What a big world!

How exciting - one of the chocolate kittens has opened it's eyes today! That's very early - only 6 days old... would usually expect it from around a week to ten days.

They are all doing very well and putting on weight steadily, even the very weeny one is progressing nicely. Sassy is very attentive and barely gets out of the kitten pen all day even though I leave it open for her to come and go. She will get out to stretch her legs first thing in the morning and a couple of times during the day but otherwise she stays with them the whole time.

Teddy is quite funny - he is a little scared of these new little playthings, especially when they squeak, but I expect he will be happy to play with them when they are a bit older. Pickle is totally uninterested but I expect him to be his normal loving self when they start wobbling around.

More soon....
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Kittens!

That's right - the class of 2010 has arrived! Sassy decided she couldn't wait any longer so at about 4am this morning she decided to have her babies. I've been in Budapest for work this week - she started about 12 hours before I got home. Luckily she was staying with Rosie and I can't say a big enough thank you to Rosie who was up with Sassy at that time and saw her through the whole thing.

Not too sure what we have at the moment but there's a potential of 5 brown girls, a choc boy and a choc girl. But we're still working that all out!



So far, mother and kittens are doing well. Will start posting photos and weights soon - and videos once they start being interesting :-)





Keep checking for updates.... and in the meanwhile here's one of the first photos!





love from Gill and Sassy!
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Sassy is 5!

Today is Sassy's birthday. She's been very restless all day - not sure if that is a consequence of having a birthday or just feeling uncomfortable because she is so pregnant! I was quite worried earlier on as she seemed to be looking for a nesting spot - kittens aren't due for another 20 days or so! I brought her kitten pen in from the shed and gave it a good clean-up, and put an igloo-style bed in there for her to snuggle into. At the moment she is sleeping with Pickle and Teddy up on my bed, which is a real treat for them all!

Anyway, very shortly I'll get out some sardines, which she seems to love - as does Pickle - and they can be her birthday dinner treat; Teddy can have tuna as he doesn't seem to like sardines LOL! Sassy is certainly enjoying her food at the moment and within reason I'm trying to give her as much as she wants as she is clearly eating for several... on previous occasions I've thought she might only have 3 or 4 kittens as she's usually quite small - then she goes on to have 6 or 7 - but this time she has truly blossomed so I have no idea how many she might have. Probably 3 or 4 very large ones - which isn't as good as it sounds because she is a tiny little cat and might have problems. So 6 or 7 smallish kitts would be ideal!

More soon....
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Farewell to Sharni

Dear friends
many of you will know by now that my gorgeous little chocolate girl Sharni was put to sleep on Tuesday 6 July to save her from further suffering from kidney failure. Unlike with Suki, he disease took Sharni very quickly as she had only gone for her annual check-up at the start of June. She's very much missed around the house.
There's a tribute to her on her web page.


However on a happier note - and possibly a premature one! - Sassy is looking very "pink" today! So with luck she is pregnant and will be having kittens at the end of August... fingers crossed and I will keep you all updated!


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Sassy's home - again...

... and let's hope this time she did the job properly LOL! Collected her fom her second honeymoon this morning and she's settled back in quite happily. She went to the same boy, the blue Burmese called Prince owned by Rosie and Barrie. You can see him on their website, via the Links page. This time, if she's pregnant, kittens are due around the August Bank Holiday weekend. Fingers crossed!

On th downside, Sharni has taken a bit of a tumble from her renal failure. She had a day or so of rejecting everything put in front of her and her weight fell by 100gm. She's now lost 200gm in 4 weeks. We went to the vet this morning just before collecting Sassy, and she's had a steroid injection and is on an antihistamine - the same one claimed as a miracle drug by my friend Suzanne in Florida - which as done wonders for her cat Chloe apparently. So I hope it will kick in for Sharni too. Poor little soul has also had a touch of cystitis for the past couple of days so she had an anti-inflammatory for that as well. She probably felt a bit like a pin-cushion...!

More kitten updates as they become obvious... I hope!
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Remembering Looney

Well today is the Longest Day of the year, June 21st. It was on this day in 2004 that I had to let my gorgeous Bengal boy be euthanised to prevent him suffering further from cancer, aged just 8.

Many people reading this will probably never have met Looney. He was a brown spotted Bengal, called Looney because of his habit as a kitten of sitting on the head of a decorator who was doing some work for my dear friends Rosie and Barrie. Looney was a rescue kitten and looking for a home. I fell in love with him and they allowed me to adopt him and bring him home. From the start, his alternative name was Tigger. He bounced everywhere and on everything and everybody. He loved cuddles, he loved to play and he most especially loved the helium-filled balloons which in those days Suki managed to win at shows fairly frequently. He is still sadly missed in the house.

