We had a fantastic day at the West of Scotland, bringing home a new Intermediate Champion, a Reserve Imperial, an Imperial, an Olympian certificate and four Best of Breed/Best in Colour awards, as well as having won Best Foreign Adult and Best in Show Non-Pedigree. Shogun also picked up a CC and Best of Breed, Foghorn/Rilla won Best Pedigree Pet Kitten, and Lainni won the first Cagaran Grand certificate! To top off the weekend, Anita got in touch to tell us that Cailin had won Best in Show New Breed at a FIFé show.
Last weekend was a good weekend for the Cagaran Cats. Saturday was the silver anniversary (25th) show of the West of Scotland Cat Club, of which both Richard and I are on the committee. We took Friday afternoon off work to help set up the show hall, and had been shopping earlier in the week to get some silver clothing to dress up for the silver theme. We always like to support the Scottish shows by entering as many cats as we can afford, but since this was a special show (and therefore more expensive to run), we agreed to enter even more than we usually would! A couple of our previous kittens were also there with their new owners, making a total of three Cagarans in the main Pedigree section and one in the Household Pets. Unfortunately the lighting in the hall was very yellow, so most of my photos either didn’t come out or came out a horrible yellow colour!
Donny and Quinn were there, in the kitten classes, and completely took it in their stride. Quinn was a little unsure to begin with, but very sweet about it, and Donny was just fantastic, rolling around on his back to get his tummy stroked, and snuggling his face into your hand when you reached into the pen. Both won first in their Open class, and he took Best of Breed over his sister.
Shogun’s owner (Sarah Davidson, Karakoram Burmese & Asians) and his breeders (Kagura Asians & Burmese) had all agreed that we could try him out at a couple of shows, so we took him along to the West. Since he is four, and hasn’t been shown since he was a tiny kitten, we weren’t sure how he would take to it, but he was an absolute star. He was a little bit wide-eyed initially, but once he’d been stroked for a few minutes, he settled down and sat in his pen looking regal, with an expression that said “Yes, I am a God, and you may worship me”. He looked very handsome, and won his CC and Best of Breed!
Annas was up for her second Olympian certificate, looked gorgeous. As always, she was beautifully behaved and was awarded the certificate in a competitive class.
Since Kia had picked up Intermediate certificates at both Yorkshire and the Ulster, we decided to take her along for her third, and qualifying certificate. This she won, along with Best of Breed and lots of praise from the judges for both her lovely head and her temperament.
Kia’s daughter, Foghorn, is now called Rilla, and her owners brought her along for a shot in the Pedigree Pet section, like we did with Grace over in Ireland. When the judge first visited her pen, she tried to dive onto the floor as soon as the door was opened, and then got a bit of a fright being bundled back in. Thankfully, the judge visited her again later in the day, once she had calmed down again, and she not only won her first and Best of Colour, but went on to be awarded Best Pedigree Pet Kitten, so her owners were delighted!
Lona brought Lainni along to try for her first Grand certificate, which she won. This is the first Grand certificate for our prefix. Much to Lona’s delight, Lainni then went on to best Annas for Best of Breed – not bad for a kitten of our prefix to be beating a UK & Imperial Grand!!
Like her babies, Dàrna also had a good day, winning Best of Breed and the Reserve Imperial. I was working on the table at the show, managing the Best of Variety and Best in Show paperwork. The first stage of this is taking all the Best of Breed results and transcribing them onto the sheets for the Best of Variety Adult, Kitten and Neuter judges, so I knew which of our cats had been awarded Best of Breed. I then received those sheets back in, and had to copy the winners of each of those onto a new set of sheets for the Overall Best of Variety judges. As I filled in the Best Foreign Adult result, I copied over pen: “161”, gender: “F”, date of birth: “26/02/09” and then started to write breed number “68 43hsq”, but only got half way through writing it before registering that Dàrna was the only Tiffanie of her colour in the show, and that she had therefore gone Best Foreign Adult! This was her first win at that level, and although surprised due to the quality of the cats she had beaten, we were obviously delighted.
