~ This diary reads from the bottom up ~

Keva's Kitten Diary Fall 2008

The music used on this page is Let Them Be Little by Billy Dean 

These kittens are the progeny of our sire Phinean and dam Keva


Look for follow up photo's of the kitten's in this litter as they grow up on our Where Are They Now?  page.


Closing Stats

#1 Spruce is now Omar and lives with his brother (Maple) in Natick, Massachusetts. Omar gets his name from the show the Wire. Omar is a Robin Hood figure who lives by his code and is good to his grandmother.

#2 Oak is now Sammy he lives with Anne and her resident Siamese girl in Quincy, Massachusetts.


#3 Maple is now Maui and he lives with his brother (Spruce) in Natick, Massachusetts.    Maui gets his name from the Polynesian demi-god who was also a trickster figure. He  created the South Island of New Zealand with his fisherman's hook, and also the Hawaiian Islands.  He visited the underworld and brought man life but is also mortal.  He had three (some versions four) brothers.  He also transformed himself into a bird (bird man) and his other name is Tikitiki.  His owners love the sound of Maui and it fits with their Pacific connections.             

#4 Elm is now  Sasha and lives with Julia and family in Hopkinton, Massachusetts.

#5 Birch is now  Rupert and lives with Keara and her family in Coventry, Rhode Island.

December 12th-13th, 2008 - thirteen weeks old - An ice storm hit last night and took out our power. We have our gas fireplaces on to help warm the house. 

The cats are all in the living room lounging around the fire, except Maeve who began sneezing Friday night. She is isolated in my office with her own fireplace. 

The kittens were warm and sleepy when their new family came to pick them up. We say good bye to Spruce and Maple and close this diary.

Our neighbors birch trees bent to the ground from the weight of the ice. Less flexible trees broke.

December 9th, 2008 - Last night and we played hard. The boys were running & jumping. There was no sneezing or snorting or coughing. I thought breathing hard would bring it on. This morning there was no sneezing at all. I kept them in my office until both used the litter box, all was normal. I have allowed them to leave the office.

December 8th, 2008 -  I spoke with Dr. Gould about Maple's sneezing. She thinks he may have caught a cold and recommended he be kept away from the rest of the adult cats. He has no discharge from his nose and his eyes are not puffy or runny. Since the symptoms are mild we are going to monitor him. Maple and Spruce are together in my office. Spruce is very vocal about his dislike at being restricted to one room. My husband decided to sleep with them last night to help reduce their stress. Keva spent the night down in the queen's room next to Balor.


Maple looking at the camera & Spruce sleeping. 

December 6th -7th, 2008 - twelve weeks old - We said goodbye to Oak today. He was a good boy and allowed me to trim all his nails before he set off for his new home in Quincy, MA. He will be joining a resident Siamese companion. Will he train her or will it be the other way around? I'm sure they will both enjoy playing together.

Maple was sneezing this morning. We discussed this with the vet while Finola was having her kitten count x-ray. Since he has no discharge she was not concerned. Sneezing is a common reaction to the vaccinations, although we have never seen it in our kittens before. Maple and Spruce were supposed to go home today but we have decided to keep them a bit longer to keep their stress level low and to be sure they are healthy. We have been watching the kittens more closely then usual because, when we picked them up from their surgeries, I found two had been put into someone else's carrier!

Spruce, Grandma Maeve, and Maple.

I tried to get them all to look at me with a nice ears forward pose but I had shooed Aunty Em out of the photo and she is grumbling about how she gets no respect. 

So each has an ear turned in her direction.

December 4th, 2008 - The kittens have been helping me with my holiday decorating. They love pouncing in the pile of tissue paper. They hauled off some of my plastic snowflakes and like to explore around all the nooks and crannies the plastic storage bins create. The artificial roping is fun to hide in like a panther, then pounce on an unsuspecting adult cat.

Resting together


Napping Maple

Would Poirot be impressed with this mustache?


Ahhh Heat. Oak and Maple 

Oak napping


That tummy rub felt good.

Maple and Spruce

He's not heavy, he's my brother.

December 1st, 2008 - Spruce and Maple have their appetites back. Maple looks to be feeling better. His fur is smooth again. They both ate a nice small meal this morning. They are both playing more too. Oak is his usual energetic self. He likes to jump at the loose legs of my pajamas. I tried to get some better photos using the light from the window but the kittens were so quick walking toward me that I'm afraid they didn't turn out very well. Here they are anyway.

Maple and Oak with Keva's tail.





Maple (back) Spruce (front)

Left to right: Maple Spruce and Oak



Spruce and Maple


November 30th, 2008 - We said goodbye to Elm and Birch this weekend. 

Elm's owner tells us that Elm talked all the way home to Hopkinton. She checked out the whole sunroom and crawled into their laps for a short nap. Then crawled up into a wicker chair for a sunny snooze.

Birch was napping when his new owners arrived. He woke up for a visit and was very good getting his nails trimmed. When it was time to leave he crawled into his new carrier and settled in for the ride home to Rhode Island.

Spruce looks to be feeling better today. His fur is less bristled and Maple's is bristled. Neither kitten ate much this evening.

Birch with his owner just before crawling into his carrier.

(Thank you to Keara for taking such a nice picture.)

Maple Spruce and Birch.

November 29th, 2008 - eleven weeks old - All the kittens are starting to show that they are ready to start bonding. They are searching our faces when we talk to them. If grandma is sleeping in a bed a kitten will curl up with her....they are just like heat seeking missiles. Grandma Maeve keeps a nice warm bed. 

We put a call into Dr. Manley. She is filling in for Dr. Schaefer right now. Spruces digestive system is a bit upset, maybe the turkey? It was agreed that we would put him on Science Diet prescription id food and see if this helps him get back to normal. I will be keeping a close eye on him. He is playful, snuggly, and behaving normally......like all the other kittens.

Late tonight I discovered that Maple also has an upset digestive system.

Ya mon I be sleepin' wid me head hangin' down.....a very relaxed Oak. (Elm & Maple too)

Grandma and Maple under the coffee table.

Grandma and Spruce on the ottoman

Spruce grooming Maple's ear with Elm as his pillow.

November 27th, 2008 - Happy Thanksgiving! - The kittens enjoyed their thanksgiving treat of little bits of turkey. That is Finola with the green collar. She has been hissing when the kittens get near her. She thinks it is time for them to leave so she can have the house for her kittens. While eating the turkey she was very accepting of the kittens. When everyone was done eating she followed them into the living room and started grooming them. She was not bothered at all when one kitten grabbed her around the neck and began kicking her head....while she groomed his belly. She must have been in turkey nirvana. She wandered off and an hour later the turkey effect had worn off and she was back to hissing.

Turkey time

More turkey please

Yum Yum Yum

November 26th, 2008 - Everyone looks good this morning. Elm is now back down with the boys. I am keeping an eye on her to be sure she doesn't get into any big tussles. The boys are all incorrigible with their activity level. One takes off and they all follow. I am sitting with them and trying to keep their attention on a toy close to them so they wont run and jump. I'll spend most of the day doing this.

