Siesta

Jossan and the kittens are taking an afternoon nap.

A Siamese pile!

Group pictures

Finally we managed to take pictures of all the kittens together! Well – one picture, since on two of them, Claire is missing – she jumped down from the cat tree. (BTW, the perspective is a bit deceiving; the kittens are pretty much the same size.)

All six kittens! From left to right: Chloé, Claire (back), Charlie, Corto, Calvin and Casper (back)

WIth Jossan! (Claire is missing) From left to right: Corto (back), Chloé, Charlie (back), Calvin, Jossan, Casper

They are looking at me! In shock! Look at those wide open big eyes! (I was waving with toys like crazy in order to keep their attention for a short while while Jocke was taking the photos…) From left to right: Chloé, Corto, Charlie, Casper, Calvin

7 weeks; gremlins

The kittens are turning into gremlins. They are adorable, but their ears are in that unfortunate bunny phase. They also move around in large numbers and attack various moving and still objects.

We have decided upon the names for the kittens. The girls will be called: Chloé (seal point) and Claire (white). We picked French girls’ names we liked most for them and thought suited them.

The boys will be caled: Corto (lilac point), and the white boys: Casper, Calvin and Charlie, as in: Corto Maltese (Jelena’s favorite comic), Casper the friendly ghost, Calvin from Calvin and Hobbes, and Charlie as Charlie Brown.

The white brothers – “The monster must die!”

Casper – “Hmmm, this room is new for me.”

Charlie – “Do I look like I have time for posing? I must run!”

Corto to Chloé: “My toy!”

Another time, another place… Again – MY TOY!

Claire – “Gracious? Who, me?! Always!”

Calvin as Dr Jekyll

and – as Mr Hyde

White in focus. Six weeks pictures.

The light was not good to take individual pictures of the kittens today (and for many days actually), but yesterday Jocke took a few pictures of the kittens (and Albert is in the background on two of them).

Resting on their favorite blanket. 6 weeks old.

The kittens are almost done with potty training. The success rate of hitting the box with paper or wooden pellets is about 80-90%. They are still pretty small and quite clean, but sometimes they make mistakes.

Their mom hated the sand and we had to remove it and replace it with pellets. The edges were sharp for the little paws, I think, but that was the best non-clumping sand we found.

It is important not to put clumping sand or pellets in kitten’s sand box. When they are small they may ingest it (they try to eat whatever) and if the particles they ingested are clumping, they can get serious health problems and even die. Be careful! (This is important only for very small kittens, no kitten older than 8-10 weeks will try to eat sand. They do not move from they mom anyway until they are 12-14 weeks old,).

Two cute siblings and their big brother; evil looking Albert in the background (Albert had eyes like a sad puppy when he was small. The eyes in some Siamese change their shape and become more almond shaped with time).

Resting in the cat house.

3+ weeks

Hello world, here we come! C litter, three weeks old.

The kittens learned how to get out of and back into the kitten house this week, and the house was put into the kitten play pen in order to calm Jossan down. That will be enough for one, maybe two more weeks, until they learn how to climb out of the play pen as well, and then we will have to remove it.

It is hard to get all of the kittens in one frame. On the picture above the little white girl is missing, she was sleeping in the tipi.

Foreign White girl, 3 weeks old, sleepy

Blue (or seal) point girl and one of the Foreign White brothers, exploring

It got scared! Look at that tail!

Blue (or seal) point girl, 3 weeks old

Two Foreign White brothers, 3 weeks old

Lilac point boy, looks like Leroy when he was small :*

Sunday afternoon; the kittens

The kittens are trying to play with each other, but they fail miserably. They mostly wiggle their legs with very little coordination, but they are progressing fast.

Albert must have noticed his siblings growing interest in play, since he, being such a nice cat he is, brought them several of his favourite toys and left them in front of the kitten house. I doubt though that they will be able to play with those any time soon. What do you think? (Here I did something I never do – arrange pictures. Well, this is an arranged picture – I took one kitten out of the house and put it next to the toys just to show you how its size compares to the toys’ size).

