Mythicbells Persians 2013 Calendar

The calendar is ready for anyone who is interested.  As in the past, it’s available through CafePress.  They do all the work: print on demand, packaging, shipping, etc.  They will even take returns if your order is not quite … in order.  The 2013 calendar features only the “K” litter.  I usually put the mother kitty on the cover, but I managed a really great group photo of the K Girls, so decided to use it.  I wish I could say that about the rest of the photos.  Actually I got some pretty good photos of the girls — enough to fill the calendar — but it was up hill work.  They were such busy little kittens that many photos were not in good enough focus for print.  I so often hear the comment about any given photo I post “THAT one would be good for the calendar,” but I fear that I’m as finicky as a … well … a cat!  If there’s dirty laundry in the back ground, or it’s cute but the composition is off, etc. etc.  The list goes on.  Usually the fatal flaw is the focus.  It might look fine on a webpage, but is not good enough for print.  In any case, here’s the link to the calendar and I will also place it over to the right in the links section.  Also below is a preview of the calendar pages.  You can see which month each kitten is in by the file name.  No special order.

To purchase the calendar  http://www.cafepress.com/mythicbells2013calendar (please note that CafePress is doing something different with their calendars this year by allowing you to choose the starting month.  It’s default seems to be set on the current month, so if you don’t change that, your calendar will begin on that month.  I like my calendars to begin in January, but you choose what you like.  Just be aware that you do have to change this if you want it to start at the beginning of next year)

**I didn’t know this until someone asked, but there is a CafePress UK now.  Interesting.  And it translates without me having to do anything.  So for those of you in the UK who are interested in a Mythicbells Calendar: http://www.cafepress.co.uk/mythicbells2013calendar

Mythicbells update and HUGE screenshot gallery

Just messin’ around lookin’ for something I aught to be doing.  It’s too hot outside — one excuse, but I’ll think of more — as to why I’m not being productive. SO, I thought I’d look at the screen shots I’ve saved for video uploads and make a little gallery.  On YouTube, if you are a partner, you can select any photo you want to be the thumbnail (rather than have it assigned) so when I process a video, I take several screen shots, then choose one when the video is up-loaded. That’s what these are, so they will likely be poorly labeled and you’ll have to guess who and what you are looking at.

First an update. Thank you all SO much for your wonderful and very kind words and support in your comments on my last post. Thank you! Thank you! Sahara and Simba Kahn have both recovered very nicely from their surgeries and they both seem more ‘kittenish’ and playful — but that might just be my imagination. All the kitties are coming into their winter coats and Gypsy Rose is outdoing herself this year.  I expect no less than several feed of snow in central California if her coat is a harbinger of the winter to come.

Here is the gallery of screen shots.  They date from August 8, 2012 to the present.  remember, the file names on many won’t make any sense, but the date preceding any file name will be correct (yy mm dd).

Mythicbells Hiatus/Retirement Ramble

I’ve been trying to get my mind around this post for several weeks and finally gave up.  I’m going to dive in and start rambling and see what develops.  As many (or most) of you already know, I’ve announced that I will no longer be breeding.  I’m going to call it a hiatus (a term I saw a friend use) which leaves the back door open should I find the will and a way to start up again.  I made the ‘official’ announcement last week via Facebook and on my website around the day I took Simba Kahn in for his neutering; however it’s a decision I’ve been struggling with for several years and more so these past few months.  Any breeder who wants to continue breeding simply MUST re-home their retired breeders, and must do so on a continuing basis while bringing in new breeders.

In many ways I’ve been lucky beyond my wildest dreams.  Had I known the pitfalls and tragedies possible in this endeavor, it’s likely I would never have begun.  From the very first year I was forced into a crash course in breeding, feline husbandry, nutrition, and health.  I was not atypical in my hazy newby plans with the idea of how much fun it would be to have kittens every year to play with.  Cute!  Fun!  Yes and yes!!  To my credit, I did want legitimate breeding rights and CFA registered cats and a CFA registered cattery and I did NOT view this as a money-making home business, as is often the greatest newby pitfall.

The first year both kittens became ill before they were even a year old.  Tiny Bear recovered from what they called a ‘fever of unknown origin’ after $1100 of testing and a week in and out of the clinic.  Nugget was not so lucky.  She had a congenital eye condition in both eyes and it was necessary to remove one of them.  She became my first retired breeding cat.  Tiny Bear went on to be a first time breeder’s dream queen.   Initially finding homes for the kittens was a huge concern for me.  As it turns out that was the least of my problems.  From the onset quality kitty parents found me and over the years Mythicbells kittens became in demand.