Looney also loved kittens and that's where we move to the next update. Sassy had a false pregnancy this time around, and sadly we won't be hearing the patter of little paws anytime soon. However she has had a check-up at the vet, and he pronounced her to be in excellent health and we have no reason not to try again next time she calls. As it looks like she is beginning to do so at the moment, hopefully she'll be going back to stud with Prince in the next few days - once I've checked the calendar to ensure that the birth won't co-incide with my next work trip to Hungary!

As for the rest of the Gang - Pickle is his normal adorable self, loving to cuddle up and still enjoying life at 16 and a half. Sharni - at just over 15 - has got very thin and is now on tablets for renal failure. However she doesn't seem to be in any pain, and got through her annual checkup without too many problems, although the extent of her world has shrunk to the lounge, kitchen and replacement extension (which is very nice). She is also very fussy about her food and getting her to eat almost anything is a cause for celebration most days. Teddy is trying to be as bouncy as Looney but has realised that unless he is very lucky I am now locking the bedroom doors so he can't do his trick of letting himself in :-)

More updates soon...
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May already!

I can't believe that a third of the year has already gone by! I've spent just under half of it overseas, most recently in Ulaanbaatar (Mongolia) but got held up on the way home in Beijing as a result of the volcano cloud. That was really tedious as the Gang were all at home and my parents had to supervise the replacement of my old conservatory!

Anyway over the past few days Sassy has been on "honeymoon" with a gorgeous blue boy called Prince. Prince is King's son - King sired Sassy's previous litters, so we are keeping it in the family. The fact that Prince is blue will mean that this is a good chance to prove if Sassy carries the blue gene and can produce blue kittens. Fingers crossed for the end of June!

The travelling is over for a while and I have to say it's nice to be home again and not thinking of packing for the next destination. It gives me an opportunity to snuggle up with the Gang, and most importantly to spend time with Sharni and Pickle, who are not getting any younger. They have both got quite clingy and spend most evenings curled up on my lap. This is particularly unusual for Sharni ,who has always been a bit aloof.

More soon when I find out if Sassy is pregnant or not!
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Happy birthday Sharni!

Sorry I can't be there to give you big birthday hugs and lots of yummy food but I know that you will be getting lots of love and attention and I will be home at the weekend!

Thinking of your sister Suki on this day as well.

Happy 15th birthday Sharni!
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Suki - RIP

Many people reading this will already be aware that Suki has been ill for some while as her kidneys gradually failed. However you may not know that last weekend, on Sunday 7 February, she couldn't fight anymore.

Suki was a brave little cat, a real fighter who experienced so much during her 14 years, 11 months and 1 week. She was a beauty - a winner on the show bench and a gorgeous example of her breed. She won many rosettes, bags of cat food, balloons and even the occasional bottle of champagne. She always preferred the food so I helped out with the champagne!


Elsewhere on the site I will post a fuller tribute to Suki. I'll miss her. But it's the one thing that, as a pet owner, we sign up to, the moment we let them into our home and heart. It's almost inevitable that we will survive them, and therefore our commitment to them not only includes loving them, feeding them, keeping them warm, safe and healthy, but also being able to let them go when it is time. And we have to recognise that time, and put our selfish desires to one side - because it will never be the right time for us.


Rest in peace, my beautiful girl.

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Happy New Year

Welcome to the first Minahto blog of 2010. I hope you've had a wonderful Christmas and are looking forward to a healthy and happy new year.

I've been back from Kabul for about 3 weeks now and I've also been at home between Christmas and New Year, so it's been lovely to be back at home with the Gang. It looks like I'll be around for a little while before my next trip, so it's a chance for the cats to remember me and get back into a routine! For a while, I was barely home before I went off again and they were back in the cattery or over at the surgery.

Rosie and Barrie looked after Sharni, Sassy and Teddy well at the cattery while I was in Afghanistan, and Suki and Pickle were also well looked after at the vet surgery. When I collected them, Suki gave her trademark chirrup-style purr - Gerard said it was the noisiest she'd been for 3 weeks; he thought it was clear she knew she was going home! Suki has in fact been back again - just after Christmas I popped her back over as she had a recurrence of cystitis so she had a long-lasting antibiotic injection which seems to have done the trick.

Anyway I'll try and update the blog a bit more often in 2010, so keep checking for updates!

Best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful new year, and good health and safe travels to everyone!
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