Ulpu and Duke’s kittens were born on 9th January, in the morning. This litter is the third one for Ulpu, the previous ones being the Pirate Litter (2013) and the Corvidae Litter (2014). The litter was conceived on Ulpu and Duke’s second date. On their first date, there was interest from both, but certain lack of experience from him as a first-timer. Luckily the second time was the charm!
The birthing was much like Ulpu’s earlier ones. Her dearest cat companion, neutered male Juno had to be close at all times, otherwise Ulpu got upset. It’s very endearing to watch how close two cats can be to each other.
First one to be born was the larger cinnamon spotted boy, weighing 93 g. The first kitten’s placenta came out a couple of minutes later, and on the same big push, also the second kitten was born, along with his placenta. A very big push indeed! The second kitten was also a cinnamon spotted boy, weighing 78 g. Switching from one uterine horn to another, Ulpu held an appropriate pause. Continuing the birthing with the second batch, she gave birth to a cinnamon silver spotted boy (99 g), and last but not least, a tawny spotted girl (88 g). Three princes and a princess.
Ulpu ate all placentas and started right away taking very good care of her babies. She has previous experience and clearly she remembered very well how to nurse and bath her kittens. Ulpu would have wanted to give birth at the top shelf of her human companions’ wardrobe, but unfortunately this was unacceptable by us humans due to safety issues. Ulpu accepted a second-best option, a nest made to the bottom drawer of a dresser, with a heated mat in it.
During the first day we noticed that the kittens’ weights did not start to increase. They decreased clearly, which made us worry a lot. The kittens were nursing, and were sucking very effectively, but there just wasn’t enough milk from Ulpu – a bit, but not enough. This litter being our twelfth, only once before have we had to administer cat milk replacement formula to kittens. Now it was clear that formula was needed in order to keep the kittens alive, and it was given to kittens by feeding bottle, plastic syringe, and once by tube feeding. Fortunately the kittens learned very fast to suck the syringe themselves and still enjoyed spending time at Ulpu’s milk bar. Thanks to cat milk formula, the kittens have gained weight normally. Now the kittens are turning four weeks and will get their names published!
This litter’s theme is the Vikings, which we think is a good fit for many reasons. First of all, we’ve always liked the Vikings theme, and the very first Northalla kitten from the Metal Litter was named Northalla Viking Bronze, a.k.a. Leo. Now Leo is gone, but this litter will honor his memory. Secondly, three of four kittens in this litter are “red heads or blondes” (cinnamon and cinnamon silver), a common look for us northerners. Additionally these kittens had to fighting start to their lives due to lack of mommy’s milk – and they won their fights clearly!
The bigger of the cinnamon boys is Northalla Red Explorer, called Rollo. This boy is a real adventurer and explorer!
The smaller cinnamon boy is named Northalla Seafarer, or shorter just Knut. This mariner seems to be all the time up to something new: climbing, tasting, testing.
The cinnamon silver boy is called Northalla Runemaster, a.k.a. Loki. The master of runes, a philosopher, is the calmest in temper, and he seems to think before he acts.
The tawny girl is Northalla Valkyrie, whom we call Freyja. She is the loudest, real princess, and she keeps up a nice tempo to everything. Running to places, running back!