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Calling … calling …

30 March, 2007

My girl is calling.

She started calling properly on Wednesday, but the signs were there days before that she was going to come into heat.

Several days before, Maya the Asbo Bengal, kept harrassing her and chasing her. The last two times this happened, it was almost as though something about Ananda had changed to prompt this action – perhaps she was giving off different scents in response to changes in her hormones.

She also became more affectionate, and on Tuesday morning, crawled into bed with me and first wedged herself between my arm and body so that she made a warm, furry lump asking for a cuddle. Then she proceeded to lie on top of me, still seeking my attention. (during her previous call, hubby told me that she had lain on top of him at night).

I’ve previously written a post on “How to tell if your cat is on heat” if you want to find out more symptoms. [perhaps “symptoms” is the wrong term to use because being on heat is not a disease, it only seems as though the cat is in a state of dis-ease!]

This is her third call this year. The first one, in late January, lasted a week. The second one, in late February lasted a mere three days. Some breeders say that a strong call may be followed by a shorter one.

I’m hoping this is a long strong call because we’d like to get her to the stud cat this Sunday. We can’t get her there any earlier for a combination of reasons. If she goes off call by tomorrow (Saturday), then she won’t be seeing the stud until her next call.

Going to the stud isn’t a matter of turning up and letting him get the job done.

For one, the female cat has to be tested no less than 24 hours before, for FeLV/FIV (feline leukemia/feline AIDS). This is to ensure that the none of these diseases is transmitted to the stud cat during the mating. This diagnostic test is more familiarly known as the “snap test”. A sample of blood from the cat is dropped onto the testing kit, and if I recall from the last time, the test module is activated by snapping it so that the reactants in the kit mix with the blood, hence the name “snap test”.

Drawing blood from a cat can be a tricky business. My vet is particularly skilled at getting a blood sample from a cat’s leg – he uses surgical spirit to wet the cat’s fur, then parts the fur where the vein is before drawing the blood. I have heard of other breeders who haven’t been as lucky – one vet decided to draw the blood from the neck of the cat, and shaved the fur off to make the job easier. Seeing that a stud cat will grab hold of the scruff of a female cat in order to hold her, the bald spot meant that it would have risked injury if the stud cat’s teeth had bitten through.

So, if she has the snap test and then goes off call, I may need to have the test done again the next time she calls because of the 24-hour requirement.

I’m quite excited about the stud cat and hope to have more to tell you in future posts.

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