|Posted on April 23, 2015 at 11:50 PM||comments (306)|
Here's Mama and babies today!
They've been growing and developing beautifully! They are now romping and playing all around the room. Even better, they've just about mastered the litter box. Took a little while for them to get the hang of it, but they're doing well now.
I've been offering some moistened dry food to the kittens, but today was the first time I saw any of them eat it. Dougless and Thor chowed down alongside Mama. Later I saw Dorian eating out of Mama's food dish, and Luci was licking out the cat food can. . .
A couple of days ago, Dougless investigated the water bowl, putting her two front feet in it as kittens are wont to do. She went too far, slipped and fell in! So one kitty got her first bath. I got a towel and dried her off. It was too funny!
Michael got this adorable pic of the babies a few days ago:
And of course I have the latest weight chart:
You can see Dorian has caught up! Thor is maintaining his lead.
The kitties love to climb all over me. They like to bite, which I'm trying to discourage! They frequently wrestle with each other and sometimes with Mama. It's amazing to see how much they've grown, but they're still wee babies that can be held in one hand. So precious and delightful.
|Posted on April 12, 2015 at 11:10 PM||comments (13108)|
The babies have their eyes fully open now and are starting to get more interested in their external environment. They're making the transition from eat-and-sleep machines to playful kittens! They're staring to groom themselves and each other, and bite each other, too! Playfully, of course. Maybe they're tasting each other. I'll need to set up a litter box for the kittens soon--they'll be 3 weeks old tomorrow!
Individual personalities are becoming apparent. Elke is the quiet one; sometimes she'll mew softly, other times I see a silent meow. Thor seems quite outgoing; he was really hooked on licking my arm yesterday! Luci still meows QUITE loudly when picked up! They all seem to love tummy rubs.
Mama VK loves tummy rubs too. I try to give her plenty of love and cuddling too, and tell her what a good mama kitty she is.
Thor (in front) is still the biggest and maintaining his lead. I believe that's Dorian at the back--he's still the runt but is growing nicely.
Mama VK and two of the kittens were having some eye issues--runny eyes in Mama's case, and eyes getting stuck back shut again in the kittens' case. I took all the kittens with me to the vet (didn't want to separate them from Mama, and also figured the vet could help me determine their gender for sure).
I had already determined that Luciano was probably a girl--this was confirmed, so she's Luci now. Thor and Dorian are boys, Dougless, Elke, and Luci are girls.
Anyway, got eye drops for VK and eye ointment for the kittens. The ointment is easier to apply than the drops! All of them started looking better after the first dose. Luci did so much better that I had a hard time determining which eye to medicate!
Here's that growth chart I promised:
All but Dorian have about tripled their birth weights. One can see that Dorian has been growing more quickly in more recent days. They'll probably be ready to start eating and drinking from a dish within the next week. . .
|Posted on April 5, 2015 at 11:40 PM||comments (44)|
The kittens are 13 days old today!
I got a great pic of Dorian (the runt!) on Thursday. He's still small but seems to be doing well. After 4 days of supplemental feeding with lackluster results after the first day's substantial weight gain, I stopped giving him extra milk. He's been gaining at a higher rate since then.
All the kittens have their eyes open now, although Luciano still has one stuck shut, after it had opened. Guess kittens can react to pollen too? Thor had the same issue but both his eyes are open now.
Mama Vicki is doing well. I took her a few toys but she didn't seem interested in playing with them just now. I'm sure that once the kittens start getting old enough to be playful, Vicki will join right in! Another two weeks and they'll be running around, bouncing off the walls. . .
Finally got around to preparing the kitten weight trend! Thor continues to maintain the lead--he's a beast! Dorian got off to a slow start but is making good progress.
|Posted on March 31, 2015 at 11:50 PM||comments (45)|
I have grandcats!
