to the plate to get it himself. Dudley is more resistant, but as soon as he gets a taste will eat happily. Kashmir is less keen, despite a good start in the morning. She says it's yucky and I'm not going to force the issue with her as her little tummy is nice and fat and round. Maybe she's just too full to eat. I wean directly onto raw rabbit. I used to give baby rice and other sloppy foods, but the incidence of 'weaning tummy' and the willingness to wean is dramatically better getting them straight onto meat, which is how they would wean if they were not domesticated. To show how successful the introduction of meat has been, here are some of their weights over the last few days:

Ellis

Kashmir

Dudley

Monday - 9 am

538

600

575

Monday - 9 pm

541

609

578

Tuesday - 9 am

546

611

582

Tuesday - 9 pm

554

620

589

Wednesday (yesterday) - 9 am

565

630

596

Yesterday - first solid food midafternoon
weighing 9 pm - HUGE gain already

608

650

622

today - 9 am

624

663

632



As you can see, the gains suddenly leap ahead. Normally kittens decide when they want to eat, and help themselves from their mother's bowl. This litter have been completely uninterested in food until I actually pushed it into their mouths yesterday, and now Ellis can't get enough. In retrospect I probably should have started their weaning earlier, but I was waiting for signs of interest in food before jumping in. At least I know they're getting a good diet now and they're ready for it rather than being pushed to eat before they want to. At the rate Ellis is going he's going to overtake his big sister in a couple of days, so he won't be the runt any more!

Day 37

Did I mention litter training? I seem to be spending all my time stuffing fleeces
into the washing machine and the dryer. Kittens just love to pee in their beds,
and as a result keep 'moving house' when it gets a bit damp. In spite of that,
there are clear signs of little puddles being put into the litter trays as well, so
I suppose I just have to wait until they decide that it's nicer to sleep in the warm
and nicer to put puddles where you can cover them up.

Day 38
Well first of all, the little girl FINALLY told me her name. I wasn't far off with Kashmir, but she just gave me a look as if to say "for heaven's sake...". She's actually called Katy (apparently). Here's another new bed that they've found. They can climb quite well now, and are showing their preference for living off the floor.

Day 39
There is a
movie for today - Dudley is the active one, Katy is washing and Ellis just doesn't want to be filmed.
Ellis stuffs himself with food as soon as I put it under his nose (though I still have to show it to him - he doesn't seem to be able to go looking for it, or eat from his mother's plate). Dudley is more difficult, but once I've convinced him that it's more interesting than playing then he does eat. However Katy is a disaster: I have to push little bits of meat into her mouth at every mealtime before she'll admit it's not poison, and then she will eat it. She keeps being surprised by how nice meat is - honestly! Another new bed, but this one seems to be lasting a bit longer than the ones on the floor. Obviously peeing is done on the floor and sleeping is done higher up.

Day 40
There is a
movie for today - from L to R: Ellis, Katy, Dudley
Dudley has now stopped writhing and arching his back when I pick him up. He has decided that more effecive tactics may be to SCREAM at the top of his lungs that he's being murdered. Of course, Ellie and Libby both believe him (how could one of their darlings lie?) which makes it difficult for me to hold him. He just hates having hands round him, though he will tolerate a lap if he's in a very good mood. I have had various friends come and visit them as they're a bit too skittish with strangers at the moment. I've also added a radio to their room to get them used to general noises apart from my kitchen noises that they already get. They're very different from Burmese and Tonkinese litters I've reared - much more 'nervy', so I'm having to make much more effort with socialising them.

Day 41
There is a
movie for today
They are getting much more active - they seem to spend a lot less time sleeping with Ellie (they sleep in a little heap together) and a lot more time annoying her by biting her tail to posturing in front of her. Eventually she breaks and chases the offender across the room! Libby is HUGE (21.5 inches around her middle) and waddling around just about. She has less appetite now as there's obviously no room for kittens. Still a week to go, though I think she'll have them a couple of days early, poor thing!

Day 42
There is a
movie for today
Another week gone and they suddenly seem to have grown in the last few days. They've been eating solids for a week now (though they will only eat raw rabbit), and I see them suckling very rarely.