Friday, 31 December 2010

Rattle

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Kenneth, shown here on the right with brother Monty, (thick as thieves those two are) is poorly :(

Very late last night, I heard a rattly/snuffly sound coming from him. At first I couldn't decide whether it was purring or not, but in the end I decided not. Well he was still doing it today, on and off, not continuously, and after consultation with another breeder decided to take  them all along to the vet. Just in case, to prevent a snuffle turning nto something more serious and BEFORE I could decide it was something awful like FCK and spend the long weekend out of my rather neurotic mind with worry *grin*

(FCK= Flat Chested Kitten, very nasty, kittens don't often live.)

Well, it seems he does have a bit of a cold and so has some drops (Synulox) to improve matters a little. All the kittens were examined and none of the others are sounding rattly, just Kenneth, and other than his rattle, he seems to be in fine shape as well, so that was all very reassuring. While I was there, I got their  initial worm treatments (panacur drops) plus one for mama, and so by the time I'd paid for all that plus the consultation fee and the Synulox, I'd parted with a hundred pounds.

Kenneth and Monty were on my lap yesterday (when I took this photograph). I'd just been cuddling Indigo beforehand. Well they must have smelled her on my top, because all of a sudden the two boys were kneading my belly and slurping on my top. Heheh, so sweet. I put them both back in the nest, in case they were hungry, but they weren't interested, they wanted out again! Kenneth and Monty both like their cuddles :) Suits me!

And speaking of kneading, Indigo's undercarriage is getting very sore of late... the kittens knead to make the milk come, and they have VERY sharp claws! Poor Indigo! So this morning all the kittens got a very careful nail trim and are now a little less pointy. Hopefully that will make things more comfortable for my girl.

Thursday, 30 December 2010

Week 3 Stats

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Wendell haz a complaint!


The kittens are now three weeks old!

We've have had two more days of pathetic weight gain, (one day two of them LOST weight, which we haven't had before) and today was very good again. I've noticed that although Indigo goes to the biscuit bowl often, she only has a mouthful before giving up- it seems that the dry food is just too much like hard work for her at the moment. I sympathise... feeding a baby IS draining, I well remember, and she has six of them.

So yesterday I fed her entirely on sachets of kitten food, interspersed with cooked turkey/chicken. She ate a LOT and there's been a big gain in weight for the kittens today, so that's what I'm going to do from now on. If I feed just turkey, Indigo's interest dwindles, if I feed just kitten sachets, it dwindles, but feeding both one after the other seems to tempt her to eat more. Of course I'll leave kibble out as well.

My mum, bless her, has gone shopping for me to get some turkey and bless her she's going to cook it for me too! I had a minor procedure done yesterday (hence no blog post!) and I'm still feeling pretty wiped out by it, so it's very kind of her and I do appreciate it. All I will have to do is freeze it in portions, in a little of the cooking water/jelly. We have plenty of wet kitten food in the house of course, and loads of kibble but that isn't doing it for Indigo at the moment.

Despite worrying my socks off about the kitten's weights, they have had two days this week where they made big gains, so all in all their weekly gain is fairly respectable. I'm sure I will look back on this, when I've had more litters to compare with, and think what a wally I am for worrying so much... but there you go, one of the aims of this blog is an HONEST account of cat breeding -including the bad bits-which means you get to hear about my wobbles ad nauseam *grin* In all seriousness though, kittens are fragile, often they die if you are not on top of things, sometimes they die even then, and this particular period in a kitten's development seems to be a vulnerable time, I've read of lots of seemingly healthy kittens going downhill at two or three weeks, and poor weight gain/ loss is generally the first sign something is amiss. I'd rather worry too much than too little, frankly, even if it does make me sound a little neurotic!

That was depressing wasn't it? LOL never mind, here's the weights for this week.

Wendell
Birth 103g
1 week 217g
2 weeks 294g
3 weeks 362g

Kensey
Birth 91g
1 week  196g
2 weeks 255g
3 weeks 346g

Kenneth
Birth 94g
1 week 192g
2 weeks 274g
3 weeks 382g
Monty
Birth 90g
1 week  198g
2 weeks 290g
3 weeks 390g

AnnElise
Birth 92g
1 week 188g
2 weeks 262g
3 weeks 338g

Hope
Birth 83g
1 week 182g
2 weeks 257g
3 weeks 340g

Tuesday, 28 December 2010

Toilet

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Poor Indigo! Six kittens to toilet can't be much fun! Kittens can't 'go' on their own, they have to be stimulated to do so by mama cat, who licks them, then consumes the result. Completely gross, but very efficient of course- no waste left over to attract predators the the nest.

Given that the most threatening thing in this house is a soppy old floof called Theo, I'm not sure predators are a legitimate concern!

Monday, 27 December 2010

Monty Monday

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Kenneth and Monty


Monty himself, being adorable.

Dear little Monty. He's the only kitten who hasn't given me a moment's worry over his weight (the smallest gain he's made in a 24 hour period has been 9g, mostly he's made more than that) and so consequently he is now the heaviest kitten. He makes me laugh with his sad, serious little expression and he's quite confident too, waddling over to sniff and squeak at me whenever I look into the box.