Once again, though, our star of the show was Jinny, who won the Imperial certificate, Best of Colour and first in all of her side classes, and then went on to win Best in Show Non-Pedigree again! She always looks so gorgeous up there in the top pen, and takes the whole thing in such a laid back manner that it is almost impossible to believe how terrified she was of everything when we got her. The thought of the progress she has made can still bring tears to my eyes. We came away with a trophy and a lovely stack of catty prizes including food, a bed and a covered litter tray, which is always useful!
The following day, I received a text from Anita giving me the wonderful news that Cailin had once again gone Best in Show New Breed at a FIFé show. The judge this time was from Switzerland, and was apparently so delighted with her that he had her out for about 15 minutes (they’re only supposed to take two or three minutes) and kept taking photographs to show the other judges back on the continent. Anita had her new Ocicat stud boy, Chippy, at the show as well, and Anita said that Cailin was fantastic at calming his nerves. Aside from being delighted for Anita, I’m also really pleased that little Cailin is proving such a brilliant ambassador for the Tiffanie breed in FIFé, where they are not currently recognised. Congratulations Anita, and long may she continue doing so!
The kittens are all doing well, with the oldest ones almost ready to go to their new homes. I attended my first meeting of the Asian BAC, and we had a good day at the Scotia show.
The past three weeks have been ridiculously busy. I started this blog post when it was titled ‘Nine, Seven and One Week’, then updated it and changed the title to ‘Ten, Eight and Two Weeks’, then ‘Eleven, Nine and Three Weeks’, and now finally the current title! I’ve managed to get a few words down each time, but didn’t have a chance to pull some photos together until earlier this week, and then couldn’t get half of them to upload, grrrr. So… hope it’s worth the wait!
All three litters are doing well, and the older kittens are now the best of friends. To watch them playing, you would think they were littermates, chasing around like a herd of elephants, and pouncing on eachother. For the past couple of weeks they have had our Tiffanie neuter, Annas, as company as well, to help them get used to other adult cats. The kittens were, however, completely unphased by her presence, though she spent the first week or so scowling at them from the windowledge, and only jumping down when she thought they were asleep, to scoff some of their food!
Two of our good friends came up to stay with us over the first weekend this month, and spent lots of time playing with the kittens. It was great to see how well the kittens responded to meeting strangers and being handled. Tracy and Gary came up to visit when we had kittens last year, so whether they come up to visit us or the kittens would be an interesting matter for debate! Mind you, we’ve also stayed at their house with kittens in tow – the last time they saw any of our kittens was when we stayed at their house the night before the AGCS show back in January, with Tabh, B-B and Fiona. They were amazed to see how grown-up Fi now is, and she was all over them giving cuddles!
Katie’s two had their first vaccinations over a fortnight ago now, and are booked to have their second on Friday of this week. Katie was due her booster at the same time, so we took her with the kittens, and she spent her time trying to snuggle under them to hide, whilst they just sat there peering out at everything going on around them, totally unconcerned.
They now have pedigree names, and I will be sending the registration documents into the GCCF this week. As usual, the names are gaelic, and will have our prefix, Cagaran, on the front, and since these kittens are our third Tiff/Asian litter, they begin with ‘C’. At the moment the boy has the same name for both pedigree and pet, which is Cannach, pronounced Kanach (-ch as in loch) and meaning ‘Mild’, since he is a sweet wee man. The girl’s owner had contacted me fairly early on, so I was able to give her a choice of names, and she picked Càirdeas, which is pronounced Kyrstas (-ky as in sky) and means ‘Friendship’, due to the way that she welcomed the Oci kittens when they were put in with her as newborns. We are using Kirsty as a pet name, but her owner is probably going to change that once they get to know eachother better.
Pippa, whom Kirsty will be living with, has had neutered Burmese until now, and loves their temperament, but prefers the flowing Tiffanie coat. She is considering breeding Tiffs, so she came up to visit us, and she and I got on really well. She loved the look of Kirsty, who has developed beautifully (as has her brother!), so she will be joining Pippa’s Burmese neuter from around the end of the month.
