GO!

Tortie alert! I am a "hot tortie"!

If you are wondering what is the right cat for you, this is the place to be. In this introductory forum we talk about topics such as breed vs. mix, size, age, grooming, breeders, shelters, rescues as well as requirements for exercise, space and care. No question is too silly here. This particular forum is for getting and giving helpful, nice advice. It is definitely not a forum for criticizing someone else's opinion, knowledge or advice. This forum is all about purring and learning.

  
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♥- Roxy- ♥

Polydactyl Maine- Coons Rule!
 
 
Purred: Sat Apr 26, '08 3:15pm PST 
Chibi that is so true-- "he owner who picks their cats on the basis of personal preference often finds him- or herself with a cat that's not necessarily going to win in the show ring."


We got a black Maine Coon because we just love black cats in general and think that the black Maine Coons are gorgeous! However they tend to not be seen often in the show ring and are not a preferred color for showing... In fact I was talking to a breeder at the last cat show I went to, who I had been in contact with about getting a black kitten from her and she said she is going to stop breeding for the black color because it is so difficult to find adopters! shock

Of course being a polydactyl as well as black Rory is not eligible for showing in the regular championship class anyway. To us the extra toes were a great "bonus" -- we knew there was a possibility of polydactyly when we chose our breeder and when we found out "our" kitten had extra toes we were thrilled, despite what the breed standard says! smile
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Chibi

Proud mother of- the Gang of- Four!
 
 
Purred: Sat Apr 26, '08 11:06pm PST 
Thanks for your input, Rory. We're learning little by little as we go along about the world of showing (and breeding, which is related). We're located in Japan, and while we're showing with the CFA, which follows the same standards as in the U.S., I think there may be a few differences in the judges' preferences here. For example, when we occasionally have an American judge come to a show, they are definitely more enthusiastic about Leila and me than the Japanese judges are. There's one Japanese judge who has a definite liking for torties, but as a well-known Maine Coon breeder told me yesterday, "Well, she's a Persian breeder, and there are a lot of tortie Persians, so that's probably why she likes your torties." A left-pawed compliment or what?!? I have been told that torties are generally not well-received in the show ring, but if the cat is a truly superior specimen (which includes, of course, being unusually big for a female), they do occasionally become Grands.

I'm curious about which colors are preferred in the United States. Although I don't like cultural generalizations very much, I would say that the Japanese tend to prefer the orthodox, which in the Maine Coon world means brown tabby or brown tabby and white. I wonder if most Americans prefer brown tabbies as well.

Right now in the Japanese cat show world, among the Maine Coons being shown, silver tabbies and, more recently, whites have become quite popular, and do quite well in the show ring. But I have yet to see a black cat. Red tabbies, like torties, may be more popular in the States than in Japan--there are not too many competing, although among the ones that are currently being shown, a half-nephew of mine is one of the top cats in Japan this year. My own breeder says that red tabbies sometimes sell well and sometimes don't, although he mostly sells to pet owners rather than breeders/showers. There's a breeder in the U.S. that specializes in BIG Maine Coons, and they have a particular preference for red tabbies, so I think that maybe red tabbies, like torties, may be more popular in the U.S. than in Japan.

I love black cats, too (I had one for 18 years), so I'm interested in getting a black and white for my next Maine Coon (yes, there will be more...). Again, black and white cats are fairly rare in the show ring, although I don't know if this is because they simply are not as common or popular as the standard brown tabby, or because they are not as successful in the show ring.

Another color class I'm interested in is the cameo tabby. They appear from time to time in the ring and seem to do well enough, but again, are vastly outnumbered by the brown tabbies.

If I got the meaning of your post right, not only are black cats at a disadvantage in the show ring in the U.S., they are not even much in demand as pets, which is strange, because many people are wild about black cats. Does this mean that Americans, like Japanese, prefer the orthodox brown tabby Maine Coon?

Sorry to go on and on like this...it's my new (actually, only) hobby, and quite fascinating to me, especially since I have so much to learn.

