Do we do Birthday Parties?

Someone really asked me that.  She wanted to bring a hoard of small children over to play with the kittens, eat cake and ultimately her daughter was to get to pick her kitten as the culmination of a day of fun and mayhem.  As you can imagine, I said NO in the loudest most horrified voice possible.  She could not understand why I would not sell her a kitten after her making such a request.

Some people definitely have boundary issues.  I do not put it all on her though.  There is this misconception that a good breeder will be ready at any time to let you come in and inspect their breeding facilities.  I am not quite sure where this idea originated but on this page I am going to explain why it is not a great idea.

Cats can catch human illnesses

I run what is known as a closed cattery.  That means I do not breed my queens with outside toms, allow visitors etc. and all my cats go into quarantine upon returning if they have to leave the cattery for any reason.  This sounds a little extreme but you have to remember we have tiny babies here.  Just as you would not see people randomly wandering in and out of the neonatal unit in a hospital you shouldn't expect to wander around in our cattery.

I have lost kittens to simple colds.  A newborn kitten is very tiny.  It does not have a lot of reserves to fall back on if it becomes ill.  A cold causes them to develop a stuffy nose and they stop nursing because they cannot breath and eat at the same time,  Then they fade away and die.  Often in the process they infect their siblings and they could die as well.  Forget about the financial risk and vet bills, I stay up nights trying to save these babies and cry my heart out when we lose them.

No matter how careful we are we bring home colds just like every other family so we run a risk of passing our germs on but I can limit the risk by limiting the number of people who the kittens are exposed to when they are small.

My Insurance agent would kill me

We are a working farm so it is slightly worse for us than other people but liability issues are a real problem.  Wal-Mart can and must spend a small fortune on insurance to cover people potentially getting hurt.  I cannot.  

This gets even more interesting because I sell hypoallergenic cats.  That means most people who get kittens from me have allergies.  I have a house full of cats and kittens.  So many people want to come to my home to see if they react.  I always liken that to testing for a peanut allergy by eating an entire jar of peanut butter.  There is such a thing as overkill.  There are an unlucky few people who are allergic to Siberian Forest Cats.  The numbers seem to be very small from what I have seen to date but suppose one of those people comes here and has a dangerous asthma attack?  I live in the country and you do not want to know what the average response time is for an ambulance.

Then there are the dogs, cows, pigs and electric fences.  We are not a big farm but you can be hurt by 2 cows as easily as a whole herd of them.  Admittedly, I consider my geese to be more dangerous than my dogs but that isn't the point.  The point is keeping my poor insurance agent from having a coronary thinking about the possibilities.

You might be a serial killer

Before I tell you about where we live you need to know we meet people in town so they do not have to come out to our place.  That tells you something, doesn't it?

We live on an unmarked dirt road off another dirt road miles back in the woods in the middle of thousands of acres of nature preserve.  It is beautiful here but you can hear the banjo music from Deliverance playing in the background.  There are bears, deer, coyotes, hawks, mountain lions and even the occasional eagle.  It is paradise but both GPS and cell service fade in and out and there are not a lot of people home when you get lost.  You cannot see any of the neighbors houses or hear what they are doing.  I am not the only one who can trace her recent ancestry back to moonshiners.  Big dogs and guns are de rigueur out here.  It would be a great setting for a horror film

The mother in me always wants to lecture people when they want to come to my place.  "Honey, you are old enough to know better.  Do you have any idea how dangerous it is to go off in the woods to visit someone you met on the internet,"  

The same is true in reverse.  Maybe I would worry less if I bred large dogs but I don't.  I breed tiny kittens.  They really are not that intimidating.  People are not always who they say they are.  If I let one person in I have to let everyone in.  Think about that.  Can you imagine if you were legally obligated to let anyone who called you into your home with your children.  Seriously, that is the way the law works.  I have gotten some very creepy phone calls over the years.  You would not want to go there.

My allergies

Then there are the joys of being me.  I have what is commonly known as Multiple Chemical Sensitivity or MCS for short.  Doctors drone on about mast cells and reactions to VOCs etc. but I like the MCS label because it puts it all together in one nice bundle.  Basically I can end up in the ER from so many things I abandoned a big beautiful house in town and ran away to live in the woods.  It is a royal pain and worse it messes with my heart and blood pressure.  Sometimes I faint and other times they just shoot up so high that I become a stroke / heart attack risk.  I carry an EpiPen and the whole thing runs my life.

I have to make a lot of concessions.  High on the list is living a mostly chemical free life.  The perfumes in your laundry and personal hygiene products could make a real mess of me.  They could send me to the ER.  In my mind the potential exists that they could actually kill me based on how high my blood pressure and heart rate have gone.  Even if you don't knock me out or cause me to have a stroke I am really not into the whole beet red and swollen up like a beach ball affect that accompany my reactions.

Yes, I am trying to make fun of it.  Frankly, it gets rather lonely and at times I really wish I had the option to have people come visit but I do not have that option.  Lawrence meets people in town and I stay home for the most part.  So there it is.  I just do not, in the end, have a choice.

What I Can Do

If you have any doubts about my cattery and feel insecure about the fact I don't allow visitors I think I can set your mind at ease.  First I give a two week no questions asked guarantee starting the day you take your kitten home.  That is, to my knowledge, the best guarantee of any of the catteries out there.  In addition, I am more than happy to give you my veterinarian's office phone number.  We take our deposits through PayPal so you know your deposit will be refunding if there are any issues before you pick up the kitten and you can pay the full amount that way if you want the added security (or would just rather be able to use your credit card)  I know nothing in life is 100% secure but I do try to make this feel as safe as possible for everyone involved.