Okay. So I've already expressed the fact that this 'blog gets used only sporadically, and for missives that are sort of random. I try to keep the writing here geared towards a more general audience -- the really industry-specific alpaca stuff tends to get shunted more towards my Facebook page, where alpaca folks have tended to congregate.
That leaves this 'blog open for things of a more general sort. I just got done cropping two sets of photographs, both of male animals that are new to the Farm; one is an alpaca, and one is a cat.
Wait. A cat?
... Yup. A cat. And not a barn cat like little old Ozwald, either. This boy is a very fancy cat ... A very fancy cat indeed.
Remember Yoda from like, two or three 'blog posts ago? ... Well, Yoda is an Exotic Shorthair, a breed that I've been fascinated with for years, but never quite managed to come into possession of -- until last year, when I found Yoda for sale up in Maine. On a whim, I decided to jump on him -- I already had a new kitten in the house, a British Shorthair named Logo, but I thought, what the heck? Logo could use a friend, right?
Well, yes. The two did indeed become very good friends (after an initial introductory period in which it was established that yes, Yoda exists, and no, Logo, he isn't going to put up with any s*** even though he is a tiny kitten -- Yoda is a very alpha cat). More than that, though, I fell absurdly in love with Yoda. He was the apotheosis of all kittens, to me: Adorable beyond words, soft, cuddly, and unbelievably affectionate, calm, and playful.
I realized that I needed more of him in my life. This was no minor creature. Yoda was incredible.
Thus, began my journey into the world of purebred cat breeding. It's been rocky ... Mainly because of the (human) personalities involved, and not so much the cats. Purebred cats are a hot commodity now, and sadly, where there's money, there's dishonesty. Frustrating, but true.
I've persevered, though, and my first litter of kittens entered the world two weeks ago today. They'll surely get their own 'blog post soon (probably on my cattery website that does not, technically, exist yet), but for now, I'm focused on my latest feline acquisition, and Next Big Thing: Meteor.
This is Meteor, and Meteor is Magnificent.
Meteor made a journey halfway across the world, all the way from Ukraine. He is a lilac (probably tabby) Exotic Shorthair, lilac being an incredibly rare color for cats, and especially for Exotic Shorthairs. There is only one other bloodline that I know of in the United States, and, in a stroke of absolutely unbelievable luck and coincidence (which I do not believe in), Yoda carries the lilac gene from that bloodline.
Meteor is more than just a rare color, however. He is possibly the most incredible cat I have ever seen or owned (I mean, they are all sort of the most incredible cat I have ever seen or owned, but ...). He is not just a big kitty, he is MASSIVE, weighing in at 15 lb at just under a year of age. He's a well-nourished kitty, but not obese; his bone structure is simply enormous, like nothing I have ever seen before on a domestic cat. Better than that, his coat is like nothing I've ever felt on a cat before. He is so plushy and soft, he feels like a Rex rabbit. Better than THAT, he is a giant loverbug. It took him a little bit of time to adapt after his long journey, but now that he's settled in the USA, he has made it his primary goal in life to get hugs and pets as much as possible -- EXACTLY the temperament I am breeding for.
So, I was cropping the pictures of Meteor, and then went on to Pinctus. Pinctus is not a cat. Pinctus is an alpaca. Pinctus is the Next Big Thing. I've been looking for the Next Big Thing for a couple of years now. By that I mean: A Harlequin Appaloosa alpaca that is uncompromisingly, unquestionably elite. Not just a Good one, a Great one.
Basically, I was looking for the BEST Harlequin Appaloosa in the USA. And I found him.
This is Pinctus, and he is incredible.
Pinctus has a fleece that redefines "elite," for me. He has a combination of fineness and density that is, I do believe, the most extraordinary I've ever felt before. He is possessed of my absolute favorite crimp style, which I've only seen on one other animal: Super super super super super tiny high-frequency crimp that belies that fineness and density of epic magnitude. One might associate it with Merino sheep, as a matter of fact, or possibly an organized Vicuna.
He's also got the bone substance. And the fiber coverage. And OMG look at that FACE. And ...
And he is a SWEETHEART. He runs up to greet me when he sees me, and eats grain from my hand.
As I was cropping his fleece pictures (this fleece style is hard to photograph):
... It occurred to me that Pinctus is kinda the same color as Meteor: Lilac, or Lavender.
I've sorta been on a Lilac/Lavender kick recently. I don't know what it means. But the other day I realized that not only is my Exotic Shorthair cat program going to focus, largely, on Lilac coloring, but my super-top-secret Silly Bunny Project (Teddywidders! In the USA! Yes!) has produced my favorite USA Teddywidder so far -- and he is a Lavender color as well. Then, I picked up a breeding group of Lavender Orpington chicks, because, why the heck not?
So, these two boys are both Lavender (Lilac). Also, it occurred to me that, while here I've been thinking of Pinctus as the Next Big Thing ('cos he is), Meteor is a Next Big Thing as well. So, they've got that in common, too.
So I decided, rather than making Pinctus's big public announcement debut thingy on Facebook today, to write this 'blog post instead. It's sort of stream-of-consciousness, but hey! There you have it.
The Next Big Thing. Apparently, it's Lavender. (Or Lilac. I'm not positive which.)
A HUGE thanks to Lesia Motsna at Venetian Mask Cattery and Mark and Sharon Milligen at Red Granite Ranch for entrusting me with these awesome boys.
K writes this stuff, for some reason that has yet to become apparent.