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Mishi's blog: October 2016

MishikoonOur home in Corvallis

Hi, I'm Mishi......and yes, this is MY cattery!

Don't be fooled by the whole illusion of humans-in-charge... if you look close, you'll see that it's just that cats have delegated the authority. After all, we have better things to do than earn a living or clean up after ourselves!

I've been really busy lately, so the website is in shambles! And I'm not getting any younger, you know! Don't worry, my human is working on it. At least all the moving seems to have settled down. Corvallis, Oregon is home now, except when we head out to the mountains to visit the Yurthouse in Redmond. I hate that drive over the mountains, though, so I hope my humans are willing to leave me home when they go gallivanting!

Cari's blog

October 12, 2016Winter in Corvallis

Technology will not win! I WILL conquer! Poor website has been behind the times for the last two (ok, well maybethree!)years, but I've finally gotten a handle on the process after moving over to another service provider, so updating is now top of the list!

Not that it hasn't been for quite some time--it just seems like something always happens to interupt. First, there was moving, then family commitments, then a house fire in Redmond...

The most recent issue is, well, a broken leg. The last day of July, I was hiking out from a trail maintenance project on the Pacific Crest and took a bit of a tumble--uh..maybe a flat out fall. Both bones in my right ankle were shattered with an ugly displacement of the foot for good measure. My ortho doc says I'm healing at a great rate. I say it's far, far too slow! My husband, Pete, who's been stuck with ALL of the cat chores agrees! The good news is that I'm walking again, albeit slooooowwwwly and very, very carefully!! Happily for Pete, I see litter boxes and hiking trails in my near future.



December 12, 2013 So WHERE are we living?

Mishi's blog

MishikoonHi, I'm Mishi......and yes, this is MY cattery!

Don't be fooled by the whole illusion of humans-in-charge... if you look close, you'll see that it's just that cats have delegated the authority. After all, we have better things to do than earn a living or clean up after ourselves!Garryanna house

That being said, a cat is obligated to help out once in a while by going along with what the humans decide. But boy, it seems like once change begins, it never ends! I can't believe we have yet another new home! WHAT is wrong with these humans?? Can they not stay in one place for any length of time? Well, at least we still live in Oregon-- I just hope they leave us cats here in Corvallis when they go visit the yurthouse out in Redmond! That drive over the mountains may be scenic, but I prefer a litter box that doesn't sway!

Cari's Blog

Yet another move! At the end of the summer, Peter was offered a permanent job by the company he'd been doing contract work for in Corvallis. Winter in Corvallis

We weighed the options. Should Pete continue to commute, being home only on weekends or should I uproot myself and the cattery yet again? My heart is in central Oregon, in sight of the mountains I so love...but Pete is even more precious to me. I kitten in windowmissed living like a normal couple, and in September, we moved to Corvallis.

I'm happily surprized at how much I like it here. I work for a hospital again just a mile down the road from our house. The kitties, too, took the upheaval in stride, and while they may miss thier outdoor runs, huge windows that overlook trees full of squirrels and birds help make the loss bearable. (Along with the promise that we'll work something out in the spring to get them some fresh air). In winter, when the temperature plummets and the ground turns white, even a fluffy coon is happy to have a warm home!





April 27, 2013 An amazing show season...without showing!

Mishi in a Lion clip

MishikoonTime passes, faster than a cat can imagine. We're here in Oregonfor a whole year already- we've survived a full winter! I, the Mishikat, am looking forward to hanging out in the outdoor run with some warm sunshine again. Lion clips might be all the rage for the well dressed coonie, but I have to say that they might be better in Texas than Oregon! The humans can talk all they want about how the weather this year was mild, but now that I've gotten my summer "do", I really need some SUMMER!


Cari's blogMagical Merlin

Coon-gratulations to Mishikoonz' show cats! I have done very little, personally, in the way of showing my beautiful Maine coons in the last year. Between moving, massive kitten litters, and trying to find a new job in central Oregon, my plate was full.

But... it's SO good to have friends!!

