Triumphs & Tragedies

A tribute to some of my dear Devon Rex cats who have struggled to survive against the odds

I hope by adding this page to my web site, that not only will these brave little cats have their struggles acknowledged, but also that people struggling with a kitten who is not thriving may access information that may in some way help them through their crisis. The many happy, thriving Devons and Devon Variants I have living with wonderful families, give me the strength to keep working to improve and increase the healthy gene poole of Devon Rex Cats.

Many of the problems that we have encountered are random as opposed to genetic or familial. However only by keeping careful records, performing post mortems on any kittens I lose, and keeping in touch long term with my cats can I hope to ensure that my lines stay free from the genetic perils of any 'breed'

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Triumphs & Tragedies - Mr Marm

Wisecracks Colby

BORN 16/11/2012
DIAGNOSIS Failure to thrive

Colby did a MARMADUKE only far worse.

Colby started life as biggest equal in his litter. It was deja vu of Marmaduke, Mouse had an easy delivery, she bled a little post delivery which is not normally visible, then got a terrible tummy bug and needed antibiotics, as did the kittens. Colby started losing weight as did his siblings and I supplemented them all. The others rallied but Colby didn't he stayed small and frail, I continued to support him with tube feeds and lots of love. He managed to be even smaller than big brother Marmaduke, weighing in at 229g at 8 weeks! He is by far the smallest kitten I have managed to help to survive. Triumphs & Tragedies - Mr Marm He is pictured in the first photo with his litter mate born the same weight. I started to give him goat's milk, with manuka honey, acidophilus, egg yolk and fish oil via a tube feed four or more times a day. Three times he plummeted and needed subcutaneous fluids. I agonised over what more I could no but remained convinced the antibiotics had damaged his gut and he needed support until it could recover. He came camping with us because I could not risk leaving him and he adored it, all along he had a will to live but he really turned a corner on holiday. I tried every food I could think of, my old standby's like mackerel in tomato sauce, raw chicken mince and tiny tins of gourmet foods to tempt him and finally he became addicted to houndlog! Our wonderful friends visited and met him and decided he needed to survive and go live with them and his half brother, which is just the best outcome I could hope for, we totally adore him. His adoptive parents called every other day for weeks and I texted them daily weights. We worked together with faith, love and support and Colby's overwhelming will to live to make this a happy ending.

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Triumphs & Tragedies - Mr Marm

Wisecracks Marmaduke

BORN 30/10/2010
DIAGNOSIS Failure to thrive

Mr. Marm so full of charm - Now big and healthy and still adored!
Mr. Marmaduke was born at the end of a dreadful siege of disasters. We had lost Mac Ram A, Purr Anna and Chloe's horse Anna all within a few months as well as losing my very dear friend following a brain tumour biopsy, so we were emotionally fragile. Marmaduke was one of 6 kittens and their delivery was easy. Within a few hours Belle Canto their mom got very sick and required antibiotics and fluids and she recovered rapidly. However her kittens did not over 3 days we lost 3 of the six kittens and Marmaduke looked like he was next. I spent hours on Google and trying to figure out why and what was happening, even after 6 weeks of 2 hourly feeding and supporting all I can put it down to is perhaps some infection. He had a course of antibiotics but did not bounce back.

Triumphs & Tragedies - Mr Marm with his bigger litter mates

Marmaduke was his birth weight at a week old; he was less than half the weight of my lightest surviving kitten at 3 weeks old! I continued to tube feed him and added 20 plus manuka honey to his regime along with a prebiotic and probiotic and lots and lots of kissing and loving and gentle tummy massages. Eventually by 4-5 weeks I was syringing ID diet into his mouth and waiting for him to swallow and finally he started to eat and gain weight, after Coco Vinn and Purr Anna I decided ID diet and tummy massage along with prebiotic and probiotic often during the day, lots of extra electrolyte and a diet easy to digest may help him not to bung up and to absorb his food? Perhaps it did or perhaps someone with a greater power decided to give us a break, perhaps he was just not willing to give up, but for whatever reason he is now a big healthy boy who I adore. He is just too special to live as part of a crowd so I had to part with him or quit breeding cats, believe me it was not an easy choice.

