A-litter born Dec 9 2019 - Bellona & Inferno

8 months update August 2020

Photo update of our adorable Taschanas Goddess Bellona PP and her two lovely f3 boys Alterskjaer Ulysses (Photo by owner Anja B. Johansen) and Alterskjaer Brutus PP, that look so much like her. Their father is Lynx Luna Inferno PP of Taschanas. He is a second generation foundation cat after his mother Bluebell imported from Maine, New England. Breeding in collaboration with Taschanas and Lynx Luna Maine coon in Sweden.

Brutus is evaluated for breeding by us and lives a wonderful life with his fosterfamily (fôrvertsfamilie) Ingunn and Richard in Tromsø.

You can follow our furred friends on Instagram and Facebook.

Ulysses 13 weeks. Photo: Ida-Helene Sivertsen.
Plutselig er ungene nesten like store som mora. Puma er en fantastisk tålmodig og omsorgsfull mamma. Her sammen med Maze, Ulysses og Dan (12-13 uker gamle). 

Alterskjær Maine Coon sitt A- og B- kull er nå 12-13 uker. Hjerteknusere er de alle sammen og selvsagt verdens fineste. Nå er alle kattene chippet, registrert og stamtavler er bestilt fra TICA. Alle kattungene har også vært inne to runder hos veterinær til helsekontroll og vaksinering, og de ormekuret i henhold til anbefalingene fra vår veterinær. I dag flyttet de to guttene våre, Brutus (A-kullet) og Lucifer (B-kullet) hjemmefra til sine ny (fôrverts)familier her i Tromsø. Jeg er kjempeglad for at vi har funnet så flotte familier til dem og at vi dermed får denne muligheten til og evaluere dem videre for avl. 

12 weeks update - March 7 2020

Fineste Alterskjaer Brutus PP SBV 120919 007, etter Taschanas Goddess Bellona PP 03T 110117 010 (født 11. november 2017) og F2 Lynx Luna Interno PP of Taschanas 03T 112616 049 (født 26. november 2016), har i dag vært inne til vaksinering og helsesjekk hos AniCura Dyresykehuset i Tromsø. Alt vel! 

Brutus er er allerede DNA testet. Se eget bloginnlegg her. Senere skal vi også gjøre HD og hjertescanning som en del av evalueringen før bruk i avl. 

Brutus sin fine bror, Alterskjaer Ulysses, ble kastrert hos vår veterinær AniCura Dyresykehuset i går og vil være klar for og flytte til sitt nye hjem fra 16 mars. 

Table 1. Weight development Brutus and Ulysses

9 week update - Feb 10 2020
A lot of exciting stuff has happened since my last update on Bellona´s cream de la creme boys, Brutus and Ulysses:
  • Little Brutus has outgrown his brother and is now the biggest of the boys! I am super happy and greatful cause we have found the perfect foster home (fôrvertfamilie) for him in Tromsø. This means that we can keep him, evaluate & health test him, and hopefully use him in breeding later on.
  • Brutus and Ulysses have been in for their first vaccination at AniCura Animal Hospital in Tromsø this weekend. They will have their second vaccination at 12 weeks. They have been ID-chipped and they now have their own individual pass ports. In addition DNA samples were taken from Brutus to do mycatDNA profiling by Genoscoper Laboratories in Finland, as part of evaluation for breeding. 

The first meeting. Brutus with his forever family, Ingunn and Richard. 

Ulysses is looking a bit sceptical at our vet Vigdis. Both testicles in place!!

6 weeks - update Jan 20 2020
Bellona´s boys are both doing well. Weighing >500 grams by now, having become well adapted to solid food. The kittens are really entertaining these days - climbing, jumping, playing with each other, and getting themselves into a lot of trouble - all the time. And they have all learned to use the litter tray. At week 6 they are given their second deworming with panacur. And at 8 weeks, on February 8th, they will be getting their first vaccination and they will be micro-chipped for identification and registration in TICA. So by then, I will have to decide on who to keep for future breeding. The plan is that I will keep one of the girls from Puma´s litter and one of the boys from Bellona´s litter. But it is really a difficult choice to make. Luckily I still have some time, and if I have not managed to decide by then, registration will just have to wait a little longer. Before registering the kittens I also need to make sure that their EMS code is correct.
Little Brutus is not so little any longer. That is - he is still the smallest of the eight kittens - but huge compared to what he used to be and almost the weight of his brother Ulysses. This week I have been counting little toes. The "magical number" turns out to be 7+6 toes on his hind paws (patty feet) and 7+7 toes on his front paws (mittens). Which means that I did not get it right when I first counted and got to 6+6+6+6 like his father - who has patty feet both on his front and hind feet. Brutus is very special to me. He is such a charming little lion and has just snuck straight into my hearth. I don´t know if I will be able to part with him.
Interesting also from a physiological standpoint to notice that mama Bellona is in heat again - 6 weeks after having given birth - and still lactating (although not as much as Puma).

Brutus and Ulysses 6 weeks

Sweet Ulysses (6 weeks) and his half sister Maze.

A-litter: Pedigree and health
Bellona´s litter is an outcross combination with new Maine lines both through the use of beautiful Lynx Luna Inferno PP of Taschanas - an F2 cat bred by Johanna Eli Forssblad / Lynx Luna Maine Coons and owned by Marita R. Sørensen / Taschanas Maine Coon, but also through Bellona herself - as she is an outcross F3 cat from both show and foundation lines. Bellona and Inferno has Bluebell (imported from Maine to Sweden by Johanna) in common - see litter pedigree in PawPeds.

