New Homes and West of Scotland Show

The Tiff kittens have gone to their new home, and we had an excellent day at the West of Scotland show, with both Lhasa and Tia winning their first CCs, and me having a good first judging experience. The Oci kittens are still looking for their new homes, however.

The couple of weeks since my last post have gone well, and not been quite as busy as usual, which makes a nice change!

Fi’s Kittens

You may remember that I mentioned in my last post that a family had been to visit Ellie and Derk.  Well, Lesley and Fraser decided that they would indeed like to adopt both kittens!  Richard and I dropped the kittens off last Tuesday, and enjoyed a cup of tea with Lesley whilst watching them start to settle in, which is always a lovely experience for us.

Ellie & Derk settling in
Ellie and Derk looking pretty settled on the evening we dropped them off

Ellie and Derk cuddled on the bed at 2am
Ellie and Derk cuddled up beside Lesley on the bed at 2am

The following day, Lesley sent me a text message to say that the kittens had slept cuddled up with her on the bed, and that she couldn’t wait to get home to see them.  There really are very few things that can make a breeder’s day like a message like that will – hearing something like that reminds us why we wanted to breed, and makes the painful bits worthwhile.

West of Scotland Show

Richard and I both took the afternoon off work on Friday, as we have done for the past few years, to help set up the show hall for the West of Scotland.  Once everything is ready, the people who have helped are then allowed to set up their show pens, which means that our cats can go straight into their pens when we arrive on show morning.  Apologies for the yellow-toned photos, by the way – the lighting in the West’s hall is absolutely horrendous!

Call peeking out round his blankets
Call peeking out round his blankets

Little Cheeky scowling out from her blankets
Little Cheeky looking thoroughly bored near the end of the day

This year, we had entered four cats – Call, to try again for his final PC (Premier Certificate), Lhasa and Tia to try for their first CCs (Challenge Certificates), and Cheeky in the kitten class.  Unfortunately for Call, there was a lovely Maine Coon neuter boy in the class against him, so Call didn’t win his certificate – in fact, he had a ‘blue card’ day, winning 2nd in every class!

Lhasa looking rather pleased with herself
Lhasa looking rather pleased with herself

The others all won what they were there for, though, with all three girls getting 1st in their breed class and then Best of Breed as well.  Both Lhasa and Tia were also awarded their CCs – Lhasa beating two lovely girls in her class!  For both Cheeky and Tia, this was their first time at a show, and for Lhasa it was her first time at a show of this format (she had previously been shown in FIFé, the European registration body).  All the girls behaved beautifully, but Tia was especially remarkable – she was totally un-phased by all the hustle and bustle of the show, and was rolling around and paddle-pawing on her bedding in delight!

Beautiful Tia showing off her stunning Burmese type
Beautiful Tia showing off her stunning Burmese type

In addition to our own cats wins, we were also delighted to see another couple of Cagarans out with their owners.  Quinn was there, and won another PC and her Best of Breed – although she made up to Premier at the Supreme, the West closed before then, so the rules prevent her from moving up into the higher class at the West.  Lona had brought along Lainni, and since she made up to Grand at the Cumberland, she was in the Imperial this time.  To our delight (and surprise), she was actually awarded the certificate!  This is the first Imperial certificate won by a cat of our breeding, so we are doubly delighted.  I can’t thank Lona enough for loving Lainni, looking after her so well, and of course, bringing her out to shows.

Lainni with her Imperial rosette
Lainni with her Imperial rosette

This show was also particularly exciting for me personally, because I was having my first trip out as a judge.  Judges in the Pedigree section have to qualify through a process designed to ensure that they fully understand what the breed is supposed to look like, before they become a full judge.  For the Household Pet (HP) section, on the other hand, the judges are not comparing the cat to a standard of points, but instead are looking for good condition and temperament.  As a result, the HP judges can be anyone whom the show managers feel would be able to judge whether a cat has those characteristics.

Quinn looking scowly as her pen is dismantled at the end of the day
Quinn looking scowly as her pen is dismantled at the end of the day

When I was first asked if I would judge, it just seemed a really exciting honour, but in the past few weeks, I had been getting more and more nervous.  By the day of the show, however, I was still feeling slightly nervous but mostly I was just excited.  Elisabeth (Stark – Dushenka Russian Blues) was also judging (her third time out as a probationer pedigree judge), so we decided to act as stewards for eachother, so I was lucky enough to have a fabulously experienced steward for my first time.

We had some absolutely lovely cats, both in my classes in the HP section and in her classes in the Pedigree section, and I thoroughly enjoyed my day.  I have written up my reports today, so I hope the cats’ owners will appreciate what I have said about their cats!