Congratulations and many thanks to Pamela White for owning and showing Mishikoonz Magical Merlin. On April 6th, at the Mission City show, Merlin became the first Mishikoonz EVER to Supreme in TICA (The International Cat Association)! Thank you so much, Pam, for such a gift, and thanks also to Judge Kay DeVilbiss for choosing Magical Merlin as her Best Premiere.

JackThat news alone was exciting, but Mishikoonz was splendidly represented in CFA (Cat Fancier's Association) this year as well! No words can express my debt to Kathryn Queen, her son Steve, and his fiance Kimmie for their work with Jack and Scout. What an amazing show season! No matter how good the cat, it takes a LOT of work to campaign ONE cat to a Regional Win...and these guys managed to get TWO in the finals!

With gratitude and joy--

Congratulations to Mishikoonz Jack-O-Lantern. Jack is the AllegroBest Maine coon, Second Best Allbreed in the Gulf Shore Region and the Fourth Best Maine coon Cat in CFA in the entire United States!

Congratulations, also, to Mishikoonz To Kill a Mockingbird (Scout). Scout is the Third Best Maine coon, Fifteenth Best Allbreed in the Gulf Shore Region and the Seventeenth Best Maine coon Premiere in CFA in the country.


All I can say is... WOW!


A Pet Story... Several years ago, a Persian exhibitor named Kathryn Queen approached me at a show one day. Her son, Steve, wanted to buy a Maine coon for his fiance, and she'd told him she would help himfind a breeder--was I having kittens any time soon? We'd gotten to know each other rather casually, just chatting the way you do with other exhibitors at cat shows. I remember how much I admired the grooming on her (very high maintenance!) Persians, but her son was looking for a pet cat, not a show cat. I told her I had a litter coming and I couldn't think of a better home than with someone who Kat had raised.

Time passed, the kittens were born, and Steve and Kimmie came over to meet them. This was Kimmie's gift...and she chose a little guy who took a liking to her-- the kitten that I called "Cory". She would Scout at a kitten showname him after her favorite book, "To Kill a Mockingbird", and call him 'Scout.' Scout at 4 months

A few weeks later, Kathryn asked if it would be all right if she took Scout to a cat show. Kimmie thought the ribbons were pretty, and she was showing her Persians anyway--maybe Scout could get a ribbon. I remember looking at Scout-- he'd been sold as a pet-- and thinking that he wouldn't embarrass the cattery. I told her "Sure--have fun". So Kathryn did! I have to say, I think maybe she had more fun than either of us ever imagined. Scout brought home more than ONE ribbon, for sure!

Kimmie's pet kitty is now not only a Grand Champion, but this year, is ranked as a Regional Winner! What a phenomenal accomplishment-- Way to Go, Mr. Pet Cat!



October 16, 2012...Home, sweet Oregon!

The finished boy's wall.(So Long, Texas!) After putting linoleum down, and having a wall built to close off the boy's area, we've pretty much gotten the house set up to work for two people who work a lot, and seven cats who play a lot. Our transition between two states is coming to a close. I can finally say that we officially live in Oregon now!

For anyone reading this for the first time: back in May, Mishikoonz moved from Dallas, Texas to Redmond, Oregon. But...since my husband Pete was commuting back to Dallas, two weeks here and two weeks there (jobs in this area for electrical engineers are scarce!), we continued to list the cattery in both places. Well, Pete found a job in Corvallis, and while it's not close enough for him to be in Redmond ALL the time, it's a lot closer than Texas! For my Texas friends--if I've promised you a kitten to be transported back, don't worry-- we still need to sell the Dallas house, so trips will be made!Allegro

Sad news... At the end of September, just before Pete left Dallas for good, Allegro, our oldest kitty and our only remaining non-Maine coon, took a sharp downhill turn in his long fight with renal failure. We'd always promised to let him go gently when the time came, and not hold on to make ourselves feel better. On September 27th, Pete kept that promise. For me, it feels like the end of an era. Allegro had belonged to Pete before we married, and when I first met him, I knew instantly that he was a special kitty-- and any man who was his best friend was worth keeping. Over time, Allegro became my kitty, too, and I am so sorry not to be able to share our new life in Oregon with him. Rest peacefully, Allegro-- I will watch over your Pete until you meet him again at the Rainbow Bridge.

