|2019: Noisette's first litter|
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Where everything began
Deglet Nour des Fauve & Or (pedigree), 10.5 years old cinnamon somali,
came in Spring 2019 spend some time with Jemima and with Noisette, in turn.
Deglet Nour (a bit shy) with Noisette : 1. Do I dare to go nearer ? 2. She's turning, quick, let's go !
The first matings didn't work, neither with Jemima nor with Noisette, so we tried a second time.
Noisette came back on heat first, then Jemima 2.5 weeks later.
According to the ultrasound (23 days after the mating), Jemima bears 6 kittens.
As for Noisette, the ultrasound done on the same day as Jemima's reveals a numerous litter,
but the exact number can only be known by an X-ray a week before delivery.
However, they are so packed that even several vets together can't be sure :
probably 8, maybe even 9 (a kitty may hide another one...)
I promise that Noisette did not swallow a soccer ball...
Once it is known that both Jemima and Noisette have fewer tits each than usual,
it seems a full-time 24/24 job awaits me during the summer months...
I bought the baby milk, the silicon tits, the coloured velcro identification collars...
Noisette is preparing for her babies to come
The babies of Noisette and Deglet Nour are awaited between July 21 and 23.
Since July 20, Noisette adopts her "maternity box" set up on the bed side :
the walls are lined with disposable pads, the floor and curtain are built up from old soft cloth.
She spends long moments there, scratches to make her nest and calls me as soon as I go a few meters away.
But, on Monday 22, she changes behaviour and insists on getting back to the other cats:
Jemima (her mom, pregnant as well), Brownie (her grand-father) and Edelweiss. I let her follow her instinct.
She chooses a drawer under a bed and the 3 females spend all morning licking each other.
She refuses to go back to the maternity room.
Jemima (front) licks Noisette (underneath) with Edelweiss (right) checking.
The birth - July 22, 2019
When the real work starts around 16h25, and an amniotic pouch begins to appear,
she lets me carry her to the maternity room !!!
Contractions get stronger and a first kitty appears at 17h10 : it's a cinnamon male and he weighs 94g (light blue collar)
Very soon, a lilac male weighing 86g takes his first breath too (lavander collar)
It is very hot... Noisette pants a bit. After a short pause, a cinnamon female weighing 85g comes out at 18h05 (pink collar),
then a cinnamon male 5 minutes later ; he weighs 78g (green collar)
It's half-time !
Contractions only resume around 19h30. A little chocolate female weighing 70g is born at 19h40 (orange collar)
Then, a 74g cinnamon male is born at 20h05 (dark blue collar),
followed by another chocolate female weighing 73g at 20h18 (yellow collar).
At 21h10, the 8th kitty, a little 70g cinnamon female, finally comes out (white collar).
The nest is starting to be quite crowded when, lo and behold, at 21h30, a last cinnamon male weighing 83g comes out (red collar):
9 kitties who all look very lively!
First "free air" siesta for the 9 new-born kitties
Noisette seems thoughful contemplating them: her very first babies are there ! Sooooo many...
The first week
An old-time friend, having more experience than I do for such large litters, comes to help me during the first 3 days.
And, oh wonder! Most of the kittens accept willingly the "bib"
(in fact a small silicon tit mounted on a siringe).
The fact is, Noisette only has 6 tits, but only 3 or 4 seem active (the higher ones on the chest, which is surprising)
Of course, it is impossible for her to feed them all with 3 tits for 9 kittens ;
beside, her milk rise takes quite some time.
We relay her to ensure each of the kitties drinks enough,
every 2 or 2.5 hours, day and night.
Here is "P'tit'orangette" (orange collared female) sucking with energy:
What a pleasure to hear them purr already on their first day!
and what a worry when one seems not to be OK...
It happened that P'tit'rose (the pink collared female) progressively rejected any feeding
and died on Wednesday morning, not having reached 48 hours yet.
Noisette takes on her new role with a lot of attention, cleaning them all,
purring and purring, not leaving the nest long except when she is really too hot
(it's up to 40°C outside, hopefully only 28°C in the room)
When she goes out of the nest, the kittens instinctively create a heap to keep warm.
(not too difficult these days)
On the left : a "heap" of 8 4-days old kittens. On the right: 5-days old kittens with mom, tryng to reach the milk-bar
(NB : le grey-collared kitten on the left is the same as the green-coloured kitten on the right)
Small cinnamon head (left) and chocolate version (right)
After a few days, several profiles appear, which are correlated with the weight gain of each kitten.
