The story of our (and Denmark's) first German Rex litter
Mating Evelyna von der Burgruine in 2006
A few weeks after Sue's tragic death I was lucky enough to be offered a new girl - Evelyna. The early part of her story is on the Cats page. Her sister, Erela Janina, soon also left home, but she went to Marianne Gerver in Holland.
With most of the GRX studs living in Germany or Finland, getting one to Evvy looked to pose a lot of problems for us. The penalty of being the owner of the very first German Rex cats in Denmark! We had a lot of discussion in the GRXCC as to the best mating for Evvy, but had not made up our mind when five months later I heard about a possible stud I could have for myself - Gerd. The early part of his story is also on the Cats page.
After a shaky start (Gerd is such a big softy that the other cats bullied him!), it was time early in 2006 to take Evvy off the p-pill, cross fingers, and see what would happen! That I did at the beginning of February, and she started calling on the 2nd March. As usual, two of our neutered males showed an interest, and eventually, so did Gerd.
Then the fun started!
As Evvy had dominated Gerd from the start, he was excited enough to try and work out what to do, but worried enough to avoid getting too close! NOT the best method! By the time that her five days of rolling and calling were coming to an end, he had managed to get close enough to attempt a neck bite, but as soon as she got excited by that, he jumped away.
The next time Evvy started calling Gerd was a bit more
prepared. It helped that the two of them had settled down
more at nights (on our bed) with Evvy being more playful and
less of a bully! So at the beginning of May she was rolling
around again with Gerd now managing to get a firm neck hold
and attempting to mate. Unfortunately he was still too
cautious and would not drop his bottom down enough to
connect, so no mating screams that time either!
Now, however, he thought his luck was in - Cobweb, one of Willow's second litter started calling - she is a great friend of Gerd's, so he never had any worries about her; sadly we separated them and sterilised her the next week.
Now for the third time - 3rd July Evvy was ready again and THIS time I took an active role. Imagine the two of them on our bed - Evvy eager but too low, and Gerd eager but too high! I put one hand under Evvy's stomach and lifted her, and the other hand on Gerd's back to press him lower - Eureka - a satisfied, although muted, scream. They managed it by themselves three more times that I knew about, with Evvy's happy shouts (not real screams) not frightening Gerd. Once they ended up on their sides, but whatever, only two days later Evvy stopped calling. Three weeks later Evvy's nipples pinked up nicely.
From the standard calculations the birth was due on the 8th September, but Evvy managed to accomplish it two days early. Her temperature was down a degree early that morning and about 10 am I took her into the guest room where her nest was waiting. After wandering around a bit, by 11:15 she had the first contraction, 12:30 was settled in the nest and had the first baby at 12:36. The last one came at 14:55 with the final placenta being ejected at 15:06.
Then we had to find out sex and give them names. We were keen on the idea of using names from a book called The Wild Road (a series of three) and had already written down some names we liked. Each kitten was inspected in turn to judge sex and markings. The results were two boys and two girls and of the four two appeared curly and two straight haired - a boy and girl in each set. So a perfect mix that proved that Evvy truly was a hybrid GRX. The boys we named Pengelly and Memory, and the girls Francine and Leonora.
In the evening I introduced Gerd to his new family - what a laugh! - he went up to say hello to Evvy and as she lifted her head to greet him, she disturbed a kitten that squeaked - Gerd was so frightened that he almost broke the door down to get out! Now I have to sit with him on my lap a safe distance away to get him used to the idea. He has just about stopped trembling on the second day.
By the third day he started thinking that having a family is quite a good idea. After that he spends as much time with them as he can. He is learning to keep them clean, and Evvy is beginning to go off for a walk, leaving him in charge of their one week old babies!
Gerd was not to know, but when the kittens all grew up, Penny would stay with us and although Fran moved to a new home, she came back for a visit where he mated with her to produce four girls - back in her own home of course.