Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Kurt... and Brigitta

Oh those brown kittens! Some people love them, some not at all. The last two visitors on Saturday had only the brown solids left to choose, and they both had the same question to ask- how dark will they get?

Well the truth is, it's like asking how long is a piece of string. It really is. Google 'solid brown Tonkinese' and you will see a wide range of colouration from a rich warm brown to a very deep, dark shade indeed. Google 'natural solid Tonkinese'- the phrasing they use in the USA, and some of the cats look almost black- although still with distinguishable points. I suspect they have slightly different colouration standards over the pond as I've never seen such a dark brown solid here in the UK (on exhibition at shows etc) but it is possible, at least.

Now me, I like a really dark cat, but when some people think 'Tonk' they are really thinking of the siamesey colouring, and a solid can throw them a little. And then they have to decide whether they want a cat that is so dark. Because if truth be told, the light colours seem to be the most favoured ones. (Some breeders though specialise in the browns... it's all a matter of personal taste after all)

Now this might seem irrelevent... after all does it really matter? Well, yes I think it does. There are lots of reasons for choosing a particular pedigree cat, but aesthetics surely play their part. I first fell in love with the Tonkinese breed because they were beautiful, before I ever found out about their wonderful temperaments and decided to get my Indigo. And when I chose Indigo I specifically wanted a lilac, and I would have waited for a lilac if one hadn't been available. I didn't want a brown or a chocolate, and while I do have a soft spot for blue that wasn't my preference either.

So I showed our guests pictures in books and on the net, and made sure both knew how dark a solid brown can get. And with both parties I said that if at all unsure about a cat, I strongly advised NOT getting said cat. It's worth hanging on for the right one, is my feeling, even if you have to wait a few months. And indeed one family decided that would be most appropriate... and one decided she liked Kurt very much whatever his eventual colouring might be and he was going to be her next cat. Both decisions were undoubtedly the right ones :)

So Kurt had been claimed by M, and that just left Brigitta...

I'd had a call on Saturday from C, to find out if I had any Tonks left in the litter. Her family are bringing home a lilac boy any day, and they had been expecting a dark pointed siamese boy at the same time, but the breeder of the siamese decided to keep him for breeding at the last minute (bit unfair that, they'd had a contract and everything...) One single cat wasn't their idea at all, so the hunt was on for a playmate.

Well, the kittens were utterly delightful. They played, they snuggled, they romped and they climbed. They ate their dinner nicely, and some of them took themselves off to the litter tray as well. Basically they did themselves proud. Yes please we would like Brigitta, said the family, we'll PayPal you when we get home.

And then... THEN... the Siamese breeder decided the boy was available after all, and given he'd be the same age as the Tonk they are getting, they had decided it would be more appropriate to have him as they had originally intended. By which time I had turned down another two prospective families for Brigitta, who have now arranged to see other cats and will probably choose them, so I'm really quite annoyed about it. Not with C, I'm sure she was most embarrassed about it (I would have been...) but with the Siamese breeder.

So anyway, sweet Brigitta is still on the lookout for her family, and I've learned a thing or two. As a result though, I'm no longer accepting payments- deposits or balances- via PayPal. For reserving a kitten, its cash at the time and no reservation till payment is made, and equally balances cash only please. I'm sorry to be a pain but I had a lady ring who was desperate to have Brigitta who has now chosen another kitten- that could have been Brigitta's home if I hadn't assumed payment was on the way. I'm sure someone else will claim her, but even so, I could kick myself for being naive.


  1. Poor you, but I'm sure it will work out in the end.
    I personally LOVE the browns, when grown the colour really shows off the sleek quality of tonkinese.
    If I had just the one cat, I'd be on the motorway straight away to get Brigitta!!

  2. Hi there. I've just been directed to your site. I am a very good friend of someone who is coming to see Brigitta this weekend. She is gorgeous. As you probably know, he is the proud owner of his 7-year-old Tonk Matilda, who is missing her best buddy Rudy, who disappeared 3 months ago now. He is sadly very missed, and we still hold out hope that he will return. Your blog is lovely and you clearly take superb care of your cat family. I wish you all the very best. It is always lovely to see a loving Tonk breeder.
    Kindest regards. Rachel

  3. aww thank you, what a lovely comment. I hope Brigitta makes a good impression tomorrow :) she should do, she's a dear little thing. Poor Matilda. I do hope Rudy makes it home.

  4. Hope Brigitta finds a nice loving home. I'm looking at getting a Tonk, but we are planning to move house and wont get one until we do, its hard looking at breeders kittens and telling them that we do want one but not yet.. they must think we are really messing them about, but we are not. We want to get the right cat, from the right breeder, to go in the right house. At the moment, our house is not the right house, as we live near a busy road and have already had one cat (moggy) killed by a car. Surely they can see we care enough not to make a rash decision?
    For the record, I love the browns. We had a solid brown rescue Tonk who looked black in some light and chocolate coloured in others, and his fur was SO silky. He had lime-green eyes that sometimes looked golden. Very special. If one like that came up again I'd get them in a second!

  5. I wish everyone was as conscientious as you! I wish you every luck in finding your house and then your Tonk :)

  6. Thanks. Its going to be stressful but exciting. I cant wait to be able to let my cats out safely, they are little hooligans indoors!
    My vet receptionist got a Tonk from Essex, I wonder if it was you?

  7. Almost certainly not, as this is only my second litter. There is (or was, I don't know if they still breed) another prefixed cattery in Essex, Leallasford I think they are called? I've never met them. Of course not all breeders have their own prefixes. So its possible there are quite a few of us in Essex... I just don't know any!