As soon as baby kittens are born, everyone wants to know one thing: gender. It is a very important concept, especially when it comes to naming. There's just one problem... Kitten sexing is so darn hard, folks.
I'd like to think that I have an "eye" for it (now there's something to be proud of!). In our previous litters at Teeny Tiny Tabby Town, I have scored 100% in kitten butt identification. Fresh out of the oven kittens can pose a bit of an extra challenge, though. It's a tiny bit early for foolproof accuracy. I've sexed them, re-sexed them, and even brought in some experts. That's right, kitten porn has been sent around the internet in an attempt to get our answers right before passing them on to you. And then I had an idea...
Why don't YOU help us?
And a new contest was born.
In order for everyone to get a fresh chance, no matter when they load our page full of butts, all entries must be e-mailed to me at teenytinytabbies AT gmail DOT com by 11:59 pm Eastern time on Friday May 29th. Identify each kitten by number and let me know your opinion on it's gender.
Kitten butts will be officially re-evaluated by a panel of internet experts on Monday June 1st and two winners will be chosen from all entries. First prize will be awarded to the reader who correctly identified the most kitten nether-regions. In the event of a tie, all qualifying entries will be put into a hat with the winner being chosen at random by the teenager who happens to be the closest to me at the moment.
A special additional prize winner will be chosen (again by said teenager) at random from everyone who correctly guesses the gender of a certain random kitten. Kitten number will be drawn from a hat and then everyone who correctly guessed that kitten will have their names thrown into the drawing for the bonus prize. Confused yet?
You may change your minds and your entries right up until 11:59 pm on Friday. Whichever list I receive last from you will become your official entry. Prizes will come from far and wide, may not be worth much, but will make the kitty at your house feel special.
And so, without further ado, I present the tushies for your consideration:
KITTEN NUMBER ONE:
1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1 1
KITTEN NUMBER TWO:
2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2 2
KITTEN NUMBER THREE:
3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3 3
KITTEN NUMBER FOUR:
4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4 4
KITTEN NUMBER FIVE:
5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5 5
Good luck. Have fun. Don't forget to share with your friends and don't forget to E-MAIL your submissions (but also don't forget to make cute comments below).
Oh... did you want to see kitten face today too? Well, I might have some of those around here too.
"No. No kitten face here. You get Dahlia face until the kitten behaves."
"This sort of thing gets a kitten put into time out!"
On Memorial Day Monday, our mama kitty Dahlia certainly gave us an day worth remembering. She had been crabby throughout the morning and began to show signs on "defending her nest" from invaders. She charged the door whenever it was opened. Jumped out at Charlie once and drew blood from my leg in an attempt to get past me to get him again. I knew we were close, but as it was a holiday I ducked out to get a few things done (or at least I thought I would get a few things done...)
I took a quick shower, peeked through the glass door, and saw a panting kitty in the box. Little Dahlia always jumps out and comes to beg attention. She didn't. She looked at me and then looked down at the inside of the box. So I crept inside to see what was happening...
"Look what I did!"
Kitten Number One made its entrance without an audience at roughly 12:40 p.m. For about 35 minutes, Kitten Number One was an only kitten.
Kitten Number One may have preferred life this way. But only childhood was not to be...
For at 1:15 pm, we saw Kitten Number Two arrive. And then Kitten Number Three showed up about eight minutes later at 1:23 pm.
And we squeed. We really really squeed.
Dahlia took another long break at this point. I was positive yet again that we were out of kittens. After all, the vet had said two or three kittens and we already had three. But then more contractions started and...
Kitten Number Four made an appearance at 2:17 pm, followed twenty minutes later by Kitten Number Five.
Mama Dahlia was so exhausted by this point that she decided to take a little nap... with two kittens still attached to their sacs and their umbilical cords. She woke up after her power nap and went back to the business of cleaning kittens while they nursed.
She is proving herself already to be an excellent mama. She is still a bit nervous and protective about noises near the door, but otherwise she is quite relaxed and willing to let me handle them. She let me hold them and kiss them and weigh them (all between 3.8 and 4.0 ounces) and even check underneath their tails. I have an idea of the boy to girl ratio of this litter, but I'm waiting a couple of days to release the results just to make sure. Their names have been selected, but subject to change (in case I goofed on the original tail-check). I even got the chance to take a few quick pictures. So without further ado, I am very pleased to introduce...
