Monday, 31 January 2011

Still No Home For Kensey And AnnElise

Now, I know I've still got five and a half weeks till they are ready to go. That's over a month... loads of time. And I know that it's a 'good' time of year to have kittens available, before the inevitable kitten season descends. AND I even have a back up plan in case one or both of them end up staying for a little longer, which is to poke my toes into the world of showing.

So why am I worried? Dunno, really!

Over the past few weeks I've had five or six people expressing an interest in a kitten... and each one has come to nothing. So frustrating! Yesterday I was waiting in for a visit, and they called last minute to say they'd chosen someone else's kitten (another Tonk, so fair enough) and wouldn't be over after all. Which is fine, they wanted a kitten ASAP and the one they chose would be ready next week. Frustrating for me though... ah well, at least the house got tidied!

I've had a couple of other disappointments as well, a few emails that didn't go anywhere, and another approach from someone wanting a kitten on the active register, who like the last one didn't reply to my email asking a few questions about their plans/ setup for breeding, and no response. Now this annoys me- for one thing it's rude. I'm a bit old fashioned I'm afraid, and manners cost nothing! For another, surely one would expect questions to be asked! Breeding is a lot of fun, but it's also Hard Work for the breeder, it's hard on Mama cat, and things can go wrong. It's not just a question of sticking a box under the bed and leaving mama cat to it, selling them off a few weeks later to anyone who will take one! And thirdly, presumably the lack of response means they have actually found a breeder, somewhere, who will give them a kitten on the active register with no questions asked... very, very worrying indeed.

Oops, that turned into a bit of a rant didn't it? Sorry! But Indigo's breeders asked me a shedload of questions, and then they discussed it with another breeder and were totally honest with me about their own experiences with Indigo's litter- one kitten stillborn, one kitten not finding a home, so they kept her... and several emails and a visit later, they decided to let me have Indigo. But it wasn't 'easy'... although they were very nice about it.

And breathe...

Sunday, 30 January 2011

Oh, Kenneth!


There's Kensey, posing beautifully for the camera and you had to go pull a silly face. Humph. There's always one in the litter...

Saturday, 29 January 2011

Profile Dip


So, I was sitting on the sofa the other day, spending quality time with the teenager (ok, playing Monopoly on the Wii!) with Kenneth taking a nap in my lap, and I suddenly thought to take a look at Kenneth's profile. As I've written about before, Indigo's main 'fault' in terms of the Tonkinese breed standard is she doesn't have a very definite profile dip- the bit that goes down, between the forehead and the nose. It's a bit too straight. Harry on the other hand, the stud Indie was mated to, has a very nice profile- well he would, wouldn't he, being a Grand Champion. Anyway, it suddenly struck me that I haven't had a good, objective look at the kittens' profiles to see how they have fared.

Kenneth's (above) is fine, incidentally, allowing for a bit of kitten fluffiness. You can see the plane of his forehead and the plane of his nose are roughly parallel, with the bit inbetween following a slightly different angle.

So anyway, yesterday I annoyed the kittens no end, trying to get a good look at (and pictures of!)  their faces sideways on. I managed three pictures, so better than nothing.


Wendell's (above) is the most like his Mama's... a bit straightish. His face in general really reminds me of Indigo's at the same age/ bit older... especially round the ears... a bit bat-like. Indigo's Mama's pedigree name was 'Jablook Batfink' so clearly the resemblance runs in the family hehe

AnnElise (below) has a very nice dip and she has a nicely defined whisker pinch as well. Or rather, I THINK she has... in fact, if I don't manage to find a new home for her, I may put her in for a show or two, to see if I'm right lol. The others are all OK as well.


Of course, this only matters in terms of the show standard... it makes no difference to the kittens' potential as family pets, their loving natures, their playfulness and so on, and I don't think any of the three homes we've currently found intends to show anyway. It's just, y'know, interesting. And useful to me, as a new breeder hoping to be rather less clueless at the end of having this litter!

Friday, 28 January 2011

Ava, Etcetera.


Nope, I haven't forgotten about her! Or her sister.

With the kittens about, I've rather neglected mentioning my two sister cats on this blog of late. They don't have anything to do with the babies, and as I've busily blogged about their antics, both Ava and Sofia have rather taken a back seat. Never mind, there'll be plenty of time to write about them when the kittens have gone.

They're fine though, both very well. Ava is a little old lady in training, she's a rather solemn puss who likes the quiet life. She came across a kitten not one week back (usually they are kept apart) Ava hissed at the kitten, the kitten (one of the girls, Hope, I think) hissed back with spirit and Ava ran for it... silly girl.

Sofia is a bit more lively, and has her usual 'mad half hour' when I come to bed, when she goes absolutely bonkers and rushes up and down the cat tree like a squirrel, chirruping away to herself. Then she settles down and can often be found in the middle of the night, behind my head purring into my ear.

Theo is as daft as ever, and he loves the kittens, in fact I think he will be more upset when they leave than Indigo. She will supervise the kittens from on high, but it's Uncle Theo who actually gets down and plays with them, and he'll wash them and snuggle with them too.  Big soppy boy cats are just wonderful!