Lilac point boy and Albert’s toys

While I think that our cats look and behave mostly like mini lions, sometimes they, oddly enough, look more like – bats. Those ears!

Little furry white bats sleeping

Here is how it looks when they attempt to play. They usually end up biting their own paws, instead of a sibling’s paw or ear, as they first intended; and occasionally they end up on their back and cannot turn back for some time… well, it is a beginning. Soon they will be everywhere!

Trying to play, ended up on his back…

Day 16

The kittens are growing. Now they can hear and they are trying to walk. We tried to take individual pictures of them several times, but they protest and move a lot, so the pictures did not turn out that well.

Here are some pictures we managed to take last Thursday, when they turned 2 weeks. The kittens are very similar in their type and looks. We believe that we have three Foreign White boys, one Foreign White girl, one blue point girl and one lilac point boy.

Blue point girl and one Foreign White boy

Last week when we weighed them one evening (we weigh them twice a day), Albert ran into the kittens’ room, really worried because one kitten cried and protested loudly when I weighed it. He stopped thinking that they are scary small weird smelling creatures, and he started licking and comforting his small yelling sibling.

Albert loves his siblings

Since then, he behaves exactly like Leroy – he is also the best nanny one could wish for. Jossan is so happy, she is just purring when both Leroy and Albert are with her and her kittens. Also, she goes out more often and leaves the guys to take care of them. We are so happy that we have so gentle and caring cats!

Our hippie cats, everyone is taking care of the small ones

Miii and Maven do not enter the tipi, but Miii guards the room. Maven is just curious. I know she licks them and cares for them when she can, but Jossan is not too happy about either her or Miii doing that at the moment, so they try to stay away from the small ones for now.

Day 16, Albert is baby sitting

Big tipi again

Jossan and I had a difference of opinions which ended in moving the kittens back to the big tipi (we did that on Friday). I also removed the small tipi from the room. She told me “Blahblahblah…” and was not thrilled with what we did, but – the kittens went unequally up in weight, since not all of them could nurse when they wanted to – there was not enough space for her to stretch. Now, a day after we moved them, they went back to going well and equally up in weight, so Jossan just has to accept she does not know best all the time. Neither do we; we humans and the big cats have to cooperate.

Two moms!

But, there are advantages with the big tipi; Leroy can come in and lick the small bottoms and the rest of the furry balls. My impression is that the kittens understand that Leroy is mom with no milk, but they do not yell that much when he licks them. It is okay. All of them have opened their eyes.

Nursing and being cleaned at the same time!

Everyone is resting

C-litter, one week old

Yesterday Jossan did something we did not think she was capable of; she moved the kittens! She moved them to a much smaller tipi, that Leroy usually uses when he is in the kittens’ room and watches them. Now it is crowded, but she is happy and we let them be this way for now. We may be puzzled why she moved her kittens, but she knows why.

Smaller tipi – much better!

We think that we have one seal point girl, one blue (maybe chocolate) boy and three white or lilac boys and one lilac or white girl. The seal point girl was the first one to open her eyes. The others are still opening them.

Seal (or blue) point girl

C-litter, day 7

Kitten, one week old, sleeping on Jossan’s back

White and seal (or blue) point girl, one week old

Kittens, day 2

The kittens are getting bigger, and have lovely small rounded bellies. Jossan has enough milk, and we feed her in the tipi, about 6-7 times per day with egg yolk and cat milk (once in the mornings) and wet cat food.

Kittens, C-litter day 2

Leroy is following us to her room and watches the kittens patiently. He loves the small cats and wants to lick them and takes care of them. They are too small, still, so he is with them only when we are there. Otherwise, he would lie all day in the tipi with Jossan.

Leroy licks kittens

Leroy sniffs a kitten

The kittens and Jossan are now in the smaller tipi, that keeps warmth better, but in a few weeks they will move to the bigger one and then Leroy can lie with them (and Albert).

Kittens and Jossan’s paw

Jossan and the kittens, day 2

Hello world! C-litter is here!