There is one final thing from the West, that I feel has to be noted, and that is Zach’s (Dushenka Zerachiel) win.  He picked up his fifth Olympian certificate, making him up to Bronze Olympian, and in the process, becoming the first Russian Blue to hold the title.  Congratulations to his owners and also to his breeder, Elisabeth.

Ocicat Kittens

We are still looking for homes for the three remaining Oci kittens, all of whom have now developed into the most adorable pets.  When they were younger, I was a little worried because they were far more nervous than our Asian kittens normally are, but as they have grown they have just got friendlier and friendlier.  When we go into their room now, they all tend to jump up on the bed, wanting stroked, and if we are too slow to pay them attention then they will tell us in no uncertain terms how unimpressed they are with us for the delay!

The three kittens who are still available - Becca (left), Carrie and Bru
The three kittens who are still available - Becca (left), Carrie and Bru

Bru is now really cuddly, and rubs around our legs when we are doing their litter trays or getting clothes out of the wardrobe.  He loves to come and cuddle up with us in bed, or to lie on his back in our arms, and has a huge purr.

Bru's gorgeous markings
Bru's gorgeous markings

Bru's cute little face
Bru's cute little face

Carrie is the most outgoing with strangers, but prefers to be stroked whilst having all her paws on the ‘ground’, rather than being picked up.  She absolutely loves her food, and is almost always the first into the food bowl, but if she hasn’t already been stroked before her food is put down, then she won’t eat more than a couple of mouthfuls without coming to try and get some fuss!

Carrie doing her best meercat pose
Carrie doing her best meercat impression

Side shot of Carrie showing the 'trout spotting' amongst the ticking, and her gorgeous colour
Side shot of Carrie showing the 'trout spotting' amongst her ticking

Becca is the most wary of strangers, but is also probably the most demanding of attention from us.  She likes to come up and perch on our shoulders, but also comes and sits next to the pillow, waiting for us to wake up and stroke her.  She has the richest colour in the litter, even though these photos don’t show it – she is a rich, warm ginger.  She also has this habit of standing with one front paw raised, and looking at you as if she can see right into your soul.

Becca giving the camera her intense look
Becca in her favourite pose

Becca doing her meercat impression
Becca doing her meercat impression

If you know of anyone who would appreciate an interactive, talkative, playful, energetic, beautiful and loving pet, do tell them to get in touch!

Update and Starting Over

Starting over after a long gap between posts. All of our current cats are introduced, with photos, and an update is given on the kittens available.

It has been three months since I last posted, due to a mixture of illness (mine and Richard’s), and having too much to do, as usual.  Since it’s been such a long time, I figured I might as well start afresh, with a re-introduction to us, and our cats.

Update:

For those who have followed this blog in the past, a quick update first.  The Cumberland show, last month, was pretty special for the Cagaran cats, because we had our first TWO Grands on the same day!  Lona Johnson’s Lainni made up to Grand Premier, and our Donny made Grand Champion.  We were absolutely delighted, as you might imagine!

On a more sombre note, you will remember that we had to have our beautiful Katie put to sleep back in June, and also lost two kittens to chest infections which we believed were the result of them breathing in milk.  A couple of months ago, we finally got all of the necropsy results back, and found out that the problem was actually a bacterial infection from the same family as e-coli.

Those of you who have visited us here, will know how careful we are about hygiene in the kitten room, but because the mothers were carrying the infection, our precautions were useless in this case.  Thankfully, however, the lab was able to identify an antibiotic that kills that particular strain of infection, and we have now treated every cat in the house, to ensure that we don’t have a repeat of this year’s problems.

Now, back to the introductions…

Cagaran is a jointly-owned prefix, but I (Heather) do the blogging.  The other half of the Cagaran ‘partnership’ is my partner/boyfriend, Richard.  We’ve been together since 2001, were adopted by our first cat in 2002, and bought our first pedigree in 2005.  We showed for the first time in 2008, and had our first litters in 2010.  We have owned a number of different breeds, but our passion is Tiffanies, which are the semi-longhaired member of the Asian Group.  We also work with Asian Shorthairs, who have the same fabulous temperament as the Tiffanies, but without the flowing coat, and have had a couple of litters of Ocicats.

Our Cats:

At present we have fifteen cats for whom this is their permanent home.

Jinny is the oldest, and is also the cat whom we’ve had the longest, having adopted her from a rescue in January 2005.  She is a longhaired moggy, and will be a teenager next year.  She is the matriarch, and the other cats tend to do her bidding.

Jinny - one of the most stunning moggies alive!
Jinny - one of the most stunning moggies alive!