Mr. Marm flew to Wellington to a charming gentleman who had lost his wife and his Devon Rex within 8 months of each other, I am not sure why but Mr. Marm stopped eating altogether and had to fly back home four days later, the moment I opened the cat carrier he climbed up my chest and wrapped his arms around my neck and purred! I felt terrible for upsetting both Marm and the poor man who of course loved Marm but was worried sick that he would not eat. As soon as he got home he ate like he had been starved, little monkey.

A few weeks later a delightful young woman called me wanting to adopt a Devon Rex, I explained how precious Marm was to me and she took on board that if she adopted him he would be needy, they were made for each other and Mr. Marm so full of charm now lives in Hamilton and goes by the name of Marley. He shares Amy's love with her husband and seems happy with the living arrangements.

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Triumphs & Tragedies - Liddle Leda

Wisecracks Liddle Leda

BORN 15/12/2009
DIAGNOSIS Acute Renal Failure (Acute Kidney Failure)

Leda came close to death but has made a full recovery.
Liddle Leda delivered a glorious litter of kittens at the end of July 2011 and was a purrfect mother from day one. When the kittens were 6 weeks old Leda suddenly started vomiting, I gave her electrolytes and kept a careful watch. The next day she looked unwell and smelled like a chemical (uremic) when she jumped on my knee and she was dehydrated, I took her to the vet and he tested her urine which was very dilute in spite of her being dry! We sent off blood tests and they showed severe kidney failure, CK 1107 (normal 80-600), Creatinine 661 (normal 67-150), Urea 57.6 (normal 6.6-12.6), Phosphate 9 (normal 1.1-2.2), Potassium 8.7 (normal 3.6-5.6) Her Sodium/Potassium ratio was low at 17 (normal 28-41) and there were signs of stress on her haemotology screen with heinz bodies due to renal disease. We gave her vibravet in case this was an infection, sub cutaneous fluids, subcutaneous vitamins and an anti emetic (anti vomiting) and force fed her Hills KD wet food. We brought Leda home with a very poor prognosis but I felt it was too sudden to be anything so permanent. I gave her subcutaneous fluids 120 mls four times a day, her kidneys were unable to reconcentrate her urine. On the second day I picked up KD dry food as syringing the wet food was almost impossible I thought I could pop the biscuits down one by one like tablets, to my surprise she chewed the first one and then wolfed down a days worth of food, she ate the bag full which was meant to last a month in under two weeks, she showed an interest in her kittens and came back into milk and into call, all signs of health and vigour. We repeated her blood tests 6 weeks later and they were normal, the pathologist is totally puzzled. We are totally thrilled!

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Triumphs & Tragedies - Annie

P&R Snowprints Anna

BORN 2001 - 26/10/2010
DIAGNOSIS Impaled Herself Through The Heart

One crazy Appaloosa with Attitude
I know Mad Annie looks out of place here but her death was truly a tragedy. She came to us as a rising 2 yo, my daughter Chloe chose her unbroken and with attitude, they argued constantly. Annie would play tiggy and if she took a dislike to a friend of Chloe's she would purse her lips flatten her ears and frog march them out of her paddock. Chloe did not allow this sort of behaviour and they grew together into a devoted pair. Annie would look puzzled if she saw Chloe on another horse and try to look backwards to see who could possibly be riding her! She was truly a character, and a fast fun horse to ride. Chloe and Annie attended many Christian horse camps together and won most of the races. On Chloe's 20th birthday we found Annie dead in the paddock impaled through the heart by a small branch, her ears were pricked forward and eyes wide open looking happy. Chloe spent a few hours with her, and we buried her in the paddock, she was in her prime and our only consolation is that she would have died almost instantly.

