Friday, 30 March 2012

That Bailey


*swoon* he's a handsome one...

Pssst.... Bailey hasn't had an 'incident' for ten days now... fingers crossed he's turned a corner eh? M is still being very careful, no unsupervised bedroom access etc, but her perseverance does seem to be paying off. Thank goodness and touch wood frantically!

I also have some CoCo news just this moment! She's very confident, and her and her big sister Matilda are getting on like a house on fire- like yin and yang, R says, always curled up together. What is even better is that Matilda has stopped pulling out her own fur... she's found an interest in CoCo and seems to be recovering from her loneliness now that she has a playmate. Hurrah!!!!!

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

Oh Brother...


Theo: Snuggle
Indigo: Ignore

 

Theo: Purrrrrrr
Indigo: Seethe


Theo: Zzzzzz
Indigo: MUM HE IS TOUCHING ME AND I DON'T WANT HIM TO GET HIM OFF GET HIM OFF!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!


They love each other really :)

Tuesday, 27 March 2012

Ironing


Of course, removing Ava so that I could do the ironing in that pile would just be rude wouldn't it? That's my story, and I'm darn well sticking to it!

Ava looks so round in photos, but she's about 75% floof. In fact she's looking skinny to me again, I checked her mouth (Ava has had two nasty bouts of rodent ulcers) and that looked fine, and she seems to be eating, so perhaps she's just moulting or something. Plus she's half Persian, so has the round moon face and smallish ears that go with the breed Not the ultra-type though... her mama had a nice, normal profile- short but nothing remarkable. Ugh to squashed faces :(

No, I am mistaken, her Mama wasn't Persian, can't have been as she was a shorthair, she was either a shorthaired Persian cross, or she was an exotic shorthair. Either way that's where Ava gets her ultra soft, almost-a-semi-longhair length coat.

I love my Ava!

Monday, 26 March 2012

Sleep Tight


Awwww lookit those two sweet girls! What a pair of lovelies!


I have some great piccies of Maddie and Pasha too, but being a technological ignoramus I can't work out how to get them on here! But they are looking beautiful as ever. Maddie and Pasha? The new names for Marta and Liesl. They were going to be Iris and Lily, but their family had a rethink. Maddie and Pasha are also beautiful names and very appropriate- Indigo's mother, also a blue solid, was called Maddie. Maddie the first was sadly run over a couple of years ago, and I'm sure her family will be pleased to hear her granddaughter bears the same name!

I am singularly unpopular with the cats today. It was Frontline time earlier for my lot... oh the filthy looks I've been getting ever since!

Friday, 23 March 2012

Update

Sorry, mad week, poorly child, work 'restructuring' (which will resolve itself in more work for less pay I suspect!) and things ramping up at the allotment. Will I ever get it dug in time for the spuds to go in? And why, despite telling myself I will ONLY grow what I absolutely need this year, do I find myself with 29 tomato seedlings- oh and 11 aubergines? I need about 6 and 2 respectively lol!!!

Cats are all well, Indigo's feline acne is clearing nicely now- she's on the Ovarid again. She didn't get it nearly as badly this year anyway, perhaps she's growing out of it. It tends to be the younger queens who are the most susceptible, and Inds is only just 3 so pretty young for a cat. Last year you could see it from a distance, her chin was covered in black scabbiness, but this year her chin just looks a little grubby up close. In a darker coloured cat, you'd not even notice.

Kittens all seem to be well and healthy, got a few pics to share next week. Bailey is still not safe in the bedrooms though... he uses the box appropriately otherwise but it's so frustrating for M (and me too!) Come on Bailey sort it out boy! M's had some good advice from her vet and is a seasoned Tonk owner herself, so I know Bailey's in good and sympathetic hands- but it is becoming an issue so please keep your fingers crossed for them that it all works out. Bailey's getting a brother in May all being well, so if his issue is one of overattachment and 'marking' (which I think it is, he clearly loves M very much and there's no evidence to suggest he's unwell or unhappy, quite the opposite!) I'm hoping a playmate will help calm any seperation anxiety he may be feeling.

