It's been a long time, folks! So many things have been going on around here, where do we begin? If you've been following us on Instagram you may have seen all of Remi's pretty ribbons he won at the Ragdoll Congress in Tucson, AZ a few weeks ago. There was some really fantastic competition at the show, so we were really surprised and excited that he did so well. The next Ragdolls Around the World will be held in Orlando, FL in June 2018. Put it on your calendars!
So life in the breeding world is a bit hectic at times. Plans change and don't always go as you hope they will. At the moment we're in the middle of one of those frustrating plan-changing times. I'm one of those people who like to have everything in order, life all mapped out on the calendar, etc. But the truth is, with breeding that just doesn't always work. Animals don't always cooperate!
My plan had been to breed Aspen to Konah in February when she turned one, and hopefully keep a girl kitten back out of that litter for Remi to breed. So Remi would have two girls to breed (Konah and her daughter) at the end of 2017. This plan was based on the assumption that Remi wouldn't be ready to breed for a lot longer than Aspen, since he's younger and his daddy didn't want to breed till he was almost 2. Based on that assumption I also planned to spay Dusty because I wouldn't have a boy to breed her to, since I retired Micheal a few months ago.
Well! Little miss Konah decided to start cycling a lot earlier than I had hoped, so the waiting till February to breed her became a little less likely. The more cycles a female has without being bred, the more risk they have of developing an infection called pyometra, which can be fatal if it's not caught in time, or lead to an emergency spay at minimum. To avoid having this happen, after talking to Konah's breeder, my awesome mentor Carol, and a few other experienced breeders, the recommendation was to go ahead and breed her now so the kittens will be born just after she turns one. Sooo that's what we're trying to do, but silly Mr Aspen doesn't seem to be getting his job done! *sigh* poor little Konah Sunshine...she's trying her darndest to get his attention and he's only showing mild interest...very surprising considering how much he was flirting with her before they were allowed to be together! At this point I'll just have to check her in a few weeks to see if she "pinks up" (cats' nipples turn bright pink when they're bred) or if she comes back into heat.
Meanwhile, even more surprising, Remi already seems absolutely bound and determined to breed a girl. My normally silent little fluffball has been hollering his head off at random intervals and trying to dodge past us to be with Konah or Dusty (they're both in high heat at the moment). If it weren't for the possibility that Aspen might have bred Konah by now, I'd go ahead and let Remi be with her...however the would mean DNA testing the entire litter to see which kittens were from which boys, and I definitely don't want to do that, for a lot of reasons besides just the cost. Sooo I'll wait and see if Konah's bred or not, and if not then she'll go with Remi and we'll give him a shot at breeding her.
Aaaand then there's Dusty. I'd been planning on having her spayed next week when the kittens go in for their spay/neuters, since I wasn't expecting Remi to be ready to breed her and didn't want to risk her developing pyo. All three litters I've had out of her and Micheal have had the same conformational weaknesses, fairly consistently. Dusty and Micheal are both weak in a lot of the same ways - a bit cowhocked, not a nice change of direction, and weak chins. So it's no surprise their kittens tend to take after them in all of those areas. Since Remi (who's extremely strong on those three areas) suddenly seems to have an interest in breeding, there is unexpectedly now the possibility of seeing how Dusty might cross on a completely different male. As an added benefit, Remi being allowed to breed sooner rather than later (six months to a year later!) is likely to keep him from developing behavioral issues (spraying, marking, moodiness, etc).
After talking again with my amazing mentor Carol, and doing some reading of my own, I decided to give Remi a chance to breed Dusty...he may or not get it done. But it will be interesting to see if his very strong chin, straight legs, and nice change of direction will be enough to overcome Dusty's flaws. Dusty's in fantastic shape, perfect coat condition, great amount of weight on her. She loves being pregnant, and raising kittens. So I'm going to give her one more shot, and maybe we'll be surprised at how nice the kittens are out of her and Remi. If he can't get her done, well then I guess we go back to plan A and go ahead and spay her. :-( Decisions, decisions!
So, folks. I know it's a lot of explaining but breeding is complicated and plans have to be flexible. IF all goes as we have it planned now, then we SHOULD have two litters due in February, ready to go in late May. If I sound a little stressed out about all this, it's for good reason! Big announcement time... *drumroll please!* We're having a baby! Aaaand the baby is due May 17th. So yeah it's going to be a crazy month. Thank goodness for my ultra-supportive husband, parents, and in-laws, who I know will all be on board helping out with the new little human and all the kittens too. :-)
Thanks so much all of you who are part of our Instagram family, who follow our crazy life and take the time to read my ramblings about my breeding philosophy and whatnot. I love reading all of your comments and feel like I really have come to know so many of you, so thanks for being there. This adventure is about to get a lot bigger with the addition of our little Mister, and I'm glad to have y'all along for the ride!