Friday was the first snow of the year. It wasn't much, only about two inches here in the foothills of western Maine.
This is the time that my wife and always look forward to – a time to light the wood stove, enjoy the beauty of nature, kick back with a pot of tea and a good book and appreciate quiet serenity: but not this year…
We lost our beautiful eighteen year old Ragdoll cat, Dixie Darling Jill, last January. We have intended to adopt another cat, but it just wasn't the time so soon after the loss of our constant companion of almost two decades.
But, last week we were checking out pictures of cats at local shelters posted on the internet, and just out of curiosity searched Maine Coon Cats in Maine. A length popped up to Thunderpaws Maine Coon Cats. (check out this link to Siberia Farms where Thunderpaws Maine coons are raised.)
We gave a call and talked to Donna Chase, who has been raising Maine Coons for thirty years. She was coming down to south western Maine from the north country where she lives to bring five male kittens to be picked up by their new owners. We told her we might be interested in a female and she said she had only one but would bring it with her for us to view.
|Donna Chase with Bella and baby Toula|
We had been looking for two cats, because sometimes we are gone overnight and lone cats can suffer loneliness. Donna said that she breeds her adult cats only three times and then rotates them out, and that she had two adult females she was looking to retire and would make a special price if we were interested and willing to spay the adult, along with the kitten when she was old enough.
A two hour trip down to southern Maine to connect with Donna changed our life from a quiet sedentary older couple to herders of cats.
Bella, the four years old mackerel polydactyl Tabby with beautiful yellow eyes is quiet and dignified; she is quickly adjusting to her new home and to us (Maine Coon Cats are a laid back breed – people oriented and lovable by nature.)
|Bella with the beautiful yellow eyes|
|Many Maine Coons are polydactyl (five toes instead of four) which gives them feet that look like they are wearing bearpaw snowshoes.|
Toula the kitten, on the other hand, is wild – a bundle of energy that never stops. She is either running at full speed through the house, climbing up our legs or perching on some piece of furniture ready to leap; she is chasing her toys, in our laps, or annoying poor Bella until she crawls under the couch for refuge. This baby cat runs and dashes or explores for hours until she is exhausted and then wants to sleep in our laps.
|And here is trouble.|
Neither cat claws the furniture (we have a scratching post they use) but our legs are pitted and scared where Toula has dashed through the room and scampered up our legs to get in our lap – on our book – at the computer keys….
|With hair tips on the ears and huge feet she looks like a lynx baby.|
We are again cat people – and loving it. We did not realize how routine our life had gotten until we started herding cats.