Parents are of course both hip scannedhearth scanned and DNA tested with good results reducing the risk of HD, HCM and other diseases in the offsprings. More info can be found here.

Alterskjaer Ulysses of Taschanas (4 weeks) and his mama Taschanas Goddess Bellona PP (MCO e 22). Link to more family photos.

Grandpa Lynx Luna Elders PP (Bellona's father) (MCO d 22), photo by permission from Monica Brattås.

Grandmother Landsbykattens Karisma (Bellona's mom) (MCO fs), photo by permission from Marita R Sørensen.

Names and colours
Bellona´s kittens are named after characters in Dante's Inferno, in the The Divine Comedy, a long Italian poem that Dante Alighieri finished a year before his death in 1321. It is widely considered to be the pre-eminent work in Italian literature and one of the greatest works of world literature. And of course I though it would also be very fitting names for daddy Inferno´s kittens. Achilles and Brutus were / are poly Maine coons. We sadly lost the smallest one, Achilles, after 4 days, he was only 57 grams at birth.

Pedigree names
Alterskjaer Achilles PP of Taschanas
Cream, possibly tabby
Alterskjaer Brutus PP of Taschanas
Cream, possibly tabby
Alterskjaer Ulysses of Taschanas
Cream, possibly tabby

My little heros Brutus and Ulysses January 9 (24 days old)

25 days - update January 10 2020
I am so happy! Brutus is now eating on his own. Not only suckling milk from his moms, but he was the first to dive into solid food and he loves it, setting a good example to his siblings that are more sceptical to this new strange stuff presented to them. He has added an amazing 190 grams these last 11 days and is now up at 369 grams getting closer to his brother Ullysses in weight. He is doing so well, playing and exploring the surrounding and his siblings. Brutus is the smallest of the two boys in Bellona's litter - and has been my biggest worry these last weeks. And he has of course stolen my hearth. 

Brutus and Ulysses have both completed their first 3 day deworming / panacur treatment at 3 weeks.

The kittens have started self-grooming behaviors, walking (some have even found their "fast forward" and "backward"), exploring their surroundings, the kitten litter tray, solid food and eachother. And they have also started playing with each other. At 3 weeks, the kittens have blue eyes and small ears that are beginning to point upward, like miniature cats. Vision and hearing is slowly improving, and at this age the first teeth has begun to emerge. And they will slowly begin retracting their claws.

Brutus and Ulysses (4 weeks) with their halfbrother Lucifer (3.5 weeks) 

18 days - update December 27 2019
Our little lion kings, Ulysses and Brutus, are 18 days old today and sweet as can be. They started out with birth weights of only 67 grams - and are now up to 259 and 212 grams. The smallest of them, Brutus (alias Pink Panter, alias Simba), still has me worried - but he seems to be a real fighter with lots of enthusiasm for milk and moms. Bellona and Puma are taking really good care of all the kittens together. Making sure that they are well cleaned and fed at all times. Brutus is still getting some extra milk to support his growth.

Brutus & Ulysses at 2 weeks

The biggest of the boys - Ulysses 18 days old.


Sound asleep - Ulysses with his half-brother Lucifer Dec 27 2019

6 days - update Dec 15 2019

Bellona and her kittens day one - Ulysses curled up in mamas arms!

Our beautiful Bellona gave birth to three cream boys within less than an hour on due date Dec 9. All kittens fullborn and healthy - but very small (< 70 grams). Them being so tiny was quite a shock! At least to me - who is used to fluffy, chubby Siberian husky puppies, around 500 grams, that head straight for the milky bar and manage intake completely without my help from the very beginning. And now that I have Puma´s kittens to compare with - I realize just how small they actually were.

Bellona is not a big cat herself - but the kittens were still a bit on the lower scale. Bellona had gained 1.7 kg, going from 3.4 kg to 5.1 kg day 65 - and especially with kittens this small I expected her to have more kittens onboard waiting to be born. But after the the three little boys no more kittens appeared - and I got increasingly worried and decided to call the vet.

Early Thuesday morning, we left the house in the snow blizzard (after having removed loads of snow from the car and heated it well) - with mama Bellona and her three little cream boys inside her box together with warm bottles to keep their temperature stable.

At the AniCura Kvaløya we got happy news: The x-ray showed that everything was fine - Bellona was "empty" - the final number of this litter was three - and they were all boys (easy sex determination as all of them were cream).

Bottle feeding til little onesBellona is a wonderful mom with great instincts. Eating well and looking after her kittens. But the kittens were small and had problems stimulating milk production and getting enough food for themselves. Mothers milk is always to prefer, but when the kittens are not able to get milk one must try to help. So I started "bottle feeding" using a syringe with miracle nibbles for new borns and an artificial kitten milk replacer (baby cat milk from Royal Canine), in order to give them energy to suckle and add some weight. I have never bottle fed anything smaller than lambs and infants before - so this was new to me - but we soon developed a routine together and learned the drill.

Achilles lostFriday afternoon little Achilles stopped eating and went into irregular breeding with respiratory arrests and deep breaths, and I realized that he was dying. Keeping him warm and close to his mom and siblings, he died soon after, 4 days old. Achilles was the smallest of the kittens, only 56 grams. He later increased to 66 grams by help of bottle feeding, but sadly was to weak and we did not manage to save him.

Brutus and Ulysses are adding weightThe good news is that Achilles´s two brothers, Brutus and Ulysses, are doing well. They were 67 grams at birth, and especially Ulysses has had a good weight increase. Brutus has made me worry more. But today - at day 6 - Brutus is up to 100 grams (Hurray!) and Ulysses is 135 grams. I am beginning to feel more optimistic that they will both grow up.

Brutus and Ulysses 6 days old


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