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.