Sunday, 28 November 2010

There were 6 in the bed ......

and the little one said .... Nothing at all, they were both sound asleep!!!!!!!!!

Last night was the first night that we did not shut the kittens into the lounge overnight and left them with free access to the house. After approx. 10-15 minutes of running up and down the stairs it finally went quiet and I dozed off.

At 4am when I woke up there was a small warm Dino curled up in the space between the two pillows, next to my head. On closer inspection, there was also a fully stretched out Jasper with his tummy against the edge of the pillow with his paws wrapped round it. Crystal was curled up at the foot of the bed on Mr Housekeeper's feet and when I stirred, Amber came up too and lay on my chest for a while and we had a lovely cuddle.

When Amber got down, Jasper then came and made himself into a wriggly cat collar around my neck. Cute - but having the insides of your ears and your face washed at 4:30am when you are trying to sleep isn't much fun. I know how Dino feels now!!!

This morning Amber was found sitting on the top of the stairs with Dino on the next one down, playing with her swishing tail AND NO HISSING OR GROWLING! Last night, the kittens and Amber all enjoyed a cat game, chasing the reflection of Mr Housekeepers glasses across the lounge floor. Crystal still seems to have a very short fuse when the kittens are running riot and tells them in no uncertain terms when she has had enough, however, after a week, I think we are finally getting somewhere.

Friday, 26 November 2010

2nd Breakfast

We appear now to have reached a cat compromise in the house. Crystal sits in the same room as the kittens and  supervises, but doesn't join in their games. Amber is still avoiding them at all costs except when there's a game to be played with a human and a feather and seams to breathe a visible sigh of relief when we "put them to bed" in the lounge and she gets some "me time". She is still growling at the kittens. The kittens haven't even been with us a week yet so it's all to be expected.

The main "issue" over the last 48 hours has been cat meal times. They are a NIGHTMARE.

The kittens are at their liveliest first thing in the morning, when they are let out of the lounge which means that the girls are more wary and keep their distance. I'm feeding the kittens breakfast first in the hopes that once settled with their head in their bowls, I can then feed the girls and everyone can eat breakfast together. NOT A HOPE IN HELL.

The kittens eat. Sorry. No. The kittens HOOVER their food then if not covered over, they start on the girls breakfast too.

I dished up the girls dinner last night, once the kittens were eating and immediately covered both bowls with a plate to keep them fresh until the kittens had finished theirs and settled down in the lounge. However Dino had obviously decided that he was still hungry and managed to slide the plate off the bowl and was found tucking in.

This morning, the bowls are covered with plates and each have an unopened tin of cat food on them - and YES, Dino has STILL managed to get to the food.

I have tried cajoling Crystal to come and eat once the kittens are settled and she can see them in the radiator hammocks, but she doesn't appear to want to at the moment and I'm not too sure exactly how much the girls are eating, which is worrying. However, As I have just finished typing the above, Crystal has just climbed onto the table with Leggy Cat (her favourite toy) in her mouth and deposited him in front of my hands. It seemed like a "thanks Mum, I know that you're trying" moment.

Thursday, 25 November 2010

Chip and Pin

oo*yhuuuuuuuucv (said Jasper, as he leapt from the filing box onto the keyboard)

Poor Amber. It's been a bad few days really. Not only is she still suffering from the upheaval from the invasion of the two mini-me's, Amber has a skin condition which can be very nasty but having had a steroid injection on 2nd October, had been under control and the affected area had grown fur and she starting to look very beautiful. Unfortunately, we noticed last night that a patch which had started to reappear in the crease of her mouth had spread, so I rang the vets and got her an appointment for a repeat steroid injection. The vet reckons it could just be the stress of the last few days which has brought it on again - so we shall see in due course.

As I had to go anyway, I also decided to take the boys to be registered and get their microchips done. They were impeccably behaved. THEY played cute in the basket and at the vets and didn't make a sound.

Amber charged round the house crying before she had even seen her box and resorted to hiding behind the freezer in the outhouse. Having been extricated, she did at least stay quiet in the car (first time ever!) but by the time we were at the vets her ears were trembling and she was in a right state. I got her back into the house first and she sat quietly in the kitchen, waiting for some crunchies.

Jasper, however, decided on his return to the house to do a lap of honour at full speed and full voice and in the process frightened Ams who, in an attempt to escape Jasper and his war cry, ran through her cat flap into the outhouse. What she didn't bargain for was Jasper - following her at full speed straight through the cat flap, still yelling! It took him a couple of attempts to work out how to get back through the cat flap on his own without help, but it didn't take long.

Amber then went and settled in her hammock in the dining room, out of kitten reach, that was until the terrible twosome bounced into the one next to her and tried to cuddle up! With a look of sheer disgust, Ams took to the bedroom cabinet and the clean pile of washing, made a nest and has been there all day!

The kittens have obviously decided that the radiator hammocks are a good place to sleep and are now both curled up in the same one, snoozing.

Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Lesson of the Day - Human

CAT: Human beings make a great bed!