I love that their ears are growing now, too... and they are very soft and strokable. Monty likes having his ears rubbed!

Weight gain today? Record levels, and I didn't supplement at all yesterday in the end. I'm very pleased.

Sunday, 26 December 2010

Climbing

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Monty would like to get out of his box, please.


So would Wendell. Mama has her eye on you, Wendell!


Kenneth is happy to sit there and be told how adorable he is. And have his chin rubbed.

Hello there :)

Christmas morning started off badly for us, with the kittens making truly awful weight gains (still no losses to date though) and so four of them were supplemented twice over the course of the day.

I tried a different tactic with Indigo and mixed in a good handful of kitten kibble to her wet food to try and persuade her to eat more... the minx only went and ate the food around the kibble, leaving the soggy biscuits in the bowl!! So I tried feeding her turkey. At first she wouldn't eat it, so I tried putting a little wet kitten food on top, which worked, she gobbled the lot. So yesterday evening I fed her a LOT of turkey with a bit of cat gravy drink the cats got in a stocking

(yes, I am that sad, the cats get Christmas presents... hehe)

As a long term tactic it isn't great... turkey on its own isn't complete nutrition for cats, but if it tempts Indigo to eat, I'm fine with that as a temporary measure. And to make matters much better, this morning showed a much better weight gain all round, with Kensey putting on a massive 27g... more than his combined weight gain for the previous four days. I weighed him three times to make sure I hadn't mismeasured! The others' gains were much more modest, but still in the acceptable range. Phew!

Aside from their weight, the kittens make good progress. They are very active now, and taking an interest in their surroundings and in people. They're pretty cute!

Friday, 24 December 2010

Indikon

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Indigo, kittyloafing.

Exciting news for me! My prefix has been approved, and I am officially INDIKON. Which is Indigo, in Greek. I'm advised the paperwork will be sent sometime in the new year as the post is too busy now, which is fair enough, but I can use the prefix as of now. Hurrah!

It's also not the name at the top of this blog, that was rejected pretty early on as too similar to another prefix name. I thought it would be, but worth a try eh? This is why this is a private blog to date- even if the name of choice is eventually approved, one can't 'use' it until it is, for obvious reasons, of course. So sometime in the New Year, I will start a new, public blog and transfer all these posts over.

Indigo looks stunning at the moment, she really does. She's taking motherhood very seriously and for the first week or so only left the babies to eat and use the litter tray. She's venturing out now, we had our first post birth sit on my lap cuddle the other day, and here she is on the sofa, relaxing, but keeping a sharp eye on the nest all the same.

She didn't tolerate Theo in the same room for a few days (Theo sat in the kitchen and howled poor boy!) but has now even let him into the nest briefly for a quick sniff of the babies.

AND... I'm reluctant to type this in case it all goes pear shaped, but Indigo's 'allergy'? She's not had any new spots since the kittens were born. Before then, actually. None at all. So I'm starting to think it was hormonal and not an allergy after all. I poked fate a little by mentioning this to another breeder on the phone, and she hasn't developed any more, so I'm feeling positive enough to type it here.

On the weight gain front, all the kittens made better gain yesterday. Kensey made 12g, which again isn't outstanding but it's much much better than he has been doing. I'm in two minds whether or not to supplement him today. Perhaps I'll give him one feed.

I had a brainwave the other day and thought I'd start giving Indigo Nutri-plus gel again- I started giving her this during pregnancy, but she doesn't like it so it was a struggle, and of course the allergy/ hormonal thingy kicked in and I was having to interfere with her so much to pill her and wash her head and so on, the nutrigel was dropped. But I thought maybe she'd accept it better now and it stimulates the appetite so she'd eat more and hopefully then so could the kittens. Perhaps I could hide it in her food. Do you think I could FIND the dratted stuff though? Of course not. It's not with the kittening supplies, not in the cat medicine box... darn it!

So I went online last night and ordered some more of the stuff. Then I remembered Coral (Fecheldee) telling me about nutri-drops... and they can be given to kittens. Which might help to support them a little, not that they are 'struggling' as such, but you know. So I ordered some of that, and then I remembered reading about Kaogel being good for upset tummies and I thought oh well, if Theo has another funny spell, that might help and so on and so on, well anyway, I managed to spend quite a lot. Oops! If you are reading this thinking does this woman spend every day fussing and worrying about her cats then... you'd be pretty spot on, actually. :) I'm sure all the meds will come in handy at some point.

Well, I'm off out in a bit... Christmas eve and all that. Merry Christmas!

Thursday, 23 December 2010

Weight Again

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11

Sigh. Kensey only made a small weight gain again yesterday. I only fed him once, the idea being to supplement mama's feeding, not replace it- supply and demand and all that- but it hasn't really made a difference. So today he'll get two or three supplemental feeds.

Kenneth, on the other hand, who had also had three days of smaller weight gain, made a most acceptable gain of 14g. Ok, it's not a brilliant gain, but it's an improvement. His was far and away the best gain though, with the others trailing behind with just over half that or less, even Wendell making a poor gain... a state of affairs bound to make me twitchy.

I'm also now thinking that Indigo isn't eating as much as she ought. She's kind of off her food at the moment... she eats, but I'm not sure it's enough. She doesn't seem that interested in food at the moment after weeks of eating like a horse.