Elm, "My teddy is under there somewhere!"

Elm getting special after surgery care from her new owner who stopped by to see how she was doing.

November 25th, 2008 - At 7:15am the kittens went in to see the Vet to have their alter surgery done. No food after 8pm and no water in the morning. We kept Elm separate from the boys since her surgery is more invasive. On the way to the vet they were all fairly quiet until we hit the halfway mark. She started a small meow every once in a while. Then the boys started answering her back. By the time we reached the office she had worked herself into a full deep wail. In response all the boys were hollering back to her. She has these boys wrapped around her little paw, lol. It is amazing that such small bodies can make such a big sound. They raised such a commotion we decided to put them all together until their surgery. As soon as she was in the boys carrier there was silence. Their blood work was all normal for kittens and the surgeries went well. Dr. Schaefer has wonderful technique and the boys came home with no stitches. Their incision is so small a bit of skin glue is all that is needed. Usually our girls also come home with no stitches too. Elm is such an active "tomboy" she has two tiny stitches. The stitches that are needed below the skin layer are all dissolvable. Elm was also given a pain killer that will last for three days.

I picked  up "Angel Elm and the Devil boys" around 3:30pm. Since Elm was alone on the ride home I allowed her out of the carrier first. She was a very good girl and after a cursory check of a few living room landmarks, Angel Elm curled up in a bed and went to sleep. Once she was settled I allowed the boys out of the big carrier. There were all walking fine. All four went to the litter box first thing. With that taken care of Birch and Oak kept rolling onto their backs to lick themselves clean. It didn't take long for all of them to turn into Devil boys and start play fighting with each other. 

At 5pm we brought them in to have a small bite to eat. Elm didn't want anything and went back to sleep some more. All four boys were eating like they would never eat again. I had to remove the food so they wouldn't eat too much and become sick.

I spent most of the evening trying to keep them from being too rough and active. Birch was in post anesthesia hyper drive and most of the attacks were instigated by his activity level. It seemed like it was a transfer of kinetic energy from one kitten to another, lol. Hmm, there must be a feline rule of physics at work here. Each boy fell asleep where he stopped to rest. First, Oak on my lap. He little eyes would shut each time I rubbed between his toes. If I stopped he would wake up. Then I was able to get Birch to stop near my leg in a nest. I stroked him until he fell asleep. I transferred Oak to the nest with him. Then Maple crawled into a nest to rest. Which left me with Spruce. I kept him quite with toys he could paw at until he gave into sleep too.

Surgery on the boys is so minor they don't change their activity level so we have to help protect the girls or they will be more active then they should be. Elm went upstairs with Grandma Maeve to spend the night in my daughter's room, protecting her from the boys.

Angel Elm sleeping.

"Something doesn't feel right I need to clean it."

Oak and Birch at rest.

Maple relaxes too.

Spruce, "Why are they all sleeping? I want to play!"

Spruce asleep under the coffee table. 

The funny stripe of color is from light coming through the glass in the table.


Maple, Oak & Birch

November 21-23rd, 2008 - The kittens are so funny when they play. Its hard for them to choose between attacking each other or attacking da bird. They are still a bit mouthy when they come from a play fight. I keep telling them "no bite". They do know not to bite and just put my finger in their mouth with a tiny bit of pressure. Then they start licking me. They like to go after my toes when I am sitting on the floor with them. I remind them no bite again and they know. Toes are just the right size and if they move or wiggle its just too hard to resist play attacks.. When I say "bite" I don't mean a real bite that breaks the skin. This is just an oral phase, like human babies. Maturity and reminders will take care of it. The kittens and adults had a family visit again and enjoyed playing and smelling their new friends. It was past nap time for both kittens and children but they both held up well for the visit.

Oak getting the bird before Maple even has time to think.

Keva on the scratcher with Spruce in front and great Aunt Magi in back.


Maple knows a sure fire way to keep his brother Oak from jumping for the bird before he can get it himself....sit on him. 

right to left - Spruce in back, Elm, Oak and Maple

"I gots it"


Elm and Spruce on the right edge, Oak and Maple

Oak with his head on his brother. His head went up and down with each breath, lol.


Spruce and one of the chocolates flying after that bird



Spruce and Elm

Maple all alone and Spruce piled on top of the rest of his siblings.

Spruce and Elm

Spruce asleep in my daughter's arms.

November 20th, 2008 - The kittens had their first core vaccinations today. The doctor found them to be very healthy. They had no ill effects from the vaccination and spent most of the day resting.







"No you cannot change the linens. We are resting." Spruce and Maple

November 17th, 2008 - Playing in the morning sun.





Elm on top, Maple in the tube

Maple and ?

I think this is Spruce but it might be Maple


Birch behind the curtain getting Oak





Elm with grandma. She is all tuckered out from playing with her Julia.

Oak : Ooo tummy rub good


November 15-16th, 2008 - This weekend we had visit from Oaks family, Maple and Spruce's family, and Elm's family. The kittens loved meeting and playing with their new owners. 

                                             Papa Phin enjoyed his visitors so much he made biscuits for them.

" I got it , I got it"


November 12th, 2008 - All the kittens like to crawl into my lap now. They are comfortable running about the kitchen. We gave them some tiny chunks of chicken last night after dinner. They didn't know what to do with this new object. Birch and Elm were the first to figure out it was tasty. They got so excited sniffling around looking for more bits. Oak also figured out to eat it after licking it many times.  Spruce and Maple didn't fair as well. They both kept smacking it with their paw and never ate it. Perhaps a commentary on the chef's skill?

"I think I can get up this way"

" I'm named after this?"

On a mission....

"Ut oh, she sees me on the table, abort abort"


Elm and ?

Oak and Spruce

The boys are all stretched out comfy and Elm is folded in half.

Left to right - Spruce, Maple, Elm, Birch and Oak

" Got you Momma"

Spruce chattering and stalking

Dancin' and leapin' for a chance to grab Da Bird


"Hi aunty Em"

Elm and Oak asleep.

Oak on my lap

Keva resting with Her mother, Maeve

Grandma Maeve and Oak

November 8th, 2008 eight weeks old - We had a fun morning . The kittens have explored the living room enough to be comfortable playing in it. It was like a pinball game on multi ball at one point. They were all running at top speed in different directions and bouncing off everything and each other. Maeve got so excited she joined in too. She is really enjoying playing with them and teaching them correct play levels. All the kittens now weigh two pounds and up. We will no longer weigh them. Tonight they found their way into the kitchen for some silent reconnaissance before bedtime. 

Spruce in the empty toy basket......

....and on the scratcher wave.

Bi-weekly Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 2 lb. 9.5 oz. (1182.5 grams) up 43 grams

Oak is 2 lb. 4.5 oz. (1039 grams) up 50 grams

Maple is 2 lb. 6 oz. (1082 grams) up 71 grams

Elm is  2 lb. 0 oz. (911 grams) up 28 grams

Birch is 2 lb. 3 oz. (996 grams) up 28 grams

Spruce's last weigh in

Birches last weigh in too.

The ball with the tail is Spruces favorite. That is Maple with it and Spruce sees him. Magi is behind Spruce.