AllegroHappy news... Well, I think it is! Kittens, kittens, EVERYWHERE! Be careful what you wish for!When little Shadow was born, a singleton baby, I said that I hoped she would be the first of many Mishikoonz born in the Oregon house. I neglected to add that I didn't really need them ALL to be born at once!!

All I can say is that the fresh Oregon air must be wonderful for mama kitties-- I was suprized when Ms. Rosie (Coonopry's Crimson Rose) had a lovely litter of NINE longtime breeder told me that in all her years, she's only had ONE litter that large! But I've been ASTONISHED by Boo Kitty-- who ALSO had nine kittens for her first litter ever! (Both girls have been fabulous moms.)





June 19, 2012... Texas and Oregon, both???

It seems that this is a year of transition and change for both the cattery and its keepers!

Dallas or Redmond? For those of you in Texas, who see us listed as being in Dallas, but...then you read on here that we've moved to Oregon-- What to THINK??

Well, the moving part is true...partly! I AM living with most of the kitties in Oregon, but...we haven't really left Dallas! The job situation for my husband being what it is in Redmond (or more accurately, what it is NOT!), we will be keeping both the Dallas house AND the yurthouse in Oregon for the time being. So...I am listing the cattery in both places! If you adopt a Mishikoonz kitten, either Dallas OR Oregon will work to get your kitty.

Iawatha is here! Our other big cattery news is that we Iawatha at 3 monthshave a new baby prince. Iawatha Sky Beyrouth joins Mishikoonz from Beyrouth Cattery in the Czech Republic. Many thanks to Youssef Khaled and his family for this wonderful boy-- the story of his arrival is a story in and of itself!

I should start by saying that I just can't bring myself to ship a kitten unattended from overseas. Yes, I know it's safe (most of the time). Yes, I know they sleep through the whole thing (but what if they don't?) Yes, I know dozens of breeders ship hundreds of kittens each year (but I never have!) For SURE, I know that my breeder friends roll their eyes at me, but I still can't bring myself to do it.

The original plan was that Iawatha would travel with a friend who was coming to the states on vacation. But then family matters caused a change in plans and the vacation was canceled. After much distress (Should I take some Valium and ask Youssef to ship? Should I let someone ELSE have my kitten, and go back on the waiting list?)... I decided that using airmiles doesn't really count as spending money. I would go get Iawatha myself.

First night with IawathaAll I can say is that eastern Europe from the western coast of the United States and back again in 96 hours is sheer madness. It didn't help that my (crazy!) journey was complicated by an extra night in Minnesota for me (overbooked flight) and an extra night in Paris for my luggage (Delta - Air France oopsie). It also didn't help that Prague is a lovely ancient city seeped in that deserves better than being toured at the speed of light after two sleepless nights and 14 hours on 3 different planes.

On the other hand, sometimes madness pays off.

Youssef and his family had done an amazing job of raising Iawatha. He is one of the most trusting, loving, outgoing, and confident young kittens I've ever seen. Within 30 minutes of meeting me, he was snuggled at my side, purring and nuzzling me as if he'd been my kitten since birth.

Would I have the same kitten now, if he'd spent 18 hours alone in the hold of a plane before we met? I'm so glad I didn't risk it!


May 10, 2012... Spanning two States!

Catch-up time for the website once again! So...where is Mishikoonz located NOW?

How 'bout... Dallas, Texas AND Redmond, Oregon??

On Tuesday, April 24th, a VERY pregnant Mini-Mina and I left Dallas in my Subaru Forester... well, maybe my Subaru port-a-cat. The poor car was stuffed, with a cartop carrier to boot, and other than my clothes and computer, most of what filled it was cat stuff. A LOT of cat stuff, including a very comfy home away from home for Mina. I had about 12 inches viewspace out the back -- which Mina frequently blocked when grooming herself. (Being an expectant mother, she groomed herself a lot!)

Mina to GoAfter a stressful packing adventure, the actual drive started out suprizingly pleasant. Mina settled right in to her nest, looking out the windows and happily eating her crunchies. At the hotel, she checked out our room, ate her dinner, and tucked up next to me in the queen sized bed, happy as could be. Even for a show cat, she was being a wonderful companion!