Anyway, here's dear Ava, purring and making happy paws like the sweet thing she is.

Thursday, 27 January 2011

Can't Believe They're 7 Weeks

Much excitement for me yesterday... my blog has a follower! Hurrah! Yes, yes... it doesn't take much to please me as I am very sad and have no life *grin*

Weights for this week! As ever, take the accuracy of them with a little bit of a pinch of salt... I do try to catch then when they are sleepy, but it doesn't always come off!
Wendell
Birth 103g
1 week 217g
2 weeks 294g
3 weeks 362g
4 weeks 463g
5 weeks 593g
6 weeks 763g
7 weeks 907g

Kensey
Birth 91g
1 week  196g
2 weeks 255g
3 weeks 346g
4 weeks 437g
5 weeks 604g
6 weeks 777g
7 weeks 975g

Kenneth
Birth 94g
1 week 192g
2 weeks 274g
3 weeks 382g
4 weeks 480g
5 weeks 589g
6 weeks 757g
7 weeks 902g

Monty
Birth 90g
1 week  198g
2 weeks 290g
3 weeks 390g
4 weeks 524g
5 weeks 600g
6 weeks 792g
7 weeks 1012g

AnnElise
Birth 92g
1 week 188g
2 weeks 262g
3 weeks 338g
4 weeks 437g
5 weeks 539g
6 weeks 716g
7 weeks 897g

Hope
Birth 83g
1 week 182g
2 weeks 257g
3 weeks 340g
4 weeks 458g
5 weeks 562g
6 weeks 712g
7 weeks 832g

Wednesday, 26 January 2011

More About Litter Boxes


Unrelated picture: Kensey snuggling. And a very happy little Kensey he looks as well. Aww! There's actually four kittens in this picture!

When I woke up today there was litter ALL OVER the floor. Whoops! Someone must have stood on the edge of the litter tray and flipped it right over- probably Indigo, as I don't think the kittens would be heavy enough.

The other day, I found a dark corner had been adopted as another kitten toilet. No problem, I just put another tray over the spot (hurrah for laminate flooring...) That, incidentally, is quite a good idea if you have a cat who has urinated in the wrong place and you think it was just an accident- kitten pee smells more strongly than the human nose can detect, and kittens are drawn to going in the same place- putting a tray there reinforces the fact that this is the toilet, this is where you go.

'Urine-Off' spray is good for removing pet wee smells, as is biological washing powder... some cleaning products still smell like cat wee to a cat, so can make problems worse... it's worth investing in a proper pet spray because... well kittens are the equivalent of toddlers, and the odd accident will happen. Getting cross with a kitten never works, it just teaches him to worry about elimination, making it more likely he'll go somewhere secretive.

Another trick, if you really don't want a litter tray in that spot, is to put the food bowl in the same spot after cleanup. Cats are very clean animals, and rarely will they toilet in the same area as they eat.

Of course, this will only work if it was an accident. Occasionally cats will avoid the litter box (ahem... Indigo!) because they are trying to tell you something- they are poorly, or they don't like their litter, or even that it's high time you scooped the box! In this case it's best to try and resolve whatever is bothering them. Like I say, cats are instinctively very clean animals and want to go in the same, designated place regularly, so if they don't it's usually the only way they can communicate to you that something is making them unhappy.

Anyway, the whole point of this waffling was to say the box I put down was an old one of ours, a covered box, and the kittens LOVE it. I'd put all our covered boxes into the shed, as Indigo hates them, but the kittens think otherwise and it's now the most used box in the room!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Watching


Hi mama!

For the past few weeks, Indigo has been sitting on the top of the mini cat tree. It's been high enough for the kittens not to constantly hassle her for milk, yet still give her a good view of where they are and what they are up to.

So she was not at all pleased when AnnElise decided she'd join her. She 'huffed' impatiently a few times, as AnnElise tromped all over her, made a few displeased noises and eventually got up and walked away.

Today she'd taken up ra watching position on the middle sized cat tree instead. I'm not convinced that'll work for her though...  Kensey got all the way up there yesterday.

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Wah!


Monty haz a complaint.

Kittens yawn if they are disturbed when sleeping, in this case by Kensey stomping all over him. I had the camera ready at the right time! I love how they look all bratty and attitude-y when they yawn lol

Saturday, 22 January 2011

Caramel

One of the reasons I wanted to mate Indigo to Harry (Fecheldee) was that Harry carries the dilute modifier, also known as the caramelising gene. Once the kittens are off my hands I'll start writing about genetics again, and we'll cover this. Basically though the dilute modifier works on dilute colours only (blue, lilac, fawn, which isn't recognised in the Tonkinese, and cream) warming ad brightening the base colours to caramel or apricot.

Some years ago, I read a piece by a Tonk breeder, making the case NOT to introduce Caramel into the Tonkinese breed. Caramel is often difficult to distinguish from other colours, which 'muddies' the genetic waters somewhat... for example, lilac based caramel and blue based caramel are only very very subtly different- indeed, they share the same registration code, but have different implications for what colour kittens they can themselves produce. How does one distinguish between the two? However, things have moved on, and I then saw that the same breeder now breeds caramels with no issue. Good for her, I think, both for questioning the necessity for certain colours but then also to be able to change her mind as the breed progressed. Similar arguments have been made for not introducing cinnamon and fawn into the gene pool, and cinnamon and fawn are currently NOT accepted as Tonk colours. And really what a nightmare that would be, sorting out fawn based caramel, lilac based caramel and blue based caramel... all looking pretty much the same. Blimey!