Kitten Number One
(who is much lighter gray now than in this picture)
Kitten Number Two
(who looks to be the heir to the Siamese genetic lottery)
Kitten Number Three
(another gray who is now a very light gray)
Kitten Number Four
(tiny black kitten who always looks a bit "mussed")
Kitten Number Five
(another black kitten... look at that teeny tiny tail!)
I (thankfully) have already found ways to tell Kitten Number One from Kitten Number Three. One has a teeny tiny white tip on its teeny tiny tail. There's also a couple clues to tell Kitten Number Four from Kitten Number Five. Five has a teeny white spot on its chest along with lighter legs. Or is that Four? (KIDDING! It's Five!)
They are also giving off a few personality signs. One and Four are more relaxed and quite willing to just roll with whatever is happening around them. Two is bossy and take charge. Three is the dramatic child who has already given off "Baby's First Hiss". As you can imagine, Two and Three have already engaged in several teeny tiny slap fights over a preferred nipple. Five seems to be more of an adventurer and climbs over Mount Mama (or Mount Siblings) whenever necessary or even possible.
Mama Dahlia has wolfed down two small cans of wet food since early evening and appears to be settling in for the night with her brood. The adventure is just beginning. Stay tuned.
Okay, so it IS actually Mother's Day. But this young lady...
... is (almost) a mother.
(Yep. She's almost a mother in the way that you can be almost pregnant.
There's kittens and they're coming!)
And because she needs a place to raise those babies of hers...
(Did you miss us?)
We've opened up the doors at Teeny Tiny Tabby Town for a (potentially) limited engagement because this very special little girl needed us.
And because sometimes you just need a furry shoulder pad.
Dahlia's beginnings might sound familiar to our regular readers. She came from a feral cat colony known to us. The one that's run by our favorite kitten catcher.
So feral, that Dahlia is.
Our Dahlia is so feral that she's the the anti-feral. She's a kitty who simply didn't belong to that outside community. She's friendly. She's sweet. She's the most affectionate cat I've met in years (and that includes my own cats). She's clearly known people. But she's also been abandoned... whether that came before or after the pregnancy we'll never know.
Her arrival at the kitten catcher's colony came through a chain of kitties who are already familiar to us:
Our last mama in residence, Miss Mama Mae (or "All the Way Mae", as she was affectionately known)...
Who was the Mama to our last foster failure Mistress Max...
Brought a certain tuxie boy to the colony...
One who looks just like the little lady above (but much bigger)...
(And I've searched for his photo and can't find it for now, but I'll insert right here later)...
Which would make him Maxie's dad (who we call Maxwell Sr)...
Brought our new little friend Dahlia to safety with the kitten catcher.
The vet tells us that Dahlia is just a baby herself.
She's probably no more than 8 to 10 months old.
Just a baby having babies.
She made herself at home right away.
She unloaded the toy box, but I haven't seen her play with a thing.
She's barely even taken time to put her whiskers in the window.
Although she IS kinda interested at what's going on outside her door...
(Yep, that's Max)
We've got time to get to know Dahlia before her kittens come. Vet estimates that we have a couple weeks to go.
Maybe she'll sit still long enough to get a decent picture by then.
Welcome back to the Kitten-Go-Round. We'll have new ones for you soon.
"Who does she think she's kidding? That is neither a cat nor a painting.
I call shenanigans!"
But hear me out: While this is neither a cat nor a painting, this pencil drawing was the impetus to the actual cat painting that was created today. This dog drawing was a very special Mother's Day gift from my younger daughter. It's a fabulously accurate rendering of my dear departed friend (and Chucklehead predecessor) Grizzly.
Wasn't he handsome?
Grizzly spent nearly 15 years with us. He had a partner in crime each and every day of that decade and a half. Her name was Einstein. I had been wanted to memorialize her in a drawing to hang on the wall in tandem with Griz, but my daughter says she's "not good at cats." I dabble a little in painting, so when Miss Jeanne over at Random Felines said she was going to a "Paint Your Pet" retreat at BZTAT Studios I decided that a road trip was in order.