A week past yesterday, we drove up to Aberdeenshire to see the family whom Cannach will be going to live with. They have two female Asian neuters (who are rather nice!) and until recently had a Burmese boy who was an ex stud boy. Unfortunately, he died a couple of months ago, and they have been missing having a boy around, so we took Cannach up so that they could meet him. We took Kirsty as well, to keep him company, and the two travelled together beautifully. They had a little tub of litter in the back of their basket, and both used that on the journey. When we got to the house, the two daughters got the kittens out of their basket and gave them a cuddle, then they put them on the sofa, where they promptly curled up with the girls’ Dad. Since Cannach is actually to be a birthday present for him, that was quite a smart move on the part of the kittens! Thankfully, the family were delighted with the wee lad (who is not so wee now, actually, at 1.25kg!), and decided that they would like him, so he will be going up there at the start of next month, after he has been neutered.
The Oci kittens had their first vaccinations on Friday of last week, so can now start ‘entertaining’ potential owners. I’ve had a fair bit of interest in them, which is a relief, because I was really worried that nobody would want the Variants. Whether any of the homes will come off, I have no idea, but at least there is some interest. The two girls now look much more like their brother than they did when they were younger, and I’m really pleased with the way they are turning out. All three are a really good size, being well over 1kg already, and Maltech is absolutely enormous, at over 1.2kg!
We have chosen names for them as well as the Tiff kittens, but decided to run the Oci litters separately and have therefore gone back to ‘A’ for their names. We’ve used up some of the difficult to spell and pronounce names with this litter: since they are Variants and therefore cannot be shown, there is no chance of a poor show manager having to pronounce their names! The boy is Aomáilteach, which is pronounced ‘Oomaltech’ (-ch as in loch) and means ‘Mischievous’, with a pet name of Maltech or Mal. The first of the Oci girls is Altachdainn, which is pronounced Altachd-eye and means ‘Grace’, and Grace is her pet name. The second Oci girl is Adhairc, which is pronounced Aghurk (-gh is similar to ch at the end of loch, but more gutteral) and means ‘Foghorn’, since that’s what she’s been known as since the start, though she’s a lot quieter now that she’s older.
We will be keeping Grace, and I’m hoping that we have a pet home lined up for Maltech. Foghorn has two potential owners, because she had been booked to go to a couple down south, but they have had some financial issues, so aren’t sure if they can afford to look after another cat at the moment. If they are not having her, then she is possibly going to live in Edinburgh with a family who used to have an Abyssinian, and have recently relocated from America. They have held off having a cat since their Aby died several years ago, because they knew that they would be moving at some point, but now that they have completed the move they want to add a cat to their family again. They couldn’t decide between an Abyssinian and an Ocicat, so our ‘Ocabys’ would be the perfect compromise. We have them coming to visit this evening, so we’ll see what the kittens think of them!
Dàrna’s babies had their eyes fully opened by the time they were ten days old, and are now pouncing on each other and starting to play. We rearranged their pen at the weekend, to add a litter tray and a dish of food, so that they can start to make use of those when they are ready. Dàrna is still determined to have the kittens anywhere other than where they are supposed to be, and has moved them to every bed, basket and cubby-hole in the kitten room, including (of course) the ‘human’ bed. Her current favourite location for them is in a little basket in the corner of the room, sandwiched between a chest of drawers and the wall. Every time I go into the room I move them back into the pen, so that they have the litter tray and food nearby, and every time we go back into the room, she has moved them again. Last year we eventually gave up and let her keep them in the middle of the floor (which is where she had chosen for last year’s litter), but for the time-being, I am trying not to let her win again this year!
Both kittens are developing beautifully, with lovely short muzzles, rounded heads and good nose-breaks. The boy is starting to develop ghost-markings on his face, so I’m hoping that means that he is a smoke. I saw Tommy Goss (one of the owners of Fi’s sire) at a BAC (Breed Advisory Committee) meeting yesterday, and he thought the boy looked like a smoke in the pictures I had, so fingers very crossed. The girl has always looked paler down her sides, but whether that is just due to the tortie or actually that she is silver as well, I am not sure yet. They are definitely a brown and a brown tortie, but beyond that we’ll just have to wait and see!
The weekend before the one just gone saw us heading down to the North East of England to run Elisabeth Stark (Dushenka Russian Blues) to the Northern Counties show. We took the opportunity of heading in that general direction to pay a visit to friends who are moving to Australia next month, so going all that way to take someone else to a show wasn’t as daft as people suggested! Elisabeth had a really good day, with her little Russian girl, Lucy, taking Best Foreign Kitten again! Our friend Olive Holt (Nemorez Asians and Burmese) also had a good day, winning Best Burmese Adult with the little Burmese boy whom I took down to her from Sarah Davidson (Karakoram Burmese and Asians) back in the spring.