Now often, the difference is so subtle that cats are registered as blues, lilacs and so on, and the fact they are caramel is only picked up at cat shows when they are much older. That might be the case in multi- coloured litters- if you have one blue in the litter then I guess you just assume it's blue!- but I am lucky enough to have a whole litter of blues, plus a blue point birman for colour comparison. So that gives me an ideal opportunity to study the effect of caramel from an early stage. Of course, the idea was to have a lot of lilacs and caramels to compare, but blues do the job just as well!

So in the past few days I've been studying my kittens whenever they've been still enough to do so, and trying to see if I can differentiate the kittens that MIGHT be caramel. And... I think I can! Very exciting.


Do you see in this picture, the kitten in the middle is a different colour to the ones either side? That's the three boys, and the one in the middle is Kensey. Kensey seems- to my inexperienced eye- rather lighter and 'warmer' than his two brothers. In fact, several visitors have noticed this, and I always know when I'm talking to Kensey, and can easily pick Kensey out from a pile of sleeping kittens (without checking the colour in his armpit!) whereas I quite often muddle up Kenneth and Monty.

Now, I don't think this is natural variation. Kenneth and Monty are not exactly the same colour- one is slightly darker (but I forget which... I think it's Kenneth) but both are still a cool blue, you can tell that they are, basically, the same colour. (At the moment!) Whereas with Kensey, it's not that he's just a bit lighter


Look at this one too. This is Monty and Kensey- Kensey in front. Again, Kensey's nose leather colour seems more mushroomy than steely, and compared to Monty's you can see the difference there. And the colour on the face too, Kensey's has a more browny-pinky quality.


And here... the ears. The 'seam' of the ears- the very tip- are a good indication of the kittens' final point colour. This is Kenneth and Kensey. Kensey's ear is the lower one, and again, there's a clear difference between Kensey's warmer shade and Kenneth's cooler one.

So anyway... as far as I can tell at this early stage, both Kenneth and Monty are blues, but Kensey is a caramel. And I think I might have a blue and a caramel girl too, although it's harder to tell with them and I haven't been able to get any decent pictures to compare. Wendell, I'm pretty sure, is a blue.

Of course I might be totally wrong. We'll see!

Thursday, 20 January 2011

6 Weeks!


And a trying day for the kittens. Not only did they have to have a thorough check at the vets, but on returning home I gave them a dose of wormer and clipped their claws. They were Not At All Impressed, and hated me for... oooh about 5 minutes.

The check today was a routine one. We had a double appointment so the vet could take her time. Basically, she felt them all over, checking there were no obvious deformities of the limbs, ribcage, tail etc, and feeling gently the internal organs to make sure nothing was enlarged or tender. She had a look in th mouth to see that all we well in there. Then she listened to the kittens hearts and chest (for murmurs etc) and then weighed them- weights to come.

All the kittens had a clean bill of health. When Kenneth came along for his turn, the vet spent extra time listening to his chest, but it was all clear. His blip at- 3 weeks, was it?- was just one of those things. So all in all, nice healthy babies, really good weight gain and looking rather excellent if I do say so myself :)

Indigo also got a checkup, and we talked about potential treatment for her allergy but not yet. I'm to continue just keeping them clean with the Hibiscrub and keep an eye on them. The first thing the vet would try normally, of course, is an antihistamine injection... but we can't do that while she's nursing.

Wendell
Birth 103g
1 week 217g
2 weeks 294g
3 weeks 362g
4 weeks 463g
5 weeks 593g
6 weeks 763g

Kensey
Birth 91g
1 week  196g
2 weeks 255g
3 weeks 346g
4 weeks 437g
5 weeks 604g
6 weeks 777g

Kenneth
Birth 94g
1 week 192g
2 weeks 274g
3 weeks 382g
4 weeks 480g
5 weeks 589g
6 weeks 757g

Monty
Birth 90g
1 week  198g
2 weeks 290g
3 weeks 390g
4 weeks 524g
5 weeks 600g
6 weeks 792g

AnnElise
Birth 92g
1 week 188g
2 weeks 262g
3 weeks 338g
4 weeks 437g
5 weeks 539g
6 weeks 716g


Hope
Birth 83g
1 week 182g
2 weeks 257g
3 weeks 340g
4 weeks 458g
5 weeks 562g
6 weeks 712g

Wednesday, 19 January 2011

More Homes!

We had a couple of visits last night.

Firstly, S and his partner came, with a boy in mind, and they chose Kenneth. Actually, it would be more accurate to say that Kenneth chose them. I'd given the kittens their tea, and when S arrived, most of them had opted to sleep it off... under the sofa. Kenneth was napping on the mini cat tree though, and most amenable to some attention.

