Meet the babies (5)
DAY 29, 8 March

Had a very interesting chat this morning with a lady who's a far more experienced breeder than I am. I asked her about Missie's lack of milk and she said that many queens simply don't have much, and the point you notice it is at 3 weeks, which is exactly when I began to see a drop off in weight-gain with my litter. She also felt that the fact that Missie has 6 teats working for four kittens is likely to be causing a problem: normally you only have enough active teats for the number of kittens, but this lot have managed to keep 6 going. This is a problem as the teats never get fully 'stripped out' because the kittens just go on to a new one when the one they're using begins to run dry. The result is that the gland gets the message that it doesn't need to produce so much milk. Because I'm having to supplement them now it's likely that this will mean they are even less demanding of her milk, and that in turn will probably dry it up. Vicious circle, but one I can live with as everything is under control at the moment.

Wait a minute ... whose kittens are these anyway?

DAY 30, 9 March

HUGE weight gain today, but I offered them their first plate of Farex (baby cereal) at lunch time, and instead of walking through it (which is what kittens normally do), they put their heads down and gobbled it up! Missie's milk still seems to be coming in relatively strongly, and I'm resisting their demands and insisting they suckle as much as possible.

DAY 31, 10 March

Another good weight day. They have had no milk supplements and instead got three Farex feeds. It's quite funny how they take a while to realise that it's easier to get the food by licking the plate rather than biting the edge! They have no problem with licking it off my finger though. Missie seems to have more milk, and though they gobble the Farex, they don't seem to be so hungry. Reckless is still a very dedicated 'nanny', but only brings them to me now if they are hungry. They are *just* beginning to play with toys like ping-pong balls and small fluffy mice. However, pouncing still involves more falling over than scaring their prey!

It's definitely 2 blue and 1 brown pointed (or Siamese) pattern variants (all girls), and one little brown boy (called mudpie) who could be a Tonkinese pattern, or could be a solid (or Burmese) pattern. It will be easier to tell about him when his eye colour changes from its current baby blue.

Full tummies!

DAY 32, 11 March

Still eating well. I offered a little cooked chicken and the girls said that was ok for biting a bit, but not as nice as the Farex. Litter training is 'complete': they have a very good habit of only using the litter trays now, and all I have to do is encourage them to change from bits of fleece in the bottom to bits of litter. I had to give up temporarily on the litter because they didn't want to use something that shifted under their feet.

They are fairly dedicated climbers, but I haven't yet seen anyone actually reach the TOP of the small scratching post.

DAY 33, 12 March

We have changed successfully to litter in the litter trays, and they are very glad of something to dig in. I offered them minced raw rabbit for the first time today: normally you have to push it into their mouths to convince them that it actually tastes good, but two of the girls went straight for it, and the third only took a little bit of persuasion. They are also eating cooked chicken with a fair bit of enthusiasm, but it's the little 'seal pointed' girl who is the most enthusiastic. Mudpie, the little boy, is absolutely determined to reject meat in favour of Farex, and I'm not forcing the issue as he's eating plenty of that, he just has to wait until the meat has been finished before I'll put it down.

DAY 34, 13 March

Not so interested in meat today: Missie is being unbelievably vocal, talking almost constantly. I hope she's not going on heat, but at least if she is the kittens are well on the way to weaning. I'm wiped out today as she came and 'talked' at me at 5 am and again every few minutes until I gave up and got out of bed! Now that they're not so hungry, Reckless has stopped bringing them to me, so she must have been doing it because she was worried about them and thought I should be doing something about it. I know when to feed them to the minute as Reckless brings me one!

DAY 35, 14 March

Missie is quieter today, but her condition is not brilliant. She's severely lactose intolerant, so when I feed the two who are still trying to avoid meat I have to watch like a hawk to prevent her from slurping up the porridge. Unfortunately she got to it a couple of days ago, and had severe diarrhoea. That seems to have stopped, but it makes her tummy feel very bubbly and colicy, so she hasn't been eating very well. However, here are the 'rogues', in order of birth as always.