Ash is a Russian Blue Silvermane Velveteen, an is a big girl weighing upwards of 350-400g as well is also the biggest sweetheart. Her temperament is gorgeous and she loves her people. She was paired twice, the first time on Dec 8th the day after Sablinova but did not come to term and went back into heat and then again on Dec 25th. The second pairing was successful, and she gave birth twenty-two days later on Jan 16th. She had six healthy babies, genders split right down the middle. There was unfortunately one stillborn as well.
Ash was an excellent mother, and her babies were quite massive, in both stature and baby fat. No surprise there with the smaller litter size. When she wasn’t feeding, she was usually begging to come out and play. In fact the first time I saw her on the second day she jumped on the cage bars the minute I walked in the room demanding I take her out and had a nice break sleeping on my lap while I worked.
Her litter grew fast, and were actually eating solid foods the same day they opened their eyes; I believe around day 12, I would have to review videos to be sure. They just get cuter by the day, and the two Velveteen were decided on as holdbacks pretty easily. Very happy to get a nice Silvermane Velveteen boy as well. Himalayan wasn’t quite expected honestly, and I feel like the Albino must come from Ash as Howard has only produced pointed Martens. It also lends to the hypothesis that Sablinova might actually be homozygous Marten.
F1 Sablinova x Howard
Born December 29th, 2020
Sablinova is a Russian Blue/Silver* Marten who most likely has hidden English Irish markings. I could tell she was Russian Blue from her ticking, though I was told her father was an American Blue so it is possible she is Russian Silver but further test breeding is needed, and it is my assumption at this point that she only carries Blue, are perhaps not even. She was paired with Howard on Dec 7th of 2020, a Black Mismarked Irish/English Irish. I had originally believed Sablinova to be Self, and Howard to be a Mismarked Berkshire but upon the development of the litters pigment I found this was not the case and his markings must come from a Variegated line.
The litter was born twenty-three days later on Dec 29th around 12:30p approximately. I came in to find three babies born at 1p and by forty-five minutes the number had increased to eight. By 3p she had settled in with all the babies and was feeding them in her recently built nest. One baby did not look well and she had left it to the side, though she did seem to have cleaned it. I left her for the evening then checked later that night on her and the kittens.
She was doing well, and seemed to be taking a break so I took the opportunity to remove the babies and look them over. Twelve kittens in all, with Sablinova’s smaller size she was struggling with getting them all well fed and around three of the babies did not have milk bands and two were not very well fed. I placed the five in by themselves and after a short while Mom began feeding them again and when they had adequate bands I returned the rest of the litter and left her for the night.
Unfortunately as suspected, the weak kitten was a FTT and did not make it through the night. When I check in the morning there were eleven babies in the nest, and after a short search I found the last one buried on the other side of the nest. For the most part everyone had milk bands, but a few were weaker and so I got into the habit of separating the litter for Sablinova once or twice a day to make it easier on her and ensure everyone was getting well fed.
There was one obvious runt in the litter, and I took to hand feeding him for the first week nightly to make sure he was getting everything he needed. Sablinova often moved around and while many kittens latched on, he was not strong enough and would often find himself not only with less food but outside of the nest in all sorts of random places where he would drop off moms belly. A second runt was also present, but was much more to pace with his siblings and seemed to most often have a pretty decent milk band so was only hand reared twice.
Sablinova did a good job as a mom, and with a little help the entire litter minus one near stillborn FTT grew up healthy and happy. Interestingly the litter had some real surprises. Firstly that the litter was all Russian Blue, but that was just dumb luck. The other thing was that the litter threw all Black Eyed Martens. This is significant on a genetic level, and can tell us a bit more about Sablinova’s lineage. One is that she is almost certainly homozygous for the dominant Black Eyed allele. This is great news for my marbled lines start, and hopefully in the next generation we can holdback a male that test homozygous positive.
The all Marten occurrence is actually interesting; pointing towards her being homo-Marten as well, but in her pedigree she was breed from a Siamese and Marten. These two things can not be true at the same time as Marten is dominant to the Himalayan allele so if the mother truly was Siamese she can not be homo Marten. It is possible that it was just again dumb luck that no Siamese or Himalayan popped up in the litter. We’ll have to wait and see how her next litters turn out to truly come to a better conclusion. For now we must assume this was an against all odds type of litter and things just played in our favor.
They are currently all fully integrated with the adult mischiefs and play and romp all day happily together, sometimes to the dismay of the adults as they use them for wrestling practice. These litters (F1 & F2) were heavily monitored and kept past normal adoption ages to ensure the best in the new lines kittens regardless of coming from such amazing lines and rats, and it was decided to adopt several of them to pet homes, most being close friends wit easily monitored situations, as I saw no need to euthanize such beautiful and well temperamented rats.
Russian Blue Marten
Variegated w/ Headspot
I realized this girl was Marten quite a bit later then the rest, in fact only recently has a slight marbling developed on her forehead.
This girlie ended up being very small, I almost considered dwarf or carrier being possible as I was told their Mom possibly carried it. The dad shouldn’t but then again suprises happen. At this point I want to say maybe she is just a carrier from Mom, causing a smaller size possibly? I guess we shall see in time what happens in updates from the adopter.
Mismarked English Irish
This little one was the runt that was hand fed, and he is going to a good friend so I can make sure to keep an eye on him. He is obviously stunted due to being a runt and has developed slower then his siblings. He was held back to monitor but will be going to a good home shortly.
Russian Blue Black-Eyed Marten
You might have noticed this guy has a notched ear. When the kittens we’re younger it must have gotten ripped in play. When I saw the injury it was still remotely fresh, and he did not seem bothered by me cleaning and treating it. The wound healed fine, but of course has left him with a distinguishing facial feature. Don’t let his rugged looks fool you though, he is quite the sweetheart.
Russian Blue Black-Eyed Marten
[Hidden] English Irish
This was the second runt, and well bigger then his brother he still has a stunted size. I decided to wait to open adoptions on the runts due to size to monitor for good growth and health, and at this point he is ready and I have opened up reservations for him.