Three Shows and a New Year

Three excellent sets of show results for the Cagaran cats, at the Maidstone & Medway, Asian Group Cat Society and Notts & Derbys shows. Keela seems to be pregnant and has gone home, we have brought home our new stud boy, CH Kagura Apollo, and have decided to spay and re-home Kia and Quinn.

Maidstone & Medway Cat Show

Donny examining his rosettes
Donny says "What are these things doing in my bed?"

Donny curled up asleep
"Doesn't matter, I'll turn around and go back to sleep"

Like the West of Scotland, the Maidstone & Medway Cat Club had their 25th Anniversary show in December, which was also to be the last one managed by Anne Gregory before she gives up.  I had asked Sandra Woodley (Honpuss Burmese & Asians) to suggest some shows where I could steward for her, and this was one of the suggestions.  When I mentioned that to Elisabeth (Dushenka Russian Blues), she calculated that it would be a good one for her because it would be Lucy’s first shot at a CC, and also the first show that her babies would be old enough for.  Considering all of that, we couldn’t resist making the trip.

Quinn scowling just like her mum does
Quinn looking sweet

Quinn posing beautifully
Quinn posing beautifully

We took our three kittens (Donny, Quinn and Grace) plus Shogun, and Elisabeth took three of her kittens plus Lucy.  We stayed near Warwick on the Friday night, which was the first night away from home for all of the babies.  Our rooms were across the hallway, and I think we must have been just about the only people on our floor, which meant that there wasn’t too much noise to disturb the cats.  None of them seemed the least bit phased, though Shogun wasn’t massively impressed with having to spend the night in the bathroom!  Quinn and Grace cuddled up in bed with us, while Donny spent the night keeping us awake by knocking Richard’s glasses off the bedside table, playing with our toothbrushes and unpacking our bag all over the floor.

Grace 'paddle-pawing' and making it virtually impossible to get a decent photo
Grace 'paddle-pawing' and making it virtually impossible to get a decent photo

Grace proving that she is her mother's daughter, and eating her prize cards
Grace proving that she is her mother's daughter, and eating her prize cards

I had an interesting day stewarding for Sandra, and saw some beautiful cats.  Meanwhile our own cats did well, and Shogun won his second CC.  Elisabeth’s Lucy won her first, and all of the babies handled well, and met with approval from the judges.

Shogun looking gorgeous
Shogun looking gorgeous

Showing off that beautiful profile
Showing off that beautiful profile

The ‘Festive Season’

Once again this year, we ordered Christmas cards with one of our own photos on the front.  We took the photo just before Maltech and Cailin went off to their new homes, in the few days after they had been introduced to Dàrna’s litter.  That meant that we were able to have a Tiffanie, an Ocicat Variant and the two Asians all together in one photo.  As before, it was a challenge to get the kittens to sit together, and the Christmassy backdrop that we created had virtually been destroyed by the time we got the final photo.

The Three Designs for the Christmas card
The Three Final designs - same photo, but different layouts and surrounds

The series of photos below show just some of the many failed attempts to get a decent photo, but also just some cute ones that we took along the way.  We were using a feather stick to try and get the kittens attention, but you’ll see that sometimes it failed to work, and sometimes it worked a little too well!

One of the early shots with the backing still fully in place
One of the early shots - note the crease-free background with tinsel draped along the back, but only sparingly on the base

One of the later shots once the backing was falling down
One of the later shots - kittens sitting in a pile of tinsel, and the backing falling down

The second shot we took
The second shot we took - Dàrna's two tinies were much too interested in the tinsel to bother looking at the feather stick

Maltech/Simba getting too close to the camera
Maltech/Simba deciding that the camera was the most interesting thing

Quinn pouncing on tinsel
Quinn trying to decide which bit of tinsel to pounce on first

Trying a different camera angle
We tried a different camera angle to see if that made it any easier - it didn't!

A kitten stack with Donny in the bottom eyeing up one of the baubles
A kitten stack with Donny in the bottom, eyeing up one of the baubles and licking his lips...

And he's got it!
...and attack! A successful capture that was accompanied by much growling!

Richard’s parents came up to stay with us over Christmas, and some of my relatives were joining us for Christmas dinner, making a party of 14 in total.  The day before Christmas Eve, the trip for the sockets in every room except the kitchen went faulty.  As a result, we had to run extension-leads around the house to power the Christmas lights and fish tank, but at least we had still had power in the kitchen and light throughout the house!  Dinner was very successful, and it was lovely to catch up with the family.

