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November 28th, 2011

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Ocicat Club Show 2011

October 4th, 2011

Saturday 1st October, Eynsham, Oxfordshire.  A blistering hot day for any time of year let alone the first day of October.  The show went really well, beautifully organised and well publicised locally so lots of visitors through the doors. We took our two kittens, Pippa and Grace and stud boy Raffles.  It was his first show since he was a kitten and we weren’t sure if he’d enjoy it as he’s not one for being picked up and manhandled!  He’s so gorgeous though, and with this being a small show, it was the ideal one to try and show him off in.

They were all very well behaved, Raffles did sneak his head under the blanket now and again but generally took it all in his stride.  Grace chatted and shouted and Pippa slept or played her way through the day. As the results started coming in during the day we discovered they’d all won their Open Classes and got Best of Breed for their relevant sections.  Pippa got another 1st, a 2nd and two 3rds in her side classes and Raffles a 1st in the only side class we entered him in.

The big surprise of the day was Grace who had a real red card day!  Four 1sts in her side classes and the honour of being chosen as Best Ocicat Kitten (2nd year running for Pardalis!) Raffles was Best Male and Pippa’s sister, Isla, was best Ocicat Classic Kitten - a really good year for us :-)

A steward offered to take Raffles up to his BIS row pen for me but lost her grip on him, he can be very wriggly when he puts his mind to it!  The shout for ‘cat loose’ went up and everyone stood still while Raffles shot through Graham’s legs and ran round the room at full speed before hiding under a pile of chairs in a dark corner behind the curtains.  Knowing how difficult it can be to make Raffles do something he really doesn’t want to, we envisaged spending many a happy hour coaxing him out and getting him into the pen.  Luckily another steward did a sterling job of getting hold of him and putting him in his carrier. I don’t know who was more embarrassed, the poor steward who lost her grip on him who’d not had anything like that happening to her in 30 years of stewarding, or me for not insisting on putting him in his carrier to take him to the other pen, but it was only a couple of footsteps away……

After all that excitement the judges made their choices for the overall Best in Show. The choice was between Raffles, Grace and Lottie, a lovely chocolate girl who was already an Imperial Grand Premier.

To our great delight our little girl won it with Raffles as runner up!!!

The next day we laid out all the trophies and rosettes (the BIS one’s are very special) and wondered if we should be upping the house contents insurance :-)))

Eastern Counties Cat Show

August 13th, 2011

We were back at the Woodgreen Animal Shelter for a cat show last Saturday.  I just took Pippa this time to get her used to being shown.  She was an absolute angel last time and wasn’t fazed about being in a pen all day but just got on with the business of playing and enjoying all the attention.

This time she got into her mum’s habit of hiding under the blanket but, once the Open Classes judging was finished and we were allowed back into the hall, I could give her a toy mouse to play with and she was back to her usual playful self.

For me, this was a very enjoyable show, lots of lovely Ocicat friends to spend time with and the day flew by. Pippa did really well, getting a 1st and BOB in the Open, as did her sister Isla, and winning 2 other classes, one of 4 and one of 8.

The next show to look forward to will be the Ocicat Club Show on 1st October, so anyone reading this who has an Ocicat or Ocicat Classic and would like to have a go at showing, this is the one to do! Ideal for getting the hang of how it all works in a small, friendly environment, with lots of other Ocicats to admire!  Details on the Ocicat Club website or from me :-)

Lexi’s first IC

June 15th, 2011

In this next stage of progression to full championship status for the Ocicat Classic we need the cats to each gain 3 certificates by different judges at different shows.  Lexi was entered for her first one at Woking last Saturday.  As well as being awarded her certificate she was given Best of Breed and came first in two of her side classes and third in another (very large!) class.  Yet again she did us proud!

Raffles joins us

June 15th, 2011

We’ve been thinking about the advantages of having our own stud for a long time now but it was something that needed a lot of thinking about!  Unless you’re very lucky and the stud doesn’t spray you really need outdoor accommodation for him.  We have a summer house equipped with power point and light but having my elderly Dad living with us meant he was reluctant to give up the space in there where he overwintered his tender plants.  This year we got him a greenhouse so that excuse was overcome but by then we’d decided to keep Pippa from Lexi’s last litter and decided that any stud would have to be a silver.

Last month Raffles was offered to us.  He’s 18 months old, black silver, and has already sired 3 beautiful litters for another breeder so he knows what he’s doing  :-)  He carries dilute and the Classic pattern so between our girls and him we could have all the colours that Ocicats come in.

He’s settled in well and is already chatting up our girls and getting along well with our neuters too. The summer house is being converted into a nice cosy home for him with a run attached where he can see everything that’s going on when he’s not indoors with us.

Fizz’s new litter

June 15th, 2011

I’d really hoped we might have a daytime birth for a change but Fizz was having none of that!  She spent the first half of the night alternating between getting under the covers and nestling in with us to sitting on my chest, obviously very restless and not wanting us to sleep either. 

At 2am on 2nd June I heard a little squeak, the first kitten had already been born and was being cleaned up by mum.  It was a blue boy. Within the next 2 hours or so the other 5 had been born, all silently, only the lilac girl made Fizz cry out a little.  She also had a tawny girl and another 2 blue boys.  Luckily the blues are slightly different so I can just about tell them apart.

Two weeks on and the babies are all doing well and have lovely tubby tums and Fizz, as usual, is doing a great job.

Ocicat Club Open Day

May 22nd, 2011

We had a lovely day last Sunday.  Fifteen gorgeous Ocicats and Ocicat Classics to cuddle and admire by Club members and judges alike.

