Wednesday, 24 April 2013

Indigo Reflects

On the whole, she thinks she'll forgive me for banishing her back to the living room. But only if I keep up the head rubs.

Sunday, 21 April 2013

Hello, Jacob and Jonah!

Such a lovely pair! Love the way they cuddle up together. I love seeing photos of Indikon kittens, all grown up.

Just a word about photos... anything emailed to me personally, I might post on here ( indeed I will try to, life, study  and other inconveniences notwithstanding!) Anything on Facebook and elsewhere, I wouldn't post unless I got permission. Thank you C for letting me copy this picture over, they are adorable (and little pickles, too, I am sure...)

Tuesday, 16 April 2013


The teenager's bedroom is currently being redecorated. He is sleeping in the living room, which is, still, a living room. All his stuff, however, is in my bedroom. As you can see.

This includes the cats. The teenager doesn't like cats in his room, and given that it is his room, I am not going to insist (although I do occasionally let the better behaved cats in for a break if things get a bit tense.) We've also had the walls in the kitchen and bathroom bleached and repainted with anti mould paint (damp... sigh) so those rooms have been out of action too. The hall is full of mattresses and not yet put together furniture. So they really have been all thrown together in the one room.

It's been interesting really. Six months ago, I couldn't have considered it, of course, Indigo would have had to go to a cattery. Now... well they have all coped. Remarkably well, actually.

It hasn't been ideal. Poor Ava has found herself out in the hallway at night as Indigo won't let her near the bed, (which she naturally insists in being in ALL NIGHT, under the bedcovers, and my goodness, how comes one normal sized cat takes up about 75% of the bed?) I have quite a long scratch from Indigo as she launched herself at Ava one evening whilst having a cuddle. There have also been several 2am yowling matches with Sofia, and Theo has taken to spraying the door, just to let everyone know it's HIS room, actually. It's upset their little equilibriums (equilibrii?) enough to say Indigo won't be getting full time bedroom access any time soon.

 It's funny to think I used to have to keep the two sets of cats totally separate. It seems a long, long time ago, but it wasn't really. I'll still be using a cattery for holidays away- they all get along, sort of, if I am there to referee, but I dread to think of the shenanigans that would ensue if I wasn't about. But still, it's promising.

Monday, 8 April 2013

Older Kitties

I had a lovely phone call the other day, from a lady I will just call J. now J had a Tonk,, adopted as an older cat, who passed away after a long and happy life. She was very much looking for an older kitty- a Tonk- but had had some conflicting advice from her vet. Could she have a chat to me, a breeder, so see what I thought? Of course she could. Any excuse to talk Tonk.

(And no- I didn't offer her my Indigo... lol! I wouldn't be without my Inds. I know a friend expressed an interest in her, and I did even think about it, but I just couldn't.)

Basically she wanted to know about Tonk rescue. She didn't want a kitten. Well I don't know if the readers here know it, but both the Tonk clubs- the Tonkinese Breed Club and the Tonkinese Cat Club- have a rescue service, with a named co-ordinator. This isn't for rehoming ex- breeding cats, that's up to the breeder. It's for purely pet cats that have lost their homes.

It may seem that this is unnecessary, after all, we have shelters. But as we all know, Tonks are a bit specialist. If someone went to an ordinary rescue, for a typical cat (no cat is 'ordinary' of course) then they might get a bit of a shock with a Tonk! And conversely, if one's heart was set on a Tonk, one could be waiting years and years, if one ever came along. It wouldn't work, hence the breed clubs' involvement.

They do such a good job, these clubs, so I thought I'd mention them. Older kitties rock. And they do not always advertise every kitty that is available, so if one wanted an older cat, and there was nothing on the website, it would be well worth contacting them anyway- you never know. Bear in mind the clubs are run by volunteers, so the sites sometimes don't reflect the current situation.

So this should be a first port of call. Sometimes there just isn't a suitable cat at the rescue though, so if you've tried that and have had no luck, there are other things to try.

This lady who phoned had been doing just that.  She said she was looking at ex breeding girls... but that her vet had warned her off.  Ex breeders, he said, were unhealthy and sick due to being forced to have litter after litter until they are worn out. They were then callously dumped at the end of their breeding life once they were of no further use, and so wouldn't have been much loved in the first place. And that such a cat would make a poor pet. And she wanted to know if this was correct.

As you can imagine, I couldn't disagree more!

There may be many reasons why an ex breeding girl may need a new home. The most obvious reason is that neutering can change a sexually mature cat's character, they may become more timid. Breeders' households are usually multi cat, and a timid cat may be picked on. They may suffer stress which can make them ill, just think of the worry I have had with Ava. Put simply, a newly neutered girl may no longer be cut out for the rough and tumble world of hormonal female cats. Surely the kindest thing to do would be to find her a lovely new home?

Perhaps that vet may be talking of unregistered breeders. I am sure there are many kitten farms out there who have little regard for their babies or Mamas, churning out litter after litter, and that is very sad indeed. But the breeders I know LOVE their cats. I know because of the way they talk about them, interact with them and care for them. I know because they can weigh up the merits of single protein versus mixed source foods,  know intricately the characters of all their cats and have boxes of cat toys that none of their horrors play with. (ahem!) They refer to themselves as 'Mummy'. (the shame!) They own a shelf of cat-related books and expensive litter trays because their little darlings are picky. They can talk about enrichment of the environment and spend half their income at the vet.

In short, you can just tell.

Good breeders will only breed once a year, and less if the cat seems to need a break. I don't deny that pregnancies are exhausting for the cat, but a breeder will always keep this in mind, and organise her breeding plan around the cat's needs. I didn't breed Inds this winter, and I don't regret that choice although I have missed having kittens about.

So in response to the vet, I would say raspberries to that! If you are reading this and considering an ex breeding cat, talk to the breeder, get a feel for how she feels about her cats, find out about that cat's quirks and character, ask why she needs a new home. Ask as many questions as you like. A good breeder won't mind, in fact she will have a long list to ask you- she won't be letting her baby go any old place you know!

And good luck, J, in finding your cat. We'd love you to pop back and tell us about it when you do!

Thursday, 4 April 2013

Beautiful Bailey

Enjoying a few rays of sunshine. Yup, we had actual sunshine earlier in the week, didn't we? Back to snow again today though.

Didn't he grow up to be a beautiful boy? Aww!

I'm feeling much better after my friend's death, and am back to blogging now. Thanks to M for the picture. Sorry everyone, I have been very lax about posting your update pics of late, must definitely do better!