Then on Wednesday, after 12 hours straight hours on the road, she got me.

I was feeling great; my audiobook was engaging without requiring a lot of thought (Steven King, 11-22-63) and I was set to make it all the way to the La Quinta in Salt Lake City. Except...about 8:30 pm, with several hours to go, Mina suddenly started meowing. She'd been silent for 1,100 miles so I was understandably concerned--was she ready to have her kittens? I talked to her, trying to convince her to hang in a little longer. She started pacing and pawing at the cage. We were in the middle of NOwhere! There hadn't even been lights at the last couple of exits. I could see her in the rearview mirror, weaving back and forth. I fumbled desperately with the GPS on my phone... WHERE was there any sort of civilization?

Evanston, Wyoming... a Motel Six. Not my first choice for stellar accomodations, but they almost always took pets. I raced on, trying to comfort her, as she got louder and louder. I did not want to even THINK of kitten-birth in the dark by the side of the road with the occasional semi roaring past at 80 miles an hour.

I have never been so happy to see a Motel Six in my life. I booked the room, trying not to show my impatience while the clerk cheerfully (and Mina moves inSLOWLY) made small talk. Finally, after about a trillion years, I had the key; I carried Mina in and quickly set her box up. She continued to pace and meow. A sure sign, I thought to myself!

Well, maybe. I put some food down. She promptly wolfed it down, jumped up on the bed and curled up on the pillow, looking quite content.

It took me almost an hour to figure out that I'd been duped. No labor, no kittens...she'd just wanted a good meal and out of the car. Obviously, I'd been driving long enough. What a con job!

Mina actually waited another 5 days, taking her time to check out our new home, before settling down to motherhood-- little Shadow was born the following Monday, the first of many Mishikoonz, I hope, to grace the Yurthouse in Oregon.



March 18, 2012... Mishikoonz has big news!!

The big news? At the end of April, Mishikoonz will be moving to Redmond, Oregon!

OREGON????!!! How did this happen??

Honestly, I'm not sure myself, but I blame the economy.

We've known for a while that central Oregon, just east of the Cascades, is our dream location. We'd discovered the area by accident when we were hiking and got caught in a snow storm. With visibility down to nothing, our map and compass navigation had become far too risky - we needed a GPS to continue. The closest civilization of any size was a city called Bend, so we got off trail and hitched a ride into town. The view from the porch

Our first impression was that Bend had that same eclectic aura as Portland and Seattle (both cities that we adore)... but without the miserable weather. A stone's throw from some of the best hiking in the states, a few hours drive from big city culture... For both of us, it was Love (capital L) at first sight! No question! THIS was where we wanted to retire!

But... we're NOwhere near ready for retirement. So...wha' happened!?

Well...the whole thing started innocently enough. Ever since the hike, I'd been looking at real estate ads for the little triangle of Bend, Sisters, and Redmond. Prices had plummetted with the downturn of the economy - the area was one of those that had been hit hard. Last fall, I noticed that there were signs of recovery-- prices were coming up. "We should buy some land around Bend NOW," I say. "I mean, it's not gonna get any cheaper, and we KNOW we want to live there when we retire." Pete shrugs."Sure, why not?"

So we go to look at land. We've got a list of desirable criteria for our property, but at the very top, non-negotiable, no compromise accepted...we want a view of the mountains. This is where we will retire and when we're too old to hike we need to be able to dream. We HAVE to see the mountains.

Fine, but there's a problem. Our non-negotiable land has already been built on. The best views already HAVE houses. And if they don't, the price for the land alone is not much different than the price for land with a house.

So...we start to look at houses. Lots of houses. Beautiful traditional houses, ugly beat up houses, houses with views, houses that CLAIM to have views... We see everything that MIGHT work for us in a 30 miles radius. Many possibilities, but no clear winner.