On the Saturday just gone, we were a bit closer to home, at the Scotia show in Milngavie, just outside Glasgow. Our pedigrees are mostly ‘tied up’ with kitten duties at the moment, so we took the two mogs (Jinny and Ali) and decided to pop Annas out as well, since she had been looking longingly at the baskets whenever we were taking the others to shows recently. Sure enough, she seemed quite content to be back out on the bench, though Jinny was our star, taking Best Non-Pedigree again (the highest award available at the Scotia). Annas took the Best of Breed over her little niece, Lainni (Katie’s daughter from last year – Cagaran Asgaidh-Àlainn), who did us proud, winning her 3rd and qualifying PC – a second title for the Cagaran prefix, yay! Lainni’s ‘stable-mate’, Gus (a half-brother of our first Aby, Gealbhan) also had a good day, winning his second Olympian certificate. The Abys had a pretty good day, actually, with Coen (Glendavan Leonidas) winning his third Olympian, and Abys going Best Foreign Neuter and Best Foreign Adult. The Best Foreign Kitten award went to Dushenka Carabella, who was bred by Elisabeth, but is owned by other friends, the Pontellos (Pontaby Abyssinians, and soon Russians as well!).
Sunday was also an interesting day, being my first meeting with the Asian BAC (Breed Advisory Committee), which you may remember that I was voted onto at the AGCS committee meeting back in the summer. I flew down to Stansted in the morning, where I was collected by Steve Crow and Tommy Goss (who had already collected Carolyn Clark), and they kindly ran me to the meeting and back again, afterwards. I wasn’t sure what the meeting itself was going to be like, because you have multiple potentially ‘rival’ views coming together, but everyone was professional and civil, and I found it an enjoyable experience. I’m already looking forward to many more…
Another good day at the Lakeland Show, an enjoyable couple of days, and preparing for the imminent arrival of kittens.
The Lakeland & District Cat Club had their show in Kendal on Saturday, and we took Breckin, Xaria and Ali this year. Last year at that show, Tármus and Xaria both made up to Premier, and both that hall in particular, and Kendal in general, are lovely locations for a show, so we were hoping for an enjoyable day. This year, Xaria was looking for her first Imperial, and Breckin and Ali for Grands (Challenge and Mastercat).
As usual, we had packed the show case a few nights beforehand, so that we didn’t have a mad rush on the morning of the show. On Friday night, we also shut the three who were attending in the front hallway (with ‘facilities’), so that we knew we could find them in the morning. We had offered to take Xaria’s brother, Xander, in our car again, since he seems to do better when he’s travelled next to her, and this was to be his third (and qualifying) Grand, if he behaved well enough to win it. She was also glad to have one less basket to take, since she was also taking her stud boy, Teddy, one of her girls, Sophie (Xaria’s Grandmother), and one of her most recent litter of kittens, little Zach.
We had arranged to be at Elisabeth’s for 6am, so left the house about 5:15am, and had a good clear run through to Glasgow. We arrived a bit before 6am, and just in time to have a cup of tea! A good run South saw us arrive at the show hall just after 8am, which meant we were early enough to sail straight through vetting in: half an hour later, and there was a sizeable queue.
Breckin was a bit unsure to start with, because this is the first show we’ve had her at where we’ve not had Kia, Monty or one of the Tiffs to pop in the pen with her for the first half hour to help her settle. Margaret Rodger did say to me later, though, that she was absolutely fine when she was being judged (and that she’s gorgeous!), which is good to know! Ali was penned next to the gorgeous Agacat, owned by Steven & Stuart (Esanes Bengals, Pixiebobs & Maine Coons), who had taken Best Household Pet at the Nor’East a few weeks ago. We fully expected Aga to win, but losing is never a problem when you’re been beaten by something as gorgeous as him. As it happens, we were both beaten for the Grand Mastercat certificate by a ginger that we don’t know. Personally, I still think Aga should have got it!