Unfortunately, P'tit baroudeur became worse at the end of the morning,
he lost tonicity and heat. His little body remained warm because I put him close to a warm bean-bag,
and Noisette also thought he could wake up again, she gently moved him with her paw and licked him, licked him...
He died at 3 pm, she was still licking him.
His bigger brother (« Pépère ») had just come to bide him what became a last farewell:
July 31 - Portraits gallery
They often sleep in incredible positions, totally confident and relaxed,
anywhere in the nest or even under mom's nose, when she also takes a rest...
They have now all started to open their eyes (some a bit, some completely), but they sleep most of the time
Sad news on the evening of August 1st
P'tit'orangette has gone to join P'tit'rose and P'tit baroudeur,
after having been between life and death since 5 pm, alternating
moments without tonicity and even respiratory distress with moments of quiet resting under my breath
close to the warm bean-bag and to her siblings.
Pépère came again and stayed a long time against her, as he did with P'tit baroudeur;
maybe drawn by the radiance of the bean-bag, maybe moved by other perceptions of which we don't know all ?
She had become so appealing in 10 days...
On the first picture, the 6 kittens are with mom Noisette.
They alternate to drink on the 3 tits available and drink some replacement milk as a complement.
Noisette seems happy and everyone may once be used as a pillow (picture at right)
Below left, F8 sleeps on mom's paw; on the right, M6 shows his little pawpads.
In order to prepare for Jemima's litter due on 8 or 9 August,
Noisette and her babies have changed room. Jemima came for a visit;
she first lied in the nest with Noisette, both licking each other.
Jemima checked scrupulously if her daughter had well cleaned every little bump;
but after one hour Jemima decided she wanted to move the kittens elsewhere
to get them for her own in her own nest!
I decided to separate them in two different rooms for the time being.
Jemima pays a visit to her grand-children (her head hidden behind Noisette, licking a kitten)
Since yesterday, the kittens begin to interact for something else than looking for mom or fighting for a tit
especially during short periods before falling asleep:
Here is a picture of the "heap". As for the close-ups, only the chocolate female took the pose for nice pics;
could she have guessed my penchant for chocolate somalis ??? ;-)
I will try to do better portraits of the others in the next few days.
Portraits of males M1, M2 and M6:
The two females (chocolate at left on mom's paw and cinnamon at right) :
Males busy digesting (from left to right, NM1 and NM2 on the first row,
NM6 and NM9 below)
I have moved Noisette's nest to the ground level:
Noisette managed to convince me it was time to do so by starting to move the kittens on the floor.
M6 (cinnamon) and F7 (chocolate) look at what happens outside the nest
and they are now able to move freely from the nest to the big soft carpet in front of it.
Noisette rests, spread out all the way in front of the nest : "I'm exhausted! "
M9, M6 (cinnamon males) and F7 (chocolate female) at the entrance of the nest.
M9 (cinnamon male) asleep on his paw
Elliot (16 months old) learns how to stroke the little lilac male
Clémentine (3.5 years old) is fascinated by the kittens, and takes care of the weighing with me;
here, she cuddles the lilac male under the supervision of his mom Noisette.
The cinnamon female (F8) observes everything around her.
The kittens have started larger-scale explorations since yesterday, one meter away from the nest and more.
It's always M2 (the lilac male) who starts first to investigate new things, then F7 or M9.
M2 tasted apericube (full fat soft cheese) on my finger and loved it!
Portraits of each of the kittens on their 25th day:
The lilac male (M2) and the two females (F8 - cinnamon at center and F7 - chocolate on the right)
The three cinnamon males (from left to right, M9 "red", M6 "blue" and M1
In order to protect the kittens while letting mom the freedom to move, I set up a kitten enclosure.
For the time being, the "doors" are closed but the above net is removed, enabling mom to jump in and out.
Mom likes to sit beside the enclosure to check from above (picture at right)
The kittens all like to lick my fingers with a mixture of kitten mousse and milk, or with a bit of full fat soft cheese.
Before each feeding, I try to offer them the same mixture in a little bowl, but they don't care much
and finally Mom Noisette eats it all.
During the night between 18 and 19 August, Noisette decided that small somalis need a bigger terrain
than just this 1.25 meter diameter enclosure, and she kept busy getting them out of it one by one
three times during the night (yawn...)
Group picture at almost 4 weeks old:
August 20, 2019
For the first time, one of the kittens took the mixture from the bowl this morning : the first-born M1.
I finally decided to leave the enclosure doors open full time... Noisette managed to tire me putting the kittens back in!
