Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Merging, Mixing, Mingling

We've been taking it really slow with the introductions.  It's a huge change for Wylla, and we want to ease her into her new position as "deputy kitten wrangler".  So far, things have progressed nicely.

Once the quarantine period was up, we let Wylla and Charlene come into the basement and watch the kittens at a distance.  They came and went at their leisure. There was a little growling from Wylla at times, but nothing too extreme.

This weekend the wee ones got to come up to mingle on the main floor and got to met the big cats up close.  These nose-to-nose introductions went just fine.  Effie did hiss at Charlene at first, but unflappable Bean just ignored her.  

Now, after each meal, the kittens come upstairs and romp for a spell. They have some self-imposed boundaries and rarely stray off of the living room rug. When they start winding down, they are returned to their basement quarters for a nap.

Wylla is very curious about Hazel and Effie, and when they're on the main floor, she's right there with them.  She spends a lot of time just watching them and will engage with them in play on occasion.  She's used to playing with a larger cat,  so we do watch her close to make sure she doesn't play too hard with them.  They are so tiny and even a whomp from wee Wylla's  paw will roll 'em.

I think Wylla's still trying to figure out exactly what they are.  I don't think she views them as any sort of threat nor does she seem disturbed by their presence, she just doesn't quite know what they are or why they're here.

I don't see her taking on a nurturing role like Charlene often does with the kittens,  I think they'll be more like playmates for Wylla.  



Things aren't tense at all, but we're still trying to be very careful in how we proceed. It's important that Bean and Wylla get their needs met, feel loved, and don't have their schedules or routines disturbed.

Of course, raising healthy, social kittens is a priority, too.  




Here's a little clip of a very curious Wylla watching the kittens during their first visit upstairs.


Monday, April 21, 2014

Easter Candy


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We had some special guests stop by this weekend! Sue and sister Jean came by with Effie and Hazel's brothers for a play date

It's been over two weeks since the girls saw Mack, Jack, and Zack last.  I don't know that they recognized each other, but they did merge and mingle quickly.

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Wylla met the boys, but we didn't want to overwhelm her with five tiny explorers circling the living room, so we tucked her away upstairs after a few minutes.  She's doing really great with Effie and Hazel and I'll share more on that subject in tomorrow's post.

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The boys are nearly identical, so it's tricky to tell them apart.  I think this bunny is Jack, but there's a pretty good chance I'm wrong.

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Of course you know who this little bunny is.

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Effie enjoyed spending time in Jean's gentle hands.

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Then she climbed into her hood, and eventually out Jean's sleeve,  and back into her hand.

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From left to right: Mack, Jack and Zack. Zack's worried eyes make him easiest to identify.  The boys are healthy and growing and developing at the same pace the girls.  They're sweet and social too, just like their sisters.


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Here's the whole tiny gang.

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I don't know who this is, but he sure is adorable.

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The boys wear ribbon collars so Sue can tell them apart.  Jack is blue, Mack is red, and Zack is yellow.  I think.

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After many wrestling matches in the basket, the boys crashed.

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The girls got sleepy too, and joined them.

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We watched the basket of nappers for quite some time,  but it was time for the boys to return home, so we tried to wake them to take a quick family portrait before they left.

The girls were soon alert.

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But the boys were still out cold.

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Eventually they sat up, but kept dozing off.

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And by the time the boys were alert, the girls moved on were chasing each other under the sofa.  


It was a great visit, and the perfect way to spend Easter Sunday.  I prefer my Easter basket filled kittens instead of candy - just as sweet, but much, much cuter.



Friday, April 18, 2014

Cutest Friday Ever

Seriously, folks.   It really is.

Just take a look at dear Hazel attempting to hoist her robust belly into the basket.  Those itty-bitty legs!    THOSE ITTY-BITTY LEGS!!  How do they support all fifteen ounces of kitten?

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AND THEN THERE'S THIS!  




It's almost too much, isn't it?  



Thursday, April 17, 2014

Effie Does the Cornelius Shuffle

Years ago, we dubbed the springy, sidewinding, arched-back kitten move the "Cornelius Shuffle".   It was named after Cornelius Bouvier, a spry little fellow from one of our earliest litters. You can see a clip of Cornelius in action HERE.

Effie and Hazel are just starting to master the Shuffle (see the clip below) and a few new dance and wrestling moves, too.  They're so much more active and agile now.

They still spend a fair amount of time in their big house, but we have increased their time in the exercise yard.

We're slowly beginning introductions with Wylla.  She's been in the basement and has seen the kittens  from a distance, but hasn't gone nose-to-nose with them yet.   We're proceeding with caution and trying to be sensitive to all parties involved. We want to do this right, and keep stress to a minimum.   She's been curious about the kittens,  but very cautious and during once basement visit, she did get a little bit growly.  This is a big change for our little girl.

Charlene got an up-close view yesterday.  She was her usual nonchalant self.   Effie got a little hissy,  which is often the case with the little ones, but I'm sure she'll work past that once she realizes that Charlene is not a threat.  




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