Jossan gave birth to six beautiful Siamese kittens yesterday, May 17, two days before we expected the delivery.

I was sick at home for two days and yesterday even Jocke was at home, since it was a holiday in Sweden  and it appears that Jossan thought that it was a good opportunity to deliver the babies. She started showing that it is delivery time about 14h, but then we were not sure if it was just a drill. She decided to deliver them in our bed, it seemed, so Jocke gently took her up to the room that was meant for the kittens. We just had steamed it yesterday morning and the clean kitten towels were tumble drying when she started!

5 out of 6 kittens came out with tail first, which is less common and a bit harder for mom. They weighed 94, 96, 92, 92, 92 and 106 grams and are all pretty even in size and looks. I did not check their gender. The first one was born at 16:00 and the last one at 20:41. Jossan was tired, and we cleaned the kittens as they were delivered, and cleaned her and cut the umbilical cords as usual. After she was done, we moved her and the kittens into another, clean tipi and put new sheets and towels in there.

I had fever (still sick) and were so scared that something would go wrong, but I held Jossan’s paws during the whole delivery and talked soothingly to her and pretended I were brave. Everything went well! Our brave cat!

This morning we weighed the small ones again and they went up in weight and weigh between 100 and 114 gr now. Not bad! 🙂

They are very alert, and when I came this morning they even hissed at me. 🙂 They are blind and deaf, they only feel smells and warmth now. I did not smell like mom, I guess, so our mini lions showed their lion heart, not even a day old, and tried to scare me away from their nest by hissing! I love cats, they are amazing animals with big hearts. Here are some pictures of Jossan’s small wonders.

Siamese kittens, almost one day old!

Jossan is eating well, and we feed her mostly in the tipi. She is such a good mom, she does not want to leave her babies at all now.

C-litter, day 1

C litter, day 1

C litter, day 1

Small Siamese babies are the softest pillows ever!

First plants on the balcony

Today we had one sunny day after a lot of rain and cold last week, so we tried to arrange the balcony a bit. We want to grow plants that cats like to eat (like lettuce and Roman salad), also, herbs that we use in cooking and flowers that are not poisonous to cats.

It is a whole summer project, I guess, but the first plants (if I do not count pelargoniums that hang outside of the net, towards the street) have moved to the balcony today.

Albert: “Work fascinates me. I can watch humans work for hours and hours.”

The cats smelled the plants carefully (that is, all cats except Albert; Albert chewed on everything but rosemary). Jossan chewed on some salad as well. The cats seem to appreciate our efforts (or, at least, they do not complain, and they showed a lot of interest in gardening).

“Rosemary, what is that good for?”

“Salad, on the other hand…”

“… yes, salad is tasty!”

Miii: “Hmmm, lavender…”

“… yuck! That is probably not edible (if you are not Albert, that is)! It smells like a hand soap!”

Leroy, The King

One week to go

Jossan is sleeping and resting a lot. She is big and the babies are playing football in her belly. We see them moving almost all the time. Sometimes you see clearly that it is a small cat there inside moving.

But, Jossan still likes to play, so we do it carefully, while she is resting. She does not have to jump around, just catch the toy with her mouth and the front paws.

Jossan, two weeks to go

Jossan is pregnant, and it is about two weeks left to the delivery. She is feeling well.

Jossan, two weeks to go, resting

Jossan started hitting Albert on the head with her paw now and then (very seldom though, like 1-2 times a day) lately, without him doing anything wrong. He is so careful and really tries not to make her upset, but somehow he manages, just by being there and doing nothing. It is not a big deal, 99,99% of the time they lie together and cuddle, but still – it is puzzling. We think that Jossan is being hormonal and also – Albert is her big baby and she thinks that he really should move out, because her new small babies are coming soon.

Well, sorry Jossan – Albert is not moving anywhere! He is our baby, too.

Jossan, two weeks to go, sleeping

We think that she will deliver 4-6 kittens. Maybe 5, sometimes she looks asymmetrical.

