Wednesday, 21 April 2010

Little bundle of monkeys

Here's my little bundle of monkeys, now at about 5 weeks old at a guess. They're just doing so well! I'm so pleased for them, all are eating solid foods and apart from a few upset tums here and there they're developing well. Admittedly the sight issue makes the litter trays and tracking from it terrible. They obviously can't see the poos in there and either tread or sit on them but at least they're going in the tray!

Smitten is doing well too, she's eating a lot more and looking less drained as the kittens are taking less milk from her. She's still incredibly skinny though but very friendly and happy. She loves to play fetch and this is a bit of an action shot of her carrying her much loved catnip candy cane back in the nest in one of our fetch games.

This is Tulip, she's doing great. Eating lots and thriving. She responds really well to my voice and screams when I come into the room. She's got real ragdoll characteristics and literally turns to liquid when you pick her up as she's so floppy and silly.

This is Cesc, she's a girl :)
She's got the best sight of the lot and runs all over me and was in fact doing laps round me the other day. She's a bit of a rat for not eating her dinner but she's getting there and is a really lovely girl.

This is Percy, not a great picture of him I'm afraid. He's the shy one of the litter and can get a bit freaked out which is sweet because he's a bit chubby and it makes it extra cute. He's doing great though, prefers a bit of Sheba over the good ol' Whiskas kitten food though.

And this happy little squeaker is Jazz! Isn't he lovely. He's so noisy and just cries so he knows where you are. Jazz is a bit mental and runs about all fluffed up and does the sideways crab run too. He's great!

So yep they are all doing great. I think they are going to have to be homed in pairs, I think it'll be a big committment for the new owners but they seem to rely on each other so much for getting around and knowing where things are.

Wednesday, 14 April 2010

Dinner for all

Last night all the kittens had some proper cat food dinner for the first time. Tulip has been eating for about five days and the others have recently started trying to chew things, like cat litter and the edge of the litter tray. Last night I put out Smitten’s dinner and Percy and Cesc just went over to it and started eating it! I’d been trying to get them to eat for a couple of days but I was very pleased they just went and started eating on their own.

I wanted Jazz to eat too because he’s always chewing things and also likes to have a drink of water; in fact when he has a drink it’s very adorable. He knows he’s at the water bowl so he leans forward to have a drink but he always ends up putting his whole nose in the bowl and spluttering a bit! So I put a little food in Jazz’s mouth and he eventually got the hang of it and ate some food too, until Tulip came along and wanted more dinner and then I had to hand feed them both which was really tricky.

They are all still in their big nest area when I am not at home and overnight. Although the room they are in is quite safe and kitten-proofed, there is a book case in there which I worry they will climb into and knock something out of and because they are wobbly and run into things I just want them to be safe. But they love coming out the nest and charging round the room, Cesc in particular goes really loopy and bounces about. Talking of Cesc I am going to have to make the sides of the nest higher as she’s getting close to climbing out.

I also found out last night that Smitten likes carrying toys around in her mouth. I found her favourite catnip candy cane toy in the nest and didn’t remember putting it in there, so I took it out and played with Smitten with it and then she just picked it up in her mouth and jumped back into the nest and put it in there! She’s very chatty at the moment and really interested in my cats but she’ll be staying in her own room until she’s ready to go to a new home.

Monday, 12 April 2010

A good weekend

Well we’ve had a considerably better weekend with the kittens. Little Tulip has at last started to eat and what she’s eating is cat food!!! When I went to check on them on Friday night, Tulip was crying a lot again and when I went to pick her up she bit my fingers which made me realise she might want cat food. So I opened a tin of kitten food and the next time she meowed I put the kitten food near her mouth and she just started eating! And that’s what she’s been doing all weekend. She went from a 2g increase in three days, to putting on about 60g over the weekend. So that’s great news.

On Sunday Bev from Wood Green came to check on them for me as I’d been worried about them due to their funny behaviour. She tried a few different tests on them, like looking at their reflexes and looking in their eyes and said that it looks like they might have some sight problems. Cesc’s sight is the best, as she seems to be able to see some things and can nearly catch a toy. Percy’s sight is not great, but not awful and he seems to cope ok. Tulip has responded well to my voice and her sight isn’t great but can work well with sounds. Jasmine (who is now definitely Jazz as he’s a boy) has the least sight it seems, as he tends to fall over a lot and bump into things. He also likes to lick things like the wall or floor… But in a few weeks I’ll take them to the shelter for a proper check up to see what their sight is like.

But they’re all full of life and running around meowing and playing. Cesc likes to be picked up and cuddled and held really close and they’re all enjoying human company. Smitten is also doing really well, she’s now up to five to six sachets a day and I’m no longer keeping a food diary for her anymore. She loves being combed and brushed and chatting to me. I’ve been trying to get her to sit on the windowsill to have a look outside but she’s not that interested. She does however love her catnip candy cane!

Tonight I am going to build an extension to their nest as they are getting bigger to give them more room to run around and play in safely.

Friday, 9 April 2010

Wobbling around

The kittens do a lot of that, wriggling around, legs in the air and I get to tickle their tummies. They all seem to be doing ok.

Little Tulip is struggling to put on weight, she's only put on 2g in three days. I'm trying not to worry about her too much and focus on the fact she's not losing weight. She is feeding well and looks like she's suckling, I'm just a little worried as she's nearly 100g less than her sibling Percy. Cesc is also quite light but she does put on a little weight each day. Each day I put Tulip on the scales I hope it's the day she'll have gained weight but only a 2g increase yesterday and the same weight for the two previous days.

