Saturday, March 18, 2006

Kittens growing so fast

'Bravo Zero' with (left to right) 'Bravo Zero-One, Two or Three', 'Bravo Zero-Two, Three or One', 'Bravo Zero Four', and 'Bravo Zero Three, One or Two'.

'Bravo Zero Four'

I'm sure I seem like one of those people who are besotted with their cats at the expense of a good grip on reality. Well - I am. Our kitties are now three weeks old (where did the time go?) and totally adorable. My colleagues have come to grasp that when they kick and fling them I will scream. They (the kitties, not the colleagues) are shown above on their first day of scrambling outside the box. Their box has been placed in the dining room cupboard where 'Bravo Zero' took three of the kittens after about a week of putting up with their roommate's (that's me) snoring. She had left the spotty one - 'Bravo Zero Four', known from photographic monitoring to have been born last - squeeling in my room. Thus it's the one I've become most attached to. I'm glad our friend Kathleen has chosen one of the tabbies (I can't tell them apart) for her allocation instead of 'Four'.

I lost an argument with my boss Sophia the other day. Sorry - this is still about cats. Her cat 'Tarzane' just delivered four completely different-looking (but all adorable) kitties. (Her delivery room was inside their Sofa Bed - Tarzane ripped an entrance hatch and made a nest right in the underframe.) Sophia claimed that cats can have kitties in one litter that have differnt sires. Rediculous, I claimed, and went straight the net to prove my point. Well, it was me who was wrong. I learned that cats, dogs and rabbits can exhibit this superfecundity - and then I learned from my colleage Dr. Simon (who is an obstetrician) that humans can too!! Furthermore, cats can also exhibit superfetation - overlapping separate pregnancies. That's it - Bravo Zero is never being allowed out of the house again. Even though she is supposed to be patrolling for rats and snakes. At least the appearances of her litter suggests that she's only half the shameless tramp that Tarzane is.

In other news - the last few weeks have been extremely busy and stressful but rather successful. We've got assurances of funding for our clinics (from the Irish government) and for our hospital (from the European Union) for 2006 and we're very relieved. My colleagues and I (both here in Buchanan and in Monrovia) worked very hard on final reports and new project proposals but it was all very well worth it.

So since my last entry I've become a bit of a cat litter matron and a bit more of a Project Coordinator. But I've still got a lot to learn about both.

I'm going to Sierra Leone for a short R&R on Thursday.