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'.

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