But then, we find it. The perfect house. (Well, for us, at least). An octagon shaped structure at the end of a narrow dirt road, on the top of a windy ridge. the Yurt HouseA yurt with a two car garage. The views are nonstop, 360 degrees: Broken Top, The Three Sisters, Mount Washington, Three-fingered Jack, Mount Jefferson, Mount Hood...even the Smith Rocks. Some we had hiked and some we had not. All, laid out in the endless circle of windows.

Of course, we bought it. How could we NOT?

At first, we talked about renting the yurt house out. As a vacation home, it would easily pay for itself - walking distance to the Deschutes River for rafting and fishing, close to Mt. Bachelor for skiing, hiking everywhere...

I couldn't do it.

The owners had built this house themselves. They showed us the plans, the pictures of the framing. They told us stories of its construction, how challenging it had satisfying. Now they wanted to move to a warmer climate. They wouldn't miss it, they said - they were ready to be gone. They were happy for us to have it.

I imagined strangers in what was now OUR yurt. I thought of how the kitties would love the windows, the sun streaming in with the mountains behind them. How I might walk Mishi on a leash along the river in the summer before breakfast. How I could arrange the kitten room, where Mishikoonz babies would be born.

Of course, we can't rent this house out. We need to live in it.

Jobs are scarce in Redmond, even for pharmacists. Hopeless for electrical engineers. I have no idea how we'll pull this off, but it doesn't matter. We need to live in this yurt house at the top of a bluff at the end of a narrow dirt road.

Eating is highly overrated!



January 27, 2012 ...

The Holidays are over and we've moved far enough into the new year so that most of the time, I now remember to write "2012" instead of "2011". Time really does seem to fly. My mom always said that as you get older, the days go faster. How true!

I have a day off from work, and the website is my focus today. The goal: update of the kitten page and at least two more base pages completed! Funny how reality changes the standard--I thought the website redesign would be no more than a month's project when I pulled the old site down. Like almost everything else...triple the estimate, and that's about right. And the Mishikat can complain about his humans, but HIS typing skills are not so hot, either! Maybe we should both delegate it to one of the polydactyls? The Doodlebug

Like most estimates, today will no doubt result in less getting done than I'd hoped for. Besides the usual chores, we have vet appointments this afternoon-- All good stuff, but still a 45 minute drive each way, plus the time there.

Kent Cooper at Carrier animal hospital is worth the effort-- best vet I've ever used, with amazing skill as a surgeon, diagnostician, feline fertility guru, and a just plain nice human being.

Today he will give rabies and the last vaccination in the kitten series to Sabrina and Boo Kitty (Now officially named Mishikoonz Sabrina T and Mishikoonz PeekaBoo P) a physical on our new Queen from the east coast (Tac-n-Tac Abbey Doodles, aka "Doodlebug"--thanks, Terry, for this very sweet girl) ...and my personal favorite: do a sono check for pregnancy on Riochama. Fingers crossed!! First for healthy babies...then for a smoke or silver polydactyl boy kitten with fabulous conformation.

Hey, we all have dreams. :-)

UPDATE: I'm very disappointed to find out that Rio is NOT pregnant! I had hoped to have just one more litter with with her before she retired, but she doesn't get along very well with the other girls, so I have decided to spay her and place her in a forever home. Are you interested? Rio is just under 2 years old and loves people... but would like to be an "only child", as she is not so fond of other cats, particularly other females. (If her new family was patient and would give her plently of time to get used to things, she might be okay with just one other pet.)


January 4, 2012

To me, one of the hardest things of being a breeder is letting kittens go to their new home. No matter how many times I go through it, it never gets easier.

Over the last two weeks, Jiggy's babies, one by one, have been leaving with their new families. I have held these babies in my hand, wet from birth and gasping with their first breath. I have seen them open their eyes, watched their faces the first time they taste food, held my breath as they climb to the top of the cat tree for the first time...

Letting go is sooo hard. Fenced in Christmas tree

Well...unless your kittens are leaving just after Christmas. I'm convinced that the kitten Christmas moto should be "No ornament left behind!" and I have to confess that my usual sorrow over releasing kittens was tempered with relief this time. A holiday season with 12 week old kittens is absolute craziness.

Nothing is sacred. Jiggy's seven might be lovely, but they could strip a tree in no time flat!

