October already! October is a significant month for Mythicbells. Coincidentally, it’s the month I brought home my first two Pedigree Persian kittens with breeding rights in 2004 and also the month the very first Mythicbells litter was born in 2005. “They” say that a breeder is not considered experienced enough to mentor another breeder until she has five years of breeding under her belt. I’m not clear as to whether that means from the date she begins the endeavor or from the date her first litter is born. I’ve been figuring it from the first litter, so as of October 2010, I will be an EXPERIENCED breeder — more or less. I’m assuming that is also going to depend on what kind of student she’s been in feline husbandry, how many litters she’s delivered in that time frame, etc. Regardless, by the five year mark an experienced breeder should probably have figured out that she has barely scratched the surface of what she SHOULD know. Also, it’s more or less established that the average life span of a breeding career is five years. It’s at that point that the breeder either a. becomes a cat hoarder and spirals out of control, b. moves up to the next level and begins to retire and re-home her breeding cats to allow room for new cats to come in, or c. begins folding her tents and planning for retirement. I am not discussing my options or thought processes in regards to these decisions; this is not the point of this article.
I’m celebrating the SIXTH anniversary of Mythicbells. My reasons for going into breeding were many–from the convoluted and ridiculous to the more altruistic. In early 2004 I became obsessed with feline nutrition in caring for three older Persians. Also, I wanted a younger generation coming in to ease the blow of losing the older. I began my research in March and by August had made my decision, contacted several breeders, chosen and registered a cattery name, and met and put a deposit down on Nugget. I brought Nugget home on October 1, 2004. Shortly after that the breeder contacted me with a picture of the sassiest little chinchilla silver kitten you ever saw. Yes! It was Tiny Bear! She came home to live with me on October 31, 2004 and exactly 12 months later to the day on Halloween, 2005 she presented me with my first litter of kittens.