Hope to hear from you again! dancing
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Binks

Little boy in a- cat suit
 
 
Purred: Sun Apr 27, '08 4:51pm PST 
Chibi - my Mom laughed at your response. When my mommy worked, she had to put the alarm clock across the room from the bed. She also would change the time on it, minute-by-minute, here-and-there, so that it was fast, but she wouldn't really know how fast. Of course, she figured it out quickly and knew how many times she could hit the snooze button. And then it bothered her that her bedroom clock showed a different time than the other ones in the apartment. So, she finally put the clock back to the right time and just tried to be on time for work. Fortunately, her OCD is not a major deal. Her panic disorder is the worst, and she understands how your mommy worries about you kitties. It just takes one little bit of worrisome information to send Mommy into a huge attack. And she's got a six-year-old daughter, too, so Mommy gets lots of occasions to freak out over viruses, bacterias, and other little germy germs floating around out there. Sigh... poor mommy. She should go back to meditation and yoga, which she did for years.

Change of subject, back to beautiful kitties... my mother LOVES Maine Coons. Her kitty, Abbie, who was Mommy's soul mate, was part Maine Coon. Abbie's kitty mommy was a tiny tabby with a sweet face and disposition. Her daddy was a Maine Coon who was allowed to wander. Mommy knows all this because Abbie was the kitten of Mommy's friend's cat. When Mommy got her, she was just a skinny little short-haired tabby. But she blossomed into a 22-lb kitty who definitely had a lot of Maine Coon in her. Mommy misses her greatly, but is thankful that I help with that void. I'm just a sweet little boy. May have a little Siamese in me, but not enough to brag about.

Daddy told Mommy she can only have two kitties, and that would be Matilda and me. But if she runs across another kitty like Abbie who needs to be rescued, she told Daddy she would not be able to resist. The Maine Coon personality is just too strong to resist! And to have such a large, fluffy, warm, purring body resting on you is even better than yoga or meditation, Mommy says (and wraps the post up neatly).
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Chibi

Proud mother of- the Gang of- Four!
 
 
Purred: Mon Apr 28, '08 3:15am PST 
Well, I'm glad I made somebody laugh! I certainly didn't want anybody to feel I was dragging down the generally upbeat mood of Catster. Actually, I laugh at myself over these personality quirks. Although we SHOULD be talking about cats, I'll add a snippet to the story about my checking the gas line 63 times: that was the time I was going on a trip, and had used the iron right before I was to leave, and even though it was unplugged, it was still warm and I was afraid it would start a fire...so I took it with me (it was heavy).

As for panic attacks, I have them all the time, and sometimes can't leave the house (this presents a problem when I have to go to work!). My new hobby of cat showing is helping a lot, because you really have no choice but to get up and go there, or forfeit your money.

As for Maine Coons being comforting...I chose this breed because I wanted an affectionate cat, and Japanese cats tend to be very feral and wary (even house cats). So did I get warm, purring bodies stretched out against me at night? NOOOOO, I got three neurotic Maine Coons who haven't yet quite gotten the message that it might be to their advantage to play up to Mommy a bit more. But they're still young, and cats tend to get more affectionate with age, so we'll wait and see. But (*big sigh*) all I wanted was a big, furry, warm, loving kitty, and now I have three who are just as standoffish as the Japanese moggies I've had. Do you think my nervous nature is influencing their personalities? If that's so, I'm destined never to get an affectionate cat!
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Binks

Little boy in a- cat suit
 
 
Purred: Mon Apr 28, '08 7:08am PST 
Binks' mom here: I don't think your nervous nature is impacting the kitties' personalities. I've never had a pure bred, so my impression of Maine Coons came from Abbie, who was the most loving, affectionate cat I've ever known. But I wonder if show-quality kitties are different? Or if breeding is different in Japan that in the U.S.? I think most of Abbie's personality came from her DSH tabby mommy. But it fit the Maine Coon description also.

Also, I know that Torties can have unique dispositions. Sasha certainly taught me that! She was so beautiful (I wish I had other pictures of her, but they need to be scanned, as they were before digital). But being held or cuddling was just not in her nature. When she became middle-aged, maybe around eight or so, I would sometimes wake up from a nap (I was still young and single and could nap on a whim) to find her on me. I would try to be still as long as possible to prolong our cuddle session. When she was in her late teen years and I was pregnant and on bed rest, she sat on my big belly and purred all the time. Sometimes both kitties would be up there on top of Mount Belly, warming my baby and making me feel less anxious.

So, maybe the kids just need time. Even Binks, who is a lover boy, only recently started sleeping in my lap. Before, he would like to be right beside me, but not on me. At night, he likes to curl behind my knees (until 3 am when he likes to wake me up and not let me go back to sleep... but that's another story).