Both the girls were up and about before long, but it took some time to coax the sleepy boys out from their snoozing spot. (It was a bit embarassing actually- note to self: feed the kittens earlier when we are next expecting visitors!) Eventually, they all made an appearance, but Kenneth had already worked his charms. S and partner left to discuss it, but rang less than 20  minutes later to confirm that Kenneth was indeed their kitten.

I believe S's partner works partly from home, and even better than that is that they are planning on getting another kitten to be his buddy :) Fantastic!

Later on,  E came along with her partner and a friend to look at the girls. E had a special Siamese girl when growing up, and didn't want to 'replace' her... and in looking for a similar breed came across the Tonkinese. She had a terrible time deciding between the two girls, but eventually decided Hope was the kitten for her.

Hope will also be lucky enough to have a buddy... a friendly and playful big brother Boo who is in need of a companion. Perfect. Given Hope's adoration of Theo, I'm sure she'll be very happy!

As for me I'm delighted that they are both going to have not only adoring human slaves, but feline buddies as well... I really couldn't ask for more.

Indigo was also on fine form, playing with the visitors, and got lots of compliments... which made me ridiculously proud. If I do say it myself, she IS a lovely cat, (well, when she isn't being a pest!) she's playful and affectionate and very pretty. And although I mentioned her allergy to both lots of visitors, (she has three spots lol) neither groups seemed to have noticed or were concerned. I suspect I notice it much more than anyone else, Indigo isn't bothered, and certainly I worry much more than I suspect is strictly necessary. Can't help it... she's my darling.

Anyway, after saying confidently yesterday on here that all the kittens were litter trained, I noticed a puddle AND a poo on the large cat tree this morning. Whoops!

Tuesday, 18 January 2011

Litter Box


The kittens have got several small kitten sized litter trays to use, so naturally they want to get into the adult cats' high backed extra deep trays that are about 20 times their size..! Here's Wendell proving my point! Theo likes to pee up the back of his litter trays, and Indigo doesn't like covered trays. Of course the only trays that suit the both of them are rather expensive and is only available mail order with postage charge as well... although sometimes they have stalls at cat shows. Anyway, the kittens do sample them from time to time, despite their size!

So. Litter training. Well... it's going rather well really! In fact they are trained.

I left the vacuum in the living room the other day, for no other reason than I was too lazy to put it properly away, and there it stood for a few days. (yes, I know, bad me...) Well of course I could smell kitten pee somewhere, and in hunting the source discovered the kittens had decided behind the vacuum was a jolly good toilet, and had used it freely. Pees only, fortunately, but that was bad enough! Well I have laminate flooring, so cleanup was more simple than it may otherwise have been, but even with laminate floors pee smells can linger. So I've popped a litter tray directly over that spot and the kittens appear to be using that quite happily again.

The kittens have always been great about pooping in the litter, fortunately. The only thing that happens here is occasionally one will tread in their poop and then trot off, leave stinky footprints behind them, but there, they are only babies and it doesn't take long to clean them up again. Of course, we haven't had a bout of wobbly tummies yet...

The litter we use is silica litter, mainly because it's the litter the adult cats (especially Indigo) are happiest about using, and it's great choice for multicat households too. Not the cheapest litter, but good for smell control and very absorbent, and quite often on special at Zooplus... I buy loads when it is! I was wondering if the kittens would find it rather too hard for their little feet, but they all seem to have taken to it quite happily. The only 'problem' is that it does track rather easily, so no matter how recently I've swept we always seem to have litter round the trays... you can see it in the photos here quite often. But other than that it's great and suits us well.

Monday, 17 January 2011

Sleep

As the kittens  become more confident, they learn to see humans as fun companions, despite their giant size. They also realise they are rather warm and cuddly too. So several times a day these days I find myself with a couple of napping kittens in my arms or on my lap. Not that I'm complaining. It's rather touching really. Sweet, trustful kittens!

Of all the kittens, Hope and Kenneth are the most inclined to doze on a lap. Although yesterday I was sitting with my legs up in front of me and I had all six, napping, on various parts of my anatomy. Of course the problem with having a lapful of small purry furry things is that you're basically immobile. If you need to get up, you have to move them, and then of course they look at you all reproachfully and make you feel guilty.


Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.


Indigo gets in on the action too.

Oh and botheration... Indigo has some new spots. Three of them. Back to the vets with us, then. Poor Indigo! And I've got a prospective family over tomorrow and one the next day as well... just the right time to have a scabby cat eh? *grin*

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Cuddly Indigo


She's a cuddly cat alright! The only one of my four who is, but she does it in spades. :)

Saturday, 15 January 2011

So Pleased


Monty, smug!


We had our first visit today... and I'm delighted to announce that both Wendell and Monty have found their forever home. Together!

C has been interested in these kittens for ages and came over today to look at them. I hope she won't mind me sharing that she's waited a long time for the 'right' time for kittens, and... well I just had a good feeling about it all. I was ridiculously nervous though, and probably yammered on something awful, (I could hear my mouth going on and on while my brain was thinking oh Beth, DO shut up!) but the kittens were charming and playful and showed their lovely natures off very well.