After a 4 1/2 hour drive from home (waaaaaaay earlier than I would ever like to leave my bed, let alone my house), I arrived photo in hand and ready to make a complete mess of painting the late great Madame Einstein. I knew she wouldn't be easy to paint, especially with her torbie-blends and tabby stripes. But with BZTAT's pop art style, I was hopeful that I would at least be able to capture her spirit.
I was given a black canvas when I arrived. With lots of guidance and specialized instruction, the canvas morphed slowly over the next six hours...
From pencil projection...
To red background...
To adding the white definition to her chin and eyes.
Pepto Bismol pink created the bottom layer of color for her torbieness...
And then was layered with orange...
And yellow to create the right "pop art" shade.
The moment her eyes appeared was the moment that mine filled with tears.
All I wanted was for her eyes and mouth to be look "kinda" right.
I think I may have captured her Grumpy Little Highness.
Looks sorta like her if I do say so myself.
A second 4 1/2 hour drive later, Einstein is home and ready to reunite with Grizzly.
It was a great day. Good people, great instruction, and lots of singing loudly along to the radio during my 9 hours on the road. I'd definitely do it again. Which is a good thing, since there's talk of doing it again in March.
I'm thinking that this dapper gentleman might need a portrait painted of him.
"Yes, WE know Catmas was DAYS ago. But considering that it's my Mama Lady writing this? You're lucky this posts before NEXT Christmas."
Mama Lady edits to comment, not about the tardiness of my post but to wonder what in the heck Roo is doing back there.
"And read that title again. Can you hear the song? Roo can because the Mama Lady is singing it over and over and over and over. She strikes again!"
Christmas came early to Teeny Tiny Tabby Town with the arrival of a ginormous cat tree for our dining room sunny spot.
"Hey! Who moved the old one in here? They should be commended. The view is a-maz-ing!"
Actually, Roo wasn't in the old cat tree to enjoy the view. You know and I know that she was there because the new one made her nervous. But let's humor her and keep it among ourselves.
Eventually, Ruby decided to be brave and join Mr. Simba in the dining room.
"She's thinking about challenging my authority, isn't she? She had BEST not be thinking about challenging my authority if she knows what's good for her!"
THWACK! thwack thwack thwack thwack thwack!
**low whistling heard here... because Ruby is minding her own business... yeah, right**
"Soon, Mr. Simba. Very soon and when you least expect it, that perch will be MINE!"
"That's what SHE thinks. It will be hers for about 15 seconds until Max takes it from her!"
Since the secret of their big gift was long since blown, I saved a very special package or two for Christmas morning. ((In actuality, they opened their package on Christmas evening because, in true Ruby fashion, Roo was afraid of Christmas morning.))
The packages were a very special delivery from our blogging Secret Santa Paws, Miss Marjorie from DashKitten.com. I hid the boxes in my closet, but Simba clued me in pretty quickly that there was catnip of the best variety in at least one of them... and he was a PEST of epic proportions until he was finally allowed to investigate what was inside.
"Dude! I knew I smelled the good stuff!"
"I looooooooove it!"
"You're darn lucky that there's two of these, young whippersnapper."
"Because this one's mine."
"Oh my.... Am I high?"
"Yes. Quite high. Do we have any Cheetos?"
"Yo, Mama Lady! We're going to let you finish, but we want to let Miss Marjorie know that the Big Ol' Catnip Sack is the best cat toy of all time!"
Ruby was content to let Max and Simba fight it out over the Big Ol' Catnip Sacks...
Especially when she found there were toys much more to her liking in the box (like these sparkly ones)
And these furry ones too.
She did eventually even get a turn with the the prized Big Ol' Catnip Sack, but gave it up rather quickly in order to lay claim to her favorite new Christmas toy...
And you'll always know it's her favorite because she takes it into the master bathroom to toss around while she trills.
Another package contained a very pretty kitty scarf for me. If my clients don't already know that I'm a crazy cat lady, I'm guessing they'll figure it out when I wear this to the office :)
Thank you so much, Marjorie. I hope you can tell that the gang here at Teeny Tiny Tabby Town very much appreciated your kindness this year.
I may have been five days late to wish you a Merry Christmas, but at least I'm one day early to wish you the happiest of New Years. Hopefully we'll see more of each other here in 2015, but just in case you haven't found me on Facebook yet... you might want to check the link. I manage to sneak there more often to give brief snippets in my long breaks between blog posts.