Part 7: One In, Two Out,
Two Kept - Back to Thirteen
One of our breeding plans is to breed a new line for the cinnamon programme in Asians. Cinnamon is a full Championship colour for the breed, but there are only a handful of cinnamons in existence, so the colour is in danger of dying out altogether. A four-generation out-cross programme can be used to bring the colour in from one of the other breeds that have cinnamon, so when George Gow (Gowlaren cats) offered us Sonia, a beautiful Usual Somali who carries cinnamon, we jumped at the opportunity.
Fi's first litter were born in late spring of 2012, and one of the people who came to visit them was a lovely lady called Tracey. She absolutely fell in love with Quinn, so we were going to let her take Quinn as a companion for whichever kitten she decided to take. She had kept Russian Blues about 25 years ago, even having a litter, and still adores the breed, so she wanted to meet Xaria. It was love-at-first-sight for the pair of them, Xaria climbing into Tracey's arms in a way that we had never seen her do with anyone, and Tracey bursting into tears at the first purr. Ever since she had been kept by herself for the Tritrich treatment, Xaria had been causing us problems by attacking some of our other cats; we had even discussed looking for a new home for her but couldn't bring ourselves to do so. Here, however, the decision seemed to have been made for us and so Tracey ended up not taking one of Fi's kittens at all, instead taking both Quinn and Xazzle. The girls get on well and seem to be very happy, occasionally even coming out to shows.
Fi's litter were all promising, but two in particular, a boy and a girl, had absolutely stunning type. We adored the girl, Ayla, from the start and the feeling was apparently mutual. Even if we hadn't been wanting to keep her, she made it very clear that she wanted to stay, by climbing onto our shoulders whenever other people came to visit the litter. One visitor even commented, after about the fourth time that Ayla had climbed off her lap and up me to snuggle into my neck, that she seemed very attached to me. I had to admit that I was also rather attached to her so we decided that she had to stay. As her brother, Eiteag, developed, however, I realised that he would be ideal to give an 'injection' of good type into our cinnamon programme, this being critical to prevent the resulting kittens looking like the out-cross breed(s) instead of Asians. We therefore decided to keep him for a single litter at the back of our cinnamon programme.