Saturday, October 30, 2010

Topic Saver

I was planning on blogging about something else today, but I have so much going on with Halloween that I have barely had the time to sit down and post. I will return to blogging on Monday and be spending time with my family and my beloved cats. Have a safe and wonderful Halloween. Blessed Be :-D

Friday, October 29, 2010

Magazine Milestone

Thats Right, we are in Print Baby!

It is with my great pleasure to share this with the group. A few months back I was contacted by a Brazillian journalist Fabio Bense who wanted to do a short article on the Helki Cat Breed. I still don't know who pushed them in my direction but I thank you kindly. Ceas & Cia promptly got photos and asked me soooo many questions. After all was said and done (proofing, etc), I was told thank you and heard nothing more. I thought that possibly its such a new face on the cat breed block that maybe it wasn't something they were interested in doing. I shrugged my shoulders and went on with my life. That was until yesterday when I got the magazine in my mailbox. I am attaching the article with what I was told is the English translation, with the Magazine front as the background. This is the October Issue of Ceas & Cia which can also be view virtually & purchased on their website:

The cat in the picture is Wyrdwul Sapporo aka Purro, whose kitten photos many of you may be familiar with:

Thank you all again, for your continued support.

Aubrey Anderson

tomorrows blog: Too Young

Selective Breeding and Scoring

Ok I promised I would write about this today. I have some qualms about getting into specifics or not. I understand that not everyone uses this method but this is what I use. It gives me a really good range and definitely pulls out the show, breeder, and pet quality kittens. So for a real life example Kiyame's recent litter of five, were all over the place in their different features. Some better then others. Just at a glance I knew who the best kittens were, but to remain objective and not pick favorites, I scored them based on the guidelines Roy Robinson outlined in his book "Robinson's Genetics for Cat Breeders". Just as a note I have the original not the reprint. I changed my scoring slightly to reflect what was important for the breed as outline by the Breed Standard. Going by this scoring method, let me know that I had two breeder/show kittens out of this litter and I know which kitten is better (per the scoring) then the other. The other three kittens are adorable and one is breeder quality but not show quality. The other two kittens will have to go to pet homes. They are adorable and cute, they have the Helki fur in different degrees, but they are pet quality because they do not meet the standard and score low on the grading scale.

Remaining Objective is not an easy task, my favorite kitten in the bunch was second place and my second favorite is third place. The kitten that scored the highest is not really 'my cup of tea'. She is the one I should keep to breed.

Looking at Big Picture is important also. I can not essentially keep three kittens from the same litter. Doing so limits my gene pool, which can lead to trouble. Its important to think of what each individual can bring to the table when their time as a breeder/show cat comes up. Do you want to keep or accentuate the patterns, conformation, etc that such and such kitten has? Which kitten has the better potential at helping your current breeding program?

Continued Scoring and Reviewing results as the kitten grows can also be a helpful thing to do. Don't score once, and let that be the deciding factor. Find the best milestones for your breed and score during those weeks. I score when the kittens are born, when the whole litters eyes are open, when they begin to walk and play, and when they have weaned.

Decision Time comes for me around twelve weeks of age. At this junction I take all four scores and average them out. Taking only kittens that score above 175 on my scale I think about what they can individually bring to the table. Kittens are then placed in homes appropriately.

So ends the summary of my current methods. :-D

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Back to the Blog

Its been literaly months since I posted about the Helki breed. There has been so much that has happened since I decided not to blog. Lets see if I can fill you all in. For those of you who don't breed cats, let me tell you its not an easy hobby. Its time consuming, life altering, you never make a dime. There is a lot of paperwork, legalities, record keeping, and animal caring that MUST happen. When you are working with an estabilished breed you can keep only a few cats because there are many more breeders out there holding on to lines that can be used in the future. When you are working with a rare or new breed keeping your gene pool swimmingly fresh is a whole other ballgame. When cat fanciers are asked how many cats they have they often reply with "too many". Its the appropriate response given the witch hunt mentality of the world at large. What is scary is when its not cat breeders but rescuers, and cat lovers all over saying this. I came to realize during the summer that the pedigree breeders, rescuers, and cat lovers need to unite and stop our government from telling us how many cats we can own. If the welfare of the cats is good then why can't a person own many cats? The welfare of the animals is what is key. It seems easy for the world to see a house of many cats and say "crazy cat lady" or the new and popular "hoarder". While hoarding is a serious mental condition it should be pretty easy to pick out true hoarders from people who own many cats. I wont get into this enlarge today, but it makes me angry to hear that a good cat breeder whose animals are well cared for is being villianized in the news and throughout their community.