It's hard to tell how old the kittens are, they must be at least two weeks old as their eyes are open and they are walking around. I am thinking they are more three weeks old but they are quite wobbly. But I don't know if the wobbliness is actually due to the fact they can't see and they're struggling to work their way round the nest. I don't know, I can't help feeling a little lost with this litter as I've never seen kittens that cry so much and I've not seen kittens behaving like them either and I've been doing this for years!

Fingers crossed for a weight gain for Tulip tomorrow

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Two day update

Well the litter continues to do well, another weight gain last night and Smitten managed to eat five sachets of catfood yesterday which is her new record. It's hard to take photos of young kittens because I don't like to use the flash for risk of damaging their retinas. With these kittens I've been told there's a chance they might have sight problems. This would make sense for a another characteristics they show. For starters they are very vocal but obviously getting enough food, but this could be a breed characteristic. They also wander around the nest crying and looking upwards and on more occasions than I can count I've seen them walk directly into each other or a wall. But all this said, they are young on wobbly legs, they've been through two homes in their short lives so a lot has happened to them so far.

What's really great about these kittens is that they really like me! Most young kittens don't mind humans but these ones really like me. They meow and squeal to be tickled and picked up. They hold onto my fingers and fall asleep on my hand when I leave it in their bed. They are truely adorable.
Now this lovely little black and white girl is Tulip. She's so lovely and loves to be picked up and have her tummy tickled, a real cutie. She might be my favourite, I know it's wrong to have favourites but the last black and white kitten I had was 2005! And as I've got two black and whites of my own, I've got a real soft spot for them.

This is Tulip, with Cesc/Jasmine next to her - it's Cesc/Jasmine as her paperwork says she's a boy but I think she's a girl. I'm calling her Cesc still because I don't want to mix up her with Jasmine on the weight charts, this also because Jasmine looks like a boy - it's all a bit confusing. And these two are using Percy as a pillow.

This is Tulip at the front with Jasmine yawning at her, Cesc at the back and again everyone lying on Percy.

And this is the best mum cat in the world with her little wiggly kittens. Percy on the far right wriggling around on his back and Jasmine doing the same. Happy kittens :)

Sunday, 4 April 2010

we have weight gain!

Just a quick update. I was worried about the kittens, they cry constantly and feed constantly and I beginning to worry if there was any milk there. Just turns out that Smitten is the sort of mum that puts superheros to shame. Feeding her kittens non stop for what feels like hours? not a problem, endless supply of milk? not a problem, eating anything except Whiskas o so meaty chicken flavour and Nature's Menu chicken and salmon flavour? err slight problem there. Fussiest eater ever.

The kittens all gained between 15-20g today so I'm very happy about that. I've also renamed them with the help of my ever useful assistant, my husband. So we now have a black and white girl called Tulip, a dark tabby boy called Cesc, a lighter greyer tabby boy called Percy and a tabby and white girl (apparently because her paperwork says girl but I'm not convinced!) still called Jasmine but might need to change it to Jermaine in the future!

First picture of Smitten plus four

Well this is Smitten and her kittens. They're currently named after characters out of Aladdin. I didn't even know there were four characters in Aladdin. So I've got Aladdin (obviously), Jasmine (maybe a princess?), Abu (apparently a monkey) and Iago (after a google search I've found him to be a parrot!). No sign of the genie though... I love naming kittens and have been given the go ahead to find them some new names. I just need to get to know them a little and their at that age where they all look the same sex which doesn't help.

Last night I weighed them for the same time. Again problems with the fact there's three tabbies and they all look the same sex! But I've clearly got a black and white girl, so at least I can be sure which one she is! Then there's a all dark tabby, a tabby with white paws and a tabby with no white paws which is slightly grey. Their weight differences are about 20g which isn't too bad and I'll keep up the weighing (despite their protests) until they're all on solid food and eating well.

Smitten is very particular about her food. Yesterday we struggled through about three sachets of cat food, a handful of cat biscuits (which I think she only ate because they're Royal Canin and it's got Canin in the title), some ham and some kitten treats. She eats about two mouthfuls of food and then walks off. So I have to keep showing her the bowl, holding the bowl in front of her mouth in the air and just keep encouraging her. At least she is eating but her focus is overwhelmingly on the kittens. Usually it's the other way round, the mother gets distracted from her kittens to food, not distracted from her food to her kittens. But I'll keep trying.

Friday, 2 April 2010

Smitten plus four arrive

Today I went to pick up my new foster mum cat and her kittens. Smittenis about one and a half and she's something like a Ragdoll or Birman but my money is on Ragdoll. I went to the shelter to collect her and the first thing that hit me was how tiny she was. She's about the size of an eight month old kitten, she's very thin. Despite that, she let me pick her up straight away and let me have a look at her two-week-old kittens.

Whilst I was at the shelter I got some background on her. Dear Smitten came from a house a bit overun with cats and kittens, she came in with four other mum cats and about 15 kittens. It doesn't look like Smitten has had the best life and it's not unlikely she's been having kittens her whole life. I get a great sense of happiness knowing that I am fostering any cats' last litter of kittens and that they'll be spayed when they leave me, especially for cats like Smitten.

I got Smitten and her kitts in a carrier and back home and settled them into their room. I have a small box bedroom which I use for fostering. It's perfectly big enough for a mum and her kittens. I quickly constructed a cardboard nesting area so the kittens so get lost in the room and are secure until they are bigger. Smitten investigated the room and found a catnip candy cane and played with that.

For now I have left them to settle down and rest as it's no doubt been a stressful week for Smitten and her kittens are still young.