They all LOOK pretty healthy though, alert and curious, and protested heartily at weighing time, they certainly aren't looking feeble or sickly and it's not as if any have stalled or are losing weight... they are all putting on, just more slowly than they were. On the other hand, they are moving around a lot more than they have been... perhaps they are just using their energy for that rather than it all going towards growth?

I'm still twitchy though. Of course, many people would think I was absolutely bonkers for weighing them daily. But still. Twitch, twitch...

Wendell:
Birth 103g
1 week 217g
2 weeks 294g


Kensey
Birth 91g
1 week  196g
2 weeks 255g

Kenneth
Birth 94g
1 week 192g
2 weeks 274g

Monty
Birth 90g
1 week  198g
2 weeks 290g

AnnElise
Birth 92g
1 week 188g
2 weeks 262g

Hope
Birth 83g
1 week 182g
2 weeks 257g

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

KMR

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


The kittens' weight gain has slowed over the past few days. They are still all putting on, just not as much as they have been. I understand that this is how babies grow, I know that otherwise they seem happy and contented, but I am equally aware that Indigo, who isn't a huge cat (although she isn't tiny) is supporting these six babies on her own.

One day of small gain is ok, they usually make a huge gain the next day, but a couple of them have made small gains for several days now. others are fine- Wendell, for example, never stops scoffing, HIS weight gain is fine.

Kensey, though, is worrying me, although this picture of him taken just now makes me out to be a fool- did you ever see a healthier baby? But regardless, Kensey will be getting his first taste of KMR (kitten milk replacement- formula for kittens, basically) later on. And perhaps a couple of the others, too. And Mama will be getting some extra wet food... although I don't think mama's feeding is the problem. She has kitten biscuits available at all times as well as regular wet kitten food and she often has her nose in the bowl.

I should probably stop worrying, right?

Update: Feeding kittens? Bwahahahahahah! Oh dear! Well, we got plenty of milk on the floor, and even more on my top, and a fair bit seems to have gone into Indigo, too *grin*. Kensey was outraged, and after his ordeal waddled straight back to mama, squeaking his indignation at every step, and latched himself on for a feed. Result. 

Tuesday, 21 December 2010

Random Kittens

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11






 Because five of the kittens are pretty much the same colour, it's impossible on first glance to tell the difference between then. In fact all five are marked with a colour in their armpit area so that I can tell who is who. Wendell, obviously, doesn't need a mark.

I usually take photos and make a note of who I've photographed, but this time I forgot. So I have no idea which kittens are in these pictures! Never mind, they are still adorable.

It is starting to get a little easier though. Both Hope and AnnElise have subtle markings on their noses which will become more obvious as their tortie markings develop. It's still much quicker at this stage to check their armpits though! As for the three boys... well, that's a bit more of a problem. The darkest of the paler ones is Kenneth, but it's really too subtle a distinction to be of much use yet.

I suspect the kittens will grow up thinking being lifted up and having their armpits inspected is a normal human greeting :D

Monday, 20 December 2010

Moving Day

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11

I don't see what the problem is..?

Indigo decided to move her litter yesterday. Ok, fine... but she wanted to move the kittens into the cat tree. Half way up the cat tree, in fact, where they'd be liable to fall out. Argh! Not to mention the fact that, as she was carting one kitten up the steps, she DROPPED IT- a distance of some 40cms or so. Kitten seems to be ok and it was fortunately onto a soft blanket, but oh my word..!

I couldn't persuade Indigo otherwise, I'd move them out, she'd try to move them back in, so in the end I had to stopper up the cat cubbyhole with blankets so she couldn't get in. Indigo was very upset by this but what could I do? You can't have kittens at table height with nothing to stop them falling off! Even the other cat tree would have been better as it has a 'lip'- this had nothing between the kittens and a nasty plunge onto hard laminate.

I just kept showing her alternative nests that I'd hastily set up, and in the end she decided to move her kittens to another ground level cardboard box. Phew! Note to self, next time have nests ALREADY SET UP for if Indigo decides to move. I've left Indigo and the kittens pretty much alone since moving, bar weighing this morning, and given her lots of fuss when she's ventured out, and I think she's calming down now, but it was very stressful for all of us I think.

I hated upsetting her, and getting in the way of her normal motherly instincts, and she couldn't understand why I was being so mean and interfering with her kittens! I didn't see that one coming, that's for sure. Ah well, we live and learn.



Anyway, on to rather less stressful matters, I think!  This little darling is called AnnElise. Or Annelise or Ann Elise, she's not too bothered :). AnnElise is from the song Time After Time (AnnElise) from REM's second studio album, Reckoning, 1984.

If you look at her nose you can see that most of it is darkening now, but that there's a little stripe that isn't. AnnElise is a tortoiseshell, and the darkening bits are where she will be lilac and the other bits she will be cream (or caramel and apricot, if she's got the caramel gene) You can see the darkening on her paws too, and her ears. I'm especially interested in how the girls turn out as I think it was a lilac tortoiseshell mink (tonkinese, intermediete) that made me fall in love with the Tonkinese breed in the first place.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

Monty

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


This little man, kitten 4, is Monty. Monty is from the song Monty Got a Raw Deal, from REM's 8th studio album Automatic for the People, 1992.

