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Tuesday, May 22, 2012

Apparently, while I was busy doing a clinic at the hospital yesterday morning, Amelie was at a bus stop down the road with my mother-in-law, entertaining the crowds with this unscripted comedy routine:

Lisa's Mum: Has your Daddy gone to work today?

Amelie: Yes.

Lisa's Mum: He’s always going to work. Is he trying to avoid you?

Amelie: No, he goes to work to earn money to buy me toys.

I'm told that brought the house down. Well, the bus shelter. To be honest, if she's that entertaining, she can do a bit of stand-up and buy her own toys.

On the subject of major financial burdens, the kittens are now four-and-a-half weeks old, so in addition to partying all weekend, we've been attempting to start the weaning process. I assumed that involved waiting until they're four weeks old, and then putting down a bowl of food, but unfortunately there's a lot more to it than that. So since Sunday morning, we've been following these instructions, and getting down and dirty (quite literally) with some cat food.

Shimmy's still feeding the kittens milk...

... but she's also now letting them out to play three or four times a day, which is a sight that ranks about eleven on the 1-10 cuteness scale. Sadly I don't have any footage of it, as every time they're out romping around on the floor, my hands are covered in mashed kitten food. Which makes me reluctant to pick up a camera.

Amelie, however, has found them tempting to the extreme. She had her first kitten-related time-out yesterday, after Lisa found her at the living room door with her hands around a kitten's neck. We've told her that if she touches them, they'll die, which is slightly unkind, but probably has an element of truth to it. Unfortunately, with three to choose from, I think she feels she can afford to kill a couple.

The weaning, however, is going well. Every time the kittens come out to play, Lisa and I dip our fingers in baby cat mousse, and offer it up to them. It's what toddlers call finger food. All three have now got the hang of licking it off, although Shimmy's quite happy to steal food from the mouths of her starving children, and has no qualms about butting them out of the way just to get at it. My Mum was the same with rusks.

Unfortunately the kittens clearly haven't heard the idiom about biting the hand that feeds you. Every weaning attempt quickly develops into a game of cat chicken, where you have to hold your finger there just long enough for the food to be licked off, but not long enough to get bitten. Big Kitten in particular has the bite of a great white shark, and will happily try to take your hand off the moment the food's gone.

We're supposed to be moving on to a saucer in the next day or two, and frankly it can't come soon enough. I want to have enough fingers left to pick it up.


Phil's Mum said...

Amelie and I did have a conversation the other week about why Daddy has to go to work.  I said it was to buy food and clothes.  She added ......"and toys"!

jon the basssist said...

A much underused statement which should be crowbarred into the conversation more.