I could go into any and all of my adventures and quite possibly might at some point, but overall, though I’ve had some problems and tragedies, they have been minimal compared to what I know other breeders have faced.  The positive side of the ledger far outweighs the negative.  Breeding these wonderful kittens has brought fabulous people into my life from all over the world and has created a unique “family” who have my very special kittens as well as an extended family who love and follow my cats and kittens.  I look back over the eight years since I began this endeavor and I’m astonished at all that has happened and all that Mythicbells has become.  The past few months have been a joy to me due to the very special “K” kittens and the wonderful people who were waiting impatiently to bring them into their hearts and their homes.  It’s also been a rough time for me in other ways.  THE DECSION!  I so do NOT want to lose all of this – and I don’t just mean the wonderful WONDERFUL experience of raising the kittens, but the whole package that is Mythicbells.

I thank you all from the bottom of my heart.  Sincerely!!  For your interest in me and my kitties; for your support of me and Mythicbells.  I hope to maintain contact with you all.  I would like input on KittyCam, the newsletter, the BLOG, etc.  I plan to leave KittyCam up for the foreseeable future.  It doesn’t cost me anything, and I see that people do enjoy the chat room at certain times of the day.  Of course we know that even that can’t go on forever, but for now it stays.  The newsletter does cost me a fee and I’m thinking that with Facebook now so prevalent that I will likely phase out the newsletter.  Many of the Mythicbells alumni are now connecting via Facebook and sharing photos etc.  A Facebook group started up just this week for Mythicbells alumni and anyone who enjoys sharing cats.  If you are interested in this group, let me know if you don’t already know about it.  I believe that you need to be “a friend” of either me or someone already in the group, at which time one of us can simply add you.  I intend to keep the BLOG up and hopefully active so that I can bore you with “All Things Molly and All Things Kitty.”  My website will also remain up as a source of information for cat care.  JAFO is still making the Granny Bells Stud Pants and Princess Panties that she and I developed.  How long that continues will be entirely up to JAFO.  Thank you JAFO!!

Sahara is scheduled to be spayed next week then I guess that will be it!!  I ask myself why this is so depressing since it’s really no different than any post-kitten adoption blues which I suffer each and every time – lol.  I had hoped (half-hoped?) that Sahara would go back into heat before I neutered Simba Kahn for one more litter this year.  I knew that I could manage that stress until the end of the year, but could not go into next year … waiting.  The headaches have been rough the past couple of months as well as mounting behavioral issues with the rest of the gang.  SO, if Sahara goes into heat between now and next week, I’ll shoot her myself!  (Just kidding, of course!)  If this were Tiny Bear we’d have the “L” litter on the ground by now.  I fear I had to disappoint a number of my favorite people who asked to be put on the waiting list at the last minute when they saw the K litter.  Well, they WERE pretty darn cute!!

I think that’s end of ramble.  Oh, yes, the videos will continue ad nauseum per usual and if you’ve been keeping up with the latest you will see that I am very much enjoying reconnecting with all of the resident kitties, playing with them, fussing over them, attempting to make them feel like the center of my universe (which of course they are).

I love you all!

Signed:  Molly, Nugget, Tiny Bear, Gypsy Rose, Simba Kahn, Sahara, Sirocco, Kalahari Falcon, & Sequoia

Re-directed aggression between cats case history update II

Hi everyone.  I thought it was time for another update on the redirected aggression case I’ve been following.  I think we can call it a success now without worrying too much about regression.  The last update left off at day 50.  Click HERE to go back to previous update or HERE to start from the beginning.

Today would be day 76 since the incident that started the issue.  There are only a few stages in the case to report between now and then.

Day 52 – the female was taken to the veterinarian for another check to make sure that there were no lingering physical problems that might be keeping her on edge.  The female was declared fine by the vet, however the clients report that this set off a slight reversal of roles in the aggression saga, bringing out more aggression from the male, presumably as a result of the vet odors brought in by the female.

Day 54 – The client reports mild aggression from the female last night.  The male is obviously sulking and is still hissing at her.