Why am I so outraged? Well because not only has this happened to friends all too recently but it also happened to me. Thankfully the "authorities" came in and looked about my home and said the case was unfounded. The scary thing... all it takes is a call. One person doesn't like you or what you've said and they can anonymously call you in. I think the scariest thing is that it targeted not only my animals but my children. It was a wake up call that has made me a bit of an activist. It has also made me more cautious as to what I post and say on the interwebs about my own household. I screen my Facebook friend invites and I am cautious to the 'Nth" degree. I took down all kinds of info on my website and I stopped blogging. But that is just the beginning of this tale.

Now if that wasn't hard enough to get out here is the most difficult thing to say. My kitten mortality rate was really bad. I was at the point where I was going to stop breeding for the fear that the breed was not viable. There were no, known illnesses detected. There were many different reasons the kittens weren't making it. There seemed to be no real pathology and that was the scary part. I started to wonder if the kittens were just weak. I started to isolate litters and I was very careful about what was going on with them and began to notice that the litters would be healthy until they were allowed out of their enclosures and onto the carpet. The house was old and not as well cared for as it should have been before we moved in. We lived in this house for five years not knowing what was growing throughout the house. I got severely ill, enough I could no longer work. Everyone in the house had sinus issues. The signs were there, but we didn't know there was black mold growing rampant through the home. Thankfully we moved, and within two weeks my blood pressure was automatically down and my thyroid levels were spot on after two difficult years. That was when I decided it might be ok to try again.

Ok so here I am trying again to be cautious for the protection of my breed and family. I'd love to tell you how many Helki kittens are running around without a sign of illness, but I will just say this the kitten mortality rate is at an amazing all time low. I was guarded, and worried. Still ready to shut the whole thing down, but the mystery illness and infections that plagued my kittens in the old house are non existent now. I am not using different breed stock then I did before, the only thing that changed was where we live now. My conclusion is that the problems from before was because of black mold. While I am thankful to know why, it still hurts to think of the cats I lost in this fight. My health has improved also, the only major issue that continues to bother me is my arthritis. I still have some issues with fibro and CFS but they are much better then before. Some of which I think is because I've learned how to manage my illness better and reduce fatigue.

So there you have it. A lot of cat breeds have issues in the beginning. Bengals had issues with mates killing each other. Manx, munchkins, and Scottish Folds still have issues where they cant mate homozygous without a high kitten mortality rate. And there are many other examples, but truth be told, speaking out about these issues is not easy. In fact its down right scary. I've been lucky to have a strong network of friends, mentors, and advisers to help me through this. I am thankful for their input and help.

I'd love to give the power forward speech. I'd love to see more awareness about black mold and how it affects people and their pets. Overall, the most difficult part is moving forward. Everyday I wonder if starting a breed is the right thing to do. Recently I read a excerpt from the CFA Almanac regarding the Bombay breeding program and it really hit home. Starting a new breed is not for the faint of heart. Its not for those who want glory, its not for people who care more about awards then their cats. Its a job for those who know how to stick to a goal and proceed. Its for those who love people and cats. Its for those who can network and stay critical and positive at the same time. This is a struggle that is worthwhile and so I continue even in the face of adversity.