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Triumphs & Tragedies - Mac Ram A

Wisecracks Mac Ram A

18/11/2007 – 15/09/2010
DIAGNOSIS Perforated Gastric Ulcer - Polycystic Kidneys

Our Glorious Passionate Stud Cat
Our beautiful boy, born and raised here he blessed us with our darling boy Gusto, and several litters of kittens. He was totally passionate and he gave big tight cuddles. I went out to give him kisses and his tea and he was wonderful, loved his smacks and kisses, the next day Gordon found him dead, we were totally gutted and heartbroken. He had managed to be happy and purring and well and not shown any evidence of an ulcer, no black poos or blood stained vomit, no visible pain, and ate his big dinner the night before he died. His post mortem showed a perforated gastric ulcer and multiple cysts in both his kidneys. Luckily I had followed the advise of deline geneticist Leslie Lyons and started a DNA bank with samples from all of my cats, including kittens and was able to send DNA away from not only Mac but also his parents and his son. I contacted all of his kitten's owners and the families with his siblings. The DNA testing returned a negative result for polycystic kidney disease (PKD). This did not rule out PKD, many diseases are inherited by different mechanisms in different breeds and species, the gene tested for is currently known to be responsible for PKD in Persians and Exotics. We then had to have all the cats concerned ultrasound tested, they were super stars no sedation required even for the electric clippers! They all had clear scans, both his parents who are now 7 yo and his son Gusto. The specialist vet consulted with the pathologist and together they concluded that this was a one of event and not hereditary. Although this does not bring us back our glorious boy it is a huge comfort.

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Triumphs & Tragedies - Purr Anna

Wisecracks Purr Anna

BORN 9/08/2010 – 24/09/2010
DIAGNOSIS Failure To Thrive - Maldigestion

A dear wee girl who fought and lost
Purr Anna was small but mighty for her short life. She was sweet strong and determined. Purr Anna was born a normal weight but was very slow to gain weight, at two weeks she was still latching on and suckling but remained very tiny. Of course I tube fed her and supplemented her feeds and she appeared to rally, even getting through the nights on her own steam without losing any weight. She then actually showed an interest in eating when I offered her AD diet, a diet used for sick and or convalescing animals, after syringe feeding this to her several times she started to suck it up from the syringe. I really thought we were winning; Purr Anna was playing and interacting with her litter mates. However her interest in food was off and on, she developed a big tummy with very visible blood vessels which to me indicated something systemically wrong, she put me in mind of my darling Vinny. At 7 ½ weeks Purr Anna suddenly became weak and cool to the touch, we could not watch her suffer and took her to be euthanazed. Her post mortem confirmed she had a problem with digestion.

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Triumphs & Tragedies - Miss Tirioso

Wisecracks Miss Tirioso

BORN 11/11/07- 5/12/07
DIAGNOSIS Unilateral Anopthalmia & Hydrocephalus

Our sweet spotted special little girl
As if being a Devon is not odd enough, Miss Tirioso was born with only one eye and her cheek bone appeared to be deficient, I also noticed she had a large head and an open fontanelle. However she was a big healthy kitten, and thrived with not a single intervention by me. I searched many hours on the internet and found very little on Hydrocephalus, except induced hydrocephalus. Our Chihuahua cross has a large round head and open fontanelle, so a part of me kept hoping she was just odd! Miss Tirioso, had the sweetest nature and was very alert and interactive, looking at you with her one eye. She seduced all who met her. Her milestones were right up there with her siblings. At three weeks I got her out late one evening for a little play and she was markedly ataxic, and a little dull, very like the head injuries I have nursed. First thing in the morning I got up to check her, and she was crying and clambering over her siblings, I picked her up and she extended her limbs, like a patient with cerebral irritation, she was unable to balance, and was in pain, we took her straight to my vets to be peacefully put to sleep. Her post mortem confirmed hydrocephalus. Again my kitten owners were amazingly supportive, and many were in love with her. I had a call from a wonderful cat lover who once almost adopted on of Spiedher's kittens, giving me her sympathy and also telling me that Miss Tirioso had touched her heart.