Day 55 – Update from the client: “We have been leaving the door open more today.  He initiates hissing now, so it causes her to back off, which actually gives us more of a sense of peace. All in all, I’d rather have him hissing at her since it staves her off before she has a chance to start growling, which can easily escalate.  Seeing you tolerating the hissing that goes on in your home is teaching me a new kind of patience. A patience to let them talk to each other without stepping in every time. You have to war with yourself about jumping in too early when there might not be an incident at all. It’s a challenge to decide is this just a: Hisss (don’t get near me) an hisssss (okay, I’ll move on in a sec), or something more serious?  It’s a constant battle but we’ll get there eventually, one way or another!”

Day 62 – Client reports: ” The cats are still in the same holding pattern with good moments and bad moments.  Sometimes nights are screen door free, some nights not.”

Day 64 – “Lately (past couple of days) we’ve been able to sleep with the door open to the bedroom. They still have their confrontations, but we’re letting them talk it out unless she gets particularly bad, but in those instances, he’s learned to quickly back off.  Even when they’re growling at each other, we just hang close and let them ‘discuss their differences.’  She has her bad moments particularly when she sees him up on the cat run where we think the initial incident happened and, at those times we need to immediately get involved.  But today has been a good day.  Just one “discussion” and now his head is wet from them bathing each other.”

The clients says that they now leave the door open when they go out with no problems–so far. The male remains very cautious around her. He looks at her like, “Are you Jekyll or Hyde right now?”  Once they figure it out, then they approach or separate.

Day 67 – The clients now leave a night light on at night and have blocked off the cat run for the time being and report that the aggression at night has lessened.  The bad moments are getting fewer and the separations post-bad moments are becoming more brief.

Day 76 – Below is the extensive report I was very pleased to receive today.  I’m sure this will be ongoing but at this point in time, barring any further incidents, etc.  I think we can call this case a success.  I also received two beautiful photos of the two cats laying comfortably together:

“We currently have peace. She’s on my lap at the moment, and he walked in from outside (cat-safe patio) without her making any fuss or looking too nervous. That in itself is a big accomplishment. The past few days have been pretty good. Very minor hissing moments. We haven’t had to separate them for nearly a week.

We keep a light on in the living room at night, for my peace of mind. They continue to sniff each other, but no more real hissing after the sniffing.  We have open playing again. You can tell how he really missed her by his teasing.  He sits in front of her, then rears up, bats at her lightly and with a prrrump! tries to lead her off on a merry chase. Sometimes she joins, but mostly she just watches him race off.  At least it doesn’t prompt hissing and growling anymore.  They’re both playing openly in front of each other without tension.  We now leave home without thought of having to separate them. There is a return to a new normalcy that is quite satisfying to all parties. This is something we can be happy with.  Maybe one day, we’ll be able to open access to the cat run, but for now, this should be good, even though the male really misses it.

Whenever she catches a glimpse of him from another room, she no longer has a fit, but if in doubt, she will get up and meet him to check him out.  He has been a dream in these instances. He takes on a non threatening pose so as not to exacerbate the issue. Sometimes, he just hisses at her, and it seems that he does it to stave her off from starting an issue, and she just backs off.  It’s quite interesting when it happens.  I actually prefer when he hisses, because she just acquiesces to his rebuke.

As you can see in the photos, they are socializing more. They can sleep close by each other without issue. She’s taken to sleeping on the tower with him, something that they really didn’t do before.

I know that I haven’t given you much news lately, but it’s only because it was the same situation for so long. Intermittent hissing and growling moments with more and more brief separations until the marked improvement of this week.

She still watches out for him. Sometimes, we wonder if she’s got bad eyesight, but then she can pinpoint him across the whole apartment just to prove us wrong. She’s a very watchful kitty, keeping an eye on him until she knows he’s safe.  Like right now. (She’s no longer on my lap by now.) She was in the living room on the back of the recliner and was watching the boy avidly as he was at the front window about 35 feet away. He finally moved so she jumped down to meet him and he raced past her playfully. It’s like they meet each other for the first time all over again. many times every day.

Well, I guess that’s it for now. If the case changes, I’ll be sure to let you know. But for now, we’re happy. They’re looking happier. And that, in my book, is a win.”

