Actually they were born of other Bengals….
So, armed with questions and much anticipation we were off to see our first breeder and her Bengals.
We probably didn’t really need the questions.
It was obvious very early into our visit that the breeder loved her cats (and other animals, which I’ll come to later…)
The meeting with Veena, however, didn’t get off to the greatest of starts as she was only kitten in the litter that hissed at us- a skill she’d only recently acquired apparently and seemed keen to put to good use.
This didn’t put me off- it was hard to be put off by anything when surrounded by several carefree, kittens even if a couple of them did pull on my hoody draw strings as if they were going for some kind of campanology record.
The breeder filled us with information about how she’d formerly bred dogs, had now moved into Bengals and the background to this particular litter, which had actually experienced a death.
The sight of the litter’s aunt reinforced my desire to own a Bengal- a beautiful, elegant cat that sat and watched over as the feline frolics unfurled before her.
Having spent a good while playing with and handling the youngsters, we saw the parents and the rest of the animal household including 2 dogs, a few other Bengals and a macaw.
This woman clearly not only loved cats.
Breeding (cats that is) is hard work and Bengals in particular require extra attention with genetic tests needed for Pyruvate Kinase deficiency (PK def) Progressive Retinal Atrophy (PRA)- see Prices of Bengal Cats: The Definitive Globalish Guide .
Again, we didn’t need to ask about these- the breeder had put together a pack for each kitten (and the parents) proving relevant tests and health checks had been carried out by a vet, plus necessary registration information and how microchipping details are passed onto a new owner.
We got to see where the cats lived, their parents and all the necessary paperwork.
Plus we’d played with and handled the kitten we’d hoped to buy- pretty much the gold standard in Bengal buying.
However, we both agreed that unfortunately, Veena wasn’t going to be the pet for us.
We felt there were other kittens in the litter we’d preferred in terms of colouring and that we got along with better from our, albeit brief, interaction.
All the others had been reserved so it was Veena or nothing, and sadly, it was the latter.
It sounded harsh to say it to ourselves- that we didn’t want her, as if she’s not good enough as there was nothing ‘wrong’ with her in the slightest.
It’s a big decision to introduce any animal into your home- and wanted to make the right one for all concerned.
So it wasn’t to be.
And anyway, there was another party interested so she still had a potential new home waiting for her.
Stormborn Bengals had set the bar very high and we hoped our visit would stand us in good stead for the future.
That future was to be imminently filled by a cat, who at this point, went under the name of ‘Firefly Girl…’