It feels as if I’m constantly pouring food into the nursery cage; both mums and babies are hungry all the time. The kittens are beginning to eat much more of the dry mix, but Xia and Xara are still grateful for the soft mix as they can eat it quickly, often eating and nursing at the same time. There’s just no cease to the little ones’ activity and Xia and Xara look exhausted. The cage is quieter at the moment, with no loud eeping from hungry babies, and the two mums are maintaining weight and condition, so I’m fairly happy with the way they’re coping.

The kittens are still very much in the testing by tasting phase, and that includes my fingers. It does enable me to to confirm that they have their top incisors even though I haven’t seen them, although despite feeling like little needles their new little teeth very rarely manage to break the skin.

The wheel has been put to good use over the past couple of days. Even at twenty four days old the babies are heavy enough to move a 30 cm Silent Spinner wheel and at their tiny size they can practice running at full pelt.

One of the babies has gained a name. The little dove Essex boy with a near perfect blaze is now called ‘Burlington Bertie’. He’s the best marked blazed Essex I’ve had since his great great grandmother Tamar and I can’t bring myself to let him go. With the addition of my rattery prefix he’ll be Brandywine Burlington Bertie, a wonderfully long and alliterative name for a tiny little ratlet.