Birch rolling around and kicking his catch.....a sparkle pom mouse.

These next two photos are funny but need to be set up. When it was weigh in time Birch was in the basket. I took him out to weigh him and Elm crawled in. 

Birch wants his place back. In this photo Birch is straddled over Elm and neither one is happy.

Elm, "This is just wrong and he won't come out on top."

Elm, " These boys should know better. I always prevail."

Soon after this was taken they started running about and playing. At one point Birch hopped into the basket and it flipped over and trapped him underneath like a turtle.

Oak to Elm, " Hey this string is moving"

Maple, "Ooh, It's grandma's favorite string toy. I'm gonna play with it."

Oak in the front right corner, " Elm, Don't let Maple steal it."

Elm pulling the string toy up.

We've all gone to bed and Granny Maeve is telling us a story.

November 7th, 2008 - The kittens discovered the nest in the corner behind our sofa. They have relocated and are sleeping in it. When I first found them it was only the three seals in the nest. The two chocolates were on the ottoman next to the sofa with Keva.

Two chocolates

Oak sleeping in my lap

Three seals

November 6th, 2008 - This is in the middle of the walkway into my bedroom. Too cute to pass up.

November 5th, 2008 - We have rainy gray weather coming in for the next week. No sun for getting good photos of the kittens eyes. I tried to get a nice set with the last of the sun we had. They are not as good as I had hoped but better then all red eye. All the boys are over two pounds. Next weigh-in will be out last. Elm should reach 2 pounds by then.

Front to back- Oak, Maple, & Elm

Left to right- Oak, Birch, & Maple

Front to back- Oak, Birch, & Elm

Left to right- Oak, Birch, Maple, & Elm

Left to right -Maple's tongue, Elm, Birch, & Oak

Left to right -Maple, Elm, Birch, & Oak

Left to right -Oak, Birch, Maple, & Elm

Front to back - Elm, Maple, Birch, & Oak

Front to back - Elm, Maple, Birch, & Oak

Left to right -Oak, Birch, Maple, & Elm

Front to back - Elm, Maple, Oak, & Birch

Bi-weekly Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 2 lb. 8 oz. (1139 grams) up 85 grams

Oak is 2 lb. 2.75 oz. (989 grams) up 135 grams

Maple is 2 lb. 3.5 oz. (1010 grams) up 57 grams

Elm is  1 lb. 15 oz. (882 grams) up 71 grams

Birch is 2 lb. 2 oz. (968 grams) up 85 grams


Left to right -Elm,  Birch, & Oak

But where is Spruce?

Nappin' with grandma Maeve.

Spruce, "Grandma just gave me a bath."

November 3, 2008 - The kittens have moved from my office to sleeping under the bed. Soon after they figured out they can climb up on the bed to nap. They still run under the bed if they feel the need for a safe place to hide but they are learning they really don't need to hide most of the time.

We still need Momma for a little comfort.

Grandma you're taking up all the room.

Nappin on the bed.

Under cover kitten

It's comfortable sleeping under a sleep number bed too.

Elm following Emma


"Aunty Em, How did you get up there?"

November 1st, 2008 - seven weeks old - The kittens are learning more about toys. It's fun to watch them cautiously smack at a toy repeatedly, wondering if it will come to life and smack them back. Elm caught on fast and is now queen of Da Bird. No one else has any hope of a chance at catching it if she is around. She leaps without even thinking and runs at top speed to slide in to grab the feathers in her mouth. She doggedly hangs on to it and tried to run off with it. She plays tug-o-war with much spirit and growls if anyone dares to even think of taking the bird from her. I have had to bring in a substitute bird to give to Elm so the other kittens could play too.

Spruce is the most reserved of the kittens. He is happy to sit back and watch but if the bird come near him he will reach out to get it.

Bi-weekly Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 2 lb. 5 oz. (1053 grams) up 57 grams

Oak is 1 lb. 14 oz. (854 grams) up 114 grams

Maple is 2 lb. 1.5 oz. (954 grams) up 96 grams

Elm is  1 lb. 12.5 oz. (811 grams) up 50 grams

Birch is 1 lb. 15 oz. (882 grams) up 28 grams


Nappin' with Grandma Maeve

I see da bird....that is Spruce in the back.

Elm is very serious and focused when it comes to playing birdy.

Elm with her bird on the left and Oak with his bird.

October30th, 2008 - This morning all the kittens were back in the office. They have been playing and napping. They don't seem concerned about sticking together. They tend to nap whereever they are when sleep is needed.

Spruce, " Leth me get clean'd upth"

Spruce, "Now I'm handsome!"

Maple, "Hey look,  Meowmy is taking pictures of Spruce.

Birch, " I'm way cuter then he is. I gotta pose for her."

Birch, "Aren't I cute?"

Maple, "It's okay but I can do better. It's all in my expression"

Birch, "Oh come on this is my cutest...Gotta love me!"

Maple, "Get the camera ready, I'm going to 'strike a pose' "

Maple, "My Profile ...

.....and my cutest.....

...And reclining. Now who says I'm not the cutest?

Elm, "Ummph, I want some camera time, grrrr"

Oak, "Who would want to see that girly face?"

Oak, " This is the way you look best with my foot in yer face, hahaha"

Elm, "Meowmy do I get a cute photo too? Take a picture quick I gotta go jump Oak...Look he's clawing the curtains..."

Oak, "I'm not clawin',  I'm just straightening them out of my bed."

" I have strong reserved handsomeness that doesn't need mugging in front of the camera. People know I'm the cutest of the litter."

October29th, 2008 - Early morning sun gave me a nice photo of Birch and Spruce's eye color....everyone else was snacking. The kittens spent most of the day in my office playing and napping. After everyone went to bed last night Keva decided she wanted them to come in the bedroom with all the other cats. She call and trilled to them and encouraged them each to follow her into our room. They found the cat tree and played on it for a couple hours before falling asleep in the tube of it.

Birch and Spruce


Morning snack - left to right - Maple, Oak, and Elm


Bi-weekly Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 2 lb. 3 oz. (996 grams) up 128 grams

Oak is 1 lb. 10 oz. (740 grams) up 100 grams

Maple is 1 lb. 14 oz. (858 grams) up 117 grams

Elm is  1 lb. 11 oz. (762 grams) up 85 grams

Birch is 1 lb. 14 oz. (854 grams) up 93 grams

Can nursing like this possibly be comfortable?

Oh no, this can't be comfortable! That's Oak on his back. 

He didn't seem to care as long as he was latched on for his meal.

All together in Granny's nest....no room for poor old Granny, lol.

Left to right - front row- Birch, Maple, and Oak. back row - Spruce and Elm.

October28th, 2008 - My office doors have remained open all the time now. Yesterday they went no further then the front hall. Today the explorers set forth and made it all the way to the great room. I found them all crashed and napping in the deep bed behind the chair. When they finished napping they all found their way back to the office...no accidents so far. I did put the training litter box out in the great room just in case anyone was lost or too frightened to return to their litter box in the office. No one used the training box. Which is really a great accomplishment. 

