Small with her newborns
The kittens at eight weeks: (from left to right)
Basil, Simba, Honeysuckle, Lura (back) & Lasgarra
Having a whole litter the same colour was an interesting experience for us, particularly when it came to telling them apart; we're used to having only one or two the same colour in a litter! To add to our difficulty, four of the kittens were also very alike facially: we could tell Lura because she had a different look, and Simba was a slightly paler colour (though he's the same now) and also smaller - he was known as 'Small Orange' until he left us because he was the smallest and had his toenails painted orange until we could tell him apart from the others. Basil, Honeysuckle and Lasgarra had to have their toenails painted for several weeks before we could be certain we were able to tell them apart.
Honeysuckle at a few hours old and sixteen weeks
In birth order, the kittens were:
Cagaran Leum-a-chrann (Honeysuckle)
Leum-a-chrann is Gaelic for 'Honeysuckle', which we chose just because we thought it was a pretty name. At the point that we were looking to name the kittens, she wasn't yet showing much of her 'personality' and in that case, we generally just choose something that we think makes a nice name.
When she did start showing her individual temperament, she became the gentlest, quietest and shyest in the litter but also the one who likes to snuggle under the bedcovers at night. She loves her cuddles, will roll around on her back for belly rubs and has a huge purr. She has gone to live with the mum of one of the people who owns one of Keeker's litter-brothers, who fell in love with the Tiffanie temperament but fancied something with a shorter coat so a Burmilla should be perfect. Honeysuckle is now called 'Honey' and is companion to a British Shorthair and a Greyhound.
Basil at a few hours old and twelve weeks
Lavarra is Gaelic for 'Noisy' or 'Talkative' and he was very aptly named: right from birth, he was the chatty one in the litter. He was the first to find his voice and he was the one who would rush round the room at our feet when we brought the food in, shouting until we put it down. He would then tuck in with gusto, growling and making noises the whole time in an effort to keep his siblings away and mean that he could have it all for himself. They soon learnt that his noises didn't mean anything, though, and he had to learn to share!
He now lives with a lovely family in Renfrew who have named him Basil and we've already had some lovely photos of him cuddling with the various family members. They had almost given up on getting a cat because they'd come across so many unscrupulous breeders - to think we might have 'lost' them as potential cat owners!
Lura at a few hours old and sixteen weeks
Lurach is Gaelic for 'Exquisitely Beautiful' or 'Jewel-Like'. Our intention in taking Small out to a Burmese boy was always to keep a girl from the litter who would have a nicely 'outcrossed' pedigree to bring back into our lines. Lura was the kitten who seemed to choose me and luckily she is also one of the best in terms of 'type', i.e. she is one of the best according to the standard of points. She will therefore be staying here with us.
Simba at a few hours old and twelve weeks
Luran is Gaelic for 'A Pretty Little Boy'. He was known as 'Small Orange' due to the colour of nailpolish we used on him and the fact that he was the smallest in the litter. He was so small that he had to be partially bottle-fed to begin with and as a result is very 'sooky' - more clingy than an Asian might typically be but very sweet with it.
He's a real character, as partially hand-reared kittens usually are, and we always said he would be the first to find a home. Sure enough, the first peopel to come in and meet the kittens fell in love with him and he now lives in Glasgow with a Maine Coon for a brother!
Lasgarra at a few hours old and sixteen weeks
Lasgarra is Gaelic for 'Fiery', 'Active' or 'Brave'. I called her that because she's always on the go, and also because she was always the first to try anything new, with her siblings following on once she'd sussed it out. Even the hoover is no match - when we're hoovering she sits on the bed glaring at it until we turn it off and then she jumps down, runs up to it and gives it a sharp smack! The one and only time she was last to do anything was when she was born - ever since then she's been the leader.
Every litter has a mischievous kitten and Lasgarra is the monkey in this litter. She was my favourite when they were little because of her amusing antics and busy personality but she didn't choose me the way that Lura did so she has been spayed and has gone to live with a lovely lady in Edinburgh, as a companion for an eight-year-old Burmese who had recently lost her Burmese companion.