Nimue gave birth to six kittens on 2/4/18. Unforunately, one of our kittens was born with a very, very low birthweight (60g) and a weak suckle reflex; despite our and our vets' best efforts, our little cameo passed away without any evidence of defect or illness on 2/14/18, a victim of fading kitten syndrome, as he lost the energy to keep fighting. This page will contain a tribute to our sweet cameo, pictured in the below photo, who was so very, very loved and even though his time in our world was short, he was so very powerful and changed us. The life of a breeder can bring both joy and heartbreak; this litter-- we experienced heartbreak along with the joy.
We have five healthy, happy behemoths who have gone through the wobble-crawl-walk stage. The boys outnumber the girls as we have 3 little guys and 2 females (bottom, center). We have one silver (male), three brown tabbies (two males, one female), and one silver patch (female). Our pet parents are just thrilled as their babies grow stronger by the day and begin their journeys into kittenhood! So far, we have Sun O'er Sea's Sterling, top left, Maryann and Aubrey's Neeko, bottom left, Josee's Mufasa, bottom right, Corrine's Cheyenne, and Sun O'er Sea's Morwenna whose namesake means "waves of the sea." All are 8 weeks now as of 3/31/18, having just received their first set of kitten vaccinations.
Sun O'er Sea's Morwenna, beloved of Angela & Eric. Morwenna is our 2018 keeper, but when she retires, she will go to Beth's best friend from college who is also learning how to show her. Morwenna is everything we have ever wanted in a silver patch, phenomenally tempered, beautifully structured, and stunningly patterned. She carries on her parents' fantastic genetics and we cannot wait to see what her future holds!
Sun O'er Sea's Neeko, beloved of Maryann and Aubrey. He has his daddy's sweet in-your-pocket personality.
Sun O'er Sea's Stirling, beloved of Mickey Cole, our retired mentor who dreamt of having her own black silver kitten. He is a perfect blend of both parents, inheriting his mother's stunning silver and his father's stellar personality. He is currently showing in kitten class with Morwenna and will hopefully sire a litter in 2019 when he reaches maturity. He loves to hang out with his big brother, Rover!
A Breeder's Grief: Our Little Cameo (pictured in hand)
I've never shied away from heartbreak or transparency. As a breeder, one of the toughest struggles we undergo is the loss of a neonate kitten, which is an event our cattery just experienced as many, many others do. Sometimes, no matter your best efforts as a breeder, the cards are stacked against you and that loss should be met with compassion and support, always.
The majority of breeders who undergo this trial have spent days and nights (and no sleep), sometimes weeks, trying to get their ill-fated one to thrive, supplement feeding every two hours, stroking the back of the kitten to encourage it to just suckle a little bit more. Sometimes, it looks like the baby is on the mend and suddenly, you turn around and they're gone as quickly as they arrived.
Mother Nature just calls them home too soon. This feeling of heartbreak is something we carry with us. No one is more invested in their lives than we are. This is the part most pet parents are shielded from, why breeders are so hesitant to give count so early, before the critical period is over, before we hit three-six weeks and we can let out a small sigh of relief.
Every life I help bring into this world, I have a responsibility to nurture. Not every life, I know, will make it but the life that is no longer breathing in my hands is a life I fought for, a life I tried my damnedest to save, and to not be able to leaves a breeder feeling gutted, heartbroken, bereft.
But we carry on out of love for our breed, for the beautiful babies that are thriving, for the ones yet to come and hope that next time-- we'll meet a different outcome.
Rest in peace, my little cameo. You fought long and hard, born with the stars aligned against you, an uphill battle from the start. While you were only a few days old, you were so very loved and you were so powerful, you changed our tiny world.
— feeling heartbroken.
Sun O'er Sea's Mufasa, beloved of Josee. He is a spectacularly tempered and majestic boy. He now fits in with Josee's other felines and they can be found hanging out together!
Sun O'er Sea's Cheyenne, beloved of Corrine and Carl. She is an active girl, but also settles down to enjoy a day of cuddles with her new dad and mom.
Nimue & Cthulu's 2018 Litter: All Reserved