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Triumphs & Tragedies - Turtle

Wisecracks Woolly Poly Prop (aka Turtle)

BORN 7/09/07
DIAGNOSIS FCKS (Flat Chested Kitten Syndrome)

Our beautiful Turtle who fought and won.
Turtle is the last kitten Polly Ester had. He was born small at 73g, and I tube fed him just as a supplement. Polly was distressed with only one kitten and stressing so I fostered Turtle onto Domestic Bliss an out cross queen with a litter when he was 2 days old, so he got his colostrum from mom first. When he was 5 days old, I noticed his breathing was fast, when I picked him up to weigh him I noticed his front legs wanted to splay out like a seal's flippers! I also noted his chest was flat at the front with distinct ridges at the sides when the flattening started. I searched the net and found FCKS and a site that described the condition, and suggested splinting, with a roll. Thus Turtle's nickname, we modified a toilet roll as a splint, and my daughter would come and say that she had taken Turtle's shell off for him to have a break. The article also suggested that these kittens work hard to suckle and need extra feeding so I tube fed Turtle 2 hourly until he was 12 days old, when he had started to maintain weight and even gain weight between feeds. The article also said that although most kittens who survive have a normal healthy life, some kittens also have heart or lung issues which present themselves later. Turtle started to thrive, but remained small, at his first vaccination, my vet noted a very loud murmur, and suggested a major heart defect. I called the family adopting Turtle and explained that he had this problem and that my vet had actually suggested having him euthanazed, which was not an option. They were still happy to have Turtle. Sadly this family's circumstances changed and Turtle lived with them only briefly, but landed on his feet with a home living with one of my devons, (the devon who had converted his original family! ) Tina's vet was also shocked at his murmur, when he went for his check. However Turtle survived his desexing, and then managed to slice his leg open helping the roofers with their work, and this required stapling. He runs rings around the big, healthy Devon he lives with, and is a source of much joy and entertainment.

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Triumphs & Tragedies - Kat Kama

Wisecracks Kat Kama

BORN 14/02/2006
DIAGNOSIS Multiple Fractures secondary to Calcium/Phosphorus Imbalance

Alive & thriving in U.S.A.
Kama was born fat and healthy and was apparently thriving. He was asleep in his hammock and I scooped him up for cuddles with Gordon. He was rolling with one of his passion attacks and rolled off the low chair he was on. He cried and could not get up, he appeared to have no movement in his back legs and one front leg. My vet gave him pain relief and x-rayed him, and was shocked. Kama had a fractured shoulder, vertebrae and femur! We were sent for a second opinion, and it was confirmed that his bones were like egg shells from a calcium/phosphorous imbalance caused by him eating too much raw meat. Although I had supplied the litter with fresh water and a constant supply of top quality cat biscuits, Kama had obviously chosen to eat only the feeds of raw mince I had been feeding them! Kama had to be held to use the toilet, and kept confined for a month. I wrote to his owner in Hawaii, with the option of adopting Benton his brother, but he stood fast, and wanted Kama, which was amazing. with a lot of TLC, Kama healed and eventually flew with his sister to Hawaii, the crate training was good practice for the flight. He is an active, loving amazing cat and shows no signs of his previous injuries , he and his sister now reside in Oregon USA. To this day his lesson is with me, my kittens only get raw meat with their biscuits minced and mixed through it.