Now the 6 kittens are exercising their paws in the whole room. They even attempt their first run sometimes.
Noisette plays with them and simulates chasing: she lies at one end of the room, on the lookout of a fictitious prey,
then runs as quick as she can straight to the other end of the room in front of 6 fascinated and admiring kittens
(as long as they can follow her because she's soo fast)
Since August 20, apart from the one try of M1 in the morning, kittens still didn't want to eat in the plate/bowl...
However, this morning, M2 (the lilac male) licked the dish : maybe a start ???
In any case; they start to play with toys and need to gnaw because of their young teeth growing:
the small cardboard packagings are perfect toys for this age.
They also start to go in the litterbox by themselves.
Their uncles and aunts born 2.5 weeks after them have now joined them in the nursery.
The heated basket is now used by the little ones and the older ones have discovered new round cushions
where they can sleep quietly... well, until one of their brothers or sisters decides to wake them up
by gnawing at their ear or by using them as a foothold for climbing.
The (now open) enclosure from above
Close up on the two females (left, chocolate and right, cinnamon)
Well... They are not very often in the "enclosure" any more, but roam every corner of the room
and often sleep in a mixture of smaller and bigger kitties and with or without one mom or the other.
They are becoming smarter every day and try new experiences all the time.
Now for the "naming of cats" ceremony:
Jemima, Noisette and all of Noisette's litter is having breakfast around the same plate.
Brownie faces his lilac grand-grand-son Pat'd'amandes
Can you identify them all? Below are the 6 kittens by twos
This week, all 6 kittens finally eat the tiny croquettes and the wet mousse, the fresh fish or chicken by themselves.
They made enormous progress in their moving speed, they galop on the ground and climb everywhere.
Pat'd'amandes seems to be ready to go on a trip with grand-grand-dady Brownie :
Everybody is fine, but Pirouette worried me yesterday: one of her back paws was hurting and her temperature reached 40°C.
After her first unplanned visit to the vet, it seems that the cause is a small abcess internal to the tarsus,
being the consequence of too harsh a fang or a claw during one of the kittens or mummy-kittens learning fights.
It needs to be followed up, but today the temperature is back to normal, she eats well and runs again.
Left, Pat'd'amandes is very proud of having climbed the heater by himself;
right, Qiaokeli at the back, Poppy in the middle and Pirouette at right
Sunshine of kittens around a plate of paté
The three first-born on the cat tree
Zoom on the two females (Pépite de Qiaokeli at left, Pirouette at right)
And on the last-born Paddington Bärli
Thursday morning was the big day ! They had their microchip implanted, their first injection,
they got their european passport, and were taken buccal swabs for the genetic tests:
a very long first visit to the vet for the whole litter (almost two hours).
I had brought the foldable enclosure with me, they could enjoy to run free in it
while waiting for their turn. And of course, I had also brought the « vache qui rit »,
very fat soft cheese and they could have a bit of it after the buccal swabs!
Everything's fine, said the vet, no heart murmur, no umbilical hernia, etc.
The kittens got a (new) water fountain this week, they enjoy it very much.
Sometimes, they are many around it, but to show you the fountain I chose a moment
when only Paddington was drinking:
Today 22 September they are two months old ! Here are their pictures of the day:
Cinnamon males : from left to right, Poppy, Poulain and Paddington
From left to right, the females Pirouette and Pépite de Qiaokeli, then the lilac male Pat'd'amandes
They become quicker and defter, but still so cute and playful.
Portraits on October 1st
Poppy, Pat'd'amandes, Poulain
Pépite de Qiaokeli, Pirouette with Pat'd'amandes, Paddington Bärli
The laser pointer has not lost its attractivity, whether on the ground or on the wall.
At right, Pat'd'amandes is jumping to catch it !
Portraits of the 4 males
Left, Poppy (cinnamon) ; right, Pat'd'amandes (lilac)
Left, Poulain uses auntie Edelweiss as a pillow ; right, Paddington Bärli (both are cinnamon)
Portraits of the 2 females
Pirouette (cinnamon) during a quiet moment (left) and expressing herself (right)
Left, Pirouette is grooming her grand-grand-dad Brownie (13 years old ruddy somali)
Right, Pépite de Qiaokeli (chocolate)
On this group, you may recognize Pat'd'amandes, Pépite de Qiaokeli, Paddington Bärli and Pain d'épices:
Poppy, Poulain and Pépite de Qiaokeli have already gone to their new homes...