Now for some lovely pictures:


Tae (daughter of Pixie) and Kiyame her auntie

tomorrow breed selection and scoring

Saturday, July 31, 2010

Package sent and received

Dont know if it will ever matter, but I sent the DNA and fur samples of 20 of Helki cats out to UC Davis on 07/24/10 and it was received by them on 07/26/10.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

A Tribute To AmunRa

It is with the heaviest of hearts that I write this. My beloved cat Ra passed away last night. Ra had been hit by a double whammy. He got an abscess from getting a whack on the head from another cat, and then we brought home some kind of cold from the vets the last time the dogs were there. The cold turned into an upper respiratory infection. Ra's abscess healed but his immune system was weak from the two infections. I was able to give him some amoxicillin and terramycin. I thought he had bolstered and was on the mend. I was wrong it was the last glimmer before he passed. Ra waited for my nightly check up on him. Enough on how he died ... let me tell you about his Life.

AmunRa was born on 11/17/2008 it was evident that he was born too early, especially when his mother held onto the other kittens for a few days before delivering them. Ra was scrawny and tiny and the oddest colored kitten I had ever seen.

As he grew his unique color and fur really began to show:

He was so neat that a friend encouraged me to show him. So off Ra went the first week of April 2009 to show off what a Helki looks like. That weekend as a kitten Ra was able to make best HHP in 2 rings. But then this is how he looked at his cat show:

Ra went to many other cat shows and he did well. He was always a spectator favorite. His sweet loving personality always won everyone over. Ra went on to stud two litters of Helki kittens. His son OberonRa (Keebler) stands with the likeness of his father in both looks and personality. Shai (Piggy) and OdinRa (Stubz) are beautiful kittens with outgoing and good natured temperaments. Ra was also a good father and would care for his kittens. Showing that true fathering is a wonderful Helki trait.

Sadly Ra was never an overly healthy cat. He could pick up a cat cold like nobody's business. It seemed that his immune system suffered from the get go and was probably part in fact to his early arrival. Despite all his troubles Ra was a great spokescat for the Helki and I am so blessed to have had him in my life. He was a major driving point for me to learn so much about cat color, & coat genetics. He helped work with me to find the best way to groom a Helki before a show.

Sorry I am just terrible right now, between sniffles and all I hope this makes sense. Here is to AmunRa, my sweet ambassador. I love you and miss you so much already.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Light Switch & the Joy of Cat Trees

I recentlty bought this $40 cat tree at Walmart. You assemble it at home, it has three tiers, and reaches all the way to the ceiling. Needless to say both my budget and my cats LOVE it. When placing the tree in my home I knew I wanted it in my room. Its not a big tree and the levels can be turned to face any direction you want. I placed mine in between my bathroom sink and closet thinking what a novel place that would be. Did I mention the cats LOVE the cat tree?! Yes its a place for place, sleep, relaxation... and learning. the bathroom light switch is located right next to the middle tier, the cats have now mastered the light switch. Some use the front paw method, some use the back paw kick method. The switch is fun to turn both on and off. My cats love to challenge each other with all kinds of tasks. Who can walk the railing the farthest, who can climb the curtains to the top, who can run through the house at lightning speed. Now its who has mastered the light switch. While I am amused it can be slightly annoying to have the light turned out on you while you are doing something important for humans per say. But over all I recommend that if you ever want full entertainment, a Helki or two can be the remedy needed. Ooops there's the light again =^_^=

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

More Milestones

Oh this blog, I really should update better. I do have some news, so I want to share it. Yesterday Heather Roberts (All Breed Judge in TICA & member of the Genetics Committee) was kind enough to stop by my home to see the Helki up close and personal. This was a lovely visit and a good step forward for the breed. Now the Helki has been able to have David Mare (CFA Director At Large) and Heather Roberts (TICA Genetics Committee Member) not only handle the cats but review the Standard of Points.

