Week 18, as of 9/29/18. We enter the teen
A month since the last kitten post?! Hardly seems possible. Looks like I spent September talking about Heathermoor [Show Report, 4 posts] and Southeastern [Show Report, 2 posts]. Plus packing for, attending, and recovering therefrom. Too much horse show? Not possible.
They grow. In the space of week 16 to week 17, their paws went from wee adorable kitten pawlets to paws belonging to small cats to I-can-see-the-shadow-of-the-adult-cat paws. When picked up, they are now an armload instead of a single handful. So far, they still tuck conveniently under one arm.
Their jumping ability has increased dramatically. The vault over obstacles they used to clamber up and over. We have several knee-high barriers that we use to keep dogs (*cough* Basset Hound *cough*) out of various rooms. I draped fabric over these to give purchase for little claws. Now they jump the barriers.
OTOH, their eyes sometimes bigger than their jumping ability. There have been several occasions when the front end gets high enough, but not the back half, leading to scrambling, clawing moments, the success of which depends on their ability to dig in. A shiny metal surface ends with a ignominious backslide & thump. They are not old enough to adopt the ‘I planned that’ look, yet. They still can’t make the top of the fridge.
I try to keep the big cats out of the protein-rich kitten chow. Years ago, we had a cat who gorged herself to the point of illness. In the past, I have used a cardboard box with cut-out, kitten-sized entry. These can be a pain as they get pushed around or upended. This time, I got clever. I tied the door of their travel box so that it would only open a little. Worked great until I found the adult Blue stuck inside, unable to push his way back out. I need to make a new box.
Until then, I am engaging in food gymnastics, depending on who is in or out. Adults cats in? Kittens have access to cat food but not kitten food. (Yes, I know many believe cats should be indoors. Part of their brief is to de-rodent the barn, a task on which they are falling down to a shocking extent. I’m waiting for this lot to get big enough. I’m hoping that being born to a barn cat conveyed a genetic advantage in mouse-hunting abilities. But I digress.) Orthogonal to the cat location is the dog location. (They have an outdoor pen.) Dogs out? Food can go anywhere. Dogs in? Yes. Daytime? Barrier up to keep dogs out of hallway. Nighttime? Hallway needs to be clear, so that the German Shepard can come do the loyal dog thing at the side of the bed. Cat/kitten food trays moved into bathtub. That makes six permutations of food choice & location. Not my most efficient plan.
Names remain uninteresting: Long Tail, Princess, Stubby & Stubby. They don’t care. The only name that matters to them is “Kitten! Kitten!” which means chow time.
I’m sure they think I am obsessed with their hind ends. Whenever I pat one or pick one up or pretty much do anything with one of the kittens, I have to check the tail. It’s the only way I can tell who I am dealing with.
I have discovered that Princess and the female Stubby have little hooks on the ends of their wannabe tails. Long Tail and the male Stubby have tails that come to a smooth point. This helps me distinguish between the two Stubbies in the dark, without rooting around with the more obvious bits.
While the are similar in looks and are obviously siblings, there are a few differences. Long Tail and the male Stubby have sleeker, lighter brown coats and more pointed faces, marginally. Princess and the female Stubby have fluffy, darker coats and rounder faces, marginally. Male Stubby is the heaviest; female Stubby, the lightest, again marginally. Apologies for the blurry and erratic photos. Clearly, we need to work on our kitten photography.
They remain frolicsome & adorable.
Thank you for reading,