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Triumphs & Tragedies - Wadda Ketch

Wisecracks Wadda Ketch

BORN 10/03/2005
DIAGNOSIS Anaphylactic reaction to anesthetic

Our beautiful tabby girl who died suddenly before her surgery
Ketch was a healthy happy little girl, with a family who were waiting anxiously for her. Sadly I had a call from my vet to say she had arrested as soon as he started to give her, her anesthetic, in preparation for her desexing. The vet staff were devastated as were all of us. Her post mortem came back confirming that she had suffered an allergic reaction to the anesthetic. In a way it was better that she did not leave here entire, and break her new families heart even more as an older kitten, as the reaction would still have been as severe.

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Triumphs & Tragedies - Vinny eating his pan fried fish

Wisecracks Cocoa Vinn (aka Vinny)

24/02/07 - 31/05/07

My darling boy who fought to live & was totally adored throughout his short life.
I have just updated the website and even now 4 1/2 years after losing Vinny I have tears in my eyes & a lump in my throat! In all my years of breeding, no kitten has hurt me as deeply as my darling Coco Vinn. My gut instinct was that he had a bowel motility problem, I was giving him enough lactulose to make a racehorse loose, and microlax enemas, he would volley between bright and bouncy, and distended and dull. He required baths three or four times a day for his leakage, and would just chill while I bathed and towel dried him. The love he fostered in people was an inspiration, he had emails of support from around the world. My kitten owners were a source of strength, and darling Nikki, wanted to adopt him and was like an angel of hope, she quietly kept in touch, sending us chocolates during bad times, emails all the time. She coped with this mad cat breeder leaving an excited answer phone message that 'Vinny has done a poo, all by himself!" Gordon as always was behind me 100%, and as in love with Vinny as we all were. Vinny would do 'neck titty' on me leaving miniature hickeys, hard to explain at my age! But this suckling seemed to make him hungry, and to give him comfort. I have copied his web site entries below, a diary of his short life, without perhaps all of the gory details. If anyone who is needing help and information I am happy to help in any way I can if you need to contact me.

Triumphs & Tragedies- Darling Vinny

1 WEEK Coco Vinn still has his eyes firmly shut. He has a sparse coat and is the lightest colour of the three pointed/mink kittens.

2 WEEKS Coco is still hot pink, the black around his nose from the wax around Mom's nipples, all the new kitten's little claws gets coated from kneading, it took me some time to figure out what it was!

2.5 WEEKS Not sure what wee Vinn is up to but he has stopped gaining weight over the last three days, he appears well enough. I have of course been overprotective and given him tube feeds and some acidophillus.

4 WEEKS Coco has tried eating a little mince, he is tiny and less active than his siblings, and he worries me terribly.

5 WEEKS Coco is the dearest little man. I have broken my heart over him, and supported him throughout his 5 weeks of life. I took him to my vet on Friday, to see if he could figure out why he is failing to thrive, his heart sounded good, he was terribly constipated, and had a high enema. He was totally wasted by the experience. The following morning he was limp, cold and urinated when I picked him up. He had no body tone and could not even hold up his head. I conceded that he was not meant to survive, cried for several hours kissing him, bundled him up with hotties and soft blankets and popped him in the sun to pass away quietly, I stopped feeding him. 11 hours later after being with him most of the day, I picked him up to pop him into a carry cage to be safe and warm, and he sat up! It was like seeing a ghost. He is still tiny, weak and not a thriving kitten, but what a fighter. I am tube feeding him, and he is having basin baths and tummy massages to hopefully help him poo! He is also on coloxyl baby drops in his feeds. I do not know what the future holds for him, but he certainly has spirit! I do not see any evidence that he is in pain or suffering. At this stage I am not looking for a home, as each day is a triumph.

6 WEEKS Coco aka Vinny is still with us, through no effort on his part. Although he is slightly more alert, he is not interested in food of any kind. He is also unable to poo without the aid of an enema. The older he gets the more he looks like there is something seriously wrong with his anatomy and it is looking unlikely that he will be able to overcome this. I am trying to staunch myself for a medley of blood tests, but the thought of inflicting pain on him is so upsetting, he is so tiny and frail. I am currently agonizing over whether there is any hope and what it is fair to inflict on him. He is currently cuddled up on his hotty, waiting for his enema to work. He is still being tube fed. He has a truly amazing spirit!