Next oldest are our two neuter boys: Call and Ali, who will both be eight next year.  Call is a Maine Coon, and was our first pedigree cat.  Ali is a shorthaired moggy, and came from the same rescue shelter as Jinny, where he was taken at just a couple of days old, with his feral mum.

Call looking handsome
Call looking handsome

Ali looking sweet
Ali looking sweet

Annas was our first Tiffanie, and the cat who made us fall in love with the breed.  We didn’t buy her as a show cat, but it turned out that she made a rather good one, and was the first Tiffanie to become an Imperial Grand, and also the first (and still only) Tiffanie to win the UK title.  She will be five at the start of next month.

Annas scowling
Annas scowling and looking glorious!

Next is Dàrna, who was one of our foundation Tiffanie queens, and will be four in February.  She is a Grand Champion, but her biggest asset is her purry, cuddly temperament.  She had her first litter in 2010, from which Fiona is a Champion and Tabh is a Premier with two Grand certificates.  Dàrna’s second litter was born in 2011, and in that we had Donny, who is a Grand, and Quinn, who made Premier at the Supreme, last weekend!

Dàrna looking beautiful on black
Dàrna looking beautiful on black fleece

After Dàrna are Tia and Lhasa, who we are very lucky to have been entrusted with in the past few months, after their owners decided to give up breeding.  Both girls are two, and have the most spectacular temperaments imaginable.  Their breeders and previous owners must have given them a lot of love and care to have them become such adorable girls, and we are privileged to have the chance to continue that.  Tia is a Burmilla, and Lhasa is another Tiffanie.  Both girls are so ridiculously cuddly that it is almost impossible to get a photo of them, because virtually every photo has them either upside down, wriggling around wanting their bellies rubbed, or with their heads so close to the camera that it hasn’t a hope of focusing.  The photo of Tia below is actually surprisingly decent, but we the one of Lhasa is just the best of a bad bunch – at least she has her eyes open, and isn’t upside down in this one!

A rare in-focus photo of Tia where her eyes are open
A rare photo of Tia that is actually in focus and where her eyes are open

The closest we have to a decent photo of Lhasa!
The closest we have to a decent photo of Lhasa - she had just rolled over

Actually, between Tia and Lhasa comes Fiona, or just Fi, who was from Dàrna’s first litter.  She was Best Kitten at her first show, the AGCS (Asian Group Cat Society), and Best Foreign at her third, but unfortunately decided that she didn’t like being shown when she was a bit older, so we withdrew her from the bench when she made Champion.  She had her first litter this summer, which were particularly special because they were our first out of a Cagaran parent.  It helps that they are all beautiful!  We still have two available, due to a change in the personal circumstances of a would-be owner, but more on them later.

Stunning Fi, with her luminous eyes
Stunning Fi, with her luminous eyes

Apollo is our beautiful stud boy, who came to us from Steve Crow and Tommy Goss.  He is another Burmilla, and will be two next month.  He has to live in an outside run, because he sprays, but is so soppy that he stands on his head in an attempt to squirm closer to us when we go out to spend time with him.  He is also a Champion, and has one (surprise) Grand certificate, but is very immature-looking, so we will need to give him time to develop before showing him further.

Apollo's gorgeous, typey face
Apollo's gorgeous, typey face

Grace is next after Apollo.  She is an Ocicat Variant, from an outcross mating between an Ocicat Classic and an Abyssinian.  These matings are done to reduce the inbreeding levels within the breed, producing healthier kittens, and we were very fortunate to be allowed access to the beautiful Stanley to do the outcross.  Grace had her first litter earlier this year, giving us two Variants like herself, one Ocicat and two Ocicat Classics.  We still have the two Variants and the Ocicat available, but again, more on them later.

Grace pulling a daft face, but like her Mum, she's very hard to photograph
Grace pulling a daft face - like her Mum, she's very hard to photograph

Donny comes next, at 15 months old.  He was from Dàrna’s second litter, to a gorgeous old Burmese boy, who has since unfortunately passed away.  As a result, Donny’s pedigree is very special, and we have therefore kept him to continue his Dad’s line.  Like his half-sister (Fi), the year before him, Donny was Best Kitten at the AGCS, and has been Best Foreign Adult twice.  He is an Asian Smoke, and we are incredibly lucky that he still doesn’t spray at present.  How long that will continue for, we have no idea, but we’re enjoying having him living in our kitchen in the meantime.  He has the most amazing temperament, and everyone who comes into our kitchen somehow winds up with him in their arms, though they usually have no idea how he got there!

Ridiculous Donny in a mixing bowl
Ridiculous Donny in a mixing bowl

After Donny is Sonia, who is a gorgeous Somali from George Gow.  She was born in January of this year, and we bought her as an outcross to bring a new cinnamon line into our Tiffanies.  Cinnamon is an allowed colour in Tiffs, but there are virtually none of them around, so Sonia is hopefully going to help us to both strengthen the gene pool for this colour, whilst also giving us an injection of new blood to benefit the breed more generally.  She has two CCs (Challenge certificates), so only needs one more to become a Champion.

