Goodbye, Blush

That face.

Our girl Blush passed away last week at the age of fifteen. She was from our first litter (with Gizmo and Fargo), a litter of all red kittens (hence the name Blush. All of the kittens had names that had something to do with “red”).

Blush had a non-hereditary heart defect, aortic stenosis, which gave her one heck of a heart murmur. An expert cardiologist in New Jersey told us that she had two or three years at best, at which point she would probably just keel over. We weren’t going to make anyone else go through that grief, so we kept Blush as a pet.

Instead of keeling over she adapted, thrived, and gave us fifteen year of love. Unless you were a vet with a stethoscope to her chest you would never know she had a problem. Ironically, her heart was strong through to the end, and it was cancer that took her.

She’s a kitten!

Ready to play

Just surveying my kingdom.

Sleepy

I’m just going to blend in.

Oh, you see me.

Check out my tail.

Permanent link to this article: http://atlastcats.com/goodbye-blush/

Hello, Mariah!

We have a new member of our household, and we’ve named her Mariah! She comes to us from Koonstler Cattery, courtesy of Genoa Shepley and Doug Nickel. We’re excited and thankful to have her in our cat family. We know that she will make beautiful babies, and we’re especially curious to see what will happen when she and Fezzik go on a date someday (he is also a red silver).

We named her Mariah because she sang to us the entire ride from Rhode Island. She is very outgoing and curious and wants to be in your face, on your lap, or between your feet. We have to keep an eye on her because she will run between our legs and trip us up. (I jokingly call her Blunt Force Head Trauma, because someday she will succeed and I will whack my head on a table).

We managed to catch her in a rare moment when she was sitting still, so here are some pictures!

She was sleeping…

…and then we woke her.

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Love is in the air

Max and Lola had some romantic dates this week, and if all goes as planned they’ll have kids around Thanksgiving.

Usually when a boy and girl mate, the boy is ready to go again right away. The girl… not so much, and she will definitely express her displeasure if he boy approaches her with amorous intent. (We’ve lectured the boys about consent, but the message never seems to stick). Eventually, the boy gets the idea and learns to give the girl her space.

Here’s Max and Lola a few minutes a few minutes after they had sexy times. As you can see, he’s learned to keep a respectful distance afterward (but he’s not letting her out of his sight, either). Once we saw Max approach Lola and she just gave him a look and he turned around, no hissing or movement required.

The waiting is the hardest part

Queen Sarah Saturday also had dates with Max when Lola wasn’t with him. (I think we heard him singing “Torn Between Two Lovers”). We don’t like to have breedings so close together, but it’s been a weird year with the girls not going into heat most of the summer, so we have to accept when the girls say it is time. Luckily, big old houses like ours have lots of rooms to keep everyone appropriately separated and unstressed. Except for us. We’ll be plenty stressed!

 

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The Goodbye Litter

Tiger Lily’s kittens are doing great, walking (and running) around. Whenever we come into their room a bunch of them just come running over. They aren’t too interested in solid food just yet, but they are very, very curious.

Since this is the last litter that Buster fathered, and he has said goodbye to breeding (and his testicles) we decided to use different words for “goodbye” for the theme for this litter. (We’re keeping Buster as a pet, so no he’s not available!).

All of these kittens are reserved.

You can skip over this part and get right to the pictures if you want. It’s just some of the weird stuff that happens with cats and running a cattery that you might find entertaining. However, there’s more than the usual poop and pee talk, so we won’t blame you if you bypass it.

So, for a couple of days after she gave birth Lily wasn’t using the litter box at all. We took her to the vet and they found that she was really constipated, which was in turn putting pressure on her bladder. They gave her an enema and expressed her bladder, and all was well.

Except two days later she still hadn’t used the litter box. So we were back at the vet again for the same treatment (and since the weekend was coming, an enema to administer ourselves, which was… an experience).

At her next visit she did her thing in the vet’s cage without an enema or him expressing her bladder. And she did more in the carrier on the way home. So, problem solved?

We had a follow-up appointment late in the day two days later in case she still wasn’t using the box. And, of course, she wasn’t. But since she had an accident in the carrier on the way home the last time, we had an idea. A few hours before her appointment we put Lily in a larger carrier and put a little litter box inside and took her for a car ride. Within five minutes she had relieved herself both ways, so we cancelled the appointment.

Two days later it was the same thing, and and another car ride induced her to use the litter box. For about a week it became part of our daily routine to take her for a car ride.

Finally, this past weekend we decided not to take her for a ride one day and see if she might finally use the litter box on her own overnight. And she did! Then, after we scooped she decided to poop. After that she started using the litter box consistently and that part of our life went back to normal, such as it is.

We really don’t know why she needed the car ride. Our best theory is that she might have still been sore after being stopped up and only the stress of a car ride would cause her to release. Or perhaps she didn’t want to do her thing in front of the kittens (despite the litter box being far from the nest). We noticed that she would get in the box, dig around, sit for a second without pushing or anything, and then run back to the kittens. We’re just glad that we didn’t have to send her to a cat psychiatrist!

Okay, enough of that… here are the kittens!

Adieu (girl)

Aloha (girl)

Toodle-oo (boy)

Cheerio (boy)

Ciao (girl)

Sayonara (girl)

Seeya (girl)

Permanent link to this article: http://atlastcats.com/the-goodbye-litter/

Buster goes out with a bang

Chunky babies

Tiger Lily gave birth to seven kittens on August 6th. That was a few days early and they were a little small,  but they are very good eaters and have more than doubled in weight in the past two weeks.