7 WEEKS Little Coco Vinn is still with us. He is on lactulose to poo. He is still being tube fed, but has made an attempt to eat tiny amounts of kitten food. He is very calm about his baths, and rough drying sessions. He hates his litter tray and runs over to his nappy to wee!

7 WEEKS 4 DAYS 16/04/07 Vinny purred tonight when he was having his cuddle! He purred with happiness while Gordon was giving him a head rub. He also is doing wees in his litter tray if I make him stay in it long enough. He is eating tiny amounts of a natural single kitten food I found, the rest his cruel human mother force feeds him! Still having 4 tube feeds a day of formula, and beef blood.

8 WEEKS Well Vinny is still with us. He is getting up and using his toilet for wees. He is playing more, but still very frail. Yesterday I started giving him cat lessons, so his brothers are visiting one at a time. He is very sweet and a purr bag. Again once he gets stronger I will get brave and get some blood tests etc done.

9 WEEKS Vinny is a darling. He is on my lap as I write, attacking my sleeves as they move. He is eating small amounts of cooked fish and raw mince. I have bought many varieties of flash sachet and mini tin food but not found any that truly appeal. He purrs when I tell him how much I love him, does titty on any bare skin, and is now playing for short bursts. He is very good about his many baths a day, and quietly licks his feet while I scrub him. I am afraid to get too optimistic, but he does have a truly amazing person wanting to adopt him and even drive up from Wellington to collect him. She already has a special needs domestic cat.

10 WEEKS Vinny is a delight. He is playing, and eating a wee bit of mince and pan fried snapper or gurnard, only accepts it fried in butter.

11 WEEKS Vinny has reached another milestone, he is climbing, he scaled the alibaba basket and is climbing onto the chair to be on our knees!

12 WEEKS Vinny has had a myriad of blood and faeces tests, and is under the care of a feline specialist as well as my local vet.

13 WEEKS Vinny had yet another bad spell, this time he did not seem able to turn this around. He lost interest in his food and I was totally tube feeding him pureed science diet. his tummy blew up and he was profoundly dehydrated. My poor little boy looked sad, and was in pain intermittently. We took him to the vet for sub cut fluids and support, but he started vomiting and was in so much discomfort, as much as it broke our hearts, we made the decision to end his life painlessly, leaving him with some dignity. We miss him terribly, but the thought of him having to suffer off and on all of his life, is worse than our aching hearts missing his dynamic and brave presence.

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Triumphs & Tragedies - Polly Ester

Wisecracks Polly Ester

BORN 3/03/2003
DIAGNOSIS Umbilical Cord severed short causing septicemia

Our pretty passionate purring pointed Polly who is alive and thriving
Polly Ester was the last born in a litter of 5. Her mother was a first time mother and doing well, but when I let her lick herself while Polly was being born, she accidentally not only chewed off her cord completely, her side teeth gashed her tummy open. I put my fingers in the hole and grabbed what I could of her cord, and applied pressure. I then swabbed the area with antiseptic, dusted on some antibiotic powder and rolled a bandage around her, and gave her arnica spray. Three hours later she was stretched out, away from her litter mates, and cool, I warmed her, fed her and started her on antibiotics, and acidophillus. Within 5 hours she was a little perkier. She stayed down my top most of the day and with her mom and litter mates as well in between. After a week's course of clavulox and feeding, she was back to normal except she wanted syringe feeding not mom, it took a while for her to get back onto suckling. Her only ongoing problem from her septicemia is that she lost the tip of her tail, and almost got called Tummy Tuck long term! To this day she loves to be cuddled hard, and to lay over your shoulder only far enough that she needs her bottom supported with your free arm! She is a totally passionate delight! Polly grew up and blessed us with several litters of kittens. In my heart I knew she wanted her own person who could give her the constant one to one loving she ached for 24/7. Although I never put Polly up for adoption, I was approached by a lovely lady, whose sister lives with one of my devons, and decided she was a person who Polly would love and be happy with. although it was a painful decision, for me Polly is totally thrilled and adored, and is nicknamed Princess Polly, which she truly is!