A friendly stray kitty showed up in our backyard near the end of January. She fit right in with our backyard (feral) cats, and we let her hang around while we talked about finding a home for her. After several weeks she started looking rather chubby--yes, pregnant!
My guess is that her previous owner observed some mating activity and dumped her. VK (or Vicki, as we sometimes call her) gave birth on March 23. The first picture shows the babies the day they were born.
This next picture is the kittens today...
And my MIL had the cute idea of putting the kittens in an Easter basket:
I've been weighing them every day and will post a chart of their weights soon!
The red tabby is the biggest and I've named him Thor. There are two plain gray tabbies, one gray tabby bicolor, and one black kitty.
I'm not absolutely certain of their genders so far; half guessing here. The lighter gray tabby is Dorian, the dark gray tabby is Dougless, the bicolor is Elke, and the black is Luciano. The bicolor is spoken for by my friend Laura Dabney, so I was thinking of her as "LK" for Laura's kitty. Since I think that one's a girl, I decided to call her Elke. The black one has the loudest meow, so I named him after Pavarotti. Dorian got the name because he's gray. Dougless, because she's dark gray (DG). Thor, because he's so honkin' big.
On the day of their birth, Dorian and Thor tied for biggest with 4.1 oz each. Now Dorian is the runt! He was so far behind his siblings that I started supplementing his diet last night. I'm giving him goat's milk with a syringe. He was the biggest gainer today, so I'm hoping he'll be okay. He seems healthy and perky, just slower to grow.
The kittens' eyes are starting to open; Thor had one eye partly open yesterday, but the other is still firmly closed. Luciano has both eyes mostly open as of today. They're still mostly just eating and sleeping, but they creep around a bit more than they used to. Their legs have gotten sturdier and they feel more substantial, but they are still tiny, helpless creatures.
|Posted on September 22, 2014 at 11:35 PM||comments (3070)|
Tried to make a posting yesterday and lost it to a malfunction. Aaargh!
Here's an adorable picture:
Got the latest weight chart here—they just keep on growing! I’ve cut back to weighing them just every other day now. Tris, Blaze, and Streak are so close in size their name labels are overlapping. Dot's the smallest now, but she's growing steadily.
Cass is still the biggest—less than an ounce shy of 2 lbs!--but Streak is starting to catch up to his sibs now that he’s started eating. I was thinking they were fully weaned, but I saw Isabel allowing a couple of the kittens to nurse for a short time today. I stopped adding milk to their food and started moistening it with water only. They all seem to prefer the moistened food, even Isabel! Izzy had been having some loose stools, so I figured I’d better quit with the milk. I hope she's okay.
Tris and Streak typically greet me at the top of the stairs, along with their mama Isabel. Sometimes I don’t see all five of the kittens when I go upstairs, but just when I start getting worried, the missing one(s) will show up. Izzy has really been a love glutton. I gave her lots of pets tonight, and she just ate it up. It's so sweet the way she puts up with the kittens playing with her tail. She plays with them sometimes too,
Cass is the lazy one. Seems like he's always the last to wake up and join in the playing. Blaze is turning out to be the loner. Dot and Streak were really wrestling tonight; actually I thought it looked awfully rough! Isabel didn't seem to think there was a need to intervene, tho.
|Posted on September 19, 2014 at 12:40 AM||comments (14)|
FINALLY Streak ate from a dish! Silly me, I've been trying to tempt him with canned food and milk-moistened dry food. He went for the plain dry kitten chow!
I've reduced the frequency of weighing to every other day, figuring they wouldn't be growing so fast. They're still putting on weight daily!
Two of the kittens are currently attacking an old sock. Or they were, and now they're going for each other.
Maybe this is a little silly, but I'm trying to call Isabel by her name and not "Mama." She IS a mama cat and a good one, but she's also a beautiful kitty with a sweet disposition and her own identity. (Projecting, maybe?) I always give her some cuddling, too, when I visit the babies. Isabel really is a very sweet cat; she loves to be cuddled and petted. She's never tried to scratch or bite me, and she's always waiting for me at the top of the stairs when I come visit. I suspect she may have some purebred Siamese in her lineage--she's long and lean with a wedge-shaped head and a whippy tail. Izzy's rather vocal, too. Some people might find that annoying, but I think it's sweet.