I think this is a very important step forward and helps me to make the goals I need to continue. I also feel I've gotten valuable information on how to go forward. Some of which will be changing some of the procedures in my own home. I'm notably excited but also I understand this doesn't guarantee anything. Its merely a small step worth noting.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Show Report - Vallejo CA 3/6 - 3/7

Crow Canyon Cat Club knows their stuff. They get great judges and put together a good show with excellent vendors. For this two day show I took Ichi for our entry, Slick and Romo to look at and compare. Slick is the one female where I got a normal coat. Her siblings coats weren't as thick or as wavy as I like to see, but Slick is just that sleek and slick. Compared to Romo's coat its pretty easy to tell the difference. Ichi did great in the ring and got 2nd place in all but two rings. One ring he got Best and one ring he got 4th. So on average for this Show Ichi was 2nd. Not to shabby but Ichi might have been bumped down if we had as much competition as had been expected for both days. It was a blast though and it was so nice to see so many young people walking through the show hall with their parents learning about all the different cat breeds. I dont know which school or teacher promoted it, but what a great way to get young people interested.

So its official this was finally the last time for a while that the Helki will be put on a judging bench. Hopefully we can make quick progress and get enough breeders by next year to submit all the appropriate paperwork by August 1st. I can hope can't I?

I also got great news. Santoi cattery got back in touch with me and I should be able to get this lovely kitten to show in the next season. My goals this season are to assist with clerking, and show this sweet little guy at the same time exhibition the Helki. Wish me luck.

Wednesday, March 3, 2010


Click for 
Details   The card represents the critical factor for the issue at hand. The Empress: Feminine progress. Action. Natural energy. Development. Fruitfulness. Accomplishment. Interest in day-to-day details. Mother. Sister. Wife. Marriage. Children. Feminine influence. Material wealth. Evolution. A leader. Decisions founded upon all the facts at hand. The motivator of a successful partner or husband. Businesswoman.

I'm a bit distraught over some personal dealings so I happened to think "why not ask Tarot?" After a good reading I thought why not ask about the Helki Cat Breed. I used the Cat People cards and the system choose a one card spread for me. The above is the reading. I have to say sure has me convinced. The cat on the card even looks like a stylized Helki. That could be a Romo/Tigre future kitten. lol. Well a girl can dream but maybe I dream too often. I've had a huge kick in the butt today. I hope that it all works out for the best.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Last Show of the Season

The Cat show season is ending in about two months. I would love to plow through and show to the very end but I have other priorities. This last show in Vallejo is a heart wrenching yet necessary step for the Helki Breed. I plan on getting back in the show hall once the new season starts but in the meantime I need to focus on submitting the proper forms with TICA and trying to find new breeders that I can connect with and that will uphold the ideals and SOP with this breed. This is some tough work I have cut out for me and while I am excited to see progress I am also frightened of the future. What happens when I have to tactfully decline a breeder? What happens if I feel someone I trusted is going down a bad path. One thing I was definitely warned of is that at some point I have to give up the reins and allow others to proceed me. Thats a hard thing to swallow and will take some time for me to come to terms. Anyhow I can't say that it wont be a good thing. Look at how loved the Persian breed is and yet how different it looks from when it first became a known breed. I've got a lot on my mind and my heart is heavy.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Altan's Pics

Originally uploaded by Wyrdwul - Helki Cat Breed

Altan's pics came and they are now online and ready to enjoy.

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Big Day for the Big Daddy!

Not that I want to give all the credit to Romo, but he is a daddy for the first time today. His mate Flying Hugs of Doom had a litter of three girls. Two blues and one black all 3 with silver highlights. I'll have to report more on patterns and such when they are a little older. I know one of the blues is a mackerel tabby. I'm going to have to wait on the other two.

As for 30 days of this blog I sure haven't done very well. But I am not giving up. I will get this down...promise.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

best you thought I forgot

Ok just popping in before the end of the day. Its been a long one. I have 4 kittens in the house right now and they are at the weaning stage. Everyone is learning litter boxes and food and water habits, but also have a need for supplement feedings. Just like little humans, kittens get going and doing and dont know they are worn out, hungry, or even thirsty sometimes until its too late. The kittens are fun though. Watching them learn and grow is the most wonderful thing.

Lastly I had a milestone. Mia Meow ate fish for the 2nd day in a row. Not much but its better then just dry food. :)

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

Opps back to Day 1 - post 2

Man I cant believe I pushed this off all day I look at the time and low and behold I am already back to square one on my 30 days of Helki.