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Triumphs & Tragedies - Hamish

Wisecracks Hamish

BORN 27/08/2004
DIAGNOSIS Born with Facial Asymmetry

Ironically Hamish is the only surviving kitten in his litter
Hamish is named after Hamish Carter, who happened to be competing in the Olympics, at the time Hamish was born. He was born at 8.30 pm, after his mother had been in labour since 1.30 and produced his first sibling at 2.30. He was quite stuck, and was purple from the pressure, it was a grueling labour. He needed reviving, needless to say. His mother Demanda is a blood type B, so the litter required feeding for the first 24 hours, so I had a night of two hourly feeds to look forward to.

Triumphs & Tragedies - Hamish

Noticing Hamish had an odd little whisker pad, I realized he would be unable to form suction and suckle, and that he would require feeding until he could eat solids. This meant a decision to euthanaze or be committed to 2 hourly feeds for 5-7 weeks, given that his wee problem was purely cosmetic and that he was such an amazing fighter, there was no choice really! I wrote to my wonderful people waiting for kittens, to say there were two beautiful healthy kittens, and an odd little boy I was feeding with a 'funny face'. In true form, my kitten owners came through for me with many asking to adopt Hamish. In the end he went to a delightful young lady who adores him. He plays cricket with the neighbourhood children, and is a real boy about town. Ironically Hamish is the only surviving kitten in his litter, his brother was killed by a car before he was a year old and his sister was shot by vindictive neighbours on a large country property!

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Wisecracks Against The Odds (aka Lucky)

21/01/1999- SEPTEMBER 1999
DIAGNOSIS Neonatal Isoerythrolysis (blood incompatibility)

Our unlucky Lucky was killed by a car at 10 months

Triumphs & Tragedies - Lucky

Lucky was born in my very first litter, we had his mother blood typed as we knew she had type B blood in her parents lines. Her type came back as type A, she delivered three kittens all fit and well. On day 2, I noted Lucky was passing bloody urine. I called my vet and he called the lab suspecting blood incompatibility. Much to our horror, the lab had reported mother's blood type incorrectly, and she was indeed blood type B! The damage was done, after 16-24 hours the antibodies the kitten ingest via the colostrum are no longer a threat, so there was no point in taking him from his mother.

Triumphs & Tragedies - Lucky

At this stage in my cat breeding I had not learned to tube feed, but syringe fed Lucky 2 hourly, with formula, and collovet tonic. I also put him regularly in the sun as they do jaundiced babies. Lucky was left with his litter mates between feeds. By day 7 he was very unwell, his yellow colouring was now just pallid. I continued to feed him 2 hourly and support him, by day 11 he began to suckle again. Lucky overtook his healthy sister in weight at 8 weeks Lucky recovered with no ongoing health issues at all. the lab offered to test all of the kittens and oddly the other male kitten was also a type A but did not suffer any ill effects from suckling from his type B mother. Sadly Lucky's first owners, were also a steep learning curve, I allowed myself to let my head rule my heart, and in spite of reservations, I could see that they could love and provide for a kitten well, I explained how precious he was and how he had survived against all odds. After living with Lucky for almost 5 months his new owners approached me to say that they felt Lucky was not a Devon, they had seen him suckling from his Devon Rex Variant mother and I had explained the breeding program to them. The thought of Lucky living with such superficial people horrified me and I refunded their money and took Lucky back, knowing that I had behaved ethically. He went to live with a lovely family who owned his brother, their dear daughter had wanted him as a kitten and it did not bother her that he was now a cat! Tragically, Lucky was killed by a car not long after joining their family, and living a very long way from the road.

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