Of course there were several mishaps along the way. Kensey did an impressively big and stinky poop in the litter tray, (at least it was in the tray! Could have been worse!) naturally managing to step in it and track poop across the floor, so he had to be whisked off for a foot wash half way lol. And right at the beginning, they were startled by the doorbell and fled en masse under the sofa, but they were soon coaxed out. I was really pleased about that because what with Kenneth's chest and everything, I haven't had that many people over and was concerned they would be shy. Yeah, I know, Tonkinese, shy? I really should have known better!

Anyway, Wendell was picked first, and then Monty and I am SO PLEASED! I know they are going to have a fantastic life with C and her partner, and for them to be going together is just the icing on the cake.

Friday, 14 January 2011

Sleepy Hope


Going...


Going...


Going...


Going...


Zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz...

Thursday, 13 January 2011

Kenneth


Please ignore the smudge on his face... it's my shadow. One day I will learn not to get between the subject and the light when taking a photo... maybe!

So, Kenneth! Kenneth has been well for a week now, no sign of any breathing issues, snuffles or rattles, he was seen by the vet last week and pronounced clear. As a result, when people start to visit to see the kittens (soon!) he will be very much available. Hurrah!

Kenneth is a sweet guy. He's very snuggly and purry, sitting on my foot and mewing insistently till I pick him up for a cuddle. He's laid back and amiable- gets on with everyone and prefers snuggling to fighting. Which is a good thing, because really... look at that little face... don't you just want to kiss it? Mmmmm dear me it's a wonder I get any work done at all hehe.

The kittens are 5 weeks now... here's their weights. I might add that weighing has become, quite frankly, a farce... they will not sit still or stay on the scale now, so the weights are not as accurate as they have been! I'm not weighing them daily any more either... a couple of times a week will do us now. I'm finding they are so big now that daily weight measurement isn't that helpful, for example Monty's weight gain has gone something like +43g, -15g, +31g, -7g... depending on whether he's fed recently, or needs to use the litter box, or whatever. So some days he has appeared to have lost weight, well I doubt he has, he probably just needed to poop! Last week's weight gain was the +43g day... I suspect that was artificially high!

Wendell
Birth 103g
1 week 217g
2 weeks 294g
3 weeks 362g
4 weeks 463g
5 weeks 593g

Kensey
Birth 91g
1 week  196g
2 weeks 255g
3 weeks 346g
4 weeks 437g
5 weeks 604g

Kenneth
Birth 94g
1 week 192g
2 weeks 274g
3 weeks 382g
4 weeks 480g
5 weeks 589g

Monty
Birth 90g
1 week  198g
2 weeks 290g
3 weeks 390g
4 weeks 524g
5 weeks 600g

AnnElise
Birth 92g
1 week 188g
2 weeks 262g
3 weeks 338g
4 weeks 437g
5 weeks 539g


Hope
Birth 83g
1 week 182g
2 weeks 257g
3 weeks 340g
4 weeks 458g
5 weeks 562g

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Patient Mama


Heheh. Poor Indigo, stretched right out to accommodate all six kittens at feeding time. Why she's lying on the floor, instead of the various comfortable places we have around the room, is anyone's guess! I suspect she was accosted unexpectedly by hungry kittens.

Mostly she only feeds two or three at any one time, but seeing them all bundled on top of her like this was too good to miss. It's a rarity though, easier to feed them in batches! She's not looking so sore now, so clipping the babies' claws a little does seem to have helped. She's eating better again- plenty of kibble as well as wet food...and chicken once a day. She's a bit skinny, like most nursing mothers get, it would seem, so she's still on the nutri gel. Whether it helps I don't know, but she seems to enjoy it, so why not!

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Boys


I am a handsome kitty, oh yes!

(Monty, I think, although I always confuse him with Kenneth)


Kitten puddle! I THINK that's Kenneth looking at the camera.


Wendell and Kensey

Monday, 10 January 2011

Uncle Theo


Hey Mum... I'm gonna say hello to that floofy guy over there...
 (that's Hope, she luffs Theo)


AnnElise joins in...
Mister? Wake up Mister!


Yay, he's awake!


Hello Mister! You sure is fluffy!


*snuggle* (AnnElise)


*smooch* (also AnnElise)

BUNDLE!!!

Good old Uncle Theo!


Sunday, 9 January 2011

Lovely AnnElise


Such a sweet girl! AnnElise is one of the quieter of her litter, but she's rapidly gaining in confidence now. When the others come out to play, so does she, and she's been known to stalk and pounce on a sibling with much skill. She's quite agile and has been known to jump up in the air, which I've not seen from her siblings. Boing!

She's gaining in confidence with people too, playing games mith me and batting at my hand playfully. Just earlier I was playing with the kittens en masse and AnnElise crawled right into my lap for a cuddle. And purred at me. Aww!
Her face has more cream on it than Hope's does, and where Hope has a cream back foot, one of AnnElise's front paws is paler than the other. So it's easy to tell them apart even when they are sleeping.

Just as an aside, I love how they look like proper cats now, and not bats or mice! Oh, and I'm typing this with Monty on my shoulder... he tickles!

Food, Glorious Food!


