Sunday, 16 May 2010

Hidden Treasure

I've looked after many kittens and cats over the last few years, but the excitement of seeing these tiny creatures progress from being completely unable to walk or do anything for themselves to independent strong-willed mischief makers never fades.

The Little Gems are 3 weeks old today and have just started to find their feet. They are turning into chubby little girls with loud voices and an insatiable hunger. Here is Emerald, she loves having her tummy tickled and was the first to start playfighting her sisters.

Their heads are still too heavy for their bodies so they bob them up and down as they try to walk which is really funny to watch. They can't quite focus on items yet, but when I talk to them, they look up and start to crawl towards me. Above is Garnet - very difficult to photograph her as she is totally black. She is the shy girl of the bunch but looks intently into your eyes as though she's trying to read your mind.

This is Quartz, the runt of the litter. She is about a week behind the others in weight, and quite noticeably smaller than the others. I was quite worried about her a week or so ago as she was always the one pushed out when the others wanted to feed from their mum. I often walked in to find the other four feeding and her asleep at the side of them. So for a couple of days I would move the other four into a different room for 10 minutes or so to give her time on her own with her mum. Her weight started to pick up and now, although still small, she has become much more feisty and fights for her spot at the dinner table much more successfully.

Here is Amethyst, the biggest of the babies. She is the leader and loves cuddles when her mum isn't looking. She has big blue eyes and tries really hard to focus on your face when you talk to her.

And here is Topaz. She looks very much like Charlie Chaplin and is the comic of the bunch. She seems to go into deep thought when you talk to her, and was the last of the babies to get the hang of walking. But she was the first to try playing with toys and to turn on her back to have her tummy tickled.

I hope I have the opportunity to look after kittens like this many, many more times. It really is a privilege to be part of this and I intend to make the very most of it each and every time.

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