Only one name to go, now!

Saturday, 18 December 2010

All Six

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11

... just about! Count the heads!

I took some new pictures just now- bad idea really as all natural light has long gone and I'm not happy about using the flash with their eyes so newly open. I mean, I wouldn't use a flash directly in a cats eye anyway, and these little ones can't look away of course. So the picture below has been artificially lightened to within an inch of its life! Note to self- take pictures in daylight hours.

Not that there's been much daylight today! It's been snowing, again, and I hate the snow. I'm still under the weather with this dratted cold, which I'm starting to think was flu, it's been so bad and lingered on so, and I spent most of the afternoon snoozing. And sneezing! Indigo has a funny little habit of 'chattering' at me whenever I sneeze- it's pretty funny- but today has just been looking at me disgustedly. She's so over this cold, and so am I. Bah humbug!

Anyway, enough moaning, and let me introduce you to Kenneth, post feed and about to drop off. Aww!



Kenneth is from the song What's The Frequency, Kenneth?  from REM's ninth studio album, Monster, from 1994.

I was going to record the weight of the kittens every day, but I think now that that is a bit daft, so I'll just update week by week. If anyone is reading this having signed up for a kitten I'd be happy to show you my daily records, please just ask :) So here they are:

Wendell:
Birth 103g
1 week 217g

Kensey
Birth 91g
1 week  196g

Kenneth
Birth 94g
1 week 192g

Kitten 4
Birth 90g
1 week  198g

Kitten 5
Birth 92g
1 week 188g

Hope
Birth 83g
1 week 182g

Friday, 17 December 2010

Eyes, Coats And Noses

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Ok, so the kittens are on Day Nine today, just over a week old, and as you can see in the picture are starting to open up their eyes. One kitten has them fully open, one kitten has the tiniest slits and all the others are inbetween. One funny litle thing has one eye a slit and one eye fully open giving him a squinty, piratey look, it's too cute!

What you can't see, but what I'm finding very exciting, is that the kittens are developing the faintest blush of colour on their noses and whisker pads. it's so faint it looks like a shadow, or dirt (only Indigo keeps them super- clean so it couldn't be...) It will be interesting to see how this point colour develops over the next few weeks. The 'seams' of their ears, too, they are all showing colour.

You can also see from the picture just how much lighter the little dark guy has got over the week. Because of the parents colourations, I KNEW I could only have lilac or lilac based caramel boys, and Mum is a solid lilac, so I was surprised at how dark this little boy was at birth. if I hadn't known it was impossible I'd have sworn he was a blue. Then I was thinking well, perhaps this is caramel then, but it was so different to Mama, and I'd read that lilac and lilac based caramel were actually rather difficult to discern, so such an obvious difference was most perplexing. But he seems to be getting paler as he gets bigger, and is now looking much more like his mama- and definitely NOT a blue.

But while we're talking about Mr solid lilac (or caramel!)... his name is Wendell. Wendell is from the song Wendell Gee, from REM's third studio album, Fables of the Reconstruction, 1985 Wendell is the biggest kitten, the first born and has been consistently the heaviest at the daily weigh-ins. And he has a Very Loud Voice Indeed!

Thursday, 16 December 2010

Hope

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


This is Hope. Look at her little face! Hope is our tiniest kitten, just 83g at birth, she weighed in this morning 99g heavier at 182g. She's still the smallest kitten, but she's holding her own very nicely, and doubled her birth weight yesterday- all her siblings didn't get there till today.

Hope is from REM's 11th studio album, Up, from 1998.

In other news, some of the kittens are opening their eyes! It's very exciting. I don't dare take pictures in case the flash goes off.

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

The Name Game

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11

I think it's about time the kittens had names. Really, it's as exciting as naming your own children!

Personally, I like to give cats human names, no Fluffys and Tiggers in my household! And I like them to be meaningful to me in some way. Ava and Sofia came to me at a rather dark time in my life, and their names reflect this- Ava is from the Hebrew chava, meaning life, and Sofia from the Greek sophos meaning wisdom. Positive, affirming names designed for moving on, which is something they helped me to do just by being their lovely selves.

Theo, from the Greek theos meaning god, was just a name I liked, but it seemed appropriate- not lacking in self esteem, this cat!

Now Indigo was going to be called Rose, but when I went to visit her for the first time, it didn't suit her AT ALL- she was far too naughty for a good-girl name like Rose! But I did want a colour name. So I umm-ed and ah-ed a little, and eventually came up with the rather more lively name Indigo- and before anyone tells me it's not a people name, I do know of a little girl named Indigo!

Naming litters is more complicated in a way, more names for one thing, and for another they are only temporary, as their families will no doubt choose for themselves a perfect name. But I simply cannot go through 13 weeks or more calling a kitten 'kitten'- they must have names. So I've decided with every litter I will pick a theme- whatever takes my fancy- and the kitten names will be around this theme.

I am a big fan of the group REM, and so this litter will be named after REM songs/ names used in REM songs and will be referred to from now on as the REM litter. Their pedigree names too will be based on these names.


So with no further ado, may I introduce you to kitten 2, now called Kensey.