Jossa, two weeks to go, from above

Jossan, 2 weeks to go, on the balcony

Balcony

We are turning our balcony to a kitty jail!

Kitty jail – the net is put! The cats are exploring the new floor.

The balcony is towards the street, on the southern side of the house. It is about 6 x 1.4m in dimensions and has two doors, one from the dining room/kitchen and another from the living room. It is pretty big. We decided to put the net on it and arrange it so that we and cats can enjoy time there without a cat falling over the fence (they would not really fall because they are clumsy, but they may jump if a bird flies too close…)

Balcony – the kitty tree is out

We have a lot also, some 1200 sqm, and Maven, Leroy and Miii go out and run there when we are out. Maven even takes walks with us through our neighborhood, without a leash. Miii and Leroy are pretty disciplined, but Maven is  best in that aspect of all of our cats. Jossan is not too obedient, and Albert never showed any interest (so far) in going out. We took Jossan out on leash since we moved here, when she was not pregnant, (it is not like a dog leash, Jossan has a little vest and a rope attached to it, at her back, it does not go around her neck. It is comfortable for her!). Jossan used to go out without vest before we moved, but she was a bit stubborn and did not come immediately every time I called her.

Leroy – living a fat cat’s dream – you are out without having to go down the stairs! And your bed is out too!

It is good for cats to get fresh air, but under controlled forms; too many cats die in traffic or kill birds and cute small animals. I know they are predators, but I find it very hard to think of our fluffy balls as cold-blooded killers.

Maven knows what I think about her killings; I screamed in horror every time she brought me dead, half dead and even – alive and unharmed ‘presents’. She was very bad when she was younger. She did not kill any bird or a mouse in about two years now. Leroy caught flies a few times, and Miii found a snail once in the garden and was very proud about that. 🙂 She yelled and meawed so that everyone in Stockholm heard about her ‘catching’ a snail. Jossan is a real killer, and Albert would be the same. And I am not sure how obedient he would be. He is like his mom. An independent kitty. Independent cats cannot go out and  do whatever they want. But they should get fresh air.

We bought a plastic black net (black so that birds can see it; then they do not fly into it) and plastic tiles for the balcony. We only started arranging the kitty jail and they seem to like it so far.

Leroy, Miii and Maven still get to go out to the lot as well as to the balcony when it is sunny. Jossan is pregnant, so going out to the balcony is very good for her; she can get some fresh air that way.

Jossan is enjoying the spring weather

Cats really love to feel the wind, sniff all the exciting smells and listen to birds. Happy cats!

We will put more shelves and some plants (the question is – which plants are at the same time not poisonous for cats and taste so bad that Albert would let them grow? Hmmm). It will take time, but we are looking forward to the project!

Winter in April

Yesterday we woke up surprised with 15 cm of snow outside! It was snowing and snowing. Today almost all of it melted. The spring is fighting its way to Stockholm, but this winter is not giving up easily!

Albert is better. I gave him the last dose of his medication last night and he does not seem to be in pain at all anymore. He is lively and a active as usual. He is not swollen in the chest area, and the bruising is gone. The bone is still protruding, but it feels a bit less. He is okay with me examining him and even pressing the bone slightly, but he does not like to be lifted (he was never crazy about it, but now it is even less okay than before). But he is jumping everywhere and does not sleep as much as when he was in pain.

We will go to Buba in a week or two and see what can be done, and if anything should be done at all. If he does not have pain, behaves as usual, can do everything as before, and runs no higher risk of another injury, we will probably not have him operated. That is how we reason now. We will see.

Here is Albert taking a nap next to his aunt Miii.

Albert and Miii taking a nap

A few meters from them, Jossan and Leroy are resting.

Leroy and Jossan. New summer curtains and a winter landscape in the background.

Does Jossan look a bit chubby to you?

Jossan, 35 days to go, getting a bit rounder

She is not chubby! She is pregnant and slowly gaining some weight. 🙂 We expect kittens around May 19, and the dad is the same as to A and B litters; it is Albert’s and his siblings’ dad Goofy. Everything is going well so far. Jossan is fine and in spite of Albert being in total center of attention last week, she still got a lot of love and time alone with me. All cats have their special places and time with us, no one gets neglected.

