A little about us...



...A Maine coon cattery family


About us

From the two legged genetic pool, there's just me (Cari) and my husband Pete. In our free time, if Pete's not racing and I'm not playing with kitties, we can usually be found hiking or backpacking somewhere in the wilderness.Cari and Pete

Our four legged family members are more into household hobbies like knocking over water glasses, chattering at squirrels from the kitchen window and being very large, fluffy bedwarmers. We are pretty much outnumbered by the felines. Somehow, by adding one cat at a time, we barely noticed. Our current household is ruled by an ancient rescue pet (Allegro), and a bevy of Maine coons:  Our Boys, and  Our Girls .

Our breeding philosophy

By breeder's standards, Mishikoonz is a very small enterprise. With only a few girls and one adult stud male at a time, we are more of a family than a cattery -- our cats are pets before all else!

With that being said, we still have pretty stringent criteria for our breeding cats. Health is the first and foremost priority of Mishikoonz! So...what are all the issues we test for?

We are an FIV and FeLV negative cattery. All of our breeding cats are genetically clear of the MyBPC mutation associated with heart problems in Maine coons (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy or HCM). Since this mutation is not the ONLY cause of HCM, we also have their hearts examined by color doppler ultrasound prior to breeding and every 2 years thereafter. If all that's not enough, our breeding kitties must also have the right personality and appearance-- Bottom line, we strive for the healthiest, friendliest, most beautiful Maine coons possible. It's not easy to get a "date" at Mishikoonz!!

For me, raising Maine coons has been a wonderful adventure. I've owned (been owned by?) cats my whole life, but since starting to breed, there's not a single day that I don't learn something new about these amazing creatures.

While I don't have the decades of experience in breeding that some others do, I DO have two of the best mentors available willing to guide me: in TICA, Cathy Pettey of Petteycats, and in CFA, Sheila Haskins of CoonOpry. My thanks to both of these breeders of beautiful and healthy Maine coons for their perpetual willingness to share their time, energy, and knowledge. And especially - my thanks for their incredible Maine coons.

Coonopry's Sebastian Bach

From Cathy came the lovely Cady T, my first queen-in-waiting, and from Sheila - more thanks than I can ever express - the loan of the very handsome Sebastian. Both Cady and Sebastian are retired now, living happy lives as cherished pets, but I will never forget the gift that they gave me and the magic of that first litter. With their help, and the help of Cathy and Sheila...Mishikoonz was born!

A little history

Mishikoonz is named for my first pedigreed Maine coon.

The REAL story, however, begins with a pet store rescue inappropriately called Cookie. I'd never even heard of Maine coons before - in fact, purebred cats as a whole were a little over the top in my opinion, right up there with designer shoes and spa vacations. Sure, I could afford them, but why would I want them? Every feline I'd ever been owned by had come to me either by chance or like Cookie, as a homeless rescue. Each one was unique and wonderful, but there was nothing special about a specific breed as far as I was concerned.

Cookie changed my mind. He was a big boy, a Maine coon mix of uncertain heritage with all of the qualities, I was to learn, of his pedigreed counterparts. Including a girlish little chirp that earned him his name. Cookie would meet me at the door when I got home from work, and was always there to "help" with every chore. And help me, he could! Giant mitten paws were into EVERYTHING. Even as a grownup, he played--patting water, rustling my papers, wrestling with the family mutt - and yet, he was somehow always gentle. He was my constant companion and counselor (well, at least he always listened) through two sons, divorce and graduate school. I've had other pets, both before and after, but Cookie was special. Losing him was like losing a best friend.

Several years passed, and I decided it was time to find another Maine coon.

Mishi at 6 months

I first saw Mishi on his breeder's website, and instantly fell in love. At six months, he was an "older kitten", a classic brown tabby with white whose cheek bore a brown spot that mimicked Cookie's. I quickly emailed to see if he was still available and how I could get him--I live in Texas; he was in Michigan. No problem. The breeder ships cats all the time. I marveled at signing a contract to BUY a cat and paypaled my money. The Michigan cat was mine.

Any kid waiting for Christmas had nothing on me. I talked constantly about my Maine coon from Michigan. This was over the holiday season and the breeder was busy. Shipment was delayed. A week passed and then two. The Michigan cat became the Mishi-cat. Shipment was delayed again. Just Mishi now. I started going to cat shows and met some local fanciers and breeders.

I was just about ready to give up on Mishi when things finally came together--and there I was at the airport, signing the shipment forms. I hauled the carrier out to my car and I could wait no longer. I opened the door and Mishi stepped out, tilted his head, and chirped curiously at me. Same little girly chirp. I was hooked.

Mishi's official name is Koontucky Sterling Sky. Being neutered at an early age, he will contribute nothing (other than inspiration) to my breeding program. While he may have no kittens of his own, however, indirectly, Mishi started it all, since he was the one who convinced me that Cookie was no fluke--Maine coons are indeed a special kind of cat.

The OTHER guilty parties to this adventure are our friends Karen and Howard, whose innocent invitation to my first cat show started a cascade of involvement that I think still astounds them. I honestly don't even remember if that first show was in TICA or CFA, but I knew I wanted to get involved. Who could have ever guessed by how much?

My husband - helpless to resist my babycats - will sometimes question "Uhhh, how many cats did you say you wanted?" This happens most often as we struggle for a place among the fur on what should be OUR bed. I can only shrug and sheepishly smile. Just wait 'til I turn the next batch of kittens loose!

Cari Tucker





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