Bringing Up The Grandchildren

Sylvia Smith

May, a Satin Long hair Lilac gave birth on the 17th July to a litter of 12 baby lilacs; the father being a Short hair Lilac called Tuppence. At about 8 days, May decided to ‘take a walk’. The next morning I discovered the babies cold but still alive. I searched for May but could find no trace of her. I was especially concerned for the babies, that they would not survive the day unless I could foster them.

Tuppence’s mother, Bad Penny had also given birth on the same day, having produced a litter of just six. She was transferred with her babies to a bigger tank and the lilac babies were introduced. She immediately took to them and started to nurse them.

You may think this would be the end of the story - but no, who should appear a day later? Yes. You guessed it, May, looking very sorry for herself and obviously ready to assume her role as mother. But having successfully fostered them I was not prepared to risk disturbing them. Bad Penny is an excellent mother and is on four porridge meals a day with lots of titbits. After all, 18 babies is a lot of hungry mouths to feed, although she has quite a good system going she has divided them into two groups so they all get equal chances to nurse.

Back to Journal