I haven't noticed any obvious or strong alliances forming among the kittens. A couple of times I've seen them segregate themselves by color.
|Posted on September 11, 2014 at 11:45 PM||comments (404)|
I know you've been waiting impatiently for the latest growth chart! Again, the dotted line is the average.
Streak has finally passed the 1-lb mark, but he's still not eating from a dish.
No-Dot got a new name! I first thought of Dot-less, which made me think of Dauntless. If you've read Divergent, you know that the heroine, Beatrice, assumed the nickname Tris upon joining the Dauntless faction. So, now No-Dot will be known as Tris.
Mama Isabel does not like the new pellet-type litter and has been pooping outside the box. I gave her back the corncob clumping litter.
The kittens are super active and playful; great fun to watch!
|Posted on September 10, 2014 at 11:40 PM||comments (16)|
Have continued to weigh the kittens each day, but haven't gotten around to posting the latest weights. Got some canned kitten chow at Petsmart in San Antonio yesterday; that did the trick to get Dottie to eat from a dish today! Got her interested in licking the spoon, then moved her over to an available spot on the plate. She ate it with apparent relish! So now Streak is the only one not eating from a dish. He's still the smallest, but he continues to gain weight. He's just a hair under a pound.
I found our powdered kitten milk replacer, made up some of that, and mixed it with the reconstituted goat's milk. Seems to work for them. It was funny--I prepared a bowl of dry kitten chow with some canned on top, no milk, for Mama Isabel. Then I prepared some dry food with the milk and canned food added, and Mama IMMEDIATELY pounced on it! Two of the kits ended up eating most of the bowl full that I'd prepared for Mama.
The babies seem to recognize me as their second mama. They all gathered around me when I came up to see them this morning. Precious!
|Posted on September 8, 2014 at 12:05 AM||comments (13)|
I took some cute pictures but had a wee bit of difficulty getting them uploaded, so I'll have to post them tomorrow.
I was a little worried about Dot this morning b/c she was sleeping while the other kittens were playing and nursing. When I checked on her later, though, she was wrestling with the others, and she nursed, too. Turned out she gained a good bit of weight since yesterday, so I'm not worried about her now!
The kittens keep on growing. Cass has broken the one-pound barrier, the only one so far. Blaze is growing faster than the others, since she's the first to start eating from a dish. However, Cass figured it out today, so I expect he will keep the lead. The others don't get it yet. Everyone is still nursing.
I try to give Isabel plenty of attention and cuddling, too. She certainly seems to enjoy it--I even hold her belly-up, like a baby, and she eats it up. I was watching the kittens nurse, and I petted Isabel, and she kneaded against my hand! That was a special moment.
Four of the kittens are sleeping in the kitty bed (I moved two of them there from the floor), and the fifth one is curled up a distance away on a pile of old shirts.
|Posted on September 6, 2014 at 11:35 PM||comments (23)|
This morning I decided to let the kittens out of the crate without my supervision. When I went up to check on them later, they were all cuddled up together in the crate--guess it still felt like home base.
Another time when I visited the upstairs kitties, the two b&w's were in the crate, and the three Siamese were on the pillow (my pillow) on the floor in front of the crate! Hmmm. . . segregation?
Blaze is the only one that's taken to the food bowl so far. It shows--she gained the most weight!
They all seem to enjoy being cuddled, Mama included! She continues to become more comfortable with me. I held her belly-up and rubbed her chin and behind her ears, and she just ate it up. I don't think she wanted me to put her down.
Not much more to say except stuff about how adorable the kittens are and how amazing it is, the way they've grown. . .