Wednesday, 12 August 2020
For every breeder the inevitable moment comes when the kittens are old enough to leave the house. That moment came for me mid January and the first to leave the house was Drustan. I would meet Stefanie in Breukelen at the train station. From there we travel together by train to Schiphol Airport. Drustan would not just leave my house, but leave the country as well. In advance I checked everything 3x:
The whole trip Drustan behaved exemplary. No whining, complaining or trying to escape. The transfer took place in the same way: very quiet. It made saying goodbye to me much easier. Then Drustan was put from my pet carrier into the other and from there he could go check in with his companion. After a final farewell we went back to Breukelen.
With somewhat of a strange empty feeling I came back home. Would they miss Drustan? With another six rug rats under her paw Mirre had something else on her mind. The evening came as usual and one child less wasn't noticed in the cat gang. At the beginning of the evening I put the PC on with the email program open. They had promised me a message when they arrived home.
In the evening around eight o'clock came the redeeming email: they had arrived safely and oooo how beautiful and sweet he was. What a relief!
The next morning I packed everything again, ready for the next trip. We first went to Hengelo and after that to Oldenzaal. I threw my bag in the car, packed my lunch and then packed three kittens and programmed the Tomtom. The trip to Hengelo went smoothly, although the ladies told me very frequently that they wanted a full explanation. But mainly they wanted the door of the cage opened, so they could get out. I tried to soothe them a little but they continued to complain as much as possible which I tried to ignore. I think they were clever enough that they took turns beginning a lament or protest song. Tiring, because explaining why we were traveling and how long the trip would last had no effect. So we drove on.
We were welcomed in Hengelo with open arms. The kittens became a "culture shock": a family with 3 children instead of my quiet home. I had to do severely with them. The children behaved nicely and left the kittens alone at the request of their parents. But in spite of that they moved and they made sounds that the kittens found very scary. They stayed close together in the pet carrier. After coffee and a tour around the house I removed Ysandre and Danéle from the pet carrier and they were introduced to their new people.
A patting was okay by them, but then they rather hid under the couch. After some time they dared to scurry around the couch very carefully. Time to show where the litter trays were. They immediately sniffed and explored. After that we lost them for a while. They withdrew themselves in a cozy chair under a table. After one last patting, I left them and their new house mates. I felt that they were fully welcome and I couldn't wish for more.
Then with the last kitten I stepped back in the car on the way to Oldenzaal. With some navigational aid from the Tomtom we were at Cecilie's new home after half an hour. After the shock of a family with children, she also had to undergo the insults of the ladies Main Coon living here. What she thought was not entirely clear to me. She remained in the carrier and took a nap. That was a smart move, because a sleeping cat isn't interesting and insults were not responded to. One of the ladies Coon retired upstairs, the other sat on a chair behind the table.
When Cecilie awoke, she ate something. She did not want a drink. Just showed her where the litter tray was and then she began cautiously to explore things around the couch. She found a marble and enjoyed herself with that. She tried to climb on the windowsill, so she could see what the view was like here. She became more confident and dared to move around, between the pattings, through a large part of the room. This young lady was also very welcome and after a great afternoon, it was time for me to say goodbye again and go home. There I was surprised by a somewhat troubled mother and a hungry gang of cats. The hunger was quickly taken care off. The unrest continued longer, though the next day it had practically disappeared.
For one week we could "enjoy" a half group of kittens, until it became Saturday again. That day Lelahiah would move. Bag packed again, prepared a lunch, stuffed overnight things in a bag and then put Lelahiah in the pet carrier. The Tomtom was turned on and the journey could begin. The weather was bad: rain, a lot of rain,an awful lot of rain and strong winds. No fun to drive in and the trip would still take a while. Along the way Lelahiah let herself be heared a few times, but a tickle through the door and some sweet words were soon enough consolation to be able to cope for some time. At the end of the morning we arrived in Drachten.