At first, we contained them in the living room, with the tree in the dining room. We could still see it through the French doors, lights shimmering and the fresh pine smell fainter than usual but definitely present.

But kittens grow... and by the week before Christmas, seven in one room was about six too many. They needed space. Sooo....I fenced the tree and turned them loose.

My containment system worked pretty well for about...oh, 2 hours, while they still had new places to explore. But then it was all over with. Boo Kitty (little innocent BooKitty!) led the assault. She climbed on the dining room table, leapt over to the wine rack and then FLEW through space to land inside the forbidden zone. Jack, and then all the rest followed.

No ornament was left behind.


December 24, 2011

I have a lot to celebrate. It's been a good year.

My oldest son Geoffrey and his wife Christine are visiting from Atlanta-- tonight I sat at the dinner table, stuffed with roast beef, and listened to my two sons joking and ribbing each other...watched my daughter-in-law and my husband smiling, and I realized that this was one of those Moments that stay in your memory. We haven't all been together for the holiday in a long time.

The Christmas LitterTwo rooms over, the Christmas kittens nuzzle against their mom. They were born Tuesday, with perfect timing. Camille purrs proudly everytime I walk in the room-- she has given me another gift, another reason to celebrate with these tiny furballs.

I have heard that cats have have the ability to delay birth to the hour of their choosing. Certainly for this litter, Camille had it all planned. I had thought she was in labor on Monday night. She alternated a restless pacing with laptime, leaning against me while she rumbled softly and kneaded my arm. I like to be there when the girls have kittens, just in case something goes wrong, so I settled in to sleep on a mat beside her birthing box. I hoped that she'd have her kittens before it was time for me to go to work.

No such luck. By 5 am, all activity had ground to a halt and Camille snoozed peacefully, giving me no reason to stay home. I watched her all day on the kitty-cam from work. She slept, she ate, she stretched, she visited her litter box... completely relaxed, with none of the night's agitation. I checked her one last time before I left work at 3:30-- sound asleep, belly up, with one paw in the air twitching ocassionally. I thought about what a mess it would be if she didn't have them before the holiday.

I have no idea what happened during my 20 minute drive home, but Camille must have had a timer set--I walked in to find her waiting for me. I might have known that Camille with her sweet accomodating nature would never inconvenince me. Thirty minutes after I got home, we had the first kitten. Perfect timing.


December 9, 2011

So, you can see who has top billing by the order of things-- obviously, the cats come first.

I keep protesting that I'm not a crazy cat lady, but I have to admit that even I am beginning to wonder. You see, it takes a broom to manage the masses these days.

Jiggy's beautiful kittens have taken over the living room. There're SEVEN of them, and it's a big room, but...they're EVERYWHERE. Worse, what they want most in life is to be where I least want them to go-- our study. Our study is a room that just drips with electric cords, computer wiring and paperwork piles that I can never seem to get caught up on. When I think of sharp little kitten teeth and busy little kitten paws in this room, I feel faint. We have to go through the living room to get here, and that means thwarting the hopes of seven kittens.

Jiggy kittens

Merlin and Goblin in particular have made it their life's work to run the border. Everytime I open the door, I'm greeted by a kamikaze of flying fur, intent on going where no kitten has gone before. (That's not really true...they were BORN in this room. But all they did THEN was snuggle up to mommy and maybe wiggle around their birthing box. Certainly, they did not fly like trapeze artists over and under and between our limbs to reach their destination).

Even with their persistence, getting in and out of the study is normally not a big deal. We open the door just wide enough to edge through. They make a dash for it. We step through, scoop them up and slide them back in where they belong and close the door.

The problem is that I had surgery last week to remove bone spurs from both my right shoulder and left knee-- a two-fer-one special to finish up my 57,000 mile tuneup after our long hike last year. Right now, I'm not so swift on the scooping part. Actually, even the getting-through-the-door part is a feat to be proud of. Crawling under desks to retrieve wayward kittens from hazardous wiring is just not possible at the moment.

So even if I AM (literally) sweeping kittens out of the way, I really am NOT a crazy cat lady. It's just that the broom works. Really! It's the best answer for all of us!







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The Tree