Now you’re talking!

28 April 2010

I think that Kasper and Nelson might just have thought they’d died and gone to heaven when I refilled the large pail of cat food recently.  It was like, “This is the cat bowl we have been trying to describe to you all this time!”

The separate hole in the bag didn’t make the filling operation terribly successful – again, not a problem that troubled the guys too much.  They would be very happy to clean it up for us.

They also enjoyed us rearranging the cupboards another time.  This is their kind of cave!


More kitten photos

28 April 2010

As promised, here are some more pictures of Nerantzi and her six new babies.

She’s still preferring the plastic sheet to the little bed and she’s very well tucked away in a dark corner upstairs. Not so conducive to photography, but a good spot for kittens.

They are now a wriggling, squealing mass of teat-seeking missiles, interested in only one thing:  getting a drink from Mum, and then sleeping. Although they’re tiny, they’ll still fight over a drink, even though their eyes are still closed.

(Click on the pics to enlarge)

You can see the unusual light-brown/ fawn colouring that two of them have in these pictures.

Nerantzi is very trusting and let’s us handle her babies. She only gets distressed if she hears them crying.

Unfortunately we are handling them a fair bit at the moment because little Mr No. 6 – the last one out (and who may or may not be a boy, but we’re calling him “him”) – is very weak and frail and is getting pushed out by his siblings.  There are so many of them and they are so much bigger than him that we’re trying to make space for him to get a chance to drink.  It seems a bit of a losing battle because he is so much smaller, but we’ve put so much effort in we don’t want to give up now. One vet suggested he may have cat flu and that is why he’s so weak. We have antibiotics for him, but aren’t sure whether that’s a good idea for such a young chap.

In nature of course little No. 6 would have died long ago in the wild, but with human pampering and medicines and complete protection inside the house, domestic cats have a much better go of things. Our friend Panayiotis said that even on a rural property where the cats are domesticated but left more to their own devices, a young first mum might lose all her babies to other cats – the males especially try to kill the young males to avoid competition. The older ones obviously become a bit wilier and more experienced.

You can see the little chap on top below.  He’s really not very animated and quite a bit smaller.

But Nerantzi is a great Mum, and here she is being very cute with her babies.

Stop Press: KITTENS!!! Σ:) Σ:) Σ:) Σ:) Σ:) Σ:)

24 April 2010

(Click the picture to enlarge)

Exciting news! Nerantzi has had her kittens!! Things don’t get much more exciting than this in the hard hitting world of cat blogs!

After yesterday’s pictures where she looked ready to burst, Nerantzi has had 6 little Nerantzakis!! They are now called the Nooninies. (I don’t know that any more variations on that theme will be possible!)

After being very clingy this morning, she went up to the little mezzanine storage area at her home and very conveniently gave birth on some plastic! There is a bed waiting for them all downstairs, but maybe she preferred to keep them away from her own Mum and siblings, especially her brother. She was only born this time last year herself.

Here they are as very new kittens, only a couple of hours old.

There are two that are a very light beige colour, two reds, one red and white and one tri-colour. Too early to tell the genders yet. Number 6 is very small, but also very spirited apparently and an extra watchful eye is being kept on that little fella.

Looking forward to seeing them tomorrow for the first time – you can be assured of more photos!

(Many thanks to Sarah for sending and letting us use these photos.)

Now all cleaned up by Mum and having a drink. (When they do this they all purr, which is an amazing sound. Not sure if these guys would purr yet?)

Nerantzi Very Pregnant!

24 April 2010

Sweet little Nerantzi, one of the Noonies from next door (from whom the Noonettes got their name) is now very pregnant!

Nerantzi is one of our favourites of the Noonies. She has a gorgeous nature and is very friendly. Once when we were looking after her we had to give her antibiotics and dab her cut paw with Betadene and she was so good about it all.

She was also the star of two of the pictures in the Noonie Calendar.

This is one of my all-time favourite pictures – she was only a kitten herself a year ago:

It’s from this photo that she got the name Serengeti Girl:

But as you can see, she is very pregnant, and about to give birth any time now!

(By the way, “nerantzi” (νεράντζι) means “Seville orange” or “bitter orange” in Greek, the trees of which are seen all over Greece. They’re too bitter to be eaten raw, but can be made into a delicious sweet.)

Cat helper

18 April 2010

As I’m trying to work Nelson has decided he wants to sleep on and between my arms as I (try to) use the computer.  These pictures are taken from the built-in camera on the computer.  He was very cute and purring the whole time, but now he’s asleep in front of me. He loves being close to people this boy, as you can see.