Kensey is taken from the REM song Old Man Kensey, from their third studio album Fables of the Reconstruction, 1985.

Just to reiterate, if you've just signed up for a kitten, and you are reading this blog, do you have to keep the names I give the kittens? Not at all. Ava, Sofia and Indigo were named Lucie, Batman and Morris respectively. You can call your kitty anything you like :)

Morris? And Batman?? Yes, both Indigo and Sofia were thought to be boys at first! And a breeder friend of mine had to tell her twin kittens new owner that they were in fact two boys, not two girls as she had originally thought... fortunately she still wanted the kittens! I have a few names in reserve for if any of mine get a late visit from the kitten sex change fairy... small kittens are notoriously difficult to sex. At least when mine start getting their point colour it will be easier for me... all the girls will be tortoiseshell.

Tuesday, 14 December 2010

Growth

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


These are my little girl kittens. You can see the one on the left is bigger than the one on the right. I know one is curled up, but there's a noticeable difference in size, right? But the one on the left, yesterday, weighed as much as the one on the right did today... THAT is how fast they are growing.

Still feeling rotten with this dratted cold! Off for a lie down.

Monday, 13 December 2010

Squeak!

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


The kittens object to being weighed. Well, they have sealed up eyes and ears, so I suppose it would be pretty scary. This is one of the three paler boys, clearly Not Happy At All. Poor baby! Gently but quickly is the way to go... I put this one on my chest to try and calm him and goodness it took me ages to detatch those little claws from my nightie!


Zzzzzzzz. Yes, that's Indigo's bottom that kitty has snuggled into- it wouldn't be the place I'd choose, although she looks pretty comfy I must say.

The babies are so funny. They've found their voices now, and if you so much as lightly touch their heads with a finger, they squeak their outrage to all and sundry! As for weighing, you'd think I was torturing them. Fortunately Mummy cat doesn't get too distressed, she pokes her head up over the box to make sure kitten is OK, but will let me handle and weigh them.

Indigo had a spot of diarrhoea the day after birth, but that had cleared up now- presumably all the gunk and stress of birth. As for other news... well there isn't any really. They eat, and they sleep, and they squeak when disturbed. But they are so new and lovely that I can literally sit for hours watching them, and have to tear myself away to go and do some work.

Sunday, 12 December 2010

Vital Statistics

Ok, so I can't remember how to do little tables in html, brain is far too mushed to look it up, and there doesn't seem to be a button that does it handily for you, so I'll just have to do the best I can.


Day               (Birth)    1          2         3          4          Gender
                     
Kitten 1         103g     112g    121g     130g    154g     Male
Kitten 2         91g       105g    110g     124g    140g     Male
Kitten 3         94g       103g    114g     128g    142g     Male
Kitten 4         90g       99g      110g     129g    139g     Male
Kitten 5         92g       93g      107g     130g    139g     Female
Kitten 6         83g       90g      107g     114g    130g     Female


No doubt that will be totally scrambled, but there you go, make of it what you will!

They all seem to be growing quite nicely, they should double their birthweight by a week old and they look to be on track to do that, good old Indigo! It's amazing how such a tiny thing can put on so much weight in just a day, mind you they do spend most of their waking hours attatched to Mum! Lastborn was really not very heavy at all bless her but she seems to be gaining weight at a most acceptable rate doesn't she? Hurrah!

Saturday, 11 December 2010

So Here's What Happened...

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Six of them! I have no idea where she put them all, but six there are. One little dark guy, who I am presuming is a solid coat, and five pale beige babies, who I am assuming will be 'little t' tonkinese coats. Of course that's just for fun... really I have no idea. I THINK we have four boys and two girls... haha... I'm fully expecting that to change in the next few weeks though.

This will be a long blog entry... so much to say.

So the birth. Well, I first need to admit that I slept through the birth of the first two! In my defence I've had a stinker of a cold all week... complete absence of anything resembling a voice, (still got no voice, although I can do a penguin honk quite well by now...) high temp/ chills, rattly chest and all, the full works basically, and I was feeling very unwell. I'd been sleeping on the sofa anyway to be close to Indie, so the pillows and duvet were there and it was late and I just... zzzzz.

I'm a bit disappointed in myself actually, I did feel like I'd let her down a bit especially considering her mother had a stillborn kitten in Indigo's litter, but am trying to be pragmatic about it. It's sheer bad luck that I was feeling so poorly, and some queens deliver their whole litter at night without their people being aware of it. (I guess. I still feel bad :( )

I noted in my blog that Indigo had been acting differently on the Wednesday. Well later on that evening, she got into her kittening box, dug around for a bit, purred and generally made herself at home- she stayed in there for two hours. Excellent, thought I, as she had only gotten into the box previously to wee in it, and she'd been making concerted efforts to get under the sofa earlier that week, a virtual impossibility with her bump, which led to me stuffing the cavity with soft toys, towels and bedding lol.

So, she got out, ate a whole sachet of whiskas kitten food- I'd read that queens stop eating in the 24 hours before birth... not mine!- had a leisurely wander around, and at that point she snuggled up next to me on the sofa and appeared to go to sleep. Which is when I dropped off too, darn it.

