Okay, so, I realize blogging was practically nonexistent this past week, but!
a) I suddenly had to drive to St. Louis three times in quick succession;
b) We’re between the summer classes and the beginning of the fall semester, so I’m not at a real computer with real internet access very often;
c) I have acquired two kittens, at least temporarily, and they’re distracting.
As some of you may possibly have guessed, when I say “suddenly had to drive to St L a bunch of times,” this actually means that a girl I want to breed came into season. In this case, that was Naamah.
Naamah is three. This is the first time I’ve ever tried to breed her, so who knows? That is, I’m positive the progesterone levels were appropriate for breeding, but her mother had real trouble catching, so … who knows? I’ve scheduled an ultrasound on September 6. That’s when we’ll know.
To further complicate my life, Morgan came into season at the same time, but my boys were so focused on Naamah that they didn’t mention this and I missed it for quite a while. When I finally realized and ran a progesterone, the number was high enough to suggest that it might be too late unless I dropped everything and drove to Paducah right that minute, plus (worse) Morgan short-cycled — an interval of less than 150 days since her last season. This is why I wasn’t paying close enough attention to notice she was in; she shouldn’t have been, not yet. Short-cycling means she might well not be able to catch this time anyway. This is disappointing since I very particularly long to have puppies from Morgan and that stunning ruby boy in Paducah, but instead here we are, skipping this cycle for Morgan. She should come back into season roughly the middle of winter, and let me tell you, ice storms have derailed more than one hoped-for breeding, so we’ll just have to cross our fingers.
But fine, whatever, these things happen. If Naamah is in fact pregnant — believe me, that is by no means guaranteed — that will give me plenty to do in a couple of months. Especially if she has girls! I would certainly keep one! However, at this point, that’s not the concern. The Flowchart of Hope goes like this:
I hope she’s pregnant! –> With multiple puppies! –> That are healthy! –> At least one girl! –> With good markings! –> And excellent structure!
So as you can see, it’ll be a while before I get to the stage of worrying about whether there’s at least one girl.
Meanwhile! Everyone in creation — I mean: all the bad people in the county — are dumping kittens right now. My general vet has acquired two new kittens for her practice, one of the techs at my reproductive vet has acquired a couple new kittens, I’ve personally seen various dumped kittens disappear because I couldn’t catch them in time to save them, and then there are these two very tiny kittens that my neighbor caught and handed over to me.
So, I have, at the moment, these two completely charming little Siamese-ish kittens.
The first kitten is a boy, I’m pretty sure. He’s not quite as Siamese-ish as he looks. He’s got clear tabby stripes under the Siamese coloring. The second kitten is very obviously dilute tortoiseshell under her Siamese points. My first thought was that these kittens might be about seven weeks, but they’re really quite small and now I think they might have been six weeks when I first got them, maybe even younger. They were very thin, but appear free of parasites, which is kind of amazing for dumped kittens.
Anyway, the past week has involved a lot of socializing the kittens — the little boy was very hissy and panicky at first. But this is the right age to socialize kittens, and they’re both little purr machines now. Plus they are learning that they don’t need to run away from dogs. The dogs are cooperating by taking orders not to bark at, lunge toward, or chase the kittens. Of course supervision is very (VERY) tight. Quite a few of my dogs are fervent enthusiasts when it comes to killing bunnies and squirrels. I do not plan to leave the kittens loose around the dogs until I’m very sure the dogs aren’t going to suddenly flip into prey mode. I mean, many of them have known cats. But none of them has ever seen a kitten.
Do you realize that it’s been TWENTY-TWO YEARS since I last had a kitten?
I’ve found these kittens a fine prospective home, with the trade-off to happen at Worldcon, BUT, well, we’ll see. I have always, always particularly liked colorpoint markings on kittens and I have always, always wanted to have two kittens at the same time (somehow I never had that happen before). In three weeks, if I think these kittens are safe around the dogs … maybe … well, we’ll see, that’s all.
Meanwhile, vet appointment next week to check them out, make sure they don’t have anything dire like FIV, all that stuff.
So, yes, I’ve been working on Tasmakat too. It’s been going a lot more slowly, which is irritating because this period between summer and fall semesters is ordinarily a good time to make a lot of progress. But it’s not that irritating because I’ve genuinely had a lot of other things going on. It’s also picking up again now, so I hope I’ll make a lot of progress over the next few weeks.
I’ve hit a couple mile-markers worth mentioning:
a) We’re in Gaur at last! Very soon we should LEAVE Gaur, enjoy a quick visit to the Peacock Desert where one or two fairly important things ought to happen, and then arrive in short order in Avaras, the king’s city. We will then have one or two intense conversations and reach a major turning point. Aras and Ryo will hope to solve one or two intractable problems by heading into the country of sand, but, spoiler, their problems will turn into different and substantially more difficult problems shortly thereafter.
b) I’ve passed 170,000 words, which is about 500 pp. Those of you who are hoping for a REALLY long book are going to get your wish.