For the time being Pat'd'amandes and Pirouette stay home a bit longer, as well as Paddington Bärli
Here are the cinnamon female Pirouette (left and middle) and the lilac male Pat'd'amandes (right)
And now Paddington Bärli, looking either royal, relaxed or observing...
Only two kittens remain at home for Christmas, Paddington Bärli and Pimprenelle (daughter of Jemima).
Here, Paddington "laughs out loud" : what could Pimprenelle have told him ??? (send me your guesses...)
Paddington will go to his new home at the beginning of 2020 :
Deglet Nour des Fauve & Or (pedigree) is a 10.5 years old cinnamon somali with a very nice expression and beautiful green eyes.The first meeting between Jemima and Deglet Nour took place in April 2019,
but the mating did not result in a real pregnancy and it was only during their meeting two months later that it really worked.
Deglet Nour is a very gentle cat, a bit shy with ladies like Jemima who can react quite violently just after a mating.
I expected the birth between 8 and 10 August;
but Jemima decided that 63 days of pregnancy were enough.
True enough, Jemima's daughter Noisette already had 16 days old kittens which Jemima would have liked to take for herself...
At 13h20, shortly after having noticed the first contractions,
a cinnamon male weighing 94g was born (purple collar).
Then; at 14h15, a 97g ruddy male 97g was born.
At 15h05, it's another cinnamon male who is born; he weighs 87g (blue collar)
Half an hour later, a small cinnamon female is born, she only weighs 66g.
Then, Jemima takes a long pause... It's time for the little female to try and grab one of the 3 active tits
despite the hard competition of her bigger brothers.
It's also time to take a nice pic of the two first-born busy at the milk-bar:
Nothing happens until a hind paw appears at 18h05,
soon followed by the full body of the kitten : a cinnamon male... he weighs 82g (brown collar)
And, again, a long, long paus... Finally, at 21h20, a 95g female is born.
Her colour is... cinnamon!
The whole family wishes you a good night.
Though only 3 tits are really operational, Jemima has plenty of milk and I don't feed the kittens during the first night
in order for them all to drink some colostrum while they are stll able to collect antibodies from it into their own bodies.
I moved Jemima's nest beside my bed, side by side with Noisette's nest and her babies
who suddenly appear huge compare to Jemima's new born kitties,
and the night was quiet. Jemima was ravenous this morning.
The last-born did not take on weight during the night
(since some kittens were born at 14h and she was born at 21h, she has a severe handicap for the first night)
but all the others put on weight already just taking turns on Jemima's tits.
The kittens are well protected... Jemima's nest suits her ; it's a Fedex box transformed into a house,
just beside Noisette's nest and under the supervision of grandpa Brownie!
Should Jemima go briefly out of her nest, if a small "miau" is heard, Noisette goes and checks...
And here is a peek into Jemima's Fedex house:
The kittens take on weight regularly with just a little complement from time to time,
I am very proud of Jemima and of her kittens who succeeded in activating a breast tit,
so that she can feed 4 (at the beginning I though even 5) kittens in parallel.
One of the cinnamon males (M5) curled up in his mom Jemima's fur
They all gain weight, though little pink-collared kitty doesn't seem to catch up with the others.
Individual portraits with (almost all) eyes open:
The ruddy male (M2) and the two cinnamon females (F6 "red" in the center and the tiny "pink" F4 at right)
The three cinnamon males: from left to right, M1 "purple" and lead voice, M3 "blue" et M5 "brown"
Now all the litter has joined the kittens of their elder sister Noisette in the nursery.
They inherited the heated basket from the other litter who doesn't need it any more
and they fill their eyes with everything the "big ones" are capable of doing !
Both moms get on very well together and cooperate, cleaning the kittens
or providing some complement whatever litter the babies belong to.
Would Jemima have a preference for the smallest of each litter, and/or for pink collars ???
Here she is with Pimprenelle and Pirouette (shh, I haven't spoken of names yet in Noisette's litter story...)
Here are the portraits of Jemima's babies for their 2 weeks old, by order of birth:
The "small" kittens of Jemima are more and more mixing up with the "big" ones of Noisette
and they keep admiring how they run and jump...
Some examples of their captivated look
left, M5 "brown" and M2 (ruddy) ; right, M1 "purple"
The so-longed for naming (if no changes occur later):
- M1 (purple collared cinnamon male): Pain d'Epices (= Gingerbread)
- M2 (ruddy male): Pikku Prinssi (it means "Little Prince" in finnish)
- M3 (light blue collared cinnamon male): Poudou (a small South American deer)
- F4 (pink collared female): Pimprenelle (a little girl in the 1960 TV series for kids "Bonne nuit les petits")
- M5 (brown collared cinnamon male): Pop Corn (with salted butter caramel of course...)