The Sports Centre where the show takes place has a nice cafe upstairs, but it isn’t big enough to cope with the influx of exhibitors when the show ‘chucks out’, so we got up there just before 10am, to ensure we got seats (and bacon & sausage rolls!). We had managed to secure one of the window seats, which meant that I could watch Xander being judged (and Xaria, after that). Thankfully, Xander behaved impeccably, which meant that Elisabeth was able to come down from her panic station and actually enjoy the rest of the day! Xaria behaved beautifully, as always.
We then took advantage of our seats to mark up show catalogues, and also have another round of tea/coffee. By the time we finally went back down into the hall, Xander and Xaria’s results were up, and we were delighted to see that both had won their certificates. In fact, I checked Xander’s result first, and was so excited to see that he had won his Grand, that I forgot to check if Xazzle had won her Imperial! Elisabeth had been sidetracked by another of our friends, whose two Abyssinian boys had ‘done the double’ again, winning both the Imperial Grand Challenge and Imperial Grand Premier certificates. That meant I got to ‘break the news’ of Xander’s result to Elisabeth, which was quite a nice job, really! When we did look at Xaria’s result, we were delighted to see that she had also done us proud and won her first Imperial.
As already mentioned, Ali didn’t win the Grand Mastercat, nor did Breckin win her Grand. We didn’t actually expect Breckin to get it, though, because she is still so young, and the cat that did win it was the beautiful Freya, a Tiffanie girl owned by another friend, Sue Dykes (Kashi Tibetan Terriers). Freya is one of the most stunning examples of the breed that most people have ever seen, and is out of the stud that I had originally hoped to be able to use before we even got our first girl. Unfortunately, he is no longer working, so we just have to be content with seeing his gorgeous offspring at shows!
Once we were allowed back in to the cats, we did the rounds, telling them how clever they had been (all of them), and then gave them lunch. We then headed off for a leisurely walk in glorious sunshine, to find our own lunch. We couldn’t resist heading back to the same place as last year, the Natland MillBeck Ice-Cream Parlour. Needless to say, we all enjoyed ice-cream sundaes to finish!
When we returned to the show hall we went straight over to check the remaining results, and another of our friends came up to say that Elisabeth needed to go and check baby Zach’s pen. When we did so, we discovered that to top off the day, Zach had taken Best Foreign Kitten! The two Imp-winning Abys had also taken Best Foreign Neuter and Best Foreign Adult, so regardless of who took Overall Best Foreign, one of our friends had it! In the end, it was the stunning adult, Coen (Glendavan Roderick-Jaynes), who also made up to Imperial on the day.
Sunday was another lovely sunny day, and we spent the first half getting some of the garden back under control (two weekends where we were busy on the Saturday and then it rained on the Sunday, followed by last weekend at Kirsty’s meant it was needing the work!). The afternoon and evening were spent through at Elisabeth’s, where she was having her annual barbecue. Another delicious meal, helped along by Lenny Pontello’s barbecuing skills, and also a chance to meet some of Elisabeth’s family, as well as catch up with Lorraine and her baby, Lina.
This evening I have been out with my family to celebrate Kirsty’s and my birthdays. When the others decided to sing ‘Happy Birthday’, we discovered that the two names actually work quite well for joint celebrations – “Happy Birthday, Heather and Kirsty”! How we didn’t discover that years ago at our joint parties as kids, I don’t know.
Katie is really heavily pregnant now, and has become really proud of her tummy in the past 24 hours. She will roll onto her back to ask you to stroke it, which is something she’s never done before.
Before going out tonight, we noticed that Katie’s sides had relaxed off, which I’ve been told means that labour is starting, and she was being quite chatty today, so I think she’s going to go tonight. Her kittens are also being really active, although I didn’t manage to record their most active period because I was too busy watching it myself!
We filled her birthing box with towels before going out, just in case she decided to have her babies while we were eating, but she is still wandering around the bedroom happily now. In preparation, I’ve brought up the scales and a notepad and pen to record weights, and also a selection of nail-polishes to mark kitten toenails so that we can tell them apart. Wish us luck!
A weekend visit to my sister, Kirsty, in Montrose; another AGM and returning home to the cats
I have my birthday this week, and Kirsty (my sister) has hers next weekend, so we decided that it would be good to get together for a meal out. Since Richard and I still hadn’t visited Kirsty’s ‘new’ house in Montrose, which she moved into last summer, we thought it was about time we did so. We have the Lakeland show on Saturday, and Kirsty is away on holiday the following weekend, so the weekend just gone seemed the best bet.
