Part 6: Life After Tritrich -
A Baker's Dozen
With Breckin spayed, our only Ocicat queen was Kia. Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending how you look at it!), in the process of testing for the Tritrichomonas we discovered that she produces a virus that is particularly risky to kittens of about two to six months. We tested our other cats but none of them produced the virus, so we were advised to keep her in isolation and take one litter, removing the kittens from her when they were four or five weeks old. To minimise the risks, we took her to an Abyssinian outcross boy in the spring of 2011, and thankfully managed to have her pregnant at the same time as Katie, who happily took on Kia's kittens as well as her own.
Kittens from an Abyssinian to Ocicat mating always have the Abyssinian 'ticked' pattern, rather than spots or classic markings, and cannot be shown. They can, however, produce full Ocicats if mated to an Ocicat, so after testing to make sure that none of the kittens were producing the virus like their mum, we kept one of the 'Ocicat Variant' kittens, Grace, to continue Kia's line. Unfortunately, after a year of isolation and regular testing, it became apparent that Kia was not going to stop producing the virus. If she stayed with us, she would therefore continue to be a risk to all of our kittens, so we had her spayed and found her a fabulous home where she will be the only cat for the rest of her life.
After being kept alone for a few months whilst undergoing the treatment and testing for Tritrich, Xaria had decided that she hated Tármus and hounded her mercilessly. When the family who were taking one of Kia's kittens said that they'd always previously had two cats and were thinking about getting an older cat as company for their kitten, I saw a potential solution to the Xaria issue and told them about the bullying. They said they'd like to take Tármus and so she went off to live with one of Kia's kittens. To make the arrangement even more perfect, we see both Tármus and her companion, Simba, at least once a year because they come back here for their holidays rather than going into a cattery.
We nearly kept the girl from Katie's 2011 litter but at the last minute Anita asked if she could have her as a second Tiffanie queen, so she went to join Keela and the other Anizz cats. For DÓrna's second litter we were very lucky to be given access to a fabulous Imperial-titled Burmese boy with an amazing pedigree. Unfortunately, she only produced two kittens, which was rather surprising after her litter of six the previous year, but both had excellent type. There was a boy and a girl and I was initially going to keep the girl, but it was the boy who kept catching peoples' eye, so we ran both on for several months. Eventually, I decided to keep the boy, Donny, so we had Quinn spayed and began to show her as a neuter.
In the spring of 2011, I had seen one of Steve Crow and Tommy Goss's (Kagura Tiffanies & Asians) kittens at a show, and thought he was absolutely gorgeous. He's called Apollo, and is a grandson of Pippin, with whom DÓrna had produced such beautiful kittens for her first litter. I asked if we could bring DÓrna to him when he was old enough and Steve and Tommy agreed. Both their stud runs were already occupied with adult boys, so Apollo was living in the house. This was fine until about November, when he was approaching a year old and started spraying. DÓrna had only had her kittens in August, so wasn't ready to go to stud yet, but they weren't going to be able to keep Apollo entire for much longer. Just before Christmas, Tommy suggested that we take Apollo as a stud, so we got a run ready in the garden and he took our little family back to 13.