Sonia is really starting to blossom as she gets older
Sonia is really starting to blossom as she gets older

The babies of the bunch are Eiteag, Ayla and Cheeky, who are all from this year’s litters.  Eiteag wasn’t originally going to be staying with us, but as he got older, he kept improving in type, and we decided to keep him to do a single mating for the Cinnamon programme.  He can then be neutered and live as a companion to Donny, whom he shares the kitchen with, and the two cuddle around each other in the most adorable way.

Eiteag and Donny cuddled up together in their favourite basket
Eiteag and Donny cuddled up together in their favourite basket

Ayla is Eiteag’s sister, and is the kitten from that litter, who was always intended to be staying.  She is an absolute poppet, and she chose us, rather than the other way around, cuddling up to me from a very early age.  She loves shows, and is totally bomb-proof, as she proved at the Supreme last weekend, when she was being passed around from person to person, purring continuously and kissing people’s noses!

My gorgeous baby girl - Ayla
My gorgeous baby girl - Ayla

Cheeky is Grace’s daughter, and one of our first Ocicat Classics.  Since Ocis are just a sideline for us, we let the best in the litter go to our friends Anita and Rob, because they breed Ocis more ‘seriously’ than we do.  Cheeky was my favourite for temperament, though she is an absolute rascal, as the name suggests.  We are planning to have a bit of fun showing her, to help the breed towards Championship recognition (they are Intermediates at present), but we will need to wait and see how she develops before we decide whether to have some Oci kittens from her.

Cheeky playing with a Christmas tree bobble
Cheeky playing with a Christmas tree bobble

Looking for New Homes:

We have five kittens and one adult looking for new homes at present, so if you know of someone who might be interested, do let us know!

Breckin was bought to be our foundation Ocicat queen, but we didn’t feel that her temperament was suitable for breeding, so had her spayed.  Unfortunately, she still isn’t happy as part of a big group of cats, and feel that she would be better with just one or two other cats.  After discussions with her breeder, Rita, we are therefore looking for a new home for her.  She is very shy, and would need a patient owner who can take the time to settle her, but she is very loving when she relaxes.

Beautiful Breckin
Beautiful Breckin

Previous readers of this blog will remember Ying, who came to visit Fi’s kittens when they were just a few weeks old.  She has since had the exciting news that she has been offered a six month placement in Australia.  She didn’t want to uproot a kitten such a long distance for just six months, so both Derk and Ellie are still looking for their forever homes.  They both love cuddles, and we often wake up to find them snuggled down into the bed.  If we watch TV in the livingroom, we usually end up with one each, cuddled up on our laps, purring away.  Both have developed beautifully, and would make lovely show neuters, or super, cuddly family pets.  We were visited by a lovely family over the weekend, and Annas absolutely adored the wee boy, so I am hopeful that we might have found the right home for at least one of them.

Cute Derk
Cute Derk

Pretty Ellie
Pretty Ellie

The Oci kittens are now ready to go to find their families, and indeed Breagha has already gone off to live with Anita and Rob.  They had her along to the Supreme last weekend, where she won her first and Best of Breed, and looked wonderfully relaxed, in spite of all the hustle of such a large show.  Since we are keeping Cheeky, that leaves Bru, Carrie and Becca.

Bru looking adorable
Bru looking adorable

Carrie (left) and Becca half-asleep
Carrie (left) and Becca half-asleep

Bru has grown into a lovely young lad, with beautiful clear spots, and a sweet face.  He likes his cuddles, and likes to curl up on top of us when we go to bed.  Carrie is the boldest of the three, and is always the first to come and say hello.  She is very talkative, but prefers to be stroked whilst sitting on the bed or a chair, rather than being picked up and cuddled.  Becca used to be quite shy, but has really come into her own in the past couple of weeks.  She now jumps up on the bed end and trills at us to ask to be picked up for a stroke.

What’s Next?

Well… I will no doubt see some of you at the West of Scotland show, where I will be having my first shot as a judge, in the Household Pet section.  When this was first suggested, I was just excited to participate in shows in a new way, but as the date approaches, I must confess to a bit of an attack of nerves.  I’m sure that I’ll be fine once I’m actually there and judging, but at the moment it’s a daunting prospect.  I’m also doing my first bit of show management preparation, for next year’s Scotia show, with judge invitations being my first role.

I think that’s it for tonight, but I will try and post more regularly, even if it’s just a quick photo update.  All the best,

Heather x