Oh well I did it only to myself. I am currently trying to figure out what to do for the next cat show. No need to send entries in until you know what you are up too. So with that in mind I hope I can be forgiven when it comes to forgetting to post. It will be the last show for me for a few months. I am hoping June or July to begin showing again but the Helki will only be under Exhibition Only. No ribbons, recognition, points, or awards. Still no guts no glory. There is so much work ahead that I can not tell you how nice Exhibition Only actually sounds.

Ok now to something more fun which is talking about this breed. The Helki has existed as its own little colony for far longer then I've been around. However I want to refine the breed in conformation. Temperment has never been an issue with these cats either from outside or ones bred indoors. There are a handful of cats outdoors that trust only the tinkle of food in a bowl and want nothing else to do with humans.

Even so I've been a staunch observer of the colony and the cats I breed and have been surprised to hear that some things they do are very different from other cat breeds and certainly not common. So I will share one trait that has surprised many to hear and see.

True Fathering - I think its pretty well known that for most male cats, kittens are not interesting and sometimes they are "dispatched" so a male cat mate again with a female. The Helki male is extremely the opposite.

What has been explained to me as "true fathering" is the male cats active role and participation in raising and protecting kittens and his tolerance of kittens within a "colony".

I didn't think much of it as all Helki males are decently tolerant with kittens. If they have an issue they back off and go do something else. I have never had a male hunt kittens down and dispatch them. It was brought up to me while at the San Diego cat show that my adult male Romo Meowski was laying with and caring for two 4 month old kittens also males. All of them whole males. The realization that this was a true trait did not come until that discussion. Yes the Helki males have even fended large pitbull dogs away from kittens. I have watch them surround and protect a group of kittens and even play with and lead kittens around. Yes whole males. Yes even in the feral colony. This is a trait that does happen with a few breeds, but not many, and certainly not all.

Another interesting thing that happens is that after new kittens are born many of the males and females want to come see and smell the new kittens. I do allow this on the first and second days of life. It allows the males to connect with the kittens scent and recognize they are part of our group and household. Its a very neat event in our household to watch cat after cat come into the nursery to see mother and kittens and walk out, much like humans do after a baby is born. A quick visit and then its time for mom and kittens to be left alone for bonding and sustenance.

Long story short, the Helki male is a uniquely intelligent cat who is very tolerant of kittens and loves to help participate in all aspects of raising kittens within the 'colony'.

Sunday, February 21, 2010

Jumping Through Hoops - Day 1

First thing I want to say is there are going to be some huge changes in the works for me. I have been advised on one occasion in a very polite way that even in CFA it is now time to do Exhibition Only with the Helki. Then recently some staunch advice and words of alert were said to me during a show. My mentor and I had planned on attending and putting the cats on the bench one last time in March, but after that we knew it was time for Exhibition Only. Now I am contemplating just doing Exhibition Only at this show in March. Its a difficult decision for me, however I know the advice given to me could also be the warning that I may be stepping to far into territory where I will be causing myself and my breed nothing but harm. I am not making the decision today but I do think that its time to settle in for the long winter in Exhibition Only. Its not an easy feeling but all the advice given is from those whom I trust and respect. I've never gone wrong by following the advice from these people.

Another thing I'd like to try is 30 days of Helki Blog! I neglect this portion of life so well. I really dont like putting my heart on my sleeve in front of everyone and their dog to read. I like to believe that all people have good intentions but I know from experience that it is not the case. Again I have to think about the breed and not myself. I need breeders and I need people interested in this breed. So in order to do that I need to talk about them and my methods more. Hopefully my honesty can help others understand that my intentions are not bad, even if those people do not agree with me or if they dont like my breed. Here is the skinny, I will attempt to post about the Helki everyday for 30 days. If I skip a day the 30 days starts over. The post may be very simple and sent from my cell phone, or could be long and involved. It will be at my whim and hopefully fun and informative. :)

Show Report - King City CA 02/20/2010

King City was a lot of fun. I am going to attempt to make this short and sweet though this cattery brought two kittens and Najo cattery brought one kitten. Thats a total of 3 Helki kittens being show under HHP class. Alton is a red ticked tabby. He scored the best with two Bests. Ichiban scored one Best. Sappuro's best placement for six rings was one 3rd place ribbon. Over all a fun day in a very low key show hall with fun judges. Alton and Ichi held  most of their scores between Best and Third throughout the day. We were able to get some stunning photos of Alton done and are hoping to post those soon.

