Sunday, 30 October 2011

Tiny Belly

Indigo has! A very gentle dropping and roundness- you couldn't tell from a photo (and my camera is playing up again so apologies for the lack of pics lately) but I hold her and stroke her every day and I've noticed it. Of course she has baggier skin this year, and is a bit chunkier anyway so it might not be so obvious so soon.

Shall we do bump photos this year? I think so :) I'll start just as soon as she's got anything to show.

Speaking of shows... I actually made it to see one the other day, the Tonkinese Breed Club show in Bracknell. I didn't mention it before because I didn't want to jinx going... I'm not usually a superstitious person, but having lost out on the last three due to illness etc I was a bit wary!

I saw the lovely Monty, some descendents of Harry and lots of lovely cats, but mainly I was able to talk Tonk with lots of other breeders which was nice. Monty did very well and got another challenge certificate, but- and I didn't know this- it is from the same judge as gave him one before. So he still can't claim Champion status. The certificates need to be from different judges!

I've also joined the Tonkinese BREED club, which I've been meaning to do for a while. I'm now a member of both clubs. I don't think there's any others...

I think I've said it before, but I'm pretty ambivalent about the whole cats in cages thing (but I keep mine indoors and isn't that just one big cage? I am a hypocrite, I guess. Bear with me though whilst I unravel my thoughts a little...)

I like breeding within the structure- and the confines- of the GCCF because it gives set rules on what you should and shoudn't do, and these are almost always to the benefit of the cats. It would take a brave breeder to insist a kitten stayed for 13 weeks, for example, if we didn't HAVE to... when the non pedigree world expects kittens at 8 weeks. But the extended stay is good for mama and babies. If people didn't have to wait 13 weeks for their kitten to come home, they wouldn't would they, in the main, they'd go to the breeder down the road who churned them out callously at 6 weeks, and the decent breeders  would lose out. Kittens would be less socialised and less happy and the breeds would suffer as a result.

Shows ensure breeding animals are of a good type, so the breeds stay distinct and improve, rather than becoming... well, just expensive moggies, basically. The whole point of a pedigree cat is one that has been bred for a certain look and temperament, the opposite of a random bred cat which is, as the name suggests, random. I have no objection to moggies, if anyone is newly reading and doesn't know... I have two of my own :)

So the GCCF and shows are a good thing. I like the shows from that perspective, and its incredibly useful to see the cats, in terms of building up experience of colours and what is a good type and so on- I got a lot out of yesterday. But there's the part of me (I used to be a mildly hippy- activist type, reckon its that part!) that hates the cages and the fact we put our cats in then to be ogled by other people. I don't suppose it's much fun for the cats, although the cats themselves never seem scared as such. Mildly irritated, yes, and you aren't allowed to touch them (disease control) and they don't like that. Well the Tonks don't anyway, as they rub themselves against the bars and roll on their backs asking for a fuss.  But they don't... well they don't suffer, you know?

And reason tells me that if the downside of GCCF breeding is a cat having to spend a day in a cage every now and then, then surely it's better than the spoils of letting your free roaming cat get pregnant, exposing them to diseases and nasties. Not to mention the yearly problem of the shelters overflowing and the thousands and thousands of moggy kittens that simply end up being put to sleep because there aren't the homes.

I expect one day I'll want to show a cat of mine... but lets just say I haven't entirely resolved it in my own mind yet. I'm glad my own girl is a solid, and therefore ineligible... although the application for showing Tonk variants is being resubmitted, so she might not be ineligible for long!

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