HUMAN: Deciding to "just" spend 5 minutes on the settee cuddling with the kittens at midnight before you go to bed is fatal. I woke up at 5am, still on the settee with Jasper on my chest, fully stretched out and Dino in the gap between me and the settee back, with his paws wrapped round my leg, again full stretch.

That said, I am amzed that, once asleep, 14 week old kittens obviously do not move or wiggle very much as they didn't wake me up at all. Unfortunately 5 hours on the settee and 2 hours in bed, actually feels like just 2 hours sleep this morning.

Tuesday, 23 November 2010

Lesson of the Day - Jasper

There's a pattern emerging here ........

CAT: Brown sauce tastes nice!

HUMAN: Placing the splodge of brown sauce too near the edge of a plate and within reach of a cats tail causes a huge mess when said cat swings their tail through the brown sauce and then swings their tail all over your face, top, settee and carpet.

CAT:  Putting on your cutest kitten face and standing on your hind legs with your front paws and giving Amber a "cat kiss" and then mewing in her ear whilst asleep, still results in a swift hiss, even after she has played chase with you with a pheasant feather two hours earlier and pretended that she likes you.

CAT: Stairs are fun to run up and down, especially if you have only ever lived in a bungalow. They are still fun even if you have run up and down them together constantly for 20 minutes with your brother in hot pursuit. They are even more fun if you let out your loudest "me-at meow" as you reach the top each time.

Lesson of the Day - Amber

CAT: Diving head and front paws first down a 4 inch gap between a heavy, full box of costumes and the hall unit to chase something seemed like such a great idea when bored because the whole of the rest of the household had gone to bed (approx 1:10am!)

Ending up (literally!!!!!) with just my back legs from the knees to the paws flailing and my RBS logo in full view is not a ladylike look. Not having enough room to turn round, enough height to push myself out backwards or enough room to get into the gap and turn round and having to yell for help, puts a severe dent in one's cat pride.

HUMAN: How the hell do you a). laugh with tears running down your face in the middle of the night without waking the whole house up and b). make a split second decision betweeen rescuing the cat or going running for the camera for blog evidence?!!!!!!!

PS. I chose the rescue option!
PPS. Amber has just bought me here new favourite "moppy" toy as a thank you and dropped it at my feet!

Monday, 22 November 2010

Sink or Swim?

Facing the busiest Monday since Halloween, there was no way I could take the day off and babysit kittens and fend off squabbles, but nor did I want them to be cooped up in one room all day, so Crystal came to the workshop with me so the boys didn't get hissed at, whilst Amber was left to babysit. She has kept her distance over the last 2 days but hasn't actually been hissing or growling at the kittens, so far.

Each time I went back into the house, the kittens were bouncing in the front room, having not ventured too far on their own, or so it seemed. Yet there definitely less cat food in the girls cat bowls come lunchtime!!!

I left Crystal in the house in the afternoon to see what would happen and by 4pm it appeared that a toleration stalemate had been reached. Crystal was even seen nose to nose with Jasper at one point, giving him a "cat kiss" (although she did then ruin this tender moment by hissing at him 2 minutes later!).

Jasper is definitely dominating in the cuddle stakes and determined to be as close to us as he can get, turning circles as he snuggles into our necks and chirping loudly.

The kittens were put to bed at 11:30pm this evening after I came home from a pantomime dress rehearsal. And that's when the REAL fun started. Crystal and Amber must have had one of THOSE cat conversations, during the evening, which revolved around proving to us humans that they are in fact, also 13 week old kittens who love to chirp as they thunder up the stairs, try to barge their way through the closed spare bedroom door and, in Crystal's case, attempting to scale the clothes dryer. How long will it be before a 13 week old kitten tries that one out for himself .............. I give it hours, rather than days......

Lesson of the Day - Jasper

CAT: The Doctor Who scarf style cat dancer toy is great fun and must be caught at ALL costs. After all, I have 9 lives.......

HUMAN: A kitten will chase the moving end of the Doctor Who scarf toy across the floor, furthest from the stick/handle, repeatedly until tired and sleepy. WRONG - the kitten has other ideas and aims for 3 foot in mid air to catch the stick instead after just 3 minutes of playing.

CAT: Chasing the moving end of a scarf thing across the floor, gets boring after a couple of attempts. There's no instruction manual with this toy, so who says I have to stay on the floor anyway.....

It's far more fun to launch yourself off the seat of the settee, then the arm of the settee and yes, the back of the settee - INTO MID AIR - to attempt to catch the stick end when it is raised out of your reach.

HUMAN: Doctor Who scarf toy PUT AWAY rapidly!

CAT: I gave her THAT look. I put my cutest kitten face on, blinked, blinked again slowly for effect and promised not to do it again (ok, so I lied!) but she still put the scarf thing away. Guess it's back to the boring, safe ping pong ball again, then.

Sunday, 21 November 2010

Day Two

7:00am - Got up to make some hot blackcurrant and get cold capsules and settled in my dressing gown on the settee. Within 10 minutes I had two very purry kittens curled up on my chest. Both seem to be enjoying strokes and cuddles. Jasper settled himself round my neck on his side and Dino then curled up by my feet and we all snoozed together until 9am before feeding everyone breakfast.