Last year, Alfie had some similar issues, his stopped after a short while though- although I am sure it didn't seem like a short while to D and S! I'm trying to find out what, if anything, I can do to improve MY practice. What I am finding, though, is that it's not a rare issue in the 'intelligent' breeds- Orientals and Foreigns, and the same sparkiness and zest that makes their characters so desirable can also make them anxious, nervy, overattached etc at times... I've often commented that Indigo, my Tonk, is by far my most 'needy' cat. That's Tonks for you, you can't have one without the other, and I do try to communicate that here on the blog, Tonks are such a specific 'flavour' of cat and being social and communicating and loving you is what they do, only occasionally one will do this by peeing (because in the wild, that's what cats do!)

It's interesting that both Alfie and Bailey are boys, and they are boys who went 'solo' IYSWIM. I don't know if that's relevent, and I don't have nearly enough experience to be able to say whether it's a trend or just coincidence, but it's something I'm recording here for future reference. Are lone boys more prone to anxiety than any other combination? I wonder.

http://www.ramesescats.co.uk/health/page111/page111.html this page is still under construction, but I can't tell you how relieved I was to find it! As you know I very much respect this cattery and aspire to be like it, and to read between the lines I'm guessing this breeder has had a few piddling kittens herself in her time. Certainly enough to have some good advice to give! Hallelujah, I'm not the only one! (seriously, I've been having doubts as to my fitness as a breeder, bad times!)

Saturday, 17 March 2012

Grump


Hi. Indigo here, and I am Not A Happy Kitty... At All. See me in the picture above? I'm snuggling on a blanket Mum had just got out of the cupboard. I had naturally assumed it was for me, after all cats and blankets are a natural combination but OH NO. Apparently not. Apparently she was going to use it to make a costume for the teenager's school play!

Well I ask you. Who's just raised a family of seven? Don't I deserve a little comfort? SHE doesn't seem to think so, and took the blanket anyway. But I say the fact that the blanket was old and bobbly, I never use it and that I have about 30 others is ABSOLUTELY NOT THE POINT. No Mum, I'm very cross with you and so I'm telling everyone on this blog what a big meanie you are. So there.


although this apologising malarkey is pretty nice, keep this up for a while and I MIGHT forgive you...




Sorry Inds. But when one's teenager announces on Thursday night that he needs a costume by Monday morning, one has to use the materials at hand. Including cat blankets and my comfy old gardening gilet. We appreciate your sacrifice honey!

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Guess Again!


Aaaaaand its another picture NOT of Indigo. LOL. No, this is the lovely Jonah who is quite patently a lilac solid and not a blue mink as I put on his pedigree.

Whoopsie.

He's another handsome devil isn't he though? If I was in that room I'd want to scoop him up and give him a kiss. He probably wouldn't mind either because he was just the cuddliest, most affectionate kitten imagineable, and C says he hasn't changed much.

Love those big soppy mancats. Mine, my Theo, is next to me on the desk as I type, and every now and then he's letting out a little trill to let me know he'd like another stroke now please!

Queen Of The Castle


Lottie and Lola's family have bought the girls a fantastic full height cat climber, which to me looks a bit castle like... very appropriate for two princesses! They love it. Here's Lola at the top. I understand she's also *ahem* rediscovered curtain climbing. Lola!!!! What a monkey!

Looking at Lola, I can't see for the life of me why I ever thought Alfie or Jonah (last year) were blue minks... they looked quite different to Lola. Although having said that, will I have to eat my words this time next year with regards to Lola? I'm much, much more confident about the accuracy of my (eventual!) colourings this year, but even so, we aaaaaaaalllll know what a mess I made of it last year!!! *hangs head in shame*

At least with Tonks this kind of uncertainty goes with the territory... it's almost part of the fun. I guess. LOL.

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Guess Who?


Why it's Ind....

