I have learned that there are several types of cat breeders. One would be those who raise the cats in-home and under-foot. These are usually breeders that have a small number of litters each year and who often breed for certain traits. These kittens can benefit from full-time contact with humans. There are also larger breeders, with elaborate catteries and full-time staff. Select Exotics (where my girls came from), are the latter (and if you go to their site, you can see that they have an impressive facility and a number of people who work to make sure the cats are healthy and socialized). There are also "backyard breeders", a slang term for uneducated or unethical breeders.
For the moment I want to congratulate all of those in that first group, the in-home breeders, because I seriously do not know how they manage to get anything done with a house full of Savannah kittens. You must have nerves of steel and epic levels of patience.
Dinner last night was pretty epic. On coming in the house Siada attacked the bags of groceries, puncturing a container of yogurt and trying (but failing) to swipe her papa's steak. The groceries went into the kitchen (with that one lime Chobani making a detour to the trash) and I started to cook. Normally, Siada sits on a cooler next to the counter where she can watch me. Last night she opted to jump onto the counter about once every two minutes. After me putting her down and telling her "No" for the 93rd time, she decided that she needed to teach Layla how to accomplish this feat as well.
Why would she do this, I wondered? Oh yes, she wanted a diversion so that I would not see her tipping over the colander of peas in the sink. Fortunately, half were still in the sieve and I could use them in the pasta dish (as soon as I removed Layla from the counter yet again). I oped to piled dishes in the sink over the abandoned peas so that I could (hopefully) eat my dinner while it was still warm. As we sat at our food (in the living room) I hear clanging and banging in the kitchen and rush in to find Siada at the sink with one paw reaching around below the piles of dishes. She was up to her armpit in ceramics jostling and stretching. Occasionally she would pull out a paw and look at it and YES! There was indeed a delicious pea in the middle of her pad or impaled upon a nail. She would eat it and begin her pea hunt anew.
Of course, they were exhausted after dinner and slept for several hours before the antics started again. And me? I was exhausted as well. I think Savannah kittons should come with a wine subscription. Maybe all of those in-home breeders have one, and that is how they survive the daily Savandalism in their homes.
(Note, I would not change any of this for the world, with exception, of course, being to remedy the lack of wine!)
It did not take long at all for Siada and Layla to become inseparable. Layla trots after Siada, imitating her actions. They are now co-conspirators for destruction of the domicile, which, fortunately, amuses us to no end.
Watch where you sit though, they have no qualms in blazing a trail right over you in pursuit of each other. When Nimar was young he would run right over you on the sofa, or even jump the entire sofa with you on it. As soon as you heard the thunder of his paws, you inwardly flinched because you never knew where he would land or what part of you might provide a runway for feline antics. All those feelings are coming back now when I hear the two girls pounding through the house.
There are even some quiet moments (that are just so gooey, sweet and 'awwwwww' inducing that you cannot stand it). I can definitely say at this time that BK#2 (lovely little muppet Layla) was a very, very good idea.
It has been a very, very long time since I have had more than one kitten in the house at a time. Siada, at 8 months, is still a kitten herself. And, well, Layla is just a baby. The chaos right now is supreme.
To take a step back, we did the usual quarantine, though not as long as we might normally have done it. Siada was turning herself inside out beating on the quarantine door trying to see what was inside. Isis was wailing the song of her people outside the door as a slept on the far side on a cot with the baby. It just wasn't working.
The decision was made to start introducing Siada and Layla first, and then work on Isis and Reeses (an ill-tempered velociraptor on a good day) later. This was especially important because we needed to travel to the Cabin, but did not want to leave Siada (who goes everywhere with us) at home.
Siada, she who fears nothing, chose to run from, and growl at, the baby. The little Kitton, like all of its kind, decided the best way to react to this hostility was to bounce up in its face, over and over.
Can someone explain that too me please? You are the tiniest creature on the block. You have baby teeth and claws. Yet, your strategy is to go AFTER the animal making very vehement death threats at you from across the room? Brilliant plan, kitton. (But they all do it! Siada did it to the big girls, Nimar did it to them, Isis did it to the previous reign....)
A couple of days of this (and with Siada stealing all of Layla's toys at every given chance), and we had to make the first trip to the Cabin.
Siada is a champion traveler. But with the new kitton in the car she was lunging at the cage and growling. This resulted in stopping along the road so that I could move myself and the spotted banshee to the front seat, leaving the baby in a crate in the back to bellow her discontent all the way to West Virginia. No amount of Feliway was helping this.
But a mere 2 hours later a miracle happened.
We got to the Cabin. I put up a baby gate in the bedroom and showed the baby where the potty and food were. The baby gate would not stop Siada at all, but she wasn't the aggressive terror. Realistically, the baby can climb the gate, but it would give me a chance to catch her before hell broke loose. Or so I thought...
Not five minutes later, Layla was streaking free through the Cabin. On Princess Siada's turf. Siada went after her and stopped short. They sniffed noses. Siada suddenly decided that it was play time and they spent the rest of the night chasing each other through the house.
Savannah Caretaker who is honored to do the job.