Full deep bed - left to right going around the top - Maple, Oak (tummy up), Elm, Spruce, and Birch (up front).

Maple -"Dis bed is too full!"

What is that?

front to back - Elm and Birch

I see it too!

front to back - Oak and Maple

Let me see it up close.

That's Grandma Maeve in the nest and I have to admit I'm not sure who the kitten is. I think it may be Maple but it could also be Spruce (sorry).

October27th, 2008 - Today we went exploring outside the office. All the kittens have been good playing around the floor length drapes. Only one time did I have to remind a kitten not to climb them.

Elm & Birch

Spruce & Maple.............Elm & Birch


Birch & Spruce


















Birch, Oak, & Spruce

October25th, 2008 - six weeks old - The kittens are losing their fears and are becoming much more outgoing. Yesterday they learned to climb out of the run. The run is now gone and the kittens can take over my entire office. My cat sitter describes this as the "little monkey" stage. This coming week we will be working on not climbing the drapes. Most of the time they really don't climb but play peek a boo attack. This can lend itself to getting their claws stuck in the drape and once that happens they may decided up is cool. With repeated instruction and redirecting their play to a toy the interest in the drapes goes away. 

Bi-weekly Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 1 lb. 14 oz. (868 grams) up 64 grams

Oak is 1 lb. 6.5 oz. (640 grams) up 64 grams

Maple is 1 lb. 10 oz. (740 grams) up 75 grams

Elm is  1 lb. 8 oz. (676 grams) up 68 grams

Birch is 1 lb. 11 oz. (762 grams) up 64 grams

October22nd, 2008 -

Bi-weekly Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 1 lb. 12 oz. (804 grams) up 103 grams

Oak is 1 lb. 4 oz. (576 grams) up 39 grams

Maple is 1 lb. 7 oz. (665 grams) up 89 grams

Elm is  1 lb. 5 oz. (608 grams) up 71 grams

Birch is 1 lb. 8.5 oz. (697grams) up 64 grams

October 18th, 2008 - five weeks old -

left to right - Birch, Elm, Spruce, and Maple

Grandma and Oak

Just too cute!

Bi-weekly Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 1 lb. 8.6 oz. (701 grams) up 60.5 grams

Oak is 1 lb. 2.9 oz. (537 grams) up 25 grams

Maple is 1 lb. 4 oz. (577 grams) up 64 grams

Elm is  1 lb. 2.9 oz. (537 grams) up 53 grams

Birch is 1 lb. 6 oz. (633grams) up 53 grams


October 17th, 2008 - The kittens have left most of their caution behind and are deep into exploration. Elm loves to play with her sparkle ball. She bats it and hops after it trilling. She is just so tickled with playing ball. The kittens are all practicing their Halloween (puffed up) kitty poses and hopping sidewise in a threatening manner.

What's that?

Instead of "king of the mountain" we play "beast in the hole"


"See that look in her eye....I think she's going to attack."

Mom Keva and Grandma Maeve with kitten peaking from corner

Elm, "Mwahahaha, I'm gonna get you Oakie"

Elm, "Mwahahaha, I'm got you Granny"

Elm, "Mwahahaha, I got you Oakie"

Uh oh Granny's gonna get me, escape, escape.....bonk!


"Gonna get you Granny!"

"No silly I got YOU"

"Oh no, must...roll...over......must escape the clutches of ebil Granny"


Sleepy time

October 16th, 2008 - The kittens love playing on the new wall. This is Elm......Que Pink Panther Music

da dum, da dump.... da dump,... da dump da dump da dump



whoa no place for my foot there

No place for this foot either......Uh oh, I think I needs to get down....meoooowww, Grandma!.....turning around

 Let me spot you...Careful there.

Maple "I am not suckin' my thumb...I'm grooming."

Elm, "Come on Spruce you can do it! Walk along the wall and I'll be right here under you to catch you."

Spruce, "Eelllmmm?!".....Elm "I'm here I'm here I'll catch you!"....klunk

October 15th, 2008 - Today is the last daily weight entry. Now that the kittens have reached one pound we will weight them bi-weekly on Saturday and Wednesday. Today I am allowing Keva and the kittens a day of complete rest and relaxation. I only peak in to make sure everyone is fine and to clean up any accidents. We are doing well with litter training but we still have a little peebody using the nest. I have seen each of the kittens use the litter box so I know they all know what it is for. We just need to mature a little bit more and the accidents will stop. The cube house was wet again this morning and the extra nest was wet also....back to the washer. I will not give them back the house and will remove all but the family nest and a small bed. I placed the training litter box in the area where the wet house was and brought a full size litter box in to put where I originally had the training box. I also bought a curved scratcher that when turned on its side will work well as a divider between the family nest and the training litter box.
Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 1 lb. 6.5 oz. (640.5 grams) up 32 grams

Oak is 1 lb. 2 oz. (512 grams) up 35 grams

Maple is 1 lb. 2 oz. (512 grams) up 28 grams

Elm is  1 lb. 1 oz. (484 grams) up 25 grams

Birch is 1 lb. 4 oz. (580grams) up 43 grams

October 14th, 2008 - Today Keva decided she would lead a full day of protest against the management.  She tried all day to move the kittens out of my office. She wanted them to be under our bed. Now that they have begun eating baby cat kibble they cannot be outside of the run. They need a restricted area to learn proper litter box habits. An area that is not carpeted. I changed out all the nests, beds, rugs and washed the floor. I rearranged the set up. I gave them back the green cube house fresh from being laundered. She till continued to try to carry the kittens off. I closed the curtains except for two of the windows. Doing what I could to create a calm environment. I then created a cubby for her nest behind the cabinet with the cube house as a wall making a smaller opening into the nest. She began to settle by evening. We closed the doors to the office with Keva and Maeve in with the kittens so no night time stealth maneuvers could take place.

Napping in the tree

October 13th, 2008 - Keva and the kittens went to visit Dr. Schafer today. She listened to each kitten's heart and says they all sound good and the kittens are healthy. 

This check was for my own peace of mind. None of the kittens were displaying any indications of a problem. With the complicated pregnancy and delivery I just wanted confirmation they were all in good health..

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 1 lb. 5.4 oz. (608.5 grams) up 32 grams

Oak is 1 lb. 0.75 oz. (477 grams) up 17.8 grams

Maple is 1 lb. 1 oz. (484 grams) up 25 grams

Elm is  1 lb. 0.125 oz. (459 grams) up 32 grams

Birch is 1 lb.  2.9 oz. (537grams) up 32 grams

Now that all the kittens have reached one pound we will weigh them twice a week on Saturdays and Wednesdays.


Elm climbs up...


And peers over.

