My name is Catherine and I live in Dumfries, South West Scotland, with my husband Ian, our 3 children, and the Maine Coons and other pets who share our home.
I have owned Maine Coons since 1989 (just a few years after they first came to the UK). My first Maine Coon was Jasper. Incredibly, I discovered him in the small ads of my local newspaper, The Sunderland Echo, where he was advertised for sale. At that point (pre Internet days, remember), books about cats tended to say that Maine Coons were not available in the UK. I phoned the lady advertising him, and within 24 hours he was at home with me. It turned out that she had bought him from a breeder in Northumberland, but he didnt get along with her siamese. Instead of contacting the breeder about this, she advertised him for sale herself. Which was my good fortune!
Jasper was a beautiful silver tabby, with a wonderful loving personality, and the longest tail. He looked rather different to most Maine Coons by today’s standards, but he started my love of the breed.
I got in touch with Jasper’s breeder, Sandra Smith (Wilkinson) of the Belujondra prefix, and updated her on Jasper’s change of ownership. A year or so later I also bought my first Tigerfeet breeding queen, Lola, from Sandra.
As I didn’t have transport at the time, and Sandra lived quite a distance away, I was overjoyed when I discovered another breeder much nearer my then home, in County Durham.
Lesley Rich, of the Matagot prefix, entrusted me with 4 of her lovely cats over the years. First came brown and white tabby Custer (litter brother to her stud cat, Charlie Brown). He was joined by Maverick, a beautiful brown tabby – bought to show, but never exhibited as he would have hated it! Later came Matagot Sisco and Matagot Kira, (Sisco was actually a wedding present from Lesley…..but that’s another story…..), and my Maine Coon family was complete.
As well as my 4 from Lesley, and 2 from Sandra, by this time I also had 2 Tigerfeet neuter girls, Nessie and Tessy I had bred myself. So 8 Maine Coons, assorted non pedigrees, and one very understanding husband!
I was beginning to discover the truth in the saying among enthusiasts that one Maine Coon is never enough!
In the 1990s I exhibited regularly on the Northern GCCF show circuit, and my most successful cat was Grand Premier Matagot Sisco, who was in the best in show line-up at the Maine Coon Cat Club show in 1996, ’97 and ’98. I also bred a single litter under my Tigerfeet prefix. However, with a young family to look after and a relocation from the North East to Scotland, further plans were put on hold. Now that the children are getting older, I have decided that the time is right to breed these lovely cats again.
My aim is to breed well-socialized, healthy kittens of good type, raised in a household where they will have experienced all the hustle and bustle of everyday life.
Colour wise, my first love is the brown tabby – the ‘archetypal’ Maine Coon – with and without white, and occasionally we may have brown, and possibly blue kittens available to very special homes. In the future I hope to have torties and red tabbies too.
Our family wouldn’t be complete without our neuters too!