Oh... and for irons... back when mommy still ironed, she had a spot in the laundry room where she would put the hot iron. It had to be far enough away from the wall that if it fell over, it would not make the wall hot. And the door had to be closed so that Sasha or Abbie couldn't get burned. One day, she had to leave work to go check that she turned off the iron and put it in it's place (she worked in the downtown area and this was a far drive). Of course, it was off and in it's place. So, she started writing notes to herself: "the iron is off"; "the oven is off", etc.

Cats, even the ones who aren't the big, purring lumps of affection, are great healers.
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Chibi

Proud mother of- the Gang of- Four!
 
 
Purred: Mon Apr 28, '08 8:24am PST 
Lovely post! Thank you! I loved the image of your cats on "Mount Belly." That was precious. And I'm glad to know that I'm not the only one with iron problems. "Back when mommy still ironed"--I laughed at that one. It's been so long since I ironed that I don't even remember where my iron is these days; I think we can safely assume that it's been turned off!

As for my cats being nervous and not as affectionate as I'd hoped--I really don't think I'm the cause, because their personalities haven't changed since I got them. Spot (the moggy) is a lover boy--very affectionate but a bit nervous (he was a feral), Harvey is affectionate in a spaced-out way, Leila is very ladylike and somewhat aloof, but comes over several times a day to spend some "quality time" with me, and Chibi is fearless and affectionate and a generally lovely girl. I think that part of the problem is that they were raised by a male breeder, a single guy, who LOVES his cats but just doesn't have that maternal touch, you know? He dandles them on his knee but doesn't hold them in his arms against his breast and look them in the eyes the way a woman would do instinctively. The first time I tried that on Harvey, when he was six months old, he freaked out. Now he's sort of gotten used to it.

Generally speaking, pedigreed cats, especially those bred to be show cats, are affectionate and easy-going, because that's what's expected of them in the ring. But my breeder was more into breeding pets than show cats, and his kittens range from the shy (Harvey and Leila) to the more outgoing (Chibi). There is a possibility that their being Japanese-bred may have something to do with it. These cats have pedigrees going back many generations, and of course somewhere down the line there was a real American cat in the bunch, but there is the possibility that Japanese Maine Coons and American Maine Coons are not necessarily always the same in terms of character. I spoke with an American judge at a cat show here who said that Japanese show cats ALL tend to be much more nervous than American ones. I really can't think why--purebred cats here don't have any Japanese moggy blood in them, and their owners are just as loving as in the States. Hmmm....

As for torties having unique personalities: people are always talking about how certain colors have certain characteristics, and then there are other people who say this is nonsense, but I'm wild about torties and calicos, and I can say that the two calico mixed breed cats (Japanese) that I've owned had personalities that were, well, pretty neurotic and high-strung. Even so, my Rainbow Bridge Kitty calmed down in her later years (she lived to be 15) and for perhaps the last 5 years of her life would always sleep under the covers with me. So I do know that cats can change as they get older (maybe they just feel the cold more, and seek out human warmth!).

And yes, I'm with you all the way as to "cats are great healers." They are one of the best medicines around for both physical and mental aches, and you don't need a prescription!
cheer
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♥- Terra- ♥

Purrs all- around! Le- Meow?
 
 
Purred: Mon Apr 28, '08 11:35pm PST 
I'm a tortie too, a Siamese tortie. I don't have any red, just chocolate brown, cream and white. I just have tortie colouring on my points, or did when I was younger, now I have some on my back, but my tummy is all white. I have lots of Tortietude..so they say. I'm pushy, loving, demanding, and boss my two Siamese brothers around all the time. they don't mind because if they did, I'd just beat them up and they'd change their minds..wink
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Maggie May- (In Loving- Memory)

Wanna Dance?
 
 
Purred: Mon Apr 28, '08 11:50pm PST 
Hello, I'm Terra's big sister at the bridge. I was still around when Terra came to live with us and we were great pals. I was much older and had never had a baby sister before. As you can see I am a Maine Coon, my real cat Mom was a Tortie Maine Coon who was mostly black with red and tan, no white at all. None of us 5 kittens from my litter were torties, I had a little red, but my breeder called me a "Brown Patch Tabby with White", but our Vet always thought I was a Tortie with white. I never knew who to believe. I never had the tortietude Terra speaks about, but she sure has it. I was always a very laid back gentle giant. Maine Coons RULE, but Siamese catsRule too. My best bud most of my life was my brother Canoe who was a flame point Siamese. I loved my little brother Blue too.
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