The table set for Christmas dinner
The table set for Christmas Dinner

The family enjoying the meal together
The family enjoying the meal together

Keela was still behaving as if she hated Shogun, squealing and hissing at him whenever we went into the room.  However, when I went up to see them on Christmas day, I found her sleeping curled up against his tummy.  As soon as she saw me, she jumped up and started hissing and growling at him again as if she hated him, but by then I knew that she was just putting it on for my benefit.  I checked her over, and discovered that her back nipples were just starting to show a slight flush.  By the start of January, the flush had extended into full pinking from back to front, so it looks like he has successfully mated her.

Hogmanay was my grandfather’s 80th birthday, so we stayed overnight with my family in the Crown Plaza hotel in Glasgow, and went to the black-tie gala dinner there.  This was another fantastic opportunity to catch up with family members, particularly my cousins who live in Guernsey, and another of my cousins who is about to move to Spain.  Anyone who is friends with me on Facebook will no doubt already have seen the sets of highly embarrassing photos one of my cousins later posted of me dancing!

Asian Group Cat Society Show

The night of the 2nd was extremely windy, and by the time we got up the next morning, four large trees had come down across our driveway.  It took us a couple of days to manage to get a tree surgeon out, and even then it took him two days just to cut us a route through the trees so that we could get the car out, and then he had to leave to get on with other jobs.  The remains of the trees are still waiting for them to have time to return!  By the time they were here for the second day, I was getting rather nervous, because we were due to be going to a show that weekend!

Fir trees down on the driveway
Looking down the driveway - the second tree is just visible in the background, but the third is hidden beyond that

The first show of 2012, as usual, was the Asian Group Cat Society, which takes place alongside the Short Hair Cat Society show.  This time, we took Annas for her 3rd Olympian, Dàrna for her 1st Imperial, Donny in the kitten classes, and Grace in her last show as a Pedigree Pet.  Cats in the Household Pet section must be neutered once they are six months old, so we won’t be able to show her again until after she has had her litter and been spayed.  On the way down to the show, we took Keela back to Anita’s, and also took a dropped off a girl who had been at stud with Elisabeth.

Annas scowling from her corner as usual
Annas scowling from her corner as usual

Dàrna with her Imperial certificate and rosette
Dàrna with her Imperial certificate and rosette

All four of our cats did well, both Annas and Dàrna winning their certificates, and Grace winning her Ped Pet class and Best of Colour out of five.  Anita and Robert were there with Cailin, who was looking beautiful, and won her kitten class, Best of Breed, and three 1sts in her side classes.

Grace doing another impression of her mummy
Grace doing another impression of her mummy and making it impossible to get a decent photo of her

Cailin in her pen covered in red
Cailin looking rather lovely in her pen, with her First Open rosette and her three 1st-place prize cards

Our star of the show was little Donny, who followed in his big sister Fi’s ‘paw-steps’, and went Best Kitten in the AGCS.

Donny in his Best Kitten pen
Donny peeking out of his Best Kitten pen - I can't believe it's a year since Fi was in there!

Sarndra Devereux having a good look at Donny
Sarndra Devereux, the Best in Show judge, having a good look at him

Sarndra judging Donny for Best in Show
Sarndra judging him for Best in Show. I love the expression on his face

Sarndra succumbing to his charms and having a cuddle
Sarndra succumbing to his charms and having a cuddle

We had arranged to collect our new stud boy, Kagura Apollo, from the show, and he only needed one more CC to make up to Champion.  As it was, he won the CC in both the AGCS and SHCS parts of the show, giving him the title plus a spare.  Elisabeth also had a good day in the SHCS part of the show, with Lucy winning her 2nd CC, and both her kittens winning their Open classes.  To top off the day, Dukey (Dushenka Duke Ellington) went overall Best Foreign!

Apollo sleeping in his pen
Apollo sleeping in his pen

Best Neuter was Teignage Sir Pouncealot, but Best Adult and Overall Best in Show was the beautiful Kagura Galadriel, so that’s two years in a row that a Kagura adult has been Overall Best in Show, and a Cagaran Best Kitten.

Teignage Sir Pouncealot being judged for Best in Show
Teignage Sir Pouncealot being judged for Best in Show

Steve Crow with the beautiful Kagura Galadriel, Best In Show exhibit
Steve Crow with his own-bred Kagura Galadriel, Best in Show exhibit

Not a bad day out, to take home between ourselves and Elisabeth, a Ped-Pet Best of Colour, two kitten Best of Breeds, a new Champion, another two CCs, an Imperial, an Olympian and two Best in Show awards!

