Meet the babies (6)
DAY 36, 15 March

I have FINALLY persuaded Mudpie to eat meat! I hid some in his porridge and he was fooled into eating some, and having discovered it he stuffed himself into a stupor. It's been the most lovely day all day, and the 'grown-ups' spent a lot of it out in the garden in their extended run, which now gives them access to the whole garden as long as I'm around to keep an eye on them.

DAY 37, 16 March

'Cochese' went to visit the vet today to have her tail assessed. As she has normal feeling in it, it isn't distressing her, so the urgency of amputation is not there. The main reason for removing it is that the lack of control she has means that there will always be a danger of it getting caught somewhere. It has developed a false 'joint', and I have to admit I'm not so sure that amputation is necessarily essential. In any case it would be better to wait until she is spayed, when she will be much bigger and stronger and the anaesthetic will be a safer procedure.

DAY 38, 17 March

Although Cochese has been climbing up onto the window seat in the nursery for nearly a week, it has taken until today for the others to get up there. Having found it, though, they went completely nutty, and demonstrated how little practice it takes for a kitten to climb a curtain! They're all eating beautifully now, but do have to be reminded where to find the food each time.

DAY 39, 18 March

Flat out under the radiator...

DAY 40, 19 March

As they get older and bigger it becomes far more difficult to get photographs of them unless they're asleep. However, they do look very sweet this way! This is one way of teaching them that carrying baskets are not nasty things, but something to be associated with security and mummy. Missie likes it too, as she has a 'cave' to nurse them in.

They are also very lucky to have TWO 'mummies' who love them, even if only one has milk....

DAY 41, 20 March

Weights: 627, 640, 640, 670 grams. This is good - right in the middle of what I would expect. My last four litters on the same day have been 570-632 (4 Tonks); 600-660 (5 Tonks); 614-722 (5 Burmese); 510-642 (8 Tonks). It's reassuring to have the previous weights to compare, as I tend to get neurotic. Once they're weaned, kittens can eat a huge amount of food, and they will keep stuffing their faces for the next 7 weeks - probably 9 weeks of pigging out in total. And people wonder why pedigree kittens are expensive!

DAY 42, 21 March

Another week, so another rogue's gallery. The time goes so quickly. Tonight I have to call my list of prospective owners and arrange for visits. This is one of the most difficult parts of breeding: some people think that if they appear with money in their hand, then they can have a kitten - like buying a bed or a new stereo system. Nothing could be further from the truth, and that sort of owner is not the sort I will sell to. I love all my babies (as do most breeders), they're little people whom I've watched and loved from their first gasp for air right up to the moment they leave, and I worry about them long after they've left. The only way I can cope with letting them go is to be sure they are going to a home where they would get the sort of love and life that I would want to give them myself. When the visits start, it's as much for me to assess the families as for the families to choose a kitten. Saying 'No' is hard, but not as hard as saying 'Yes' and regretting it for the rest of your life.