October 12th, 2008 - I have seen three of the kittens, Elm, Birch and Spruce use the litter box. I believe all the kittens are now peeing in the litter. Half the battle is won. As the kittens eat more kibble we should have them all litter trained completely by the end of the week. Maeve is being such a good grandma. She is staying with the kittens all the time, cleaning them, and playing with them. Teaching them appropriate play levels so they are not to rough when they play bite or attack. Birch always comes to me and crawls into my lap. Elm is a silly girl and likes to roll on her head when she is excited when playing attack. She is often the aggressor. Our big boy Spruce is a gentle giant. He is reserved in his play...so far. Maple is first on the spot and is an active kitten. He likes to be in the know. Oak's face reminds me of Maeve when she was a kitten. He checks things out before engaging.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 1 lb. 4.25 oz. (576.5 grams) up 25 grams

Oak is 1 lb. 0.125 oz. (459 grams) up 21.4 grams

Maple is 1 lb. 0.125 oz. (459 grams) up 25 grams

Elm is  15 oz. (427 grams) up 14.2 grams

Birch is 1 lb.  1.75 oz. (505grams) up 28.5 grams


Left to Right -Maple, Elm, Oak, & Birch...with Maeve up front.

Oak says, "Follow me, I'm the leader." to Elm, Maple, & Birch

Shades of Siamese - left to right- Elm, Spruce, Oak, Birch, and Maple

October 11th, 2008 - four weeks old - Today was nest washing day....nests, rugs, the house. They are peeing everywhere except the training litter box. I added a clump of momma pee to the clean litter hoping a light will go on in their little heads.....As I am sitting here typing I see a kitten squat, not in the litter box, more pee for me.

We love this new house so much! We are in it all the time..... Everybody out quick!

O-kay, Now who pee'd in it?.... Nobody's admitting to it.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 1 lb. 3.4 oz. (551 grams) up 21 grams

Oak is 15.4 oz. (437.7 grams) down 3.5 grams

Maple is 15.25 oz. (434 grams) up 7.1 grams

Elm is  14.5 oz. (413 grams) up 7.1 grams

Birch is 1 lb.  0.75 oz. (477grams) up 7.1 grams

Spruce eats his first kibble.

Little chicks sleeping in their nest

October 10th, 2008 - Elm decided she would try just a little kibble.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 1 lb. 2.6 oz. (530 grams) up 0 grams

Oak is 15.5 oz. (441 grams) up 17.8 grams

Maple is 15 oz. (427 grams) up 17.8 grams

Elm is  14.25 oz. (405.7 grams) up 14.2 grams

Birch is 1 lb.  0.5 oz. (469.8 grams) down 3.5 grams


Elm eats her first kibble.

Tonight I'm really sleepy


October 9th, 2008 - Oak and Birch decided tonight was a good night to try the kibble. Nobody wants to have anything to do with the litter box training.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 1 lb. 2.6 oz. (530 grams) up 25 grams

Oak is 14.9 oz. (423.5 grams) up 7.1 grams

Maple is 14.4 oz. (409 grams) up 3.5 grams

Elm is  14.1 oz. (402 grams) up 14.2 grams

Birch is 1 lb.  0.6 oz. (473 grams) up 35.5 grams



Oak eats his first kibble

Maple "I gots a toy!"

Birch eats his first kibble too.

"It tickled my face."

Umm, Nope. I don't know what its for and I'm not going in it.

October 8th, 2008 - Maple liked his kibble but nobody else wants to try some yet. Keva is looking thin and I think she is struggling to keep up with the milk demand. Everybody is being put to the kibble bowl multiple times a day.
Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 1 lb. 1.75 oz. (505 grams) up 3.5 grams

Oak is 14.6 oz. (416 grams) up 21.3 grams

Maple is 14.25 oz. (406 grams) up 10.7 grams

Elm is  13.6 oz. (388 grams) up 7.1 grams

Birch is 15.4 oz. (438 grams) up 7.1 grams


I just can't get to sleep. That food was so good I want a bedtime snack.

Lick, lick, yum I can still taste it on my paws.

Hey, What are you doing here?

Spruce is always nursing. He fell asleep. Keva got up and left but his tongue remained out and  curled as if he were still nursing.


Turn that light off I'm trying to go to sleep.

Lick, lick, lick, I'm just a baby, you know... nighty night.

October 7th, 2008 - Maple decided to try just a few pieces of kibble today.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 1 lb. 1.6 oz. (502 grams) up 14.2 grams

Oak is 13.9 oz. (395 grams) up 3.5 grams

Maple is 13.9 oz. (395 grams) up 10.7 grams

Elm is  13.4 oz. (380.8 grams) up 7.1 grams

Birch is 15 oz. (430 grams) up 14.2 grams

Grandma Maevey babysitting.

Maple eats his first few baby cat kibble with Momma.

October 6th, 2008 -

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 1 lb. 1 oz. (487 grams) up 10.6 grams

Oak is 13.75 oz. (391 grams) up 3.5 grams

Maple is 13.5 oz. (384 grams) up 14.2 grams

Elm is  13.2 oz. (374 grams) up 7.1 grams

Birch is 14.6 oz. (416 grams) up 10.7 grams

"What's that smell?"  (Maple didn't eat kibble yet)

left to right - Oak, Maple & Elm -"Lets go over there..."

left to right - Oak, Maple & Elm

October 5th, 2008 -The kittens are now exploring and playing with each other close to the nest. We added some toys. We also have provided the shallow kitten bowls with water and baby cat kibble for anyone who is precocious enough to try, and the requisite training litter box.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 1 lb. 0.75 oz. (476 grams) up 10.6 grams

Oak is 13.6 oz. (388 grams) up 10.6 grams

Maple is 13 oz. (370 grams) up 10.6 grams

Elm is  12.9 oz. (366 grams) up 10.7 grams

Birch is 14.25 oz. (405 grams) up 17.8 grams

People often wonder why their cat kneads with its front paws "making biscuits"  This little video shows you where kneading originated. Cats who knead are showing their contentedness.

Meal time

October 4th, 2008 - three weeks old- On a sunny day we can now see the blue coming into the kittens eyes and the definition of their pupils. They are being to realize people are good and they want to see us when we come to the nest.

Out exploring - left to right - Elm, Maple, Birch, Oak and Spruce's blue tail end in front.

Spruce & Elm

Spruce & Keva

These next four are all of Maple


Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 16.4 oz. (466 grams) up 17.8 grams

Oak is 13.25 oz. (377 grams) up 14.2 grams

Maple is 12.6 oz. (359 grams) up 3.5 grams

Elm is  12.5 oz. (356 grams) up 10.7 grams

Birch is 13.6 oz. (388 grams) up 10.7 grams





October 3rd, 2008 - With Finola fussing over the kittens and their cries of protest when being weighed Maeve has started to feel she needs to oversee the kittens too. Keva doesn't seem to mind sharing. I added a second nest next to the first one so Keva will have a place to nurse the kittens that isn't quite so crowded. The kittens are so funny interacting with each other. They are biting and trying to pounce. Oak has been snuggling with Finola all day. At one point he was curled up licking his own tummy.  Maple was chewing on his toes. Finola is going into estrus. Twice today she tried to abduct a kitten for herself. I think her hormones have her confused. She has gone to visit Balor tonight and she will stay in the queens room, next to his room, when she is not in with him for breeding. Weights are back to normal increases. Poor Keva, its hard to keep good help these days.