Fast forward to several hours later. I awoke to a VERY LOUD SQUEAKING- kitten one, (the little dark one) protesting. There in the box was mama, kitten one, kitten two and mama was straining and quickly produced kitten three. Now, my opinion is that the birth of the first three kittens happened very quickly indeed. Kitten one was still very damp, Indigo had chewed his placenta off but not eaten it, and number two looked as though he had only just been born, still in his sac, placenta attached and all, looking exactly like the third, he couldn't have been more than a minute or two old himself.  Poor Indigo was thoroughly overwhelmed and just wanted to clean up the first baby! I guess he was squeaking because he had had a nice mama fussing over him and suddenly abandoned him... he did sound very put out!!

Between us we got the three sorted out, the third kitten's placenta didn't deliver so he had to be clamped and cut, thank goodness I'd bought in a good quantity of kittening supplies 'just in case'. Number 4 was born after a reasonable interval, Indigo dealt with him on her own and then settled down to feed her offspring. I'd honestly thought she was done at this point, she had a long-ish rest while I took some more medication, made copious but messy notes, changed the bedding, weighed the babies, gave them a good check over and waited the delivery of placenta 3.

To my surprise, I noticed her straining again, and kitten 5 plus placenta was delivered, shortly followed by kitten six, which Indigo detatched with the placenta still inside her. Within half an hour, one of the retained placentas had been delivered, and 10 mins or so later the other one appeared, to my relief. At which point I changed Indigo's bedding again, weighed and checked the last two, updated my notes, took more paracetamol and collapsed into a pathetic heap on the sofa! More zzzz!

Up again at 8 to weigh and check them, and then I spent most of the day in a medicated haze, sleeping, and checking on Indigo and the babies and updating this blog and TRYING to do a bit of work between naps. Ugh to this horrid cold!

Needless to say, Indigo is being a fantastic mother, very attentive and happy with her brood, the kittens are adorable and visibly bigger each day, I'll post some weights etc tomorrow. I'm waiting a little while to make sure I'm sure (ish) as to the gender before telling you their names- babies 4 and 5 I'm very unsure of, in particular, and I've changed my mind several times- for the last 24 hours though it's been the same so fingers crossed.

Friday, 10 December 2010

Mama

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11



Appalling photos (dim and soothing for mama and no flash, of course) but one contented mama cat, purring and doing happy paws.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

Life

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Freshly squeezed, still damp and absolutely perfect. What a miracle new life is...

Wednesday, 8 December 2010

Evidence Of A Theo

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Theo is an intuitive cat. When another of my cats is unwell or not quite right, I'll often find that Theo gives me more clues by HIS behaviour than the unwell cat does. He is the same with humans... he has a sense for vulnerability and likes to be on the spot, protectively. I mention this because Theo has spent a good proportion of today so far grooming and snuggling with Indigo.

Indigo has been most tolerant of all this attention, although when Theo got into her bed (on my desk, this isn't her kittening box that's much bigger) with her she wasn't too impressed. It's not really big enough for two full grown cats, especially a big old floof and one with a very wide load of kittens, and it was a bit of a squash. I removed him shortly after I took the photo! Indigo was rather relieved!
Anyway the point being that he's showering attention on Indigo today, to the point where I've noticed it and wondered what vibes he's picking up from her. I've had a good cuddle with Indigo myself, and haven't been able to feel any contractions, she's not had a show, her bump hasn't 'dropped' as I've read about, but I am wondering if the evidence of Theo's concern means something is imminent. Her behaviour IS different today, now I think about it. Yesterday she was running (well waddling) and playing, today she's been very quiet and been content to stay still... not sleeping, but- how can I express this- waiting?

I wonder if it will be today...?


Of course now I've posted this, nothing will happen till Sunday. :D Bet you anything... lol.

Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Aaaaaand Waiting...

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Dunno what you're looking at me like that for. I'll have them when I'm good and ready!

Monday, 6 December 2010

Kittening box

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Well, Indigo did discover the kittening box... and went to the toilet in it.

*rolls eyes*

She is now sitting on the window sill looking incredibly pleased with herself, the minx!

Luckily, I'm used to her ways by now, and the whole box was lined with a plastic sheet and with a large plastic box inside that... so cleanup was no issue at all really. It's basically a large underbed storage trug lined with soft fleece, inside a very large cardboard box with a hole cut in the end- the trug takes up most of the box. It looks nice and cosy, for all Indigo thinks it's a new kind of litter tray.

But then again, knowing Indigo she might have been marking it hers... so it might be a good sign. I remain ever hopeful!

Sunday, 5 December 2010

Waiting...

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11



LOL her head looks TINY here in comparison to her bellyful o' kittens.

Saturday, 4 December 2010

8.5 weeks... and counting...

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Indigo is now just under 8 1/2 weeks pregnant and probably has less than a week to go. I've noticed several things...

She has a fairly impressive cleavage, growing by the day!

She's struggling to keep her back end clean... she can't reach it. However she's unwilling to let Theo oblige. I've been helping her out, and she's been letting me.

She doesn't upend herself on my lap any more, as she can't get up, and she struggles to find a comfortable position on my lap or otherwise... she's all kitten. She made a concerted effort to climb into my neck earlier, as a kitten she used to perch on my shoulder.

