12 October 2002
Pepper is not really 100% - she doesn't have much appetite and her tummy feels very bubbly. The others seem to be fine though. I had a big session in the kitten room today (it's what I usually do on Saturdays), tidied everything out, washed down the floor etc, and then I put down some rugs for their little feet. These were taken for wrestling mats (of course) and they lasted about 20 minutes before they were all screwed up in little balls!

13 October 2002
I had a sort of sad day today. Someone came to visit Ellie my fat blue queen who has just been neutered. Try as I might I can't integrate her with my other cats as she just deliberately attacks them - often viciously. I hate keeping everyone separate, and particularly I hate having to shut her away at night, which seems to me to be a dehumanising strategy when I can't be with her all day. So I've been tentatively looking for someone who would like a single adult cat, and I think I've found her. Ellie is going to live in a flat, and have 100% of her new mummy's attention - no other cats or people, so I hope she can become a more normal cat. I'm glad about this, but I'm also relieved as it has been impossible to keep her on her diet when she's constantly nicking Ellis's kitten food. She will be much happier when she's halved her body weight! It is suddenly very cold, so I've installed a free-standing electric radiator for the babies which they cuddled up to very quickly. The room they're in deliberately only has very little heating because of the piano, but the piano is just going to have to suffer as I can't bear to see babies cold. Pepper is a little better and Panda is now putting on lots of weight. Here they are in their two favourite sleeping places: the top of the piano and the top of the fridge.

14 October 2002

Podge's new dads have decided they are going to call her Amelie, which suits her a lot better than Podge as she's not really podgy any more. Pepper is still squidgy, so she's been off to the vet.
I put Ellie out in the cattery on her own during the day to get her used to being apart from Ellis. The result with Ellis was that he finally purred for me! It was very creaky and rusty, and took a long time to get going, but he manged it eventually.
This evening we had a power cut, which is quite unusual - whole sections of Oxford were off. The weather has been revolting, pouring with rain and very depressing. Two of the babies have found their way to the uncomfortable top of the fixed radiator - here they are perched in the 'gap'.

15 October 2002
I noticed this morning that several of the kittens had very pale gums and tongue, suggesting they are a bit enaemic, and that may account for their lack of real appetite. I have given those who look rather pale a dose of iron, and they look better this evening. They all still rampage about the place, so I don't think they feel ill, I'm just a worrier (as you probably know by now!). The babies are very grateful for their special radiator!

16 October 2002
Today the vet says Pepper's tummy has improved a lot, though she's still a bit squashy where she should be firm. However, she's showing very clear signs of gaining weight, and she's got her appetite back, so I think the uncomfortable bubbliness in her tummy has subsided and we're on the way to getting her sorted out. I have no idea what has upset her - it could be anything really, including lactose intolerance because she and several of the others are still sneaking suckling when they can, though I don't think Libby has any milk now: spot the wicked sucklers in this picture...

17 October 2002
Two sets of visitors today: in the morning some people came to see if they'd like to have Seven. I'm afraid nothing they did endeared them to me! First of all they came in the door to see Pumpkin on the sofa, and the lady just stood and shouted 'hello' at her several times. When they came in to see the kittens they didn't make any attempt to touch them, the lady just pointed to one and said 'I want that one'. As her husband was quieter, I gave Seven to him, and though she went rigid at first, she relaxed gradually. He seemed amazed to be offered a kitten to handle. His wife didn't make any attempt to touch them though, so fortunately as they decided they're really rather have a seal (and what bad luck that I didn't have any seals left who weren't spoken for!) and she didn't think they could come all that way again to pick another one up, they went away empty handed. I think she had thought she could just pick one out and walk away with it, even though I had told her that they weren't going until after 2 November. I'm rather relieved that I didn't have to say no anyway, people can get very upset.
A complete contrast was this evening, when Piglet's new mummy came to see her. She made herself comfortable on the floor with the babies and found a toy to get their attention, and within minutes she and her grown-up daughter had been claimed by several kittens each. What a difference to this morning! Piglet is going to be called Kaya (I think that's what they said!) after an Egyptian princess.

18 October 2002
13 weeks old today, and I'm so glad I decided to keep them an extra couple of weeks so that they can go to the show in two weeks time! I couldn't bear to let them go yet, as they're the most wonderful group imaginable - they come rushing to me as soon as they see me, and I just hate being away from them. Libby adores them, and my attempts to keep her away from them so that they can't suckle just result in her getting laryngitis from crying for them, even if she can see them. She wants to be with them all the time, making sure they're being good (ha!) but mostly playing with them, as they're not much smaller than she is. I weighed them all yesterday and they are all within a couple of ounces of 3 lbs in weight, except for Peter Padfoot, who is just over 4 lbs, they great slug! Here they are as always, but I have put Libby into little Sam's spot, as after all she's really the one responsible for these lovely beasties.

I had a big box arrive from a food delivery, so I cut lots of different size and shape holes in it and put it down for them - they certainly appreciated it, sticking arms and trying to grab each other through the little holes, and squirming in and out of the bigger ones.