Notts & Derbys Cat Club

Yesterday saw us heading down to the Notts & Derbys, which we didn’t get to last year, though Annas won one of her Imperials there back in 2010.  I can hardly believe it’s two years since we were ‘chasing’ Imps with her, and now here we were back to try for an Oly!

Annas actually looking at the camera for a change
Annas actually looking at the camera for a change - this is possibly the only show shot we've got of her looking interested!

We had entered Annas, Dàrna and Katie, and normally would have got our show stuff ready in the first half of last week.  However, I had a new employee up for his first week’s training, and Richard also had a busy week due to the wind bringing lots of fences down, so we didn’t get around to it until Friday evening.

When we got Katie’s vaccination card out of the drawer, we discovered that it hadn’t been filled in for her last vaccination.  I knew that she had been vaccinated with her 2011 (C-litter) kittens’ first vaccination, so we looked out the receipt, and sure enough, it shows a booster vaccination for ‘Katie’ and then the first vaccinations for her kittens.  However, she is obviously entered in a show as Rushbrooke Airgead Cagaran, not as ‘Katie’, so the receipt wouldn’t prove that she was vaccinated.  When we get the pink (registration) slips for our kittens, they come with a white copy for our records, so we photocopied the ones for the C-litter, to show that her kittens would have been the right age to be the ones whose vaccinations were recorded on the receipt.  I was going to use all of that, and hope that the show manager would allow us to take her in.  When we got up yesterday morning, however, she was pulling stupid faces and I decided that I couldn’t be bothered trying to argue her into the show hall, only to have her pull faces at the judge, so we left her at home with the Donny, Quinn and Gracie.

The lighting was so bright that you can actually see features on a photo of Annas
The lighting was so bright in the hall that you can actually make out features on a photo of Annas - it is amazingly difficult to take a decent photo of a self black cat!

Annas looked fantastic, but the competition was very steep in all the Olympian classes, and she didn’t place this time.  The certificate in her class went to the fabulous Mylward Sassafras, a Birman who is already a Bronze-level Olympian, meaning that this certificate counts towards her Silver Olympian title.  The Reserve went to Perri Hutchison’s (Irrep Burmese) gorgeous 11-year-old, chocolate tortie Burmese, Hypnos Tigerlily of Irrep.  I had the pleasure of handling her for the Breed class, and she was adorable!

Dàrna standing under her rosette
Dàrna looking gorgeous

In spite of not winning the Oly, Annas seems please with herself today, so she obviously feels that she did a good job.  She did win the Best of Breed, and also had good results in her sides, winning a 1st, a 2nd and a 3rd, in each case beating quality cats.  Dàrna also looked lovely, and won her second Imperial certificate, though the Best of Breed went to Diane Bunting’s (Xchardi Asians) beautiful own-bred girl, Xchardi Xsi Xsi, whom I loved as a kitten at the Humberside & Lincs show last summer.  Like Annas, Dàrna also won a 1st, 2nd and 3rd in her side class, beating a couple of other cats each time.

Dàrna posing with her rosette
Dàrna posing with her certificate and rosette

As usual, Elisabeth travelled with us, and Lucy did well, winning her third and qualifying CC, making her up to Champion, as well as joining Annas and Dàrna’s 1-2-3 club and winning a 1st, 2nd and 3rd in her sides, again beating good cats each time.  Karen Hettman was also there with Lucy’s Dad, Zach, who won another Imperial and a 1st and two 2nds in his sides, while her other boy, Stan, lost to Zach in the Imperial but won two 2nds in his sides.

New Stud Boy

Apollo is slowly settling in, though making sure that we are aware that he is no enamoured by the move!  He spends a lot of his time sitting on one particular log in the run, keeping a watchful eye on his surroundings, and starts shouting to us as soon as we go through the gate.  Whenever we leave the run, he immediately sniffs around the whole floor with a look of disgust, as if we’ve messed up his territory just by visiting.  He is very sweet, and absolutely gorgeous.  He looks very like Fiona, though his eye shape and muzzle are better than hers.  Both are apricot silver, and his dam is Fi’s half-sister, so it isn’t that surprising that they look alike.

We will be starting to take him out for his Grands soon, so watch this space!

Decisions Made

Kia has been calling a lot recently, but won’t be ready to go to stud for several months yet.  Since she was such a hopeless mother last time around, we have decided to have her spayed.  A lovely couple from Glasgow have been waiting over a year for an Ocicat or Ocicat Classic from us, but we only had the Ocicat Variant litter last year, so there wasn’t anything for them.  They had absolutely fallen in love with Kia when they visited us, and she seemed to like them, so having decided to spay her, I contacted them to ask if they would be interested in her instead of a kitten.  Sheona and a friend came to visit last weekend, and loved her just as much as last time, so she will be going to live with Sheona and Bruce after the spay.