When on my lap she will purr and purr and do happy paws ecstatically all over me... I've trimmed her nails as I was getting a bit too punctured!

She doesn't like being on her own at night any more. It's time for me to start sleeping in the living room I think.

She sleeps a LOT. And when she isn't sleeping she's resting with an expression of patient endurance... I well remember that feeling!

If she jumps, even a small jump, say the sofa to the floor, she makes an 'oof' sound as she lands hehe. She doesn't try bigger jumps any more- she wouldn't make it!

She's also started acting anxious if I have to go out, like today. Fortunately, bar the teenager's school Christmas performance, I'm clear now for a week and a bit... I work from home, handily. And the lad understands that I may not make it to his performance if anything happens that day.

So yes, definite end of pregnancy signs, I think. She hasn't really seemed to be looking for anywhere to have the kittens yet though. Naturally, she won't go anywhere near the kittening box I've prepared for her... lol!

Friday, 3 December 2010

Indigo's Head

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Here's the side of Indigo's head, looking much better- she's had the collar off some days now. The large, crescent shaped wound she had has now gone from scab to tight red shiny skin to something approaching normal healthy skin again- phew!

Thursday, 2 December 2010

Mah Belleh...

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Let me show you it...

Wednesday, 1 December 2010

8 Week Bump

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


From the top...


... and side.

Indie is 8 weeks now... only one week to go, hurrah! As you can see her bump isn't any bigger from the top looking down, but it gets ever lower the further along she goes. What is more, her bump becomes more and more 'solid'. Whereas at six weeks, she had more flexibility, her growing belly was still quite soft and she could contort herself into the many peculiar positions cats are so fond of, now she can't... her bump gets in the way.

The kittens were all going bananas yesterday as Indigo was on my lap, so I was looking at where the wriggles were coming from, and comparing this to how big a newborn kitten is, trying to work out how many kittens there were in there from the kicks! Now of course this is only a bit of fun, but I reckon I saw four distinct kicking areas which I assume is four kittens, unless the kittens are very very very long indeed in which case less, but I don't really think so.

Of course she could be having MORE... but I can't see where she'd put them! Who knows. Alternatively she could have a bellyful of live snakes. It looked a bit like that the other day!

Tuesday, 30 November 2010

Sweet Sisters

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Sweet sisters... but appalling photos! Sorry about that. Darker cats are always harder to photograph than lighter ones, and I'm a very amateur photographer at the best of times...

Anyway. Here's Sofia, chilling. You can't see her eyes, but she's giving me that slitty eyed look of trust that cats do when they are comfortable in your presence.

Below is Ava, kittyloafing and purring her stripes off. My lovely girls.

Monday, 29 November 2010

Two Seperate Households...

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Indigo and Theo, taken this morning. They cuddle, groom, sleep peacefully together and are genuinely fond of each other... the picture of cat harmony. And...


Ava, Sofia and Theo, taken last night, again all coexisting peacefully in the same space. They groom each other, cuddle up together, again having a close knit relationship.

So why do Sofia and Indigo hate each other so much???? It's baffling. Neither cat is simply an antisocial cat, (I could understand it if they were!) both have close relationships with at least one other cat in the household, they just don't like each other. At all.

Currently, I am maintaining two seperate households of cats, with Theo flitting between the two. At nighttime, Indigo is shut in the living room and Ava, Sofia and Theo have the run of the bedroom, long hallway, kitchen and bathroom. The morning sees the bedroom door shut, and Indigo (and Theo, usually) has the hall and bathroom and kitchen as well as the living room. The afternoon sees Ava and Sofia taking another turn, and the evening it's Indigo's time again. And so we go on. Both rooms have food, water and litter, cat furniture, soft spaces to sleep, high places to climb and plenty of toys, so even when restricted to the one room the cats have all that they need.

Re-integration of the cats takes a lot of hard work, here... and the smallest thing takes us back to the start again. Indigo going off to stud, for example. We were just starting to re-integrate, when Indie developed her allergy, and because of the concern over what it might be, I kept her seperate from the other cats. Well by the time the lab tests came back clear she was quite far along in her pregnancy anyway and it wasn't worth integrating them only to seperate again in a couple of weeks- it takes longer than that to do so anyway!

I'm starting to feel that it isn't worth 'forcing' the cats to integrate. It's a pain in the butt having to keep them seperate, but it's a good deal more peaceful, and the cats don't seem to mind. Moreover, Indigo has not had any incidences of inappropriate urination at all since keeping them seperate. I did forget to scoop her box one night (I scoop them twice a day, usually) and she did a big steaming turd on my nice clean washing, (sorry, potential cat owners... they do gross things occasionally!) but then she's always been finicky about not using a dirty box. My fault for forgetting to scoop. But the 'marking' has all but stopped since she 's had her own territory that her rival does not access.

So perhaps that's what's going to work for us- two seperate households, so that both my dominant, clashing girls have a space they can call their own. We'll see.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

One Extra

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11

Indigo has nine nipples!

She has! Apart from the eight standard ones, in pairs along her belly, on her right side, between the top two and the bottom two is an extra. It looks perfectly normal, feels normal (I was washing them gently the other day) it's just there- an extra one.

