2. I BREED FOR HEALTH AND PERSONALITY
The main reason I got involved with this project was because of the unique and marvelous personality of the Burmese breed. They are pushy, interesting, weird, and endearing in a way no other cat is. Their personalities fascinate me. And, that truly bizarre personality only shines through if they are healthy. So, you can't breed for personality unless you breed for health. Breeding is about selecting. All breeders select for something. I select breeding cats because they have fantastic personalities and are super healthy. How they look is of secondary importance. If you get a kitten from me, you can rest assured I have done everything in my power to create a healthy kitten with a great personality.
1. WHY AM I DOING THIS?
I started this project because the worlds leading cat expert said the Burmese cat was on the road to extinction. That inbreeding had reached a dangerous level and needed to be addressed urgently. I love my Burmese cats and wanted to make sure they continued to exist. With my background in medicine and research, felt I could do something about the problem. Between importing cats from Thailand, feeding the cats, paying for the genetic testing, and veterinarian services, each year this project costs me money. In addition, my goal is to send whatever money I collect back to Thailand to help keep the cats going over there. I do this because I want to make sure the breed survives for another 100 years. If I wanted to make money, I would sell real estate.
3. THE LOOK AND THE COLORS
My first Burmese was blue, and when he died, I was desperate to replace him with another blue. There was no blue kitten available and I ended up with a little platinum boy. Within minutes, his coat color became immaterial. He road home on my lap, on a seven hour ride, just happy to be there. What I discovered was that it was the personality and the companionship that I missed when Bruce faded into the night. So, the kitten you get from me may not look like the cat you had before, but, it will fill the void left by the cat you had before. (If this is your first Burmese, disregard that statement.)
I am telling you this for a reason. To fix the genetic problems with the American Burmese breed, I had to import cats from Thailand. And, though the personality was the same, the colors and the look was all over the place. In America, we are accustomed to four flavors in Burmese, Sable, Blue, Champagne, and Platinum. Well, when I introduced the Thai cats, I got those colors and a whole bunch more! When you get a kitten from me, it may not look like the Burmese cats you see at a cat show, and it may not be the color you see at a cat show. With genetic diversity come color and look diversity.
I have been selecting towards the standard four colors, but that will take a while to achieve. In the meantime, I get a lot of between-ers. You may hear me say, "Well, its something between blue and platinum, or its something between champagne and sable".
But, remember, I breed for health and personality, so, I am not disturbed by this.
5. YOU ARE PROBABLY GOING TO HAVE TO WAIT AND PUT DOWN A DEPOSIT
My kitten requests far exceed the number of babies born here. I just have a very limited number of kittens I can make available. For the reason, you are probably going to have to wait to get a kitten. I know when you loose a Burmese, you want to fill that space back up as fast as you can, but, you are probably going to have to wait.
I operate on a deposit system. You put a deposit down and that puts you on my waiting list. Its first come first serve. When your number comes up, you get the next available kitten. I require a deposit because for me to take time to stay in touch, keep you in mind, and hold a kitten for you, I need to know you are committed. It weeds out the people who are just window shopping or shopping around. When people put a deposit down, I take them seriously, and begin working to get them a kitten.
I get the odd cancellation or unusually large litter, so, from time to time, there is a kitten available at about the time they ready to go home, but, this is unusual. Plan on putting down a deposit, and plan on waiting.
The kittens cost $1000. I know its a lot of money for a cat, but, that is what they cost. The price just recently went up because the cat food expenses were killing me. Well, actually, every expense associated with this cattery has been on a steep rise for the last two years. Heating costs, cleaning costs, medicine costs, you name it, has gone up. I subsidize this little hobby of mine, but, the amount of subsidy required crossed over into unmanageable. So, sadly, my prices had to go up.
7. The Process
I have a waiting list. You get on the waiting list by sending a $200 deposit check to:
11500 Indian Spring Court,
Great Falls, Virginia, 22066
The deposit check is non-refundable. And here is why. A lot of people were putting deposits down with a collection of breeders, including myself, just waiting to see who could get them a kitten quicker. Thats called hedging your bets. Then they would call and say, sorry, I no longer "want" a kitten, can I have my deposit back. I was taking these pet owners seriously and I was being played. It takes time for me communicate with people, keep them posted as to where they are on the list, etc. I was super annoyed every time this happened and it happened a lot. I have the expectation that if a person goes on my waiting list, baring death, dismemberment, or some other unfortunate incident, they intend to pick up a kitten. Once I made the deposit non-refundable, poof, the problem, or the game players, went away. So that is my policy on that one.
So, once you are on my waiting list, I stay in touch, letting you know when your name is reaching the top of the list, and when you can anticipate the arrival of your personal stalker….. I mean loving Burmese side kick.
8. Health Guarantee
I do every thing in my power to create healthy cats, and that has included importing cats from Thailand, tons of genetic tests, good food, healthy home environment, and more. So, I have not had a problem with any kitten to date. But, I am working with nature, and nature is not perfect. So, there is always the possibility of there being a problem.
When you buy a cat from me, you must take it to a vet to be inspected within seven days of the purchase. If the vet determines there is something wrong with the kitten, you can bring it back to me and receive a full refund.
My cats are carefully bred from unrelated healthy lines, I go to extreme measures to make certain their young life is as healthy as is possible….. so you are taking home a healthy kitten. And because I work with genetically unrelated cats, The likelihood of a genetically wired health problem developing down the road is non-existant.
So, I breed totally unrelated cats, they live in deluxe accommodations, they eat the best food possible, and I have a vet visit all the cats once a week. I do everything I can to produce healthy cats that will live a long time.
On the other hand, I do not assume responsibility for things that I cannot be responsible for. At the moment, something is going on with the vaccines we give to kittens. I have had one react very seriously to a vaccine. I have heard report after report from other breeders of kittens becoming gravely ill following routine vaccination. I have been doing this for a long time and this is the first time I am seeing this. This would be a good example of something I cannot be responsible for…. I don't make the vaccines. Vaccines are necessary but they are not without risks and I have seen this lately. That is something you need to take up with your vet.
They are, after all, living creatures and things beyond my control can happen. But, I guarantee I do everything I can to create healthy cats.
Dr. Douglas Schar and Dr. Anatoly Vinokur
THINGS YOU SHOULD KNOW ABOUT ME AND MY KITTENS
4. I TAKE MAKING AND HOMING KITTENS VERY SERIOUSLY
To do something to improve the health of the breed, I have to create cats, and some I keep for my breeding program, and some I place in homes. I can only keep so many cats around so most of my kittens go to homes. But, I take putting kittens into homes very seriously. I let them come into the world, and, I have to make sure they end up with a good life. This will make me sound like a total cat dork, but each of these kittens is a special little creature, and I need to make sure they a go to a good home. So, I am picky. I do ask questions. I listen. If I like what I hear, great. If I don't like what I hear, end of story. Because I do not want the bad karma associated with knowingly putting a cat into a bad home.
My new favorite is people who send kitten requests with no punctuation or sentence structure. "Got kittens how much". Hey, if you don't have time to punctuate, you don't have time to have a pet. If you don't have time to write a complete sentence, you probably should stick to goldfish.
I live in reality and I know people are not adopting a child, but, its still a responsibility. So, please don't be offended if I ask pointed questions.
COLORS AND SHAPES YOU MIGHT GET