Oh no, it isn't! This handsome chap is Alfie, Indikon Kenneth, from the REM litter last year. Looks very much like his mummy though doesn't he? And that's a solid cat, not a mink, for sure. Looks like either a lilac or a caramel to me, although I'd like to see that tail better, the bit that can be seen looks a bit caramelly to me!

Thanks S and D for sending me the piccie, he's adorable!

Monday, 12 March 2012

Sulley and his Boy


Breakfast time

Sulley's settling in brilliantly. D wrote to me: 'Im not sure I've ever seen a kitten so attached to a small child but they really are partners in crime lol and [the boy] tells everyone "he's MY kitten" :)' What is more, D had a friend around who fell so completely in love with Sulley that she's interested in a kitten from the next litter! MY next litter, not any Tonk litter. Now I shan't get my hopes up, a year is a long time for someone thinking 'kitten' but I took it as a huge compliment :)


The boy decided that when you break the cat tree the best thing to do is to try and fix it before anyone notices. Hahahaha nice one lad! Nobody would ever know!

Sunday, 11 March 2012

Indigo


People ask: Will Indigo miss the kittens?
Well, I'm not a cat, (lol, obviously) and without being one I couldn't say for sure. And cats who are brought up together or who have a close familial bond can have incredibly close relationships all their lives and can in fact grieve very deeply when one dies. And anyone who is around cats will know they experience frustration, affection, fear and a range of other emotions.

But at the end of the day (sorry came over a bit Jeremy Kyle there) a cat is a cat. It has a brain the size of a walnut. It is not human, and whilst the temptation to anthromorphise is strong (and I do it here, often, because it's fun) it's ultimately unhelpful when we are trying to find out how our cats might be feeling

In the wild, a mama cat loses her 4 week old kitten, she is distraught. She will call and call for it, searching until she is exhausted. But by the time they are ten weeks she's like what kitten was that, sorry? Oh she'll care for her brood, she'll feed them, bathe them and administer smacks where necessary, but they aren't her life any more. In nature she's in season again, looking for a man, or more likely she's pregnant already, gearing up for her next litter. Cats are extremely efficient baby making machines- grow 'em, raise em, turf 'em out ready for the next lot. People, please spay and neuter- moggy cats are not likely to be an endangered species any time soon...

Will Indigo miss the kittens? I can't say for sure, but if I had to take a guess as to her state of mind right now I'd say she's probably rather... relieved. She's been a diligent Mama. She's birthed, fed (with a little assistance) and raised seven beautiful kittens, at some cost to her own health. She's attended to their manners and morals and stood aside whilst they monopolised my affections. But now they've moved on and she has too. She can catch up on her sleep again (she's been napping pretty much solidly!), get back into the peak of condition and be a carefree cat again.
In fact it hasn't taken her long at all- she's moved back into her rightful place... which is of course my lap :)

Saturday, 10 March 2012

Forever


Life is sweet with a sister to share it with...


Marta Marshmallow and Liesl went home today, and are starting their new lives as Iris and Lily. Beautiful names for two very beautiful girls. They seemed more than happy to go, they even took themselves into the carrier! So what's the betting they howled all the way home? *grin*

I was loath to take them out of the carrier once they were in, so they didn't even get a goodbye kiss, but I'd had a good snuggle with both earlier in the day so that was ok :)

Goodbye darlings... be good, and if you can't be good make sure no-one is watching!

Thursday, 8 March 2012

And Reason Two!


Snuggly kitten no 2.

I had a conference call today. Trying to do that whilst wielding pen and paper plus two wriggly kittens and a big Mama was... interesting! Plus the fact that Indigo 'talked' all the way through. Still, I should be grateful no-one trod on the phone and cut me off...

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Reason One...



... why I struggle to get any work done at the moment.

As an aside, I'm really pleased with the way Liesl's eyes are looking at present, a really nice aqua colour. Proper Tonk eyes! Marta's eyes are still changing, but aren't the same colour, they are more 'muddy' and it is my opinion they will end up a greeny-gold like Mama's, as a solid Tonk's ought to be of course.