Finola under the tree with Oak and Maeve and Keva with the rest of the gang.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 15.75 oz. (448 grams) up 14.2 grams

Oak is 12.75 oz. (363 grams) up 10.7 grams

Maple is 12.5 oz. (356 grams) up 17.8 grams

Elm is  12.1 oz. (345 grams) up 21.4 grams

Birch is 13.25 oz. (377 grams) up 10.7 grams

Elm: "I bet you think It's tough for me being the only girl in this litter. Well watch this...."

"Hey Spruce, I gots a big secret to tell you. Come closer"

"Let me whisper it into your ear. I think Maple is trying to listen."

"Come closer, he's coming nearer"


Then I high tail it out of there, hehehehehe

Grandma visits and gives us a nice bath then Aunt Finola swoops in and steals Spruce!


October 2nd, 2008 - I put a nest under the cat tree and set the run up and draped bath towels over two sections to create the feeling of privacy and protection for Keva. Maple had a mess on his rear and tail so he had to get soaked and washed up. Keva must have missed cleaning him. After I set every thing up and got them all settled I took Maple into the kitchen for his sponge bath. All these kittens have strong voices and are not afraid to speak up. As I was cleaning Maple he started protesting and what a dust up we had. Keva keep trying to grab him from my hand and when she wasn't successful Finola decided she had to step in and help too. I kept telling them he was fine and I just needed to clean him a little bit, lol. They were sure I was up to no good. Both Finola and Keva took turns trying to see if they could grab him by the scruff. We got all clean and Maple was whisked back to the nest. Now the nest is very crowded as Finola has decided he is her kitten...well really she has stepped in as nanny. She spent the morning making sure they were all spotlessly clean and every hair was in place. Maeve has been observing from her warm spot in front of the fireplace.

Weights were holding about the same. Spruce and Birch lost a bit but with the huge gain they had the day before I'm not too worried. Its not the daily weight that is most important but the overall trend. It is not a surprise with the kittens becoming more active and burning more calories. Keva will need to increase her production to compensate.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 15.3 oz. (434 grams) down 3.5 grams

Oak is 12.4 oz. (352 grams) up 0 grams

Maple is 11.9 oz. (338 grams) up 0 grams

Elm is  11.4 oz. (323.8 grams) up 3.5 grams

Birch is 12.9 oz. (366.5 grams) down 3.5 grams

New nest location


back to front -Maple, Elm, Oak, Spruce & Birch

Nanny Finola with Elm and Oak

October 1st, 2008 - Keva was restless with the kittens moving about but she didn't try to move them again. I think its time to bring them out from the corner and allow them some more room to explore. 

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 15.4 oz. (438 grams) up 28.5 grams

Oak is 12.4 oz. (352 grams) up 14.2 grams

Maple is 11.9 oz. (338 grams) up 14.2 grams

Elm is  11.25 oz. (320 grams) up 7.1 grams

Birch is 13 oz. (370 grams) up 21.4 grams

September 30th, 2008 -  Keva decided to move a baby last night and its soft set alarm went off under the bed (protest mewing), I got up and Keva was so concerned and protective of it. She had her body wrapped all around him. All the others were alone in my office, silly girl. I reached under the bed and picked it up and then the full alarm went off. Geesh he sure can yell. I brought him back in my office and put him in the nest with his siblings. Keva curled up around them and went back to sleep.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 14.3 oz. (409 grams) up 10.7 grams

Oak is 11.9 oz. (338 grams) up 10.7 grams

Maple is 11.4 oz. (323.8 grams) up 14.2 grams

Elm is  11 oz. (313 grams) up 7.1 grams

Birch is 12.25 oz. (348.8 grams) up 10.7 grams

September 29th, 2008 - The kittens have been moving enough in the nest that they can now wrestle with each other and crawl around a bit. They have not crawled out of the nest yet but I can see they are thinking about what is beyond the edge. Their activity is making Keva nervous. She has made a couple trips to look under our bed.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 14 oz. (398.5 grams) up 17.8 grams

Oak is 11.5 oz. (327 grams) up 10.7 grams

Maple is 10.9 oz. (309.6 grams) up 10.7 grams

Elm is  10.75 oz. (306 grams) up 14.2 grams

Birch is 11.75 oz. (334.5 grams) up 14.7 grams

September 28th, 2008 -  Resting with Momma, eat, sleep eat, sleep. Some are clearly eating more then others.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 13.4 oz. (380.8 grams) up 21.4 grams

Oak is 11.12 oz. (316.7 grams) up 3.5 grams

Maple is 10.5 oz. (299 grams) up 10.7 grams

Elm is  10.25 oz. (292 grams) up 14.2 grams

Birch is 11.25 oz. (320 grams) up 10.7 grams

What's that?

Left to Right- Oak, Elm, Birch, Maple, with Spruce in the back

Left to Right- Birch, Maple (below), Oak (above), Spruce, & Elm

Will I be the chosen one?

September 27th, 2008 - Two weeks old-  We had to put Keva in a bedroom so we could take the kittens out for a photo shoot. They enjoyed their visiting time without Momma hovering about protecting them. The kittens are just starting to push up on their legs and do the shaky muscles quaking walk. Birch and Oak have shorter tighter coats and a more classic head. Spruce is big stocky and has the roundest head. His coat is a bit fuller and has more undercoat. It looks like it has more fluff. Elm is not quite as traditional as Spruce. She has a little more fluff to her coat and her head is a bit wider looking then a classic. Maple is right in between. It will be interesting to watch them develop. I have been sure I had an apple head at this age and watched her develop right out of it and into a classic beauty.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 12.6 oz. (359 grams) up 17.8 grams

Oak is 11 oz. (313 grams) up 21.4 grams

Maple is 10.2 oz. (278 grams) up 17.8 grams

Elm is  9.75 oz. (277.5 grams) up 7.1 grams

Birch is 10.9 oz. (209.6 grams) up 10.7 grams







Time for a pedicure for Oak

Elm too

The kittens eyes though open see very little. They are still developing. We get so much redeye flashing back because the eye is reflecting back the red of the blood vessels in their eyes. As the eyes develop we will start to see hints of the pupil and a dark blue coloring that will lighten as the eye finishes its development.



There are five in a line here but it hard to see the first kitten on the bottom nipple.



Grrr, I'm a Badger! Elm

 This look came about because of the angle of the camera.



Maple in profile


September 26th, 2008 - The kittens are entering a stage of awareness. I love this time of development. They stare up at me with wide eyed wonder. They now know I am not there to hurt them and they are becoming curious as their eyes start allowing them to see more. When I pick up a kitten it reminds me of the scene in A Toy Story with the alien toy machine..."The chosen one"

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 12 oz. (342 grams) up 17.8 grams

Oak is 10.25 oz. (292 grams) up 14.2 grams

Maple is 9.5 oz. (270.5 grams) up 7.1 grams

Elm is  9.5 oz. (270.5 grams) up 10.7 grams

Birch is 10.5 oz. (299 grams) up 17.8 grams

Hello, What ya doin'?