9:30am - We have opened the lounge door. Crystal is growling at the kittens from through the banisters on the stairs, as they explore a little further each time they venture out of the room. Amber is staying in the bedroom!

4:30pm - I came home very briefly from the village hall to check on the kittens, who were both sound asleep on the settee, on their backs, legs entangled. They haven't settled in at all well then!

11:45pm - Mr Housekeeper has been in charge for the majority of today as I have been at a technical rehearsal for panto. The kittens have been very lively, exploring downstairs but have been growled at by the girls when they have attempted to go upstairs. Amber has stayed firmly in the bedroom. Crystal appears to be supervising the kittens from a distance but is still hissing at them a lot and neither of girls appear to have eaten very much today. Hopefully things will improve for them tomorrow as I hate to see either of the girls looking so bewildered and miserable.

Saturday, 20 November 2010

Day One!

After a 3 hour journey, we arrived to pick up the boys. Dino slept whilst we were there and Rosie his Mum made sure that he had a good wash before he left for his new home.

Jasper played.

An hour later and we were on our way home with two QUIET? Abyssinians in the car.

It took Dino about half and hour to find his voice and he yelled periodically to ensure someone was still in the car, whilst Jasper slept most of the way home, as did I - full of cold. We arrived home at approx. 4:30pm.

4:35pm - Crystal strode into the lounge, took one look at the full cat carrier and hissed. Dino growled back from inside the box!  Crystal removed from the lounge! Dino straight out of carrier. Completed several laps of the lounge. Jasper still in his cat carrier, buried inside the fleece!

4:45pm - Dino has decided that the brown feather boa is the best toy ever and is laying on his back with it in his paws. Jasper is still in the cat carrier.

5:00pm - Jasper has finally made an appearance, with a very foxy tail and fur standing up on his back. Having surveyed the lounge from the arm of the sofa, he's now hiding behind the sofa!

5:30pm - Dino and Jasper are now sharing the brown feather boa. Dino striding around, Jasper a little hesitant. Jasper and Amber have met briefly thanks to Ambers ability to get through an almost closed door. A little hissing from Jasper and Amber runs away. Crystal is growling from outside the lounge door.

6:15pm - Dino has found the food and tucked in. Jasper doesn't seem very bothered about anything other than the brown feather boa!

6:30pm - Jasper has used the litter tray.

6:32pm - Dino has used the litter tray.

We are now taking it in turns to be in the dining room with the girls - I am currently blogging and printing packing slips for work with help from Crystal whilst Keith supervises the boys.

7:00pm - Two exhausted kittens asleep under the sofa. Two adult cats eating tea. Two exhausted humans with wine and tea on its way.

7:45pm - The running started ......

11:45pm- The running finally stopped. Dino flaked one one settee whilst Jasper curled up behind my legs as I snoozed on the other settee. Managed to scoop him up and have a cuddle with him in my arms as he fell asleep. Moved them both to their fleece bed and left them to sleep at approx. midnight.

Lesson of the Day - Jasper

CAT: The gravy from beef marinated in Guinness tastes great, but does make a mess of the fawn fur and takes ages to clean off the paws.

HUMAN: A 13 week old kitten standing on their hind legs is taller than you think they are!

Friday, 19 November 2010

Lesson of the Day - Crystal

CAT: There are only so many times that you can leap from the kitchen floor to the 3 inch ledge on the front edge of the kitchen sink before you a) find that the sink is full of washing up water, rather than empty and b) miss your footing and get your back legs and tail VERY wet.

HUMAN: Following a wet Abyssinian with hurt pride and trying to pick her up with a towel, whilst wearing a short sleeved tshirt, in a vain attempt to be kind and help dry her off is a BAD idea!


Before we get invaded tomorrow, I thought that I should introduce you to everyone. All of the following pictures were taken by the Abyssinian's breeders at approx. 13 weeks old, before they left to come to their new home.

In order of appearance .....

Koppercat Crystal Couture (Known as Princess Crystal or "Riz")
Crystal is a Female Fawn Abyssinian

Merrydancer Fern (Known as Amber, Ams or more commonly "Thuglet")
Amber is a Female Sorrel Abyssinian

Merrydancer Nice Touch (Known as Jasper)
Jasper is a Male Fawn Abyssinian

Merrydancer Nice Job (Known as Dino)
Dino is a Male Sorrel Abyssinian

Wednesday, 17 November 2010

All is Calm, All is Bright!

It's the post tea time slumber ..... Crystal has installed herself in the radiator hammock in the dining room. Amber is curled up, somewhat squirrel like on the fur throw on the sofa.

Neither have any idea just how much their small lives are going to change in 48 hours time!!!!

The only evidence of things to come is the additional food mat and new, empty cat bowls on the kitten floor and the new, but as yet unslept in (but kicked across the floor) cat bed.

This appears, to be akin to the freshly decorated nursery with cot and fluffy toy, waiting for its new arrival!