To my surprise, the 3-year-old daughter was staying with her grandparents, so Lelahiah could get used to her new surroundings in peace. How nice that they thought of my kitten so well. Lelahiah stepped out of the carrier and was home within half an hour. She explored the room, saw the litter tray, watched and listened to the 1-year-old son and even let him pat her. She had taken a look at her new staff, greeted them, climbed in them and conquered them. Now only the 5-year old cat of the house remained.
After ¾ of a year as a solo master of the house, he was in need of companionship. But between knowing this and the reality of a new little cat girl is a difference. He grunted and growled with regularity, but remained in the area to see what she did. Lelahiah came to cuddle a lot during her exploration. I was therefore quite comfortable that she would be established as a full family member in no time at all and so it was again time for a farewell.
Now I was so far north, I could well visit to my family. After all, it's not every day that you travel from Den Bosch to Groningen. After a pleasant afternoon, I left there at the beginning of the evening for the last part of this "world tour". On a pitch dark road in the (fortunately no longer pouring) rain the trip went to Klazienaveen this time. There Stefanie had offered me a bed for the night and I gratefully accepted this offer.
After a good night's sleep and a tasty breakfast we got back in the car. Stefanie's family was visiting family in Den Bosch and since my trip was going that way, they joined me. Unfortunately there was a lot of rain again, which made the travel very tiring. After dropping off Stefanie and family safely, I came home exhausted.
Soon I cuddled all the cats and then began the daily routine of cleaning litter trays and doing the laundry. Then I phoned my parents to thank them for looking after the all cats and the remaining two kittens. Then it was finally time to plump down on the couch and let myself be drowned under a pile of cats for a well deserved rest.
The next weekend was the show in Utrecht and I had entered Djavi and Phèdre. Preferably I would have liked to take Mirre as well, but she still gave milk. So she stayed home with Delauny and the rest of the cat gang. The day of the show was long and despite the sitting and waiting also tiring. But it was fun and that's important too.
Phèdre had behaved exemplary and had in Djavi a fine, solid friend where she could curl up next to, and if he thought it necessary, he washed her from front to back. Both received a nice report and that is always nice to see.
In the evening when we came home Mirre was waiting at the door, as always. What was new was that she immediately climbed into the pet carrier to see who was in there. To her great relief, I had brought her daughter back again. So it was not unnoticed by her that in the same way I had taken away her other children.
The week after the show Delauny had an appointment at the vet for inspection. As a kitten of 2 weeks old he had suffered an abscess on his elbow. That was treated quickly, but undetected, despite the antibiotics, a remnant of the inflammation was left behind. This resulted in a swelling in the joint that was discovered several weeks later. And then starts the search for the "what is it" and "how does he get rid of it". X-rays had no effect at this age and a biopsy was considered. My vet guessed he limped, but I could very strongly disagree. Delauny ran, climbed and "flew" across the room just like his litter mates. After pondering the idea for a biopsy it was put on ice and he received a prolonged broad spectrum antibiotic treatment. After one week there was some improvemen, but not to the extent we had hoped and desired. Again a biopsy was considered, but not done. All that could be conceived as the cause, found a solution to its cure. So we would wait and see. And now was the time.
I put the pet carrier on the table to put Delauny in it. Once the door was opened, Phèdre had already climbed in and I could just stop Djavi. Then I put in Delauny with Phèdre, closed the door and went to the vet. It was only a short drive, but I was very tense. What would be the result? When we arrived, my vet got upset. He knew he had to examen a kitten, but which one was it? I soon helped him by taking out Delauny and putting him on the table. In no time his face began to shine with a broad smile and he told me that the swelling was almost completely gone.
The bit that was still there, would just heal in time. That was such a relief. In hind site, he could now say with certainty that the remainder of the inflammation had made the joint capsule swell. Now the inflammation was gone, the swelling went down. Everything would be okay. HOORAY!
Back home Mirre was already on the lookout. Would she get her kids back? Of course,