Yesterday, Mr. K and I took a train out to see a potential new living space. It's a semi-detached house in a really nice residential neighbourhood. It has a fenced in patio off of the back as well as a fully enclosed yard. Mr. K is excited by the patio because that means he can barbecue. I think that excites me too. I can always get down on some grilled steak. The yard has a fairly steep slope down, but that won't really be an issue. It is over two stories and has a recently renovated kitchen with a normal sized fridge/freezer. The fridge we have now is what we North Americans call a bar fridge. It's about the size of a mini bar fridge in a hotel room. It's been a bit ridiculous to fit all of our food into it. The area is very quiet and there were quite a few people out gardening. Everyone we passed seemed friendly as well which was nice. We both really liked the place so we'll call tomorrow to see if we can put a deposit on it. I think my nesting instincts are kicking in because I put a dishes set, garden decorations and bathroom set on Mr. K's Amazon wish list.
When we first arrived, I was a bit hesitant. I didn't realise just how residential the area was and I was worried that I wouldn't be able to get out of the house and just grab a cup of coffee. We did find one restaurant with a nice bar and there is apparently another pub down the road. There are also two grocery stores and a sport/leisure centre. So, that would be good. It takes about 25 minutes on the train to get into the city centre, but it's a pleasant trip and I wouldn't mind having to do that to get into town. I didn't see any off leash places for the dogs to run, but I've been told there are places so I'll have to investigate that further.
For me, I was surprised that I was so hesitant about the place. I was the one who found it and I'm the one who has been saying I want to move further out of the city into a more residential area. Mr. K likes the city and so I was surprised that he was the one who was all about it. I guess I was a bit concerned that I would lose my independence after just getting it back again. What I mean is: Nala and I would have to learn a new place again and we would be limited in getting around for a while until our new routes solidified with both of us. I had been six months without a guide dog and was incredibly restricted in the places I could go on my own. I didn't want to feel like that again. That said, I think we'd learn the new routes quite quickly and be fine.
Our other surprise has nothing to do with the house move-well, in a sort of unrelated way they sort of go together, but you'll see what I mean once I explain.
I've always wanted to get into dog breeding. It's not an easy thing to get into as you need a mentor and it takes years to build up relationships, customer bases and good litters. You have to do a lot of leg work to meet the right people and it was something Mr. K and I had talked about doing in the future once my MSc was finished. That way, I could focus on school. We also discussed showing our chosen breed as well and that also takes time. In the mean time, we've been looking into a low allergen cat breed. We settled on the Siberian, since they are supposedly one of the best breeds for this, and started contacting breeders. We made a lot of enquiries and finally settled on one breeder who had three litters planned for 2013. One litter was born by the time we had contacted her, so we went on the waiting list for the next litter. Me being the person I am, read her website from start to finish and saw somewhere along the way that she may be interested in mentoring the right person who wanted to show/breed the Siberian. I thought this was interesting and told Mr. K about it who said I should get more information. To make a very long story short, after a whole ton of questions on my part and a whole ton more emails back and forth, she has become my mentor. I thought that I could start with the cats and take the knowledge I learn from that to dog breeding.
Initially, we had planned on buying a pet cat from her first in order to get to know the breed. We also thought this would give me time to ask a million more questions, attend some cat shows and finish my degree. When we got home from our house viewing yesterday afternoon though, plans began to change.
The breeder had sent me an email asking if I wanted one of her kittens from the earlier litter who is show quality. She also said she has a proven breeding female (or queen as they are called) that we could bring home around October of this year. Come early 2014, we could breed the pair and have our first litter. There are so many reasons why this is an amazing offer. I feel incredibly honoured that she would consider us to take two of her high quality cats. Starting with such a strong foundational pair is beyond my expectations. I thought we would have to wait years to really have our feet under us with this project and wouldn't have a litter until at least 2015, but this offer has changed everything.
Of course there are a few things Mr. K and I have to take into consideration, but the pros far outweigh the cons. And with the possibility of having larger living accommodations with a direct train line into the town, we would be in a good position to start our own, small, cattery
I just have to say that we have had a few surprises in the last 24 hours, but I feel incredibly lucky. So, basically, watch this space: we may be entering our first cat show in mid-August. I may be dog lover converted to cat fancier. :)