Monday, 18 June 2012

When Will You Marry?

(Sorry about the gap between posts-  a family bereavement and other 'stuff'. You know how it is.)

So the time of year has come when I'm thinking hard about who to mate Indigo to next, and equally importantly, when.

Because it's complicated this year. Firstly time wise. My friend gets married in the spring and I am in the bridal party. I can't have a due date cat around that time, or kittens that are too young. I can't have kittens that are due to go home because I won't be about to facilitate that. I could have small-ish, still just about nest- bound kittens or older, independent kittens (both times with an experienced- with- baby- kittens person housesitting) but I wouldn't want to leave toilet training kittens. And given Indigo's illness last year, I wouldn't want to leave a pregnant cat, certainly not in the early stages.

It's ridiculous... I'm only going away overnight, but it's feeling like a military operation! And I KNOW they would be fine with someone else for a night or even a weekend, but... well, you know.

The other option of course is to not have kittens this winter at all, mate her in the Spring and have summer babies but again that would require careful timing because I take a summer holiday. Or I could skip a year entirely. (the idea doesn't appeal...)

The next thing is with whom to mate my girl. Now the problem with Indigo is that as a 5th generation Tonk, she's actually related to quite a few of the local (and by local I mean within a 3 hour drive... lol...) studs, and that won't do at all! I rang up about a stud last week, only to realise it was her grandfather! Not sure how I had missed that!

There's not a lot of choice, is what I am saying.

Now she's had two lovely litters. Her first one, with GrCh Fecheldee Harry, are now what- 18 months?- so its possible to see what they are like as adults, and I'm delighted with them. Good quality, robust cats with no health issues (that have been reported to me, anyway) who obviously give their families a lot of pleasure. So a repeat mating with Harry is a definite possibility, he's obviously a good match for Inds. And he's a proven stud, and a Grand Champion, all to the good.

Harry's an apricot mink, so those kittens could be blue, lilac or caramel (boys), all three in tortoiseshell (girls) and in mink or solid. My instinct is, if I mate Indigo this autumn, to use Harry again.

But then over at Tonkadello, they have a new up and coming stud, Louis. Now Louis isn't available yet, he's only a baby still, born, I think, in February, but by next year he will be available. Now the big selling point for me with Louis is that he is a first generation Tonk, ie his parents will be a Siamese and a Burmese. He represents an entirely new bloodline, (and many thanks to the dedicated breeders who made that happen...) and that would be a good balance for Indigo's 5th generation blood. The Tonk gene pool is small, and it just isn't healthy to get too small.

Mating Indigo to Louis will be a bit of a leap into the unknown as he won't have been a stud for long by the time Inds needs to come, but to be honest that's how it was with Monty too and that worked out really well- my Von Trapps were adorable. So if I waited until the Spring, I'd probably want to use Louis, if he was ready.

These kittens would be chocolate and lilac, if he carries dilute, (which his people may not know until he's had a few litters of course!!) in mink and solid. And yes... if I got a chocolate mink girl of a decent quality I would definitely consider keeping her. There's no hurry to keep a kitten, Inds is three now- I guess she'll have another three litters all being well (which you can't bank on) But latter litters are smaller, fewer kittens mean less choice and you can't guarantee even a female, let alone a female of good type, and then there's the question of your own colour preferences etc. So leaving it to the last litter, never a good plan.

As always I am merely rambling, and your opinions would be very interesting indeed :) Oh- sorry about the pretentious title today, but I love Gauguin and it seemed apt!

Thursday, 7 June 2012


Although I wish this handsome young man was one of mine, either a resident or one I'd bred, he isn't. This is Tallica Mojito, Amanda's (reader, commenter) tonk.

Mojo was thought to be a chocolate solid, but Amanda thinks he looks more like a chocolate mink, so has given me permission to post his piccies on here to see... and hopefully as he grows there will be more pictures and we can see what he eventually settles into.

Mojo is currently only 5 months, so plenty of time to settle into his final colouration... remember the shenanigans over the REM litter when they turned about one? And C reports that Jacob has recently lightened, whilst Jonah has darkened into their (presumably) final colour. in fact it can take a Tonk several years to settle into their final colour and even then colour can keep on developing- mature browns, for example, can get very dark indeed.

Mojo's body colour now. I have not had chocolates here, so I couldn't say one way or another. His body is still pretty pale, but chocolates are pale anyway, he has a lovely creamy belly but it isn't almost white, as I've seen in a mink, but that could be the light.

His eyes look pretty aqua though, which would be more typical of a mink.

For comparison, here are Pasha and CoCo (Liesl and Brigitta) at 2(ish) months- Pasha, front, is a brown mink and CoCo a solid, but their eye colour is pretty much the same. By three months though, the eye colour is starting to look pretty different. You can't really see from this pic, but CoCo is a lot darker in the body.