Thursday, February 4, 2010

Experimental Breed Status with TICA

Its a small step but one that helps validate this new breed just the slightest. We now are able to register our cats, kittens, and litters with TICA as the Helki is under Experimental Breed Status. Now to gain breed awareness and find people who are interested enough to venture out into new territory and breed some Helki. As with everything I've experienced with these cats I think it will all fall right into place when the right people and time come around. Its good news and I wanted to share.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Show Report - San Diego CA/CFA

The Food & Water Bowl XVII!!! San Diego Cat Fanciers knows how to do it right. This was a fabulous show and they really pulled in the whole crowd. I don't think I've been to a more celebrated cat show. 2 days, 10 rings being 5 rings each day was just awesome. Fanciers from around the globe showed up! We took Ichiban and Sappuro to show and compete and Romo came as a companion for the kittens. Of course we could not forget Nancy Jo and Danny. Danny and Ichi were entered in the agility ring of which they both did really well. Danny is a Oriental Shorthair with an appetite for fun. Both cats love the agility ring. Its a great place for the cats to run around and get rid of pent up energy. Ichi did really well. At only 4 months old he got a score of 49 sec which by the end of the show put him in 5th place, but for a while Ichi's score was the one to beat. We are proud of our little guy he can draw a crowd like a popstar! Sappuro is a more laid back kind of guy. He love attention and enjoyed being in the Judges Ring. This time around we had 28 total cats in the HHP class. This gives a lot of room for play for the judges. Our little 4 month old guys were up against Seasoned Regional Winners, so we were thrilled to see Ichi get 5th place in Gary Veach's ring and Sappuro placed 6th in the same ring. Gary said he was won over by their excellent temperament. Most judges see a small fry like mine and figure they will see these cats have long carriers in the cat fancy so they figure the kittens are more there for practice. It was nice that Gary felt they were of superb enough quality to final our cats and we were very happy he thought to include our kittens. Another touching moment was that Larry Adkinson made or brought these wonderful Merit ribbons. Our cats should get merit ribbons in every ring if they qualify for finals by being in good form and health. While we did get merits in all rings with both boys the ones that will stick in our minds are the ribbons that we got to take home. All the judges were wonderful it was a nice treat.

Last but not least we had some wonderful interest brewing in the show hall for the Helki and again the spectators were very excited to see and touch our cats. I will definitely go next year.

Show Report - Stockton CA/CFA

This was a wonderful show put on by Poppy State Cat Club. I was excited to attend as I missed this clubs last show here in Sacramento. I can not tell you how nice it is to be able to drive to a cat show and then back home all in the same day. Had it been a two day cat show then yes I would have been in heaven sleeping in my own bed in stead of a hotel room. But that's neither here nor there is it? I took my young daughter Arie and met up with my friend Jacky Andersen. Jacky shows and loves Sphynx cats. The seating was a little messed up so Jacky and I sat separately from each other but we each had complimentary groom space or elbow room as I like to think of it lol. Arie and I took a very special kitty Wyrdwul Ichiban of Najo. Ichi as we call him was breed in our cattery but has aims to be a Helki stud for the Najo cattery someday. He will be the first breeder cat used in another cattery and so we have high hopes for him. This show was his first show and we expected there to at least be one other cat to compete with. Unfortunately that cat was absent. Which means he received Best(1st) HHP ribbons in every ring but his points are not counted. Sad but true, however it gave Ichi a taste for the show life of which he does seem to take to like a fish to water.