Kirsty and I thought it might be nice to have Calum (our brother) join us for the weekend, and never one to pass up a free meal, he accepted the invitation. Richard and I didn’t want to leave Katie for more than one night, so close to her due date, so we said that we would drive up on the Saturday morning. In order to ensure that we could get an early start, Calum stayed with us on Friday night, although he did go home to Mum’s for his tea first!
We got up pretty sharp on Saturday, although it was almost 9am by the time we had segregated the cats into various groups according to what food they were to be left with. Breckin, Tármus and Ali are all on ‘light’ food, so they were grouped together, and shut in the Livingroom and Study to give Tármus and Ali access to the run. We left Dàrna shut in with Katie in the kitten room, which meant they could both have plenty of ‘Queen mix’. Xaria, Annas and Jinny were shut in my room with a mixture of Senior and normal ‘Neuter mix’; not that Xaria and Annas need Senior food, but they get on well with Jinny, so seemed like good company for her. Call, Kia and the Devons were all shut in the Hallway and Stairwell, with ordinary ‘Neuter mix’; it would have been good to leave Kia with something higher in energy, but we don’t want the others gaining weight, and she’s much to hyperactive to be shut in the kitten room for two days. That only left Monty, who is limited to Royal Canin Sensible due to his jippy tummy. After a bit of a debate, we decided that the only option was to shut him in the front hall by himself: not ideal, but we couldn’t come up with anything better.
Saturday was spent doing Kirsty’s garden, interspersed with lunch at a local farm-cafe and a walk to the beach, and the followed by an evening meal at the local Indian, which was very good. Sunday we had a leisurely start and then headed down to Brechin Castle country park, where we had lunch and wandered around the farm: they have three litters of piglets at the moment, which are extremely cute!
Kirsty had an early meeting in Stirling today, so she was travelling down to stay at Mum and Dad’s last night. That meant we were able to dispatch Calum home with Kirsty, while we stopped off in Dundee to attend the Nor’East of Scotland AGM and subsequent ‘High Tea’. The AGM was interesting, with quite a lot of constructive discussion, and it was good to get to know some of the other club members at the meal afterwards.
By the time we got home, it was certainly mid evening, and I was anxious to see how Katie would have got on. As you might expect, she was absolutely fine, although pleased to see us, and I think quite pleased to have a break from Dàrna! I wasn’t sure it was even possible, but Katie has obviously grown further just in the 36 hours we’ve been away, and is now actually finding it difficult to reach around herself to clean properly. I’m hoping Dàrna will step in to help, because Katie would prefer that to having me clean her with a cloth, but I might have to do so later in the week.
Fingers crossed for a nice peaceful week, followed by a good show on Saturday and an uncomplicated labour on Sunday or Monday of next week!
Our Ocicats do well at show, and the Tiffanies show some more potential signs of pregnancy.
We attended the Nor’East of Scotland show today, and had a pretty good set of results, the most significant being Breckin making up to Champion (her 3rd CC), and Kia getting her qualifying Merit (4th from a different judge – actually her 6th, I think). Jinny got her 2nd GMC (Grand Master Cat) certificate, Monty got his 2nd PC and Xaria took the Reserve Imp and another PC (her 14th?). Call crashed and burned (3rd in a class of 3), but we expect that when we take Call out – he was only there as the ‘free’ 5th entry (Breckin was added later, after missing out on her 2nd CC at the Essex).
Kia has started calling for the first time, which might be a further indication that the older girls are pregnant – she could have been waiting for their status to change before starting. I have honestly never heard an animal make such a strange noise: she sounds like a cross between a bull-frog and a rumbling tummy! The other cats all keep stopping what they’re doing and running along to peer at her whenever she starts, because they can’t figure out why she sounds so odd either!
Dàrna has started climbing onto, into or under everything in the house, as if she’s looking for something. I’m not sure if she’s searching for a nesting site, although it would be rather early for that. She’s never been up on the wardrobes before, and doesn’t usually go under drawers etc. but she’s been both on the top of and underneath the wardrobe and the chest of drawers in my room, and in and out of every high or low space in the house! She also appears to be suffering from ‘morning sickness’: she looks queasy from first thing in the morning until early evening, and the only meal that she’s eating properly is her tea.