Last year Lily also gave birth to seven kittens and she had trouble keeping up with their milk needs, so we supplemented them with formula every few hours for a month (that was not a good month for sleep!). This time she is giving them all the milk they need. We only needed to give formula to a couple of the smaller ones for a few days because they were being crowded out of the nips by their bigger siblings. The extra feedings helped keep up their strength and they have no problem getting what they want now!

The father, Buster, was neutered a few weeks before the delivery (we are keeping him as a pet). While he kind of misses his testicles, he is very happy that this is the last time he will have to pay child support. His son, Fezzik (from his litter last year with Lily)  is taking his place as a sire.

Here are a few pictures from the Kitten Cam to show the progress of Lily’s kittens.

All of these kittens are reserved. 

The day after they were born. So tiny!

Getting bigger!

Good eaters!

Happy mama

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Hello, Clyde!

Pixel’s kittens have gone to their new homes and we can stop, take a breath, and… update the website.

First of all, we’ve been remiss in introducing you to our new boy, Clyde! He came to us from Mainelyclassic Maine Coons in North Carolina, and we’re so thankful and happy to have him!

He’s a show cat!

Clyde is short for “Clydesdale” because he has such big paws. He has had a clean genetic test and heart echo, so as soon as a girl is willing, he’s ready to make some babies! He’s replacing Buster, who is retiring and is recovering well from his neuter. (Before you ask, we’re keeping Buster as a pet).

Ready for his first airplane ride.

He’s been to one cat show so far and he made finals in most of his rings. He’s already a Quadruple Grand Champion!

Being good for the judges!

Besides being an awesome-looking cat, Clyde is just plain lovable. He would happily sit on your lap and get belly and head rubs 24/7.

After the cat show, Clyde does not want to go to Flavortown while at the hotel.

Permanent link to this article: http://atlastcats.com/hello-clyde/

We’re pooped

Pixel’s kittens are progressing like normal kittens, except for one thing.

Pooping.

Okay, hear us out. We know there’s a fair amount of poop talk around here, but it’s part of the territory. Kittens poop. Everywhere. But these little rascals never pooped outside of the litter box once. Not once. They took right to it,  Kittens often take a while figure it out, and we’ve had to keep adding litter boxes in all of the corners and places they leave deposit. Not these kids. They’re little geniuses!

However, we already had a litter named after smart people (they were also poop geniuses), so Pixel’s kids will have to settle for the Grocery theme we chose (because Chris was grocery shopping when Pixel started to deliver).

Here they are!

All of these kittens are reserved.

Hannaford (boy)

Kroger (boy)

Piggly Wiggly (girl)

Wayno (boy) (Wayno was a local grocery store)

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Some time in the sun

Now that Nikki’s kittens have gotten their first vaccinations they left their private room and are mingling with our adult lady cats. They are just full of energy and seem to be in perpetual play mode. They do stop and rest on occasion, though! Here are four of them we caught in a rare moment sleeping on the windowsill.

Sleepytime

This morning it was cloudy outside but Big Chill found a warm place, anyway.  Unfortunately, she was was more in “jeans are fun to claw” mode than in sleep mode, so I had to move her elsewhere!

Crotch Kitten

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Supermarket Sweep

Getting chubby!

Pixel started to give birth on Wednesday, April 28th while I (Chris) was grocery shopping. We were expecting eight kittens and by the time I got home four had already come out. The remaining four came out about one every 25 minutes.  All seemed well. Pixel was very protective and seemed a little stressed, but that’s not unusual, especially with a big litter.

The next day, one of them seemed to be having trouble and Pixel was not attending to her – never a good sign. We started the baby on antibiotics but to no avail. Late Thursday afternoon we found another one dead and we started all of them on meds.

By Friday morning we’d lost three in total and one was fading.  That one had passed by the time we got into the vet. Half of the litter gone. The remaining kittens seemed perfectly fine, at least. Our vet could find nothing wrong. She supposed it could have been a bacterial or viral infection, but didn’t think it was worth sending a body to the State lab.

Pixel has had big litters before without a problem, and with the same dad (Max) so we’re at a loss to explain it. We’re trying to think of what was different about the four that passed from the four that survived, because at at birth they all seemed similarly robust. Maybe a difference between the ones where we tied off the umbilical versus Pixel biting it off, but we didn’t think to keep records of that so we don’t know if there is a correlation. We were thrilled to see such a big litter so it is hard to accept losing half of it.

Anyway, the four kittens that remain are growing like crazy and are very good eaters! Pixel immediately moved them from the birthing nest to the corner, so we set up a fleece and a heating pad there and let her be.  A bit more than a week later the kittens are getting a little mobile so we moved them to a big nest and she seems pretty content with the situation.

Happy mama on the kitten cam!

We think there are three boys and a girl (but don’t hold us to that). Since they arrived while I was getting groceries we think we will name them Hannaford, Wayno, Kroger, and Piggly Wiggly.

All of these kittens are reserved.

Permanent link to this article: http://atlastcats.com/supermarket-sweep/

Just Chillin’

Nikki’s kids are growing fast, eating solid food, playing, and using the litter box! They are already very social. When we come in the room they rush to our feet like we are their gods. Not that we’re ones to disabuse them of that notion.

A few years ago we had kittens that took to the litter box so quickly that we named them after scientists. Not this litter! They have finally figured it out, but we had a couple weeks of cleaning up little gifts they would leave in front of the door, and washing poopy butts. We’re glad they’re past that phase!

A few days before they were born our refrigerator died due to a power surge after a wind storm induced power outage. They were born on the day the new refrigerator arrived. So, of course, we gave them refrigerator names!

All of these kittens are reserved.

Amana (girl)

Kelvinator (boy)

Frigidaire (girl)

Hotpoint (boy)

Big Chill (girl)

Norhtstar (girl)

Crosley (boy)

Permanent link to this article: http://atlastcats.com/just-chillin/

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