29, 8 March
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.
a minute ... whose kittens are these anyway?
30, 9 March
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.
31, 10 March
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!
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.
32, 11 March
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.
are fairly dedicated climbers, but I haven't yet seen anyone actually
reach the TOP of the small scratching post.
33, 12 March
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.
34, 13 March
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!
35, 14 March
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.