After the whole fiasco with the last litter's eye colour, I am glad my minks this litter look like they are going to be the colour they ought! Gretl's too- Lola, I mean- were the same colour as Liesl's are, slightly lighter, perhaps, but then she is a dilute (a blue)

Am hoping that their owners will stay in touch so I can see how their eye colour is developing!

Tuesday, 6 March 2012

Warm


Cats and radiators... the modern take on curling in front of the fire I guess!

So, M and I have been trying to find out why Bailey is making a nuisance of himself piddling on the beds. M doesn't want to have a cat who is only allowed in certain rooms, but obviously bed- peeing isn't something one can easily ignore is it? So we've been discussing how best to tackle the issue, and I thought some of the info might be of use on here just in case anyone stumbles on this site and are having similar issues. So here's some general advice.The following spiel will be very bitty and garbled as it's cobbled from several sources, but here we go...

Kittens weeing on beds:

It could be anxiety related? Some of the responses here seem to suggest it could be http://uk.answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080623024743AA1LLFH incidentally I do NOT agree with rubbing a kitten’s nose in urine, as one idiot suggests here!!! Anxiety and 'settling in' nerves is the reason I don't think a kitten should have bedroom access for the first little while.

Marking? Amanda suggested this as a cause in the comments yesterday.  http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20080601213157AA4h7nM suggests early neutering might be a plan if the issue persists I am not a fan of this as a general rule, but if a cat is marking persistently, I think that might be a good enough reason...

Illness? This suggests he’s choosing the beds as they are soft and smell comforting (ie of you) so he might be feeling unwell? Vets for a UTI check maybe? http://jennifercopley.suite101.com/how-to-stop-a-cat-from-peeing-on-the-bed-a274246

Also at the above, suggest using feliway (a plug in cat calming thing) and feeding him on a tray on the bed, (now that is a clever idea as they won’t generally wee where they eat) On Indikon's Facebook page, D also recommended the Feliway, as Alfie had a few accidents at first- they stopped pretty soon though.

http://en.allexperts.com/q/Cats-1606/kitten-peeing-bed.htm suggests getting some ultra cheap shower curtains or something to cover the beds to make them less attractive? Some bed coverings (cotton, silk etc) feel nice and scratchy, and the scratching stimulates the peeing reflex, so covering the bed with something soft and fluffy instead can stop that reflex kicking in.
  
Another idea, kittens start off their lives piddling in their nests, kitten might see your bed as your ‘nest’ and therefore his (as he’s treating you like a littermate, a companion) and he’s reverting to baby behaviour, putting his scent in the 'nest' to assure his place in the litter. Except for making the bedrooms off limits, I can only suggest getting lots of cheap litter trays and having one in each room he’s piddling in to reinforce that the tray is where we go not ‘the nest’- also try putting a cat bed with a waterproof base on your bed and encourage him to sleep in that (cat beds are smaller and easier to wash than whole duvets!)

Also over on Facebook, S said that if she didn't scoop every day, her Lotti would pee on the carpet just outside the box. Some cats just will not use a soiled litterbox. so that might be a cause of inappropriate wetting as well :)

Hope that helps someone at some point, and if anyone has any hints and tips to add, I'd love to hear them!

Monday, 5 March 2012

Updates

Rough, rough life, Liesl...


James P Sullivan II, aka Freddie is having a whale of a time with his new boy. I'm told Mum went into the boy's bedroom one night to find Sulley howling dismally, unable to work out why his partner in crime wasn't playing with him! LOL! He's also made friends with the other household cats, although I am advised that they are having rather more 'outside time' at the moment! Hee!

Bailey, aka Kurt is NOT distinguishing himself I'm afraid. Oh he's cute, he's adorable, he's tearing up and down the stairs like no-one's business and hungrily eyeing up the parrot... but he's had another weeing incident, on someone elses bed this time! He is currently banned from the bedrooms and as a result is now 'going' where he ought to. Still, he's being super friendly, a bit too friendly it seems, M says they've already had 'kittygate' in the house, where Bailey was buddying up to their lodger more than he was to M.