Last year I took a week off when Jossan got kittens, this year Jocke planned one week vacation in the second half of May, to help Jossan at start and be there all the time with her and the small ones. I’ll of course also be with her for the delivery.

Albert is better

Today Albert dragged one of Jocke’s dirty socks from the laundry basket to our bed and left it on his pillow to welcome him home after a long day at work.

I went into the shower and Albert was in the bathroom, on the highest shelf, balancing from the shelf to the window and back like a little monkey, patiently waiting for me to be done so I could cuddle with him.

We heard a stampede of mini buffaloes up the stairs and see grandpa Leroy being hunted by a tiny white beast, faster than lightning.

Bebis is much better! Especially the sock present (yuck! But he never leaves it on my pillow, always on Jocke’s, and I am grateful for that!) shows that he is feeling great.

We see that Albert is in less pain; the medicine helps, and also, cats heal faster than humans. He is still swollen, but less. He breaths with no discomfort.  His bone is still protruding though.

Today I looked for a cat chiropractor/osteopath nearby, for a second opinion, but there are only a few who treat horses, and one who treats dogs and horses. I found a few messages on the net from other people (in Sweden) whose cats have various problems, with spine and legs that wondered about a chiropractor for cats. Others, among them veterinaries, answered that that is a not very practiced or common skill in Sweden.

I also read more about that bone and how dangerous it could be if it is pushed inwards, so I do not think I’d dare let even an experienced cat chiropractor (if we find one) manipulate our Albert’s bone. We’ll see what happens, he seems to have less pain and the tissue is healing.

Albert’s injury, day 5

Today I called Buba, our regular veterinary and talked to him about what happened.

Here is how he reasoned (in short); right now Albert has pain and is swollen at the place of the injury. We should wait for two weeks for the soft tissue to heal and calm down. The pain should be gone faster than that. If Albert is still in pain after 5 more days, we will get him more painkillers. At the vet #2 he got an injection, which he did not even notice. Now I am giving him drops of Metacam directly in his mouth and poor thing is taking them with little objections. He follows me like a puppy, he is extra ‘mammanödig’ (in need of his mom) right now. Jossan is his biological mom, but I am his human mom. Miii was very caring today and yesterday and licked clean her little hurt nephew. He seems a bit less eager to lick himself now, he who is always so careful about his pretty fur.

After those two weeks we will reevaluate what we should do, take new x-ray and see how it looks. Buba said that it is possible that the muscles would pull the bone back while healing. I hope that happens, but I am not optimistic, the bone is protruding quite a bit from Albert’s chest. Buba did not see the x-ray, we only talked over the phone, so he just assumed how it looks from my description. It feels much better after I talked with our veterinary Buba. Not only that he knows Albert and all our cats, but he always takes us seriously and explains everything. And he is very knowledgeable in cat health! Too bad he does not work on weekends.

We noticed that Albert limps a bit on one hind leg, but today he is running and playing more than yesterday, in spite of limping so he is getting better. We do not know if he limped before, he did not jump and run much around. Maybe he hurt his leg as well during the fall . 😦 But it is not that bad, he runs like crazy at times. We see a slight limping only when he is walking slowly.

We and Albert thank everyone so much that wrote to us, here and on our mail, for your love and support. It is very touching! Bebis is getting better fast, he is a tough little cat. Many hugs and love from us.

Albert is hurt

Our Easter was not that good; we spent two days in animal hospitals.

Last Friday Albert fell from the kitchen cupboard when he tried to jump down. He did not see me next to the cupboard, in the line of his ‘flight’ before it was too late. He tried to avoid jumping on my head and landed on the edge of one chair with his abdomen and chest. At first he seemed fine, but then he hid and was silent and did not want to play with us. I tried to lift him and check him, and he cried. I felt something hard and sharp poking out of his chest (but no blood or so) and we called one animal hospital where they told us to come there with him for X-ray and an exam.

