- Pets and Animals
Meet My Kittens!
They are the most beautiful little creatures with eyes to match. They look at you in all innocence wanting to know what the world is about. You try to tell them but somehow you are not getting through to their other side.
Cuddly, cute, soft, demanding, a lot of work and before you know it they are gone from your life completely never to return. That is a moment of sadness and joy together as the new owners take them into their hearts and you know you have spread happiness and love into someone else's life.
My Two Mother Cats
Qik and Star
Qik (pronounced quick) was one of Star's kittens and is about 4 years old. Pictured here lying down while her litter of kittens suckles while bathing in the sun shine on the back patio. She is black with white under her chin and stomach. She resembles her father who was a marvellous Siamese and he had one white eyebrow whisker among all the black ones, which really stood out.
She was one of 2 females in a litter of 6 where the males, one in particular, was extremely aggressive and suckled continually excluding their sisters from the nipples. This meant hand feeding them every 2 to 3 hours and giving them to the mother when the males were asleep.
The other female was sold but Qik was too attached to me to make a good transition so she stayed. For some time I could not think of a name for her. Then one day it came to me that she was always being called inside with the words 'come on quick'. So that's how she got her name and, believe me, she could not have been named more appropriately. She is just so quick.
She sleeps on my bed at night and when she sees me going to my room she rushes to beat me and is up on the bed before I am halfway there. She can be nowhere in sight and suddenly she is inside before me when I open the door to come in. We have a game she likes to play where I cover her with a blanket or something and she pretends to hide until she is uncovered.
Loyal as anything she barely lets me out of her sight and is so gentle and loving that other kittens acquire the same temperament. She has now had a few litters and her babies are sought after and you will meet some of them below.
Star, on the other hand, is white with black on her back, beautifully marked and featured here. You might notice the pink thing in front of her. This is her Clayton's kitten which she carries around and puts in the basket with the kittens.
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At around 4 weeks old
From the time they are around 4 weeks of age they start to wean and that's when the real work starts. Aside from keeping their bedding clean and feeding and cuddling the mums you have had little to do. Of course the kittens are regularly picked up and cuddled as well to teach them to be generous towards humans and that we are their security.
Until this time the mother is looking after everything. She toilets them, feeds them and teaches them. If she is calm and relaxed then the kittens will be as well. But if she stresses out and becomes nervous and hides them then they become skittish, hard to handle and almost impossible for a stranger to approach. They spit at you and raise their little bodies to giant size as the fur stands up and their legs are rigid while they stand tall. This is when they are likely to scratch and its not a good look.
To overcome this the kittens have to be kept inside but this is hard when they start weaning as they have bowel movements and until they are trained it's not a good thing to have the smell in the house. They also pee everywhere which is almost impossible to clean properly, especially on carpet. So the way to overcome this is to have a litter tray beside their basket and to put them out onto the patio for a few days until they learn to use the tray. Surprisingly they can be completely toilet trained at 3 to 4 weeks. It's easy to clean patio tiles where mistakes happen.
At night they are locked in the laundry with the two mums and 2 litter trays. One is a cat's toilet which is enclosed while the other is an open tray to ensure they get used to both systems. Before long they are hopping in and out of the big one, just like their mums. Recycled paper is my choice for the litter as it goes into the compost bin and is recycled. Before long they know what to expect and they can usually take themselves into the laundry when tired and fall asleep on their cushions.
Always there is a lot of washing at this time. Bunny rugs are used on their beds which have to be kept clean. That means washing every couple of days and the cushons are often included as they can become quite smelly if not kept clean.
The one thing I don't do is skimp on food or any of the products used in rearing kittens. The mums are always on the best of food and the kittens are weaned onto Science Diet Kitten, which they should stay on for a whole year before changing. When buying anything for the animals always choose a good supplier and build up a relationship with them. That way you are always looked after and whatever you spend on the rearing of these babies is both a tax deduction and also you can recover costs in the price you ask for them. People love to know they have had the best of starts and those who will not give them the best to continue with will not buy them.
Star Tending Her Kittens
She is toileting one of them
Star and Qik are great mothers and their kittens have the run of the house once they are trained. Working in my study most of the time brings the cat's in there as well and here, in the picture, is star and 2 of her kittens among some boxes of books.
Their favourite trick is to run behind the desk and out the other side and then they chase each other and poke their paws under the desk to grab whoever is on the other side. They do this as well with doors. One kitten behind a door and the other poking at it underneath from the other side can engage one in hours of watching and smiling at the antics.
You will notice the pink thing on the floor with the kitten in the background playing with it. It travels from study to Laundry, to porch, to garden and all over the house. Star rarely leaves it behind as it is her favorite comfort toy.
This Kitten was Named Callie
She has personality plus
She was only about 3 weeks old when her new owners called to the house to buy one of the older kittens. But they spotted this lovely grey animal, who could barely walk around at that stage, and fell instantly in love with her.
They paid their money and waited until she was old enough to leave home. They are an elderly couple who took her and the wife has cancer (in remission) so the kitten was meant to be a comfort for her. But it was really the husband who was in love with her and who guaranteed me that if and when they pass on that Callie will be looked after in their son's family.
At around 6 weeks she developed a weeping eye so she was off to the vet's. He thought it might be cat's flu but none of the other kittens were affected and nor were the mother cats. Besides they were not in contact with other animals. When the anti-biotics did not work the suspicion turned to the kitty litter, which was a granual one at that time. Being cross persians it crossed my mind that she might have a touch of sinus from the dust from the litter. As soon as it was switched over to the recycled paper she was fine again.
She went to her new home at around 9 weeks and adapted perfectly with no stress or problems whatsoever. But that is normal with my kittens. They are never stressed and they are reared indoors with full protection and all the love they can soak in, not only from the two mums but from me as well.
It has been known that on cold nights kittens and the 2 mums will end up on my bed. That makes it hard for me to move during the night as I don't like to disturb them. It also means a couple of extra hot water bottles for their comfort.
As you can see rearing nice kittens takes a lot of effort but it is a great joy as well.
Kittens are warm, playful, cuddly,
gentle and loving bundles of joy.
They bring love and warmth to a
home and unlike other pets are
pretty much maintenance free.
They bath themselves, demand to
be fed, give you lots of exercise in
letting them in and out of the doors
and they keep you warm in bed.
Qik's Kittens - You just cannot Ignore their LooksClick thumbnail to view full-size
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