I would make some quip about how I hope she doesn't have one kitten for each nipple, but I've heard of Tonks who have had large litters of eight and nine so I don't think I'll tempt fate... we'll have a rather smaller litter than that, thanks, Fate, if you're listening!

In other news, Indigo does now have a third wave of spots... one on each ear, a couple elsewhere but the majority this time are at the base of her tail. Thumps. Head. On. Desk. Still painless though, thank goodness! I've changed my washing powder, cleaners, stopped using any perfumes... you name it I've changed it and still she's getting these allergic reactions... I don't know what to do next.

Friday, 26 November 2010

In Need Of A Bath!

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


Because the collar's on, Indigo can't clean herself properly, which is really annoying her. I've been trying to help out, but whenever Indigo sees me advancing with the cotton wool and warm water she goes and hides. Weeks of washing her head with hibiscrub or salt water have taught her that a human advancing with cotton balls is Not A Nice Thing, poor baby!

As a result she's getting a bit crusty, especially round her bottom, nipples and face... poor Indigo! I mean she doesn't look terrible, she looks fine, but cats are uber-clean animals so she probably feels quite nasty. She goes to clean herself and just ends up licking the side of the comfy collar! I'm sure she'd feel a lot better if she'd just allow me to help her out a bit, but there you go, I don't want to upset her any more than she is already.

Fortunately, Indigo's wound has been healing rapidly- the scab that had formed has now fallen off, leaving a red shiny patch below, about the size of a ten pence piece (you can see why the vet thought it might be ringworm at first...) The skin is still a bit crusty so I'm keeping the collar on a few more days to just further the healing process a little more and I'll probably take it off after this weekend. She has a few more spots coming (dammit!) but hopefully she won't scrape those as much. And hopefully her hair will grow back on the side of her face... it is growing back on the bald bits on her head.

What a nightmare! And I still have no idea what's causing this allergy.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Who's The Daddy?

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11

It's Harry!

Harry, or Grand Champion Fecheldee Harry, to give him his proper title, is apricot with a tonkinese (intermediete) coat. He's very handsome and cuddly with a lovely nature, and Indigo was quite happy in his company- even when she was hiding in his bed she didn't hiss or yowl at him, and- well obviously they got on a whole lot better than that after a day or two *grin*

Apricot is a colour we haven't covered yet, genetically speaking, but it's red (orange), diluted to cream and caramelised to apricot. You'll have to take my word for that for the moment! We'll cover dilution and caramel eventually on here.

Which means there are eight possibilities, kitten- wise. These are:

Female, lilac tortie, tonkinese coat
Female, lilac tortie, solid coat
Female, (lilac-based) caramel tortie, tonkinese coat
Female, (lilac-based) caramel tortie, solid coat
Male, lilac, tonkinese coat
Male, lilac, solid coat
Male, (lilac-based) caramel, tonkinese coat
Male, (lilac based) caramel, solid coat

They all have an equal likelihood, so a 1 in 8 chance. Of course this is an average, so we might get two of one, none of another... it's the luck of the draw. And it may be many weeks- months in the case of the caramels, before their colouration becomes apparent. It will be interesting to see what we do get.

Update 06/01/11 Ha ha! I got my genetics wrong, and instead of a litter of lilacs, we have a litter of blues! This is because although Dad cat is cream, he also has the underlying colour the cream masks, (blue, in Harry's case), and has passed that onto his kittens of course! I'd totally overlooked that. I do feel a bit of a prune!

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

7 week bump

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


And here she is showing off her bump from beneath (yes, the carpet needs a serious vacuuming session...

 

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Wriggle

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11

I was sitting on the sofa yesterday. Indigo had assumed 'the position'... lying on her back, draped over my rather voluminous belly, so as to maximise tummy rubbing potential. I was rather absentmindedly rubbing her belly whilst giving much of my attention to a re-read of 'Hercule Poirot's Christmas'. And then I felt a little wriggle.

I thought I'd imagined it at first... but then it came again, and again. I watched her belly and there it was, the tiniest movement of a kitten. Awwwwwwwwwwwww!

I guess she's seven weeks now, the kitties are big enough and strong enough to be felt moving about. It was rather lovely. I can't believe that in just over two weeks, we'll have a litter of baby kitties. I really must savour these last few weeks with just Indigo while she's so very cuddly and wanting to be on my lap all the time- I expect she'll be FAR too busy for cuddles after that!

Edited- here's a piccie of Indigo assuming 'the position', the strange cat!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Oh, Rats!

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11

Indigo managed to get out of her comfycollar last night. And naturally she's managed to scratch off the scab whilst it was off, so her head is now raw and bloody again. So we're back to the beginning!

Thumps. Head. On. Desk.

Oh and to make things worse, she now has two new spots... oddly on the outside of her ears, one on each ear! This allergy is the most perplexing- and frustrating- thing.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

I Love...

Originally posted on my private blog- posted to http://indikon-tonkinese.blogspot.com/ on 06/01/11


...his glorious floofy coat.


And his sweet, open expression. My blue point Birman boy is just adorable. He's patient, playful and affectionate. What's not to love? (well OK the occasional hairball notwithstanding...)