14 September 2002
I went out to a show this afternoon to do some shopping: some more fleece nests (I never seem to have enough) and a special small carrier and small harrness for Ellis. I was so pleased to find a beautiful soft leather harness that fits him perfectly and won't need any adjustment. When I got back I found that the photographer Mario Mage had delivered a large package of 30 photographs that he took of Ellie's kittens just before they left home - as always, his pictures are wonderful, so instead of Libby's fat babies today, here are Ellis, Katy and Dudley.

from left to right: Dudley, Ellis, Katy.

Dudley has apparently wormed his way into the hearts of his two new feline house-mates, but is proving a little dominant: apparently he pushed one of the grown-up cats off the pillow during the night, so that he could sleep there! Katy meanwhile, in true Siamese style, has been climbing the curtains from floor to ceiling and teaching Pooh (now called Luke) every bad habit she can think of. They have had to be excluded from the conservatory as they actually pulled the curtains down altogether. For some reason this amuses their new owners...!

15 September 2002
I have now committed myself to a public showing for Libby's babies: all eight will be on exhibition at the
Siamese Cat Club Show on Saturday 2nd November 2002. This is held at the Stantonbury Campus Leisure Centre, Milton Keynes, Bucks MK14 6BN. (You can find a map to get there by clicking here and typing in the postcode.) If you can find the time we would love to see you, and the kittens would enjoy meeting the people who've been watching them grow up. Teddy, my prize-winning cuddly Tonkinese will also be there as a Siamese 'cousin'. Two of the kittens will also be on exhibition for the Old-style Siamese Club, on our club stall at the Supreme Show at the end of November (at the NEC in Birmingham). Everything went into the letterbox today so I hope I filled in all the boxes correctly.

Meanwhile, the kittens are eating more and more - I seem to spend all my time picking up empty plates and replacing them with full ones. Now they've got the idea about food, they just can't get enough - and I'm not complaining as they are growing beautifully now. Every day, they seem less like babies and more like young cats: in the last week they have developed strong individual personalities, and that seems to have come in tandem with them being a lot more interested in me when I go in to see them. They do 'ahhh, cute...' very well indeed, especially Piglet (no. 9), who rushes across the piano to me every time she sees me (there she is on the front of the piano waiting for me to come back and cuddle her).

16 September 2002

They are all round my feet when I'm cooking, and unfortunately have started climbing my legs to get my attention, so my ankles are a bit lacerated! Today they were very interested in helping me to empty the dishwasher...

<<<-Podge is the champion climber (having slightly crossed eyes doesn't seem to affect her), and went to the top of their 5-foot tree three times yesterday, while none of the others managed to get that far. Unfortunately, having got there she just had to sit until I rescued her, as she hasn't sorted out how to get down again yet! I've had to move the tree beside the piano so she only has a short way to jump to get down. It's now the quickest route upwards, and very funny to watch them all swarming up it like firemen in reverse!

17 September 2002
A hangover from that long hassle weaning them is that every time they put their noses in the trough I'm so excited I have to take a picture of it!

Panda, who is going to live in Dublin, is getting more beautiful by the day, and is surely the most 'old-style' of all of them, with her lovely rounded head. So I sat down and took some individual shots of her. Mario will be taking a set of shots for me as well once they're bigger (and vaccinated), and I can't wait for the fun of trying to get 8 kittens to pose all at once!

18 September 2002
Yesterday evening Ellie was showing me her stitches and saying she reckoned it was time they came out. They were due to come out on Monday, but were waiting for a visit from the vet due on Friday. However, she was lying so beautifully that I managed to snip 5 out of the 7 stitches out. The last two eluded me as they were so tight that I couldn't be sure I'd only snip one side of the stitch, so I had to leave them for the expert (with his special hooked scissors). They are very happy together: Ellis is very frightened by the large litter of kittens downstairs so he stays upstairs in the kitten room with Ellie. Ellie is a very domineering cat, and tries to fight with my Tonkinese, so she can't integrate with them. It means that sadly they have to stay separate, but at least they get to run about and play upstairs during the day when the Tonkinese are jumping about in the garden. They certainly seem very happy together!

Meanwhile, downstairs, the serious business of learning how to intimidate other cats goes on apace:

19 September 2002

Still amazed by their capacity to EAT - here they are tucking in to their breakfast: chicken, Denes tin and raw rabbit. They get to choose, and I'm glad to see that most of them now go for the raw meat, which is the best thing they could get at this age.
 And here are my two beautiful boys - Piper on the left and Peter on the right - Peter is about 1.2 Kg now, and that's about 200 gms more than his nearest rival. He's a really big solid boy, and very gentle and calm. He's got a wonderful deep purr that he uses to devastating effect. Piper is more energetic, running about a lot, but he's also the most demanding: he wants to be held constantly and shouts at me to pick him up if I'm not paying enough attention to him!

20 September 2002
Last night some new 'parents' came to visit and they loved the babies who (as usual) slept through most of their visit. We managed to stir them up a bit after a while and they did demonstrate some of their more vicious 'play' tactics eventually. They are so lovely now that I really don't want any of them to go. I go in to them and they ask me to pick them up and cuddle them and look into my eyes with such exceptional intelligence - they are really amazing. Here is this week's Rogue's Gallery - nine weeks old today.