He took this one himself by lying on the mousepad:

Here’s another earlier picture of him doing the same thing taken by Sharon:

Stunningly beautiful moth

18 April 2010

One of the cats’ favourite evening pastimes is chasing and eating the moths out on the verandah. We managed to keep this one away from them and he spend the next day hanging from the clothes line under the verandah.  The next night I moved him away from the light.  He (moths seem like ‘he’s to me!) was very placid and let me pick him up.

His markings were stunningly beautiful, like a butterfly but in shades of brown.  Click on the picture for a closer look.

This was him on the line with a much smaller friend:

Update:  Thanks to the Noonettes’ Aunty Sharon next door, we now know this is the Giant Peacock Moth – Saturnia pyri – the largest in Europe:

What are the chances?!

17 April 2010

(Click to enlarge)

In one of those astounding, but ultimately completely meaningless coincidences, today we found this postcard (on the left) of 3 Greek cats sitting on a ladder (not our cats!).

You may remember the photo on the right from a post last year.

Identically coloured cats, from Greece, on a ladder, in the same order – what are the chances of that? I could get all stats nerdy and write a formula, but the result would still be the same:  probability =  zilch, statistical significance = high, actual significance = low, but enough to get me to finally get around to another post!

Freddy visits, again

2 February 2010

I know there have been a few pics of Freddy and the cats lately, but this time Nelson was really relaxed around his mate.

This was a gentle touch on the nose – no claws:

That is a rather large tum there, Nelson, hopefully the worm tablets and the restricted diet on better food will take effect soon!

Kasper well again Σ:3

2 February 2010

(Sorry for the delay in the update – we’ve been on the road lately.)

Kasper is now feeling much better.

His brother and sister helped him sleep it off:

With support from his brother:

And a wash from both of them:

Now he’s back on form, as the Karate Kid pose below shows:

Kasper not well Σ:€

12 January 2010

Sometime this morning, while his brother and sister were being so cute, Kasper got bitten by something – probably another cat. When he was climbing up the hanging storage thing in the bathroom this morning, Sharon noticed a cut on his arm – quite a deep puncture – and then another matching one on the inside. They looked quite deep, but they weren’t bleeding or anything and he was still full of energy (hence climbing the storage thingy).

So we decided to leave it, thinking that cats must get bitten by each other all the time and that he would be fine, but by this afternoon he was beginning to look decidedly unwell. We knew something was wrong when he didn’t purr when we stroked him and didn’t budge when we fed the others. Not long after that I noticed the swelling on his arm, so I rang the vet straight away. She said that, just like for humans, cat bites in cats need antibiotics because they won’t clear up on their own – infection is virtually guaranteed.

The pharmacy in the nearest town was closed, so we had to go to the next town. By the time we got back his arm was really swollen and he was looking very unhappy. You can see the swelling in his left front leg even in the picture above and close up below. His second eyelids were also partly across which also means they’re not so well.

Swollen left arm – OK, leg:

Here Kasper looks on forlornly while his sister plays with the toilet roll.

Some speedy advice from pharmacist extraordinaire, Maria Markakis, (free plug for those in Athens!) saved me ages in deciphering the Greek instructions for mixing the antibiotic powder.  The antibiotics were duly administered via a syringe (without the needle) into his mouth. Sharon is getting good at doing this now from experience with him when he was younger with cat flu and from neighbour Nerantzi while Maria and Sarah were away.

The moral of the story: always take cat bites very seriously, in cats and in humans, and go to a vet/ doctor straight away even if it’s at night, as you will need antibiotics, and the sooner the better. Sharon got bitten by a cat one evening and waited until the next morning before seeing a doctor. By that stage she was having trouble moving her hand and the doctor told her off for not going to a doctor immediately. She was given the strongest dose of oral antibiotics possible – any stronger and she would have had to go on an IV drip in hospital. Our mistake was thinking that cats are different with their own bites. They’re not!

Cats can often seem unconcerned with their injuries, even when they’re quite serious. Nerantzi next door cut her paw quite badly, but seemed so unconcerned that we left it. The next day it was infected and it was then too late to stitch it. Cats appear brave and quite hardy, but they are as susceptible to infection as we are.

Kasper is now resting happily in front of the fire – and just now, about an hour and a half after the antibiotics, even managed a faint purr and is looking happier. Little cats do bounce back very quickly. Many thanks go to Alexander Fleming and co!!