Now, all the sites I've seen have recommending starting to wean the kittens at around five weeks. But- well, my kittens seem to be weaning themselves. One day I put down some chicken for mama (she's still on one meal of plain boiled chicken a day to boost her appetite for her other food... I dropped it one day and she ate hardly anything) and Wendell tucked in like he'd been doing it all his life. Kensey was a little more tentative, and baffled by the plate I think, but he had a few good chews as well. Well by now there's a scrum when the chicken gets put down... all the kittens are straight there.

It was never my intention to give the kittens this chicken... nutritionally it's pretty blah, it's not a complete cat food, and it's had most of the goodness boiled out of it. But that's how it's worked out. It would be daft to STOP them wouldn't it, when they are eating of their own accord?

Really I'm not too concerned, other breeders use a baby cereal to start their kittens off which is equally bland- so I reckon boiled chicken is equally inoccuous. At this stage they are getting all their nutrition from milk, and food is more about exploring tastes and textures than anything else isn't it? However, now I'm starting to think it's time to introduce some other food... after all I do NOT want to be handing on kittens who will only ever eat chicken- their new families wouldn't thank me for that hehe.
Anyway yesterday and today at Indigo's meal times, I've mixed some chicken with a can of kitten mush to see what happened... and again Wendell was right in there. The others have had a sniff, a few have had a lick and it all seems to be going rather well.

As for the dry food... well lots of sites say start this at around six to seven weeks. Someone really ought to tell Hope that... hehe. She loves the biscuits- Royal Canin Babycat, specially sized for tiny mouths. As you can see, she likes to get right into the dish...



Oh! And we had a POO IN THE LITTER BOX yesterday!  And we've had a couple of wees as well. Hurrah! I am pathetically pleased by this. After the dramatics of Friday, I'm just pleased that I seem to be doing something right!

Saturday, 8 January 2011

Yesterday...


He's fine.  Here he is, just now, scoffing.

Oh my goodness.

Yesterday, the teenager accidentally stepped on Wendell. I didn't see it happen, but my goodness, I heard it, and I'd rather not ever hear a kitten making that noise again :(  Poor, poor baby!

I checked him over gently and couldn't feel anything obviously broken but Wendell then limped off to under the sofa and I could see he wasn't bearing any weight on one of his back feet. Of course, I rang the vet straight away and got the next available appointment and set out pronto, coaxing Wendell out with a bit of chicken. By the time we got to the vet he was walking much more normally, thank goodness. He was checked out, and as far as the vet could tell, he's fine, just shocked and a bit sore no doubt.

I have to say- both the vet and the receptionist were very kind and I just about held it together, but I don't mind sharing that later on that night I did have a good weep. I just feel so terrible about it. But Wendell is fine and walking as he should be this morning, so all seems to be well.

I've thought and thought about posting this. I'd rather keep it quiet, you know? And then I remembered one of the aims of this blog... complete honesty... and decided to go ahead. It was an accident, the teenager feels dreadful about it... and so do I. Comment if you would like to, but please be gentle- no-one could feel any more badly about it than we do.

I have good news as well though... I grabbed a kitten to take with Wendell- I thought it might stress him out less to be with a littermate  (Indigo had hidden under the sofa with some of the other kittens at all the noise and stress so taking the whole family was not an option) It was Kenneth. I was just about to swap him (not wanting to take Kenneth out in the cold) when I thought I might as well take him too, to be checked over. Well the vet did so, and couldn't detect any noise on Kenneth's chest at all. Hurrah!

Friday, 7 January 2011

Moving House

I've been busying myself moving the blog over to this site. Blogger makes it pretty easy, and all is now moved over except the genetics posts... which I am going to review VERY carefully in the light of my blooper earlier in the week lol! I'm pretty sure everything I wrote is accurate, and I had just ('just' lol) missed an important fact when considering the orange-making gene, but I don't want to post anything that is wrong, so I'll check it all over before reposting those.

Also, I'm more 'aware' that this blog is public. On the private blog, I've whittered away to myself quite merrily in the knowledge that no-one can 'hear' me... but now they can. Also, what is it with the fact that anything you wrore more than about... ooh, two weeks ago? seems very embarrassing indeed? He he. Ah well. One can't make an omelette without breaking eggs, so they say, although what that has to do with kittens is anyone's guess.

Otherwise it's just more of the same here... playing with the kittens, watching the kittens, cuddling the kittens, tearing myself away from the kittens to earn a crust... lol. After my wobble yesterday, I feel bound to report that I have not heard Kenneth rattle in the past 24 hours, despite spending quite a lot of time with him, so I'm holding off on the vet visit for a couple of days to see what's what.

Also, a gripe. I've had a couple emails since going into hyper-advertising mode, and... well, people are very odd, aren't they? One mail said 'I'd like two females'- that's it, no hello, no let me tell you a little about myself, just that... as if I was a market stall and selling bananas! I replied politely of course, asking for a bit more info but got no reply and I'm not at all upset about that! I've had a couple other mails which I have replied to which have fizzled out when I've asked a few questions (nicely, I swear...) but seriously what do people expect, that I'll do them up neatly in brown paper and stick them in the mail???