Lottie and Lola, aka Louisa and Gretl have only just gone so it's early days, but are doing fine. Lottie is being a bit more shy and spent the first day hiding but has been out and up the cat tree etc so she's clearly coming round fast. Gretl was much more comfy from the off and spent some time napping in her young lady's lap.

And finally CoCo, aka Brigitta, is being super- bold and has befriended her big sister really quickly, to the point they were playing with the dangly toy together almost straight away!

So there's just the two left, and I shall make sure I enjoy them this week as come Saturday that will be it for kittens for at least nine months! *sigh*

Saturday, 3 March 2012

Goodbye, Girls


Three of our girls have left! Brigitta left last night and Louisa and Gretl left this morning. I would say the house is quiet without them, but with Indigo still having a full on yowl-fest (in heat!) it really isn't. And no, she's not calling for her kittens... she's calling for a boyfriend!!! Kittens? What kittens? Nature is entirely heartless.

In nature, Indigo would probably go out and get pregnant again at this point. Of course I won't let her do that, so when she starts her next call I will be ready with the Ovarid. She needs a good break from the stresses of nursing and kittens in general. Cats are baby making machines if you let them... but it doesn't do their health any favours to allow a cat to repeatedly breed, and the GCCF does not allow it of course.

I read the other day that in the Siamese/ Burmese/ Tonkinese type breeds the kittens have the nursing reflex for far longer than other breeds do, which part explains why these breeds are slightly more disposed towards wool chewing. My chewer is Theo though, and Indigo doesn't so generalisations are just that, not hard and fast rules. Anyway, Indigo fed four of them this morning, she was feeding five as Brigitta was collected yesterday, basically she'd let them go on doing it for a lot longer if they were still here! I expect she'll still feed the remaining two, several times a day probably, till they leave, but it's just for comfort. She isn't producing much milk now, her belly is flat and its clearly not enough to stop her going into heat again.

So anyway, we are down to two. Marta is perched on top of the computer, giving me slitty love eyes.  Liesl is batting a toy around the floor. All most normal. Inds, on the other hand, is licking my son's homework folder... How she has such well adjusted kittens is beyond me, she's a weirdo!

Thursday, 1 March 2012

Love


Sweet Brigitta


That's me, working, or trying to. It's a rare occasion these days when I don't have at least one kitten in my arms, and even something as simple as putting on my shoes can be complicated. Take this morning- I sat down on the sofa with my shoes and Gretl hopped into my lap. One kitten is manageable, so I carried on with the shoe and got it mostly on, by which time Marta had climbed onto my shoulder, Brigitta was batting at the shoelace and Liesl and Louisa were on my lap with Gretl. Well they all got to stay there for 5 minutes because I am soft and I love my kittens lol. Anyway, I eventually decided the leeks won't plant themselves (the reason for the shoes I was going out back) and moved Gretl, then Louisa. By the time I was moving Liesl, Gretl was on my lap again and Louisa was halfway there, and my lace on the one shoe I had managed was undone thanks to Brigitta. Marta on the other hand had just sat there on my shoulder, the darling!

Anyway, I distracted the lap sitters and Brigitta with a toy, whilst Marta tickled my ear with her whiskers, which only worked as long as I was rattling it but the moment I attended to my lace they wanted back on the lap. But there, I'd got one shoe on now, result! Only one more to go! (I may say the only reason Indigo wasn't joining in was because the vacuum had been on and she was setting a terribly bad example to her litter and hiding under the desk...)

It does seem to make even the simplest of tasks really rather complicated.

Still, you all know full well I wouldn't have it any other way... I LOVE having these dear confiding little creatures about, and if I'm spoiling them a little with cuddles and fuss this week, its only because I shall miss them next when they are gone.