|Purred: Wed Mar 4, '09 7:08pm PST |
|My Spike, frankly, is my favorite cat (aside from the kittens, but alas, they need new homes). He is a perfect example of the benefits of natural selection (except for having a tendency to be overweight). He was found in a park, fending off a crow that was trying to eat him and his brother (after said crow had eaten the other siblings--Tokyo crows are big, mean, and eat cats). Spike is the most symmetrical of my cats--talking about facial configuration, mainly.
Oh, and he is as sweet and affectionate and loyal as they come. His only problem is that he is insecure, and didn't like the intrusion of the other cats. But he's gotten over that. No alpha male problems with Harvey.
I got my Maine Coons because, well, after meeting my brother's Maine Coon (born and bred in Maine, found near a Dumpster, absolutely the real thing), I'd always wanted one. Spike needed a companion. I am not going to live forever. Therefore...I bought one, then two, then three. I got into the cat world--one way to enjoy cats, but not necessarily better than any other way of enjoying cats. And being in the cat world usually includes breeding. So we had a litter. (And I now am looking for homes for my six remaining kittens--number 7 got chosen by a lovely family).
As I've written on other threads, some Japanese cats are absolutely lovely, like my Spike. But others tend to much more feral and standoffish than American or British kitties. I had to rehome Pookie because she was so feral that she stayed in the closet for six years and hated Spike with every fiber of her being. (She is now, apparently, happy.) Maine Coons are said to be affectionate cats. Well, my crew are all a bit odd (Chibi is the most "normal"), but at least they don't live in the closet.
We don't have a shelter system here in Japan as in the U.S. Yes, we have shelters. But they kill the cats after three days. Some people voluntarily submit their cats--can you imagine that? But other people have simply lost Kitty, and have only three days to locate her and reclaim her. I haven't heard of shelters being places where you can get a cat, unless you are the original owner.
What we do have is a rescue network. But when I was looking at the cats, all seemed to be physically compromised. Lethargic...permanent eye damage from a URI...it was depressing.
I'm now a novice breeder, and my two goals are to produce healthy and affectionate cats. I've made many mistakes along the way, but I can say that my cats are the most affectionate cats I've ever had in Japan. And they get health treatment to the point that my vet told me I was being a bit neurotic.
But when you buy a cat from a breeder, it should be a relationship that continues for the cat's entire life. Your breeder is still responsible for that life, and for taking the cat back, if necessary. This is stressful. I've heard that it takes ten years before you can really call yourself a good breeder. But many people burn out before or after that.
Personally, I like moggies the best. But I also love breed cats. I am just unhappy when people tell me that having a breed cat means that I have therefore killed a shelter cat, or that breeders are evil. We breed because we love cats, and love the pleasure that our cats give others. There will always be people who want pedigreed cats--better me than some backyard breeder.
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