And as for that, would anyone REALLY want a kitten from a breeder that showed NO interest in where or what the kittens might be going to? *shakes head sadly*

Thursday, 6 January 2011

Indikon

Well, my prefix has now been approved, and I am officially Indikon :)

I have been keeping a private blog for a few months now, documenting my Tonkinese cat Indigo's pregnancy and motherhood. Her kittens are currently four weeks old, and very lovely they are too! Over the next few weeks and months I will transfer the posts over to this public blog, and eventually, when I've caught up, update directly to here.

If you're reading for the first time, hello! My name is Beth, and I'm a new breeder of Tonkinese cats. This blog is meant to be a diary of breeding and cat ownership, a totally honest, warts and all account of all our antics and concerns here. So if Indigo widdles on my bath towel (the highlight of one post) I'll tell you all about it. You lucky things.

It's also intended to be a tool for our kittens' new families to keep up to date with their babies before they are old enough to come home. And of course I will be spending some time talking about my other cats too- I have four, and only one is a Tonk.

If you are a breeder yourself I might say things that you disagree with, I might do things you think are unnecessary or could be done differently, and you are welcome to post in the comments section and tell me so. In fact, I'm almost sure to so something unorthodox at some point! That's ok, I'm sure we all do things differently and I'm always open to a bit of advice- after all, this is new to me. Trolls and spammers beware though... comments will be moderated, so anything rude or hateful will be removed... it's not that kind of blog, and I don't have any use for Viagra, thanks!

I hope you enjoy reading.

4 Weeks Old


Kensey (I think!)

The kittens have all made good weight gain this week, and I'm not concerned about their gains any more. they are all putting on weight at a steady rate. Some of them are increasing more slowly (AnnElise) than others (Monty) but it's regular, reliable weight gain, which is what we want!

I need to get some more pictures of AnnElise. The thing is, she's quite a shy, retiring girl, and doesn't come forward for games and cuddles like some of her more confident siblings. Kensey is similar, as you can see from the photos, watching his siblings from the security of under the sofa!

Kenneth is perplexing me. He still has a rattle on his chest, although it isn't there ALL the time, it comes and goes. But he doesn't look like a poorly kitten... he's as playful and cuddly as the rest of them are, and he's making good daily weight gains as well, he's the second heaviest kitten. I don't get it... surely he should be a bit puny if he's ill? Of course, I don't WANT him to be ill...

Wendell
Birth 103g
1 week 217g
2 weeks 294g
3 weeks 362g
4 weeks 463g

Kensey
Birth 91g
1 week  196g
2 weeks 255g
3 weeks 346g
4 weeks 437g

Kenneth
Birth 94g
1 week 192g
2 weeks 274g
3 weeks 382g
4 weeks 480g

Monty
Birth 90g
1 week  198g
2 weeks 290g
3 weeks 390g
4 weeks 524g

AnnElise
Birth 92g
1 week 188g
2 weeks 262g
3 weeks 338g
4 weeks 437g

Hope
Birth 83g
1 week 182g
2 weeks 257g
3 weeks 340g
4 weeks 458g

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

All Change

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


The kittens can all get out of their nest now, so I've taken the plastic tub away. Mainly because they would get out by hauling themselves over the side and landing in a heap on the other side, usually headfirst (yes, there was padding but even so!) and then of course they couldn't get back in unless Mama hauled them in. Which she doesn't do with much elegance or decorum, I might add! I've kept the box though, I'd rather they sleep in there -where I can get at them- than under the sofa, which I might add is no longer stuffed with old sheets and fluffy toys. They got removed the other day, as I was afraid a kitten might crawl in and get stuck.



I've kept the box out though. Since Wendell tucked in so well yesterday, I've been putting Indigo's food on plates, forgetting that the reason Indigo ALWAYS eats from a bowl is that she's a very untidy eater! So I put that in the box instead, plus kittens, so they can have a good sniff at it, which is all most of them are up to at the moment. They are strictly speaking very young, but giving the food a good sniff won't hurt, will it? And then I just have to wipe the box.

Ah yes. And the litter trays. I thought it was about time to start there. Now mama cat usually teaches the kittens by example, but Indigo will only ever use one litter tray, the high sided  high backed one on my desk, so I doubt she'll be of much assistance. And also Indigo, bless her, is rather... sensitive about her toileting habits, which is a nice way of saying she's a bit of a pest about toileting elsewhere if her toilet is dirty (or she thinks it is!) or she doesn't have a specific litter, or she's upset about something. Anyway, I'd rather have rather more robust kittens in the toilet department, so I'm interfering!

Anyway, after weighing this morning, each kitten was stood in the tray and its bottom repeatedly wiped with a wet, warm cotton ball- which is what you can see in the tray. Which was the nearest I was going to get to mimicking Mama's tongue! Some of them weed, and the cotton ball was left in the tray so it smells 'right' to the kittens. And I intend to do the same every morning after weighing until they get the idea. Hopefully they will, without too much trauma.

And one more thing. ARGHHH! Indigo has a spot on her ear. Don't know if it's her allergy rearing its head again or it's just a random spot... I suppose if she develops more I'll know, but really, SO frustrating.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Clever Kittens

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



I vacuumed yesterday. Yes, I know, scintillating, and what has that to do with cats? Well Indigo HATES the vacuum cleaner, and having laminate flooring, I don't often have to use it in 'her' room, I sweep and sometimes (ok, occasionally!) mop, but don't usually vacuum. But the sofa was very hairy and needed a good clean, so out came the dyson and away I went.