After some waiting time in the hospital we finally got to see the veterinary and she thought that Albert seemed fine. He was silent and tried to wrestle out of her hands when she wanted to examine him, so she concluded he is ok and no X-ray was needed! We were very surprised, and pointed out the bone or something poking out of his chest and she said ‘Maybe it is a rib, maybe it is piece of his breast bone, in any case we do not do anything about it’. He did not get painkillers either, since she thought he didn’t have any pain! She told us though to monitor if his skin gets paler (in the case of spleen injury) and to come there again if that happens.

That vet was not a speciallist in cats; not very knowledgable about their behaviour anyway, IMO. Cats are experts in hiding pain, especially in front of strangers! What could we do – we paid and went home.

Albert; it is hard to find a position that does not hurt

Albert; it is hard to find a position that does not hurt

Albert got worse on Saturday and yesterday, and the place of injury got swollen and red and poor cat could not lie as usual and had some pain while breathing. We waited one day to see if he would get better and then yesterday we went to another hospital, Albano (I am really not happy with the first one, Västerort djursjukhus, every time we go there we pay a lot and only sometimes we felt we got a good care for our cats). We called Albano before we went there and they were surprised that Albert was not X-rayed and that he got no meds in Västerort djursjukhus. So we went to Albano.

After 6 hours of waiting (it is Easter, and few veterinaries were working) Albert got an x-ray and exam. Good news – no fracture or inner organs injury. Bad news – one bone has dislocated (the one poking out of his chest) and there is an injury of connecting tissue. The operation to move back the bone would be too complicated and risky. He will probably have a bone poking out of his chest forever, but it will not hurt him after the inflammation has calmed down. Now he got an antinflammatory medication/painkiller (Metacam) and we hope he will get better fast.

Albert is one happy and playful cat; he is playing even now, although he has pain, but then he gets tired and he cannot lie down as usual, so he has to find a position that won’t hurt him as much. Breathing hurts as well.

Here is an X-ray of his injury, the green line shows where the dislocated bone was situated before, and the red arrow points to where it moved.

Albert's thorax X-ray

Albert's thorax X-ray

The injury looks so small on the X-ray, but it is pretty big and swollen in reality. You can see it a bit here on the picture where I hold him so I can show it; I did not want to stretch him too much. It is worse than it looks on the pic, the fur is hiding how bad it is.

Albert hurt

Albert hurt

Poor Albert. 😦 We give him a lot of love and care and hope he will get better soon. Also, I put a few boxes on the top of the cupboard, so that no cat can jump there again.

Maven sleeping

Maven fell asleep on the top of the back of one of the kitchen chairs!

I took a picture carefuly trying not to wake her up and scare her. I did not want her to fall!

It happens that some of the cats fall asleep on an odd place now and then. It also happened a couple of times that we heard a thud, ran to the source of noise and found one of our sleepy kitties completely confused, looking up at us from the floor, wondering what just happened! Luckily those things do not happen too often.

Blahblah

Albert understands that most things do not just happen randomly. He sees that we sometimes get what he wants and do it, so he is trying to teach us more complex communication.

It is not easy. We are not that clever and we do not always understand what he wants. We keep on trying!

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Miii is cute

I captured Miii being cuddly. She is a big Siamese, but she is not fat. I cannot believe how chubby Miii looks when she lies on her back! She looks like a pillow. The most charming pillow ever!

Mrrrr.

Mmmrrr?

Mrrrr!

Mrrrrrrrrrrr!!!!!!

And then we cuddled! 🙂

Miii has longer and thicker fur now, since it is winter. Siamese cats do not shed much at all. Maven sheds ten times more than all four Siamese together.

I warmly recommend Furminator  (Swedish link: our Furminator I bought here, maybe there is a cheeper one somewhere), that helped us a lot with keeping the most of Maven hair from our furniture and clothes. Siamese like to be brushed with Furminator as well, but there is almost no hair to get from them, only a little bit during few weeks twice a year, when they change between winter and summer fur.