- F6 (red collared female): Pélisse (like in the fantasy comic series « La Quête de l'Oiseau du temps »)
Photo studio seqence tonight for Jemima's litter :
- left : Pikku Prinssi (ruddy male)
- centre : Pimprenelle (cinnamon female), still wet from her mom's recent licking
- right: Pélisse (cinnamon female), taking her cheeky look like her eponymous model
And the three cinnamon males Pop Corn, Poudou and Pain d'épices (order not decided yet) :
- left : JM1 (purple collar)
- entre : JM3 (blue collar)
- right : JM5 (brown collar)
The babies are already one month old today.
For the time being, they are in no hurry to eat something else than mom's milk or the one I give them with the syringe,
except on my fingers (kitten mousse, chicken, full fat soft cheese, ...)
Left, the two females deeply concentrated on their siesta: Pelisse (showing her belly) and Pimprenelle;
center and right, two of the sorrel males (most probably JM5 at center and JM3 at right)
Now for 2 days they all accept to eat some paté from the plate... some also eat baby croquettes,
but they still rely quite often on milk from mom, from Noisette or from my feeding, whatever is available...
Close-up of Pain d'Epices (left and center left) and Pelisse (center right and right)
Close-up of Poudou and Pop Corn (cinnamon males):
blue collared (left) and brown collared (center and right)
Close-up of Pikku Prinssi (left, ruddy male)
and Pimprenelle (center, holding mom's paw and right, asleep on the ball game):
The little ones still appreciate a bit of milk from the bib morning and evening,
but now they eat by themselves during the other times of the day :
raw or canned food morning and evening, croquettes and water available at all other times.
Pain d'épices (cinnamon male), always interested:
Pikku Prinssi, the little black prince awakens and speaks!
Poudou, still waking up... (the only time when I manage to take a pic where he doesn't move)
Pimprenelle, the smallest of the gang:
Pop Corn seems to be dreaming at someone... and shows his little milk teeth while yawning:
And Pélisse, aka Praline, who seems proud to take the pose with her tail up, like any good somali.
Switching on the robot for vacuuming is a great moment.
Both curious though wary, all kittens are fascinated by "the beast" :
On October 2nd, just when the kittens were 8 weeks old, they all went to the vet for a long visit :
to be chipped, to get their first injection, and to have the buccal swabs taken for the genetic tests.
I didn't forget to bring the foldable enclosure, so that they could play at ease while waiting one's turn, and the reward
(Vache qui rit = Laughing cow, the name of a famous full fat soft cheese loved by children and kittens alike)
after everything was done was highly appreciated to make the first vet visit a good souvenir.
Here are their individual portraits the day before :
Pain d'épices, Pikku Prinssi, Poudou :
Pimprenelle, Pop Corn, Pélisse dite Praline :
Edelweiss loves to baby-sit, and both Pop Corn and Poudou
seem to be totally confident in their auntie during their sleep!
Portraits of the cinnamon males:
from left to right, Pain d'épices, Poudou and Pop Corn
Portrait of the ruddy male Pikku Prinssi:
Portrait of the cinnamon females
Left, Pimprenelle; center, Pélisse (aka Praline), 2 months old; right, Pélisse, 2.5 months old
In this group picture, you may recognize (from left to righ):
Pimprenelle, Poudou, Paddington Bärli, Pépite de Qiaokeli (both from Noisette's litter) and Pélisse aka Praline:
Jemima's kittens are now 3 months old! Pain d'épices, Pop Corn and Pélisse (aka Praline)
have already gone to their new families.
Pikku Prinssi, Poudou and Pimprenelle are pictured below:
Pikku Prinssi, who plays the quiet little kitten on these pictures...
He moves a lot more in real life !
Poudou (with Pikku Prinssi at left, alone in the middle and with Pimprenelle at right)
Pimprenelle, the tiniest of the pack (with Pat'd'amandes at left, close-up in the middle and using Edelweiss as a pillow at right)
December 1st 2019
Now Poudou and Pikku Prinssi have now gone to their new homes.
Pimprenelle is the last one of the litter to still be at home.
Close-ups (left and middle) and Stretching exercise (right)
January 2020: Pimprenelle has now gone to her new home.
The house seems too quiet without kitties...
Weight diagrams for Jemima's kittens born August 7
|© Marie-Bernadette Pautet, 2005-2019||
Last page update : 13.01.2020