Because the kittens are fully capable of getting out of the nest,  I put them in the cat carrier and in the hall. These two combined stressed Indigo out no end, so when I was done, I popped them all back in the nest and put in a plate of chicken for Indigo to calm her down.

Well, I think Wendell ate more than Indigo did!

The kittens have all had a good sniff at Indigo's food before but have not tried to eat any before today, but my goodness, Wendell managed a good meal! Kenneth tucked in too, although he tried to bite the plate a lot at first, which was pretty funny. The others all seemed uninterested, which is fair enough.

As for Hope, she wasn't even IN the nest. No, Miss Hope discovered how to get out the other day, and since than has spent more time under the sofa than in the nest. But she's not hiding, under there. She's playing. With Theo! She's such a funny little thing.

Monday, 3 January 2011

Advertising

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



I don't believe I like the sound of that...

I've been rather half hearted about advertising this litter so far, being somewhat reluctant to think about the kittens moving on, and so predictably have had little interest. A friend who enquired about the price of a kitten and nearly had kittens herself at the answer, bless her, and one lady who I didn't think was serious and which fizzled out. And one who sounds lovely, and may indeed be interested in the litter but is in Europe till the middle of the month. But she was very nice about the 'grilling' I subjected her to... only the best for my babies, you know *grin*... and seemed to have done plenty of research about the Tonkinese breed

And that's it. Not a nibble otherwise.

Of course, the recession and all that. And admittedly, they are still too young for actual visits, and there's plenty of time yet, they're not four weeks yet. But it's time to step up my game, advertise in as many places as I can, and update those ads regularly. Kenneth, of course, is not for sale until his chest issues have resolved themselves

As for the grilling... well I'm not that bad, really. But I do want to know that my babies are going to be happy in their new homes, and that the new owners are going to get what they expect. A kitten is a big investment emotionally, and a pedigree kitten is a big financial step as well. I'd rather spend multiple email and phone conversations helping someone get the right cat for them, even if it isn't one of mine, than home a kitten that then needs to be rehomed or who is unhappy or lonely. Perhaps some of the people who contact me will be better suited with a sedate Persian, or a lone adult Tonkinese from the rescue, or perhaps a pair of moggy littermates... and that's fine, I'm happy to help with that if I can. I'm NOT trying to put people off... honestly!

So anyway... advertising. Regularly. Must remember! I don't have room for six more cats, long term...!

Sunday, 2 January 2011

The Blues

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

My litter has been puzzling me no end, especially young Wendell. I've noted before that he doesn't really look like a lilac, he's too dark, in fact he looks distinctly blue. Then I thought he was lightening off and would look more lilac-y in turn. Then I thought perhaps this was caramel, then? He looks very little like his Mama anyway, who is a solid lilac, and I couldn't work out why that was. The other kittens, too, they look rather darker than I would have expected for a lilac, especially Monty and Kenneth. But they couldn't possibly be lilac could they, because of their parentage it wouldn't be possible, genetically.

But yesterday the penny dropped! Dad cat is apricot, which means he has the orange making gene masking his true colour. I've only considered this orange colour when thinking about what he could pass on to his children, but of course this isn't the case... he will also be passing on his masked colour too. Bingo! I don't know why, but this had completely passed me by... I'd only ever considered the red colouring.

So I don't have a litter of lilacs after all... I have a litter of blues! And possibly blue- based caramels. There could be lilacs and lilac caramels in the mix as well, but they all look more or less the same to me so I think they are the same colour. We'll see, I'm sure Dad cat has lilac offspring, so lilac ought to be possible but I don't think we have any.

That's OK though. I like blues... I have two of my own! And suddenly the colour of my litter makes sense.

I do feel a wally though! Ah well, I'd been rather too smug about having sexed the kittens correctly (at the vet the other day it was confirmed that we do indeed have four boys and two girls) so it's no more than I deserve really, pride goeth before a fall and all that! I'm also feeling a little daunted, I must admit, at the prospect of deciding between more possible colourways... I suspect I would have been wiser to have chosen a different stud and left both red and caramel until I'd got a little more experience! But no matter, I'll get there in the end, I'm sure :)

Saturday, 1 January 2011

All About Hope

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

 

Today's post is about Miss Hope, because she's adorable. And not only is she adorable, she's got bucketloads of charm too. Some of the other kittens are naturally a bit shyer, and slower to show me their personalities (and in all fairness they are only just over 3 weeks old!) but Hope has personality coming out of her ears. And very lovely those ears are, too.

Hope is always amongst the first to greet me when I poke my head near to the nest, and will mew at me until I pick her up for a cuddle. She seems very curious about people and the big wide world in general. She's not the smallest kitten any more, her sister and one of her brothers are slightly lighter than she is.



May I draw your attention to that dear little cream stripe down her nose? The mottled cream blush on her whisker pads? The cream back foot next to the darker lilac one?


If she grows up to be half as beautiful as her lovely Mama, her family will be very lucky indeed!