Kitty Hi-Rise Retrofit

I thought I’d show you the latest “project.”  I actually started work on this while the kittens were still here.  I installed the hi-rise climber to the cathedral windows when I brought Tiny Bear and Nugget home as kittens in the fall of 2004.  I’ve been eying those baskets for quite some time.  They’ve been in the process of breaking down with the wear and tear, plus keeping them clean has been an issue.  I had to replace the bottom (4th) basket a couple of years ago when Sinba Kahn landed in it and sheared off the cantilevered support.  I replaced it with a solid shelf and whaddaya know, kitties don’t need cushy stuff to lay on.  They love the shelf.  Another problem with the baskets has been they weren’t quite long enough, and though the kitties all did fine stepping down through them, I could see that it might be easier if they didn’t have to drop over an edge into the next level and if they also had a few more inches to play with on the length.  The sisal has all been replaced once since it was first constructed–a long laborious process.  I’m hoping it will hold up for a while longer.  Unfortunately it’s apparent that the old cat tree in the foreground needs replacing.  I bought it in 1992 when I got my first two Persians (where does the time go??).  The base and lower section of sisal has been replaced 3 times.  I’ve been shopping for one I like, but also thinking of making my own for my winter project.

Hi Rise before:

Hi Rise after:

Two more, one with kitties in view.  I’ve lured Kalahari up and back down to test it, otherwise every one will likely ignore it for a few weeks just to keep me in my place as appropriate kitty staff.

Little photo shoot today

The last kitten (Kettle / Rosie) left yesterday for her new home.  Initial reports are about what you’d expect: resident adult kitties curious with paws under the door and new kitten hissing and growling a bit, but otherwise doing a great job of bonding with new human mom.  The two kittens who left first (Kemo Sabe / Abigail and Kabuki-san / Lolli) have adjusted nicely and are pretty much part of the family.  Kumquat / Kennie is getting there fast after her arrival in Texas early last week, and she is already playing with her new older brother (also a Persian).

Here, it’s the empty nest.  The other kitties are reclaiming their territory.  It’s a beautiful summer day and I took a few photos that turned out nicely of some of the Mythicbells kitties doing their thing in the enclosure.  It is particularly nice to see Tiny Bear out and about since she’s been staying upstairs a lot in past weeks.  Also, I saw Gypsy Rose grooming Sahara this morning and I love seeing their little friendship blossom again:

Mythicbells family tree

Someone on YouTube requested a family tree run down of how all the resident kitties are related (or not).  She was hoping for a *real* artsy kinda family tree, but this will have to do for now.  Check the “the cats” tab above for photos of each kitty.

In order of seniority:

Nugget – born 8/04 shares a sire with Tiny Bear so they are half sisters.  Daddy’s name was Forchin Pechevalentine and he was a shaded golden.  Nugget’s mother was Demarkoff Golden Isis, a shaded golden

Tiny Bear – born 9/04 shares a sire with Nugget (see above) and her mother was Purr-Erze’s Sweet Trillium, a chinchilla silver.

Gypsy Rose – born 10/05 is Tiny Bear’s daughter from her (and mine) very first Mythicbells litter.  Her daddy was a guest stud: Shimosi’s Tang, a red tabby.

Simba Kahn – born 3/06 came from Minnesota and his sire was Goldenrush prince Boeregaard and dam was Goldenrush Dame Mariska Louise. Both of his parents were chinchilla silvers.  Simba Kahn has now been the sire of all of the alphabet litters. A, B, D, & F with Tiny Bear; C, E, G, I, & K with Sahara;  J with Sequoia; and H with Sirocco

Sahara – born 9/07 came from South Carolina and her sire was CH Ainulindale A Jackpot (a shaded golden) and her dam was CH RDreams Sugar Plum.

Sirocco – born 10/08 shares a sire with Sequoia.  He was Paws&Purrs Mattisse (Sahara’s full brother and a shaded golden), her dam was Ramayana’s Tapestry (a shaded golden)

Kalahari – born 6/09 is Tiny Bear and Simba Kahn’s kitten from the “F” litter.

Sequoia – born 10/09 has the same sire as Sirocco, her dam was Purr-Erze’s Koi and she was a “van” which is a mostly white cat with a few spots of orange.

SO:

Tiny Bear and Nugget are half sisters
Gypsy Rose is Tiny Bear’s daughter
Simba Kahn is only related to Kalahari
Sahara is auntie to Sirocco and Sequoia
Kalahari is son of Tiny Bear and Simba Kahn
Sirocco is half sister to Sequoia and niece of Sahara
Sequoia is half sister to Sirocco and niece of Sahara