Here's Bailey, a brown solid like CoCo, a month or so later:

You can see his eyes are already starting to look green/ greeny-yellow compared to Pasha's, below... Pasha is a mink and had very nice aqua eyes at 3 months...

Back to Mojo! Those eyes look much more like Pasha's than they do Bailey's don't they? If I had to guess, now, and with all the usual provisos about really not being terribly good at colouring kittens, I'd say he was a chocolate mink. But as always, opinions welcomed! M, your Dylan is a chocolate mink isn't he, is Mojo similar in colouration or is he darker-??

Wednesday, 6 June 2012

Blue, Blue, Blue...

And more blue! L and L's family sent me some new pictures today, and this is Lottie... no doubt about that in this pic is there? She's a blue! A blue solid Tonkinese. No question. Funny the effect of different lighting isn't it?

(I'm ridiculously pleased...)

Here's Lola, blue mink Tonkinese. You can see her points are the same colour as her sister's, yet her body colour is lighter and warmer.

Aren't they beautiful pictures? Lottie and Lola, now that they are neutered, (reminder, if you haven't, now is the time!)  have started being allowed out for supervised garden time, and by the looks of it are loving it!

And just for comparison, here's Theo, my blue point Birman. Now try to imagine his colouration in a Tonkinese body, and minus the white paws, and this would be a blue point Tonkinese.

There are three different colourpoint patterns in the Tonk breed, solid, mink and (confusingly) pointed. Indigo can't have pointed kittens, for which I am eternally grateful because can you imagine the confusion I'd get into trying to sort out THREE different point possibilities rather than just the two? Colours are bad enough!

Tuesday, 5 June 2012

Blue or lilac?

Now you know me... I am the first to admit that colouring kittens? Not something I would list as an achievement. I do seem to have a particular issue with lilacs- I think they are blues. Apparently I can't recognise a lilac if it jumped up and purred at me.

But I think I could be forgiven for the confusion here.

I mean, that's a blue kitten, right? That's absolutely a blue kitten. (if anything its sister Lola who is looking a bit lilac-y there, and that's a whole nother post!)


That is not a blue kitten. It is a lilac kitten, or rather, a lilac cat, because at the grand old age of 6 months, I suppose they would be terribly offended to be thought of as babies (they will always be babies to me!) Lottie, here, looks just like Mama Indigo.

And again, I would say that was a lilac cat too. As an aside, not sure how old they are here, but I'm assuming they've both stayed smallish cats- they were both small as kittens weren't they? Well, the whole litter was smallish but Lottie and Lola were the smallest of the lot! Maybe not though- Bailey, who was average sized (but the biggest in the Von Trapp litter) is getting to be quite a big cat, I think Sulley might be as well. But my diddiest kitten from the REM litter, Lisl (Hope) stayed small, so I assume L and L will do so too.

I don't half go on... back to colour now...

But here? Here she looks more blue.... but not as blue as I would have expected given her earlier pictures. But still blue!

As I said yesterday, and as you can see in the picture above as well, they have a sufficiently different eye colour now to let us assume Lola is indeed mink and Lottie is a solid (so I am improving!!!) but oooooh I am undecided about Lottie's colour now. Grr!

Any opinions? Lottie and Lola's family don't mind a bit (remember Lottie has already distinguished herself by being undecided as to whether she was male or female for many weeks, she was thought to bea girl, then a boy and she was going to be called Charlie as in Charlie and Lola!) but it is a source of never ending frustration to me to not have this whole colour thing a little more secure in my mind than I currently do.


But they are beautiful, and this post has given me an excellent excuse to post more lovely Lottie and Lola pictures. Which is always a good thing! You must be very proud of them K and family- I know I am.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Lottie and Lola at 6 months

Lottie (with Lola's foot)- blue solid- apparently.

Lola- blue mink

And sooooo adorable!

Remember I swithered over whether  Lottie was a mink or a solid for ages, before deciding, and registering her as, a solid? Or it felt like ages anyway. Well you can see in the above pictures that the contrast between Lola's points and body is much more than Lottie's now. And in the picture below you can see the difference in eye colour too, Lola's are a light greeny-aqua, Lottie's green-gold just like her Mama's.

Must say though Lottie is looking far more like a lilac solid than a blue... she's looking like Indigo. And Jonah. What do you think? Thank heavens I always warn my customers how terrible I am at colouring kittens! Anyway, she doesn't look a bit like Jacob, my definitely- no- doubt- about- it blue solid (and I think I agonised at the time that Lottie didn't look a bit like Jacob... should have known shouldn't I? *rolls eyes*)

I love how regal looking the Tonkinese are. Such beautiful girls- many thanks to their family for sharing!