We got the email. It's really happening now. On Thursday May 16th we will be taking the train to go and pick up our newest family member. I feel like I type that a lot: our family always seems to be growing. This time, however, it's not a dog. Nope. We're getting our Siberian kitten. His official name is Witchfyre Rudolph Valentino, but I think we may just call him Rudolph, or perhaps something a bit shorter. There are photos of him and the rest of his litter on the Witchfyre website which I would link to, but ever since Blogger changed its format I can't post photos or links when using a screen reader. He was born February 14, 2013 in a litter with two other boys. He had been under observation by the breeder for showing and/or breeding and she's decided to let us have him to start up our showing, and if he's good enough, breeding program. I am so excited and a bit nervous too. As Mango Mama aptly pointed out in her comment yesterday, having so many dogs is almost a full time job and now we're adding in a kitten. However, cats aren't quite as much work as dogs.
Well, let me re-phrase that: they are work, but it's a different kind.
Since he's going to be a show kitty, we are going to have to socialise him the same way you would a new puppy. Judges like sociable cats and so the more we introduce him to, the better. Mr. K bought a little sling carrier that goes across your body that we can carry him around in for socialisation purposes. His head can stick out and he will wear a harness which attaches to the inside of the carrier so that he can't escape. This style of carrier will leave our hands free to work with the dogs while carrying the cat around. I can just imagine the looks we're going to get. People must think I'm completely off my rocker. We'll have to take trains and such to shows so we'll have to get him used to public transportation as well. So, the train ride home will be his first introduction.
The breeder has already picked out a show for us to "get our feet wet" at in August. Thankfully it's not too far from our new house and we'll be able to take the train straight there. He's had all of his standard vaccinations, but there is one more he'll have to have around mid-July. This vaccine is not given at the same time as the other two because the triple dose can cause bad reactions in kittens. We just have to make sure that it's given at least 15 days before the show as per the show's criteria.
I'm a little stunned to be honest. We had planned on doing this eventually, but we didn't think it would happen so quickly. It's all a lot to take in, but thankfully the breeder is more than willing to help us with all of it. She's ben really great about answering the millions of questions I've fired her way. Just last night she answered about ten questions that I had sent via email.
If all goes as planned, we'll bring our first breeding "queen" (that is what a breeding female cat is called) home in October or so. The cat's breeding season ends around that time and doesn't start back up until January or February. It all depends on lighting and temperature. Some experienced breeders can apparently keep and/or bring their queens into heat by adjusting indoor temperatures and lighting, but I don't think we'll ever do that. If we decide breeding is for us, I think a few month break will be good. Anyway, my point was that since she'll be "out of season" until February or so, our first litter will be born in the spring of 2014. After that, if we decide this is something we want to continue doing, we'll consult with our mentor and figure out where to go from there with regards to getting another queen or two.
But for now, we'll enjoy having a little, fluffy baby in the family.
How will the dogs react?
Honestly, not sure.
Roscoe will be fine. That dog is bomb proof. He takes life in stride and is so unassuming. He's such a great dog.
Otis might not know what to make of the kitten at first, but eventually, I could see him wanting to be friends with Kitten. He's another laid back dog who takes life in stride. I have a funny feeling we may have to start a youtube channel dedicated to Otis the French Bulldog and Rudolph the Siberian kitten.
As for my girls...well, Hermione will probably be wary of him at first. I think she'll warm up to him though and probably tolerate him. I don't know that she'll ever play with him like Otis will, but they'll be able to live happily together.
Nala will also be fine, but I can see her being very curious. She doesn't have very good body awareness so we'll have to make sure she doesn't accidentally stomp on him. I think she'll be interested in him until she figures out what he is and then she'll be indifferent.
These are only guesses, so it'll be interesting to see if I was right or not. The first couple of days the kitten will be kept in his own room so that he can settle in without being disturbed by the dogs. Once he's ready to come out on his own, he will be allowed to roam about. I think he'll have to wear a bell so that he doesn't squeak past me out the door, the way Otis has done on at least one occasion.
So, now that we know when we're going to get him, all we have to do is book train tickets, set up the secondary bedroom as a "kitty Heaven" and wait until next Thursday.