The day started with the cats being vetted in and settled in their large double pens decorated with curtains and swathes of satin to enhance their beautiful patterns.  At the time of booking the cats in Lexi was still feeding Pippa, so it seemed like a good idea to have them sharing a pen thinking they’d enjoy each other’s company on the day.  Since then Lexi has decided that the milk bar’s shut and it was about time Pippa left her alone and was snappy with her being in the same confined space.  Luckily I’d brought Pippa’s harness and she left Lexi her space in the pen and went walkabout with me. 

At lunchtime we all enjoyed the buffet spread put on by Val, Jane and Lorraine and then settled down to listen to Rosemary talk about the wild look of the Ocicat and the ‘type’ as set in the GCCF standard.  So as not to be distracted by spots she demonstrated the various points using her lovely rare Ivory boy who’d ‘had all his spots washed off’ :-)   There was a question and answer session then Stacie took over to talk about the Classic pattern using Kestrel (in photo) and Dragon as her fine examples, followed by more questions and answers. During all this Pippa settled on my knee in her harness and had a nap.

It was lovely spending the day with other Ocicat breeders and owners and talking cats all day and eating lovely cakes :-) I got to see Twiglet (Amakhala) Fizz’s kitten again and also Connie and Isla (pictured right), it’s always a bonus to see them growing up.

Pippa’s show debut

April 28th, 2011

On Easter Saturday, at just 14weeks and 2 days old, we took Pippa to the Bedford & District joint show at Godmanchester.  It was a very hot day and most of the cats were pretty dozy, conserving their energy.  Not so Pippa.  She decided to chat to everyone and didn’t seem to be fazed at being put in a show pen for the first time, happily eating her breakfast in there.

When we were let back into the hall at lunchtime Pippa was curled up having a nap, but she soon jumped up when she heard us and spent the rest of the day playing with a little toy mouse which she delighted in throwing out of the pen so I could pick it up and give it her back :-)  She enjoyed being taken out for a cuddle and having a look around at the competition.  We were delighted to see she won her Open Class (not difficult as she was the only entry…..) but she was also awarded Best of Breed, got a first in a class of 9 and 2 seconds.  Not bad for a first outing!  The write up by the judge of the open class says ‘Gorgeous kitten with super coat and pattern. Very good head indeed.  Good profile and chin, ears good size, shape and setting. Lovely eyes. Firm body, good legs, feet and tail. Promising great things to come’.

Out of all the cats and kittens in the whole show Pippa and Isla were the only ones awake and playing in the heat - a very good advert for the breed :-)

It was great to see her Classic sister, Isla, there. Also Connie, her chocolate Classic housemate, who is one of Lexi’s kittens from a previous litter.  They both earned glowing merits and did well in their side classes.  Lovely to have three Pardalis girls on the show bench that day. Isla’s only been in her new home for a couple of weeks but is already best friends with Connie.  Many thanks go to Lorraine and David for giving our kittens such a wonderful home and for showing them.  We believe Isla is the first black silver Classic to appear on a GCCF show bench.

Pardalis Navarra (Pippa)

March 18th, 2011

Lexi’s kittens are now 9 weeks old and have had their first vaccination and all given a clean bill of health by our vet.  We had to make sure we counted them back in to their baskets as the nurse had deep pockets!! We’re very pleased with how they’ve all developed, they’ve continued to grow fairly evenly and are all nice and podgy.  They eat very well and haven’t refused anything yet.  Mum’s still got the milk bar open too and is still looking good on it despite the fight for space when all six fancy a suckle at the same time. 

We’ve decided to keep the black silver girl and add a silver line to our programme.  It was a colour I’d have loved to have had right from the start of our breeding ‘career’ but there wasn’t one to be had at the time. She’s a very sweet little girl, fairly quiet compared to her boisterous brothers and nutty sister.  She seems to be developing very nicely, though time will tell.

Her siblings have all been reserved now and her black silver classic sister will join her on the show bench from her new home with her half sisters from Lexi’s previous litters.  One brother is heading down to Sussex, another to Warwickshire and two leave together for Manchester.  Until then we have another four weeks to enjoy their company while we wait for Fizz to decide it’s the right time for her to go visit her boyfriend again.

Six arrive and one leaves

January 20th, 2011

Lexi gave birth to six gorgeous kittens last week.  The labour started in the afternoon with Lexi chirruping to Uno and wanting him with her.  She was also trying to round up Fizz’s kitten as if she wanted her kitten family with her.  Unfortunately Fizz and Kolo weren’t invited to this particular party :-)  Around 9pm the purring deepened and got louder and the first kitten, a chocolate, made his entry to the world at 9.30pm.

He didn’t seem too interested in latching on though was lively enough.  He tried a couple of times but was content to snuggle in and get washed.  It was the best part of two hours before he got the hang of it and whilst there was movement still to be seen in Lexi’s tum, none of the others were in a hurry to make an appearance.  I started to worry about the possibility of a still born holding things up, and maybe a caesarian being needed.  There weren’t any contractions and Lexi was purring quietly, happily washing her kitten. 

Then around 1.45am the purring got louder followed by the usual ‘ouch, something’s on it’s way’ noises and out popped the second kitten.  Phew! It was breathing and no sooner than it had a cursory lick it was headed for the milk bar.  The other four followed in quick succession and it was all over in an hour. Six nice evenly sized hungry little bundles!

Now, a week on, they’re all putting on weight and growing rapidly.  Lexi is a wonderful mum yet again and is positively glowing.

Last weekend saw Fizz’s last kitten go off to her new home.  It was really hard to part with this one that we so nearly kept, especially as she was over 6 months old now and we knew Fizz would miss her too.  Hopefully we’ll see her at the next Ocicat Club Show in October.