Wednesday, 24 March 2010

A Stressful Night

The birth of the first kittens was something I was living in great anticipation for. Cats are pregnant for less than 3 months, so not long really, but I felt as though Fudge was pregnant for years! She is a very slight cat, so it was very obvious that she was pregnant, especially when she had been laying on her side and got up but her tummy stayed suspended in midair for a few minutes!


She used to lie at the side of me and I would put my hand on her tummy and feel the babies moving. It was almost as exciting as if I had been having a baby!



One night, about 2am, I was awoken with what sounded like a loud alarm clock from downstairs. I then realised it was an animal of some kind and thought the cats had brought something in with them. I crept downstairs very carefully in case it was a rather vocal mouse (I know!! But I was half asleep!), and there was Fudge at the bottom of the stairs walking backwards and forwards, and Scribble stood over something licking it. It was the “something” that was making the noise.

I shooed Scribble away and realised it was a kitten. Fudge was totally disinterested in her baby and Scribble had taken on the "uncle-ly" duties of cleaning it up. It was obviously distressed and Fudge was just walking around purring, so I got a clean towel and picked the poor creature up and started rubbing it. I was in shock and had tears streaming down my face as I thought it was going to die. Then Fudge started to give birth to another baby, so I encouraged her towards the big box with sheets in that I had ready for her. She ignored it and just continued to walk around the room while giving birth. I put the first baby in the box and waited. The second baby dropped out and Fudge walked away without a second glance.

I picked this baby up and rubbed it with the towel. It was about 3am and I finally started to think logically and came to the decision that there was no way I could care for these babies myself and that if Fudge wasn’t going to look after them I would have to let nature take its course. So I put the kittens into the box, shut Fudge in the dining room with them and went up to bed to cry my eyes out.

I lasted an hour, then came back down. There was Fudge in the box with 3, and later 4, beautiful kittens, all feeding. She was looking at me with a calm face, lots of purrs and a look of “see, I knew what I was doing, you stresshead!”


Friday, 19 March 2010

The Pitter Patter



I still thought at this point that Scribble was a girl and Fudge a boy. I had no idea about the number of kittens that go homeless and the fight the RSPCA has to get cats neutered at this point. I had decided that Scribble would be allowed to have a litter or two of kittens, whereas Fudge would be neutered to stop "him" wandering. I dreamed of a house full of tiny long haired grey kittens.


Scribble and Fudge

My first trip to the vet with them changed my ideas slightly. He told me I had them the wrong way round, and Scribble was the boy. (Thankfully their names weren't sex dependent). And he was very negative about my idea of Fudge having kittens. He was the first person who mentioned to me the problem there are with so many unwanted cats. But I thought he was just being a misery, and I wanted kittens so much that I stuck to my guns.


I thought that as Fudge was Scribble’s sister there was still a chance of long haired kittens from her gene pool, but as it happened Fudge obviously didn't pass either that gene or the grey gene to her kittens. She had two litters, all of them black and white, or just solid black.

Once the first ones were born, I really didn't care what colour they were. They were the most amazing thing that had happened. I was literally awe inspired by them. I would race home at lunchtime and eat my food as quickly as possible and then sit on the floor at the side of Fudge and the babies just watching them. I took hours of video of them just moving around, feeding and sleeping. I am a very sad case!!!

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

The Long Journey Home

I almost turned round and took Scribble back within 10 minutes of driving away from the farm. My sister had come with me and we had them both snuggled in a blanket in a box in the back of the car. But Scribble was crying. And crying. And crying. So my sister picked him up and he laid on his back while she tickled him and stroked him and he purred. But she felt sorry for Fudge on her own in the back, all quiet and scared, so she swapped them over. And Scribble cried and cried and cried. I did discuss with my sister the wisdom of having a cry baby cat, and wondered if we should take him back and swap him. But I couldn't change my mind now, I'd have always regretted it if I had.

Scribble continued to be a cry baby. He cried to be fed, he cried to be cuddled, he cried just for the sake of it. I loved him totally, and yet was constantly infuriated by him. He was possibly the most needy cat I had ever met! But at the same time he was the love of my life. I could pick him up and hold him in my arms like a baby and he would lie there purring his head off. He slept on my bed, curled up in my arms. He was more loyal than any man could have been.

Fudge was a totally different creature. She was shy and always bottom of the ranking when other cats were around. She never particularly needed me, but was happy enough to be cuddled if I wanted to. I love her very much, but she is an independent little creature. She is a calm, serene cat who has never scratched or bitten and rarely cries or fights. She is a terrific mouser - I've had rats, birds and a bat left for me so far as well as multitudes of live and dead mice.


I keep telling myself it’s the thought that counts.

Sunday, 14 March 2010

Scribble and Fudge

I have always had a thing about grey cats. Not sure why, but from being young at home I always longed for a grey cat. We had every colour you can imagine over the years, and loved them all, but I still looked longingly at pictures of these beautiful grey creatures.

When I finally got my own place and a job that was close enough to home to make it possible, the first thing I did was to start looking for the grey kitten (or two) I had always wanted. After a long fruitless search I finally spotted an advert in the admag, someone on a farm in Chesterfield had a whole litter of grey kittens. My wheels hardly touched the road and I was there within the hour!

The most beautiful kittens I've ever seen were waiting for me - 2 long haired and 2 short haired. I was sorely tempted to take them all, but felt that two was enough, (if I'd known then that my house would be constantly full of cats within two years, I'd have taken them all in a heartbeat). I looked them in the eyes and picked one of each. I didn't actually know how to sex kittens at that point, so took the farmer's word that the long haired was female and the short haired male. Scribble and Fudge. The beginning of a love affair!!

Tuesday, 2 March 2010

Spring has Sprung

Spring is here at long last! I love snow so much, but even I have got just a little bit tired of it now. My cats usually spend a good 70% of their time out of doors throughout the year, but for the last 3 months they have become house cats. This is through their choice rather than mine!

I leave the cat flap open for them, but they have decided it is a window rather than a door. They sit in my porch looking out at the weird white stuff that has taken over the world, and nothing short of a fire would get them out of the house and even then I think they would be torn!

Even today with the sun shining brightly and not a sign of snow, they have been very wary of the big bad outdoors. What if the white stuff comes back while they are out and they can't get to their biscuits in time?

They were finally encouraged with a good firm push to take the risk, and they lasted for the whole of 3 minutes before they were back again.

This 3 minutes of the outdoor life seems to have had a drastic effect on them though. I am currently sat on my settee while 3 wild cats chase around and around the house like crazy beasts. It is amusing and annoying as I have just sat back down after cleaning up my spilt tea from the carpet. It really does feel like there is a herd of elephants chasing each other up and down stairs.

I do look forward to the time when they start to go out again - I love my cats to pieces, but enough is enough.

It seems that spring has entered the JoeyGrey household. And not a minute too soon!