Left to Right - Oak, Elm, Birch, Spruce, and Maple

September 25th, 2008 - Today I tried to put a kitten out of the nest for a visit, *alarm* cries and Keva took it back. I tried again with Oak but he to gave the alarm and Keva carried him back. I'm going to try to get some photos for their two week birthday.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 11.4 oz. (323.8 grams) up 17.8 grams

Oak is 9.75 oz. (277.5 grams) up 14.2 grams

Maple is 9.25 oz. (263 grams) up 21.3 grams

Elm is  9.1 oz. (260 grams) up 14.3 grams

Birch is 9.9 oz. (281 grams) up 3.5 grams

September 24th, 2008 -All the kittens have very loud cries when they raise an alarm. I've noticed when weighing them that Oak has the quietist voice. He doesn't get as worked up about being removed from the nest. If I hold him out too long he will raise his voice and bring Momma running.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 10.75 oz. (306 grams) up 10.7 grams

Oak is 9.25 oz. (263 grams) up 10.7 grams

Maple is 8.5 oz. (242 grams) up 10.7 grams

Elm is  8.6 oz. (245.5 grams) up 14.3 grams

Birch is 9.75 oz. (277.5 grams) up 17.8 grams

September 23rd, 2008 - When I try to visit and weigh the kittens Keva becomes a very protective Momma. It really bothers her when they cry out that they are being stolen from the nest. Even when she can see the kitten in my hand if I don't return it right away she will come to take it away from me. Since I can't hold them I lie down and put my face up to the nest and gently stroke them. Every so often one of the boys will start hissing and a couple will hiss together at me.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 10.4 oz. (295 grams) up 10.7 grams

Oak is 8.9 oz. (253 grams) up 14.3 grams

Maple is 8.1 oz. (231 grams) up 10.7 grams

Elm is  8.1 oz. (231 grams) up 7.1 grams

Birch is 9.1 oz. (260 grams) up 14.3 grams

September 22nd, 2008 - Lazy kitten days ...eat, sleep, eat, sleep....

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 10 oz. (285 grams) up 21 grams

Oak is 8.4 oz. (238 grams) up 17.8 grams

Maple is 7.75 oz. (220.6 grams) up 17.8 grams

Elm is 7.9 oz. (224 grams) up 10.6 grams

Birch is 8.6 oz. (245.5 grams) up 10.6 grams

September 21st, 2008 - Here are some better photos of their eyes beginning to open. Even though they are opening the eyes have not finished developing yet. We won't see the pretty blue until they are older. Now it's time to guess how many are girls and boys. Sometimes at this young and age we can make mistakes. Girls have been described as upside down exclamation points () and boys are colons (:) The scrotal raphe can sometimes throw me off. So which do you think are boys and which are girls? Putting your cursor on the photo will tell you what I think. This is an IE function. It seems like there is always one kitten who is belly up in the nest. It nurses on a bottom nipple and likes to lie on its back to nurse. I think it is Maple. As you can see in the next photo above he has a little belly button scab. Being on your back under everyone else leads to your cord being knocked off a little early. All of the kittens have shed their cords except Elm. Maple was first, then Birch and Oak. I found Spruce's cord in the nest this morning.











Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 9.25 oz. (263 grams) up 14.2 grams

Oak is 7.7 oz. (220.6 grams) up 17.8 grams

Maple is 7.1 oz. (202.8 grams) up 10.6  grams

Elm is 7.5 oz. (213.5 grams) up 10.6 grams

Birch is 8.25 oz. (235 grams) up 17.8 grams

Momma Keva saying give me back my Oakly.

September 20th, 2008 - one week old - You can now see that three of the kittens have dark noses, Spruce, Maple, and Birch. We can now say they will be in the Seal point family (seal or blue points). Chocolate and Lilac color comes in more slowly so Oak and Elm will be in the Chocolate family. Kittens should double their birth weight in the first week but can take up to two weeks to double depending on which "expert" you consult. These kittens are doing very well. They have all more then doubled their birth weight in the first week. We are not worried about their weight and the amount of milk Keva is producing for them. All of the kittens eyes are starting to open a tiny bit at the corners. You can't tell from Spruces photo but one of his eyes is almost all the way open.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 8.75 oz. (249 grams) up 10.7 grams

Oak is 7.1 oz. (203 grams) up 17.8 grams

Maple is 6.75 oz. (192 grams) up 17.8 grams

Elm is 7.1 oz. (203 grams) up 17.8 grams

Birch is 7.6 oz. (217 grams) up 14.2 grams


First week totals looking for a double in birth weight gain.

Weight today minus birth weight equals total gain, calculated in grams.

Spruce - 249.113 - 106.763 = 142.35 gain

Oak - 202.849 - 88.969 = 113.88 gain

Maple - 192.173 - 92.528 = 99.645 gain

Elm - 202.849 - 92.528 = 110.321 gain

Birch - 217.84 - 96.086 = 121.754 gain






September 19th, 2008 - six days old

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 8.375 oz. (238 grams) up 17.8 grams

Oak is 6.5 oz. (185 grams) up 17.8 grams

Maple is 6.1 oz. (174 grams) up 17.8 grams

Elm is 6.5 oz. (185 grams) up 14.2 grams

Birch is 7.1 oz. (203 grams) up 17.8 grams

"Arrrg I be a mighty pirate today momma!"

Momma Keva checking on Elm's safety

and making sure Spruce is okay too

September 18th, 2008 - five days old

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 7.75 oz. (220.6 grams) up 17.8 grams

Oak is 5.88 oz. (167.2 grams) up 17.8 grams

Maple is 5.5 oz. (156.6 grams) up 14.3 grams

Elm is 6 oz. (170.8 grams) up 14.2 grams

Birch is 6.5 oz. (185 grams) up 10.7 grams


September 17th, 2008 - four days old - I've allowed Keva to be alone with the kittens with no disturbances today. I want her to settle in and relax. I checked to be sure they are all clean and she is taking good care of them. Weights tonight were all good gains. 

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 7.1 oz. (202.8 grams) up 17.8 grams

Oak is 5.25 oz. (149.5 grams) up 21.4 grams

Maple is 4.88 oz. (138.8 grams) up 14.3 grams

Elm is 5.5 oz. (156.6 grams) up 17.8 grams

Birch is 6.1 oz. (174.4 grams) up 10.7 grams

new nest location

September 16th, 2008 - three days old - We are starting to see some color coming into the noses and ear edges of some of the kittens. Keva did better with keeping the kittens cleaned over night. Only one kitten needed  cleaning. It upsets her when I am wiping a kitten so I am glad she is doing more of their care. I watched her licking ones bottom this morning. She decided today was moving day and picked up Spruce and ran off with him. She went into the master bedroom closet. I told her no and brought Spruce back to the nest. Then I changed out the nest for a clean one straight from the dryer. This didn't help. She took off with Birch and went back to the closet. I think maybe she is too warm. I usually keep the newborns room  80-85 degrees so they don't get chilled. I opened the window for some fresh air and opened the office door. I also placed a nest behind the cabinet and one under my desk as possible alternate locations. She has used behind the cabinet before. She checked them out several times but still is acting restless. I moved the box and changed its orientation so it doesn't face out into the room. She is settled in and sleeping now. If we have to I will allow her to go in the closet. Its a better location then under the bed. Keva seems happier now that she has moved the family behind the cabinet and with the room temp between 75-80 degrees. Weight gains were excellent. My goodness Spruce must have been eating all day long.






Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 6.5 oz. (185 grams) up 35.6 grams

Oak is 4.5 oz. (128 grams) up 17.8 grams

Maple is 4.38 oz. (124.6 grams) up 21.4 grams

Elm is 4.8 oz. (138.8 grams) up 21.4 grams

Birch is 5.75 oz. (163.7 grams) up 28.5 grams


September 15th, 2008 - two days old - Keva is not cleaning this litter like a good momma should. You can see in the first photo they are a mess. I tried putting them up to her nose but she showed no indication that she would clean them. Seems Keva believes she is of Royal descent and should have hired help to care for her young. Finola, Keva's sister, is a natural mother and helped Keva care for her second litter. After the birth of this litter Finola has been very upset near Keva. I think the change in Keva's scent is responsible. Finola sniffs her then hisses and runs away. The smell may be a reminder of the hard time Finola went through when she had her first litter. I hope this will change and Finola will again be a nanny for Keva. Until that time it is up to me to fill in. First thing this morning each kitten got their tail end soaked in warm water and cleaned with my version of a rough kitty tongue (terry face cloth). I used my digital thermometer to measure the temperature of the water to be sure it was not too warm or too cold.

Messy Babies

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 5.25 oz. (149.5 grams) up 17.8 grams

Oak is 3.88 oz. (110.3 grams) up 3.5 grams

Maple is 3.6 oz. (103.2 grams) up 10.7 grams

Elm is 4.13 oz. (117.4 grams) up 7.1 grams

Birch is 4.75 oz. (135.3 grams) up 10.7 grams



All cleaned up and snuggling

September 14th, 2008 - one day old -

"What's that yer sayin'? Speak up, I can't hear ya!"

Like their eyes a new kitten's ears are not open yet.

Evening weigh in......

Spruce is 4.63 oz. (106.8 grams) up 24.9 grams

Oak is 3.75 oz. (106.8 grams) up 17.8 grams

Maple is 3.25 oz. (92.5 grams) up 0 grams

Elm is 3.88 oz. (110.3 grams) up 17.8 grams

Birch is 4.38 oz. (124.6 grams) up 28.5 grams






September 13th, 2008- Birth Day - Keva started talking a lot this afternoon, telling us she is ready to have her kittens. I sit with her and rub her belly. This time around she is getting no support from momma Maeve or sister Finola. Keva was having active contractions. Keva crying out and pushing, for two hours when the first kitten was born at 6:55pm. The last kitten came at 9:10 pm. Since we expected 5 and I thought maybe 6 .....given her size.....I was surprised by the final count of nine. By the time that last kitten delivered I had lost all confidence in my ability to discern if she had another kitten to go or not. I thought I felt some little ribs and maybe a backbone and butt of a kitten? Keva was so exhausted that she was not cleaning the final kittens and I was worried if she did have one more she might have gone into uterine inertia. I got on the phone to Dr. Schaefer and told her about our new kittens. She agree she and her tech would meet me at her animal hospital. She felt Keva and was sure she didn't have anymore. To reassure  me that what I felt was not a kitten she also took two x-rays. Poor Keva, I had a look at the x-rays and her intestines were all squashed up to her chest. Her lower abdomen was full of empty uterus with a small area for her bladder. She must have been pretty uncomfortable before her delivery. 


Rub my tummy

For the diary  names are used representing the color each kitten is marked with for identification.  New owners will choose real names.

The Stats at birth

#1 6:55 pm  blue Spruce 106.8 grams (3.75 ounces)

#2 7:13 pm  red Oak 88.97 grams (3.125 ounces)

#3 3:30 pm  orange Maple 92.5 grams (3.25 ounces)

#4 8:50 pm  green Elm 92.5 grams (3.25 ounces)

#5 9:10 pm  white Birch 96.0 grams (3.375 ounces)

This pregnancy began as a litter of nine kittens. Four of the kittens were not viable at birth. For the purpose of this diary I am not including the details of the lost kittens. 
In keeping with my desire to publish an  accurate portrayal of what a breeder goes through with each litter I have included a supplemental page for those who are seriously thinking of breeding. 
Mother nature is amazing in what she does when creating living beings. It is a complicated process from the first divided cell to a finished kitten. 
Sometimes mistakes happen during that process. Also too many kittens in a litter automatically decreases the odds of survival. 
Some will undoubtedly find these details unpleasant so please ask yourself if you really truly want to know before going to this page. Keva's kitten birth Supplement

Unfortunately for me Keva is not the best mother we have had. She is very good at allowing the kittens to nurse but she is terrible and keeping the kittens cleaned. She is too concerned with the birth sack and placenta to clean the newborn kittens. I usually break the sack off the kittens face and wipe the kitten with terrycloth to clear the nose and mouth to get it breathing. I generally rub them until they cry. Then leave their care to Keva. We snip the cords and remove the placentas so Keva will care for the kittens. With this delivery we allowed her to eat one placenta that I helped her with. It takes her 30 to 45 minutes to eat one. With kittens coming every 15 to 20 minutes we have to help keep her attention on the kittens.

September 6th, 2008 - Poor Keva has gotten so round she can no longer clean herself. She curls up to lick and just rolls around. Here she is having given up after an attempt at a bath. Her Momma and her sister are no help. They sniff her and turn their noses up. I think Maeve has lost some of the mothering drive since being spayed. It will be interesting to see how she behaves with Keva's kittens. Everybody has taken to sleeping in the birthing box except poor Keva. With two to three adult girls in the box at a time Keva ends up on the floor in front of the box. Time to rewash towels and reserve the box for Keva.

I'm a soccer ball with legs!

August 25th, 2008 - Keva had an appointment today to find out how many kittens she is carrying. A gestational x-ray to count kittens can be done from 45 days. Before 45 days gestation the calcification of the bones will not be enough to get good contrast. 

Dr. Schaefer gave me a CD with the x-rays so I can share them with you. The viewer these came with allowed me to make these large, change the contrast, to make them as clear as I needed. Unfortunately I have to limit the size for this diary but these should give you a good idea of what we can see. Even with the viewer Dr. Schaefer and I can only see 5 kittens. The contrast is not real good and makes us wonder about the number of days gestation. I double checked my dates. 45 days from Aug 7th would be August 21, pad that two days to give time to release eggs and get things started and we get to the 23rd so we should be well calcified by now. With hindsight... Lesson learned : give gestation a few more days. We don't want to wait too long and not be able to see what's what because they are so big and packed in there. Keva does tend to look lop sided so an uneven number makes perfect sense.

I'm going to bring the birthing box up to my office and get all the linens washed and fresh for her to start nesting.

I have to admit when looking at these with my untrained eyes I was seeing little bones all over the place but the head/spine is what stands out and is counted.

July 8th, 2008 - Breeding day - Keva went to visit her new beau Phinean for breeding. She will be bred for three days to insure a pregnancy. With a gestation of 65 days she should deliver sometime after September 11th, 2008.



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