Donny looking handsome
Donny looking handsome

Since Kia is going in to be spayed, it seemed sensible to finally decide which of Dàrna’s last kittens we are going to keep, and have the other one neutered at the same time.  Originally I said that we would make the decision after seeing what the judges thought of the two at the West of Scotland show back at the start of December.  I’ve been putting it off ever since, because although Donny has the better overall type, and was the favourite with the judges, Quinn is probably my personal favourite – she’s just so cute!  She’s the one who jumps up onto the bed in the morning, and tries to snuggle down for a cuddle.  She also makes me laugh with her insistence when she thinks it’s time for her to be fed.

Quinn demanding her breakfast - isn't she adorably funny?

Over the past few days, however, I’ve looked at what matings we might like to do in the next couple of years, and Donny does fit better into those plans.  He is still absolutely adorable, and is definitely Richard’s preference – he’s been trying to persuade me to re-home her since the middle of last month.  Donny has also been Elisabeth’s favourite since they were teeny-tinies, so she’ll be delighted.  Annas also adores Donny, and is regularly found cuddling-up with him, or playing hide-seek-and-chase games behind, on, off, over and under the bedroom furniture.  I took the photo this morning (using my phone), and if it wasn’t so rubbish, you’d be able to see a little patch of tousled fur next to Annas’ paw, where she had obviously been licking Donny’s back before I came into the room.  It’s therefore only me who hates the idea of re-homing Quinn – I’m dreading having to see her going off with someone else!

Annas placing a proprietorial paw on Donny
Annas placing a proprietorial paw on Donny

She’ll make someone an adorable pet, or if we’re lucky, a lovely show neuter, because then I’d still get to see her occasionally.  Her coat has improved dramatically, and although still a little long, it now has a lovely silky texture.  Her tortie markings also mean that she’ll get away with murder with the judges!  Her smoking is undoubtedly better than her brother’s, because you can’t see it at all until you part her coat, and then you can see the silvering underneath.

Quinn showing off her tortie smoke colouring
Quinn showing off her tortie smoke colouring - the only place you can see the silver undercoat is on her shoulder, where the fur is parting slightly

I’m not going to start advertising her for sale until after she’s been spayed.  I think once that’s done I might find it a bit easier because I know she can’t be part of our breeding plans.  That may well be total wishful-thinking, but I can hope!

Quinn looking stunning
Quinn looking stunning!
I hadn't noticed the little pink bit on her nose until we took this photo!

Thinking Ahead for 2012

Fi is still up with Shogun, and still refusing to co-operate with his attempts to mate her.  She has, however, been sick a few times in the past week, which although unpleasant, might actually be a good sign: she’s out of Dàrna, who suffers from morning sickness!  All we can do is cross our fingers and keep checking her for signs of pinking-up.

I haven’t quite decide exactly what we’re doing with the other girls this year, and to some extent it depends how Donny develops.  If he looks like being an early starter, I would hold Katie back to mate to him at the back end of the summer, in which case Dàrna would be going to Apollo.  If Donny looks like he won’t be ready to work until the end of the year, I’ll put Katie to Apollo.  Dàrna could then go down to Annas’ brother, Charlie, who is the only link I can find to Annas’ Dam’s line (Annas and Katie have the same sire so we already have that line), and I am therefore keen to keep a kitten from him.  I’m also hoping to bring in a Tiffanie girl from a different line this year, to give us more flexibility in choosing who to mate to Donny (at present we only have Katie, plus his sister and his Dam).

Aside from the Asians, we will be completing our Ocicat outcross by taking Grace to an Ocicat stud.  Rosemary Caunter (Thickthorn Ocicats) has suggested her cinnamon boy, Curry, who has a lovely strong head and would therefore be a good mate for her.  We also have the option to use Anita’s (Anizz Ocicats and Tiffanies) young chocolate silver boy, Chippie, but we will need to see how he develops before we know if he would be a good mate.  Both boys are Ocicats carrying classic, so either mating could give us a mixed litter of ticked (Variant), spotted (Ocicat) and classic (Ocicat Classic) kittens!

Gorgeous Grace looking very mature
Gorgeous Grace looking very mature for her six months

Of course sod’s law probably means we’ll have to change all of our plans due to something unforeseen at the moment, but I guess we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it…

1 thought on “Three Shows and a New Year”

  1. OMG no! You can’t spay and sell Quinn! I need to live vicariously though you since I can’t have her!!!

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