Saturday, January 9, 2016

Siberians and winter coats

During winter Siberian cats tend to get an impressive winter coat, and our darlings are no exception to that rule. During summer we get used to their slimmer coat and forget how massive the winter coat is - and during winter we forget the summer version of our cats. Found these before and after images of Metaxa, which demonstrate the vast difference between our furry friends during summer and winter. The before image is from July and the after images from January. Quite a difference!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Introducing Teddy

Last, and currently the least, is Teddy. He was born in September 2015 and moved in with us on the last day of November, when he turned twelve weeks. His full name is S*Starskys Achilles and his first weeks can be seen on the breeders website. The image there, showing him at three weeks, was the image that made me decide that we "needed" a fourth (and final) cat. 

Teddy has been with us for about a month now, and he is absolutely adorable. He was described as a bit shy when he was with his siblings,but he's anything but. He has a great appetite for discovery and has two settings: ON and OFF. He either runs around the house, getting into trouble together with Mynta, or sleeps curled up in an irresistible ball of fur on top of a table or next to one of the grown cats. He's a purrer (well it should be a word, even if it's not) and will start purring loudly as soon as he's picked up, stroked or groomed by the elders. 

He's still very playful and one of his favorite pastimes is faux fighting. Usually with Mynta, but he'll just as easily ball up around your fingers or nab at your hands when you pet him. It's a constant process to say no and put him down. It's hard, because it doesn't hurt and he's so cute. But, it won't be so charming when he's fully grown - so we're insisting.

Just as Mynta, he loves chasing feet under the covers. As a result, he too, is banned from the bedroom at night. He's fine with that. He just runs back and forth across the house instead. In the small hours you will hear the sounds of eight kitten paws galloping around. No wonder they sleep so much during the day.

He's so cute that we can't leave him be. He simply must be picked up and cuddled. His coat is silky and feather light, and absolutely delightful to rest against your face and cheeks. And he has a very distinct scent with notes of roasted nut and chocolate. He spends so much time close to the others, that both Mynta and Metaxa have slight hints of his scent in their coats. Maybe we do too?

Introducing Mynta

In September 2015 our growing cat tribe was extended with Mynta. She's a Siberian, like the others, and moved in with us on when she turned 12 weeks. Her full name is S*Starskys Xenia and her first weeks can be seen at the breeders website. The picture below is from her first day, so she has already grown into an impressive young lady. She's almost seven months old and her personality is still growing alongside with her legs and fur.

Right before Christmas she was castrated, so she's spent almost two weeks with a pink cone on her head. As depressing as that was, she still managed to play and race around the house. Her main concern was feeling dirty all the time, so we bonded over long sessions where she was let out of the cone, and allowed to clean herself while I held a protective hand over the stitches.

She still has too much kitten blood in her to sit still or snuggle for any extended periods. But when she does, she loves to curl up between your chin and collarbones. That means you can't really do anything else while she sleeps there, but that's ok since she is so adorable. She also gets quite annoyed if she sees you with another cat in your lap. She'll promptly shoo away that cat, place herself there instead, only to lose interest a minute later and run off.

Mynta's greatest love in life is hair elastics. Since several of us humans have long hair, we tend to leave elastics behind - and she has a radar for finding them. When she does, she runs around with them like crazy. She's not allowed in the bedroom at night - she loves chasing feet under the covers too much. First thing every morning, when we open the door, she immediately runs to the head board where she knows I put my elastic when I go to bed at night.

Mynta is really happy to have another Energizer Kitten to play with. She was scared of Teddy when he first arrived, but after a few days, she discovered that they both enjoy the same things. Since then they run a few miles around the house everyday, chasing eachother.

Introducing Metaxa

So this is Metaxa, or S*Stimics Metaxa to be exact. She was born in 2013 as a daughter to Mango and spent her first two years with the breeders at Stimics. They were planning to breed off her, but being in heat took such a toll on her that they decided to have her castrated. We had hinted before that we were very interested in her, if they ever planned to sell, so they contacted us when she was castrated. She moved in with us during the summer of 2015, when we had already booked a kitten for delivery in September. Our cat family was growing exponentially...

Metaxa is the sweetest thing. Quite shy amongst those she doesn't know, but ureservedly loving and snuggly with those within her circle of trust. She LOVES being close and channels much of that need through the kittens. She is more than happy to groom them or let them sleep close to her. She is no loud mouth, but when she feels lonely, she'll walk the rooms and gently miaow, until someone notices and picks her up. Before the kittens, she would follow Mango around, and expect them to groom all the time. Mango wasn't as enthusiastic as Metaxa, so it was a great relief for her when the kittens came along to satisfy Metaxa's maternal side.

Metaxa has intriguing silvery green eyes. They are quite slanted and deep set. She peaks out from under the fur, to determine if you are friend or foe. When in the circle of friends, she'll love you forever. 

Another thing Metaxa loves is "what the others are eating". When she moved in, Mango's diet food (Metabolic) was much more interesting than her own. She was so intent on eating Mango's food instead of her own, that we switched her over to Metabolic instead. That worked for her (although with less enthusiasm than when it was "the other food") until Mynta moved in. Metaxa immediately decided that whatever Mynta was having, must be better than her own food. She has developed all kinds of stalking techniques to help Mynta finish her food. If you give them the same food, she'll still eat if from Mynta's bowl if she can. As far as she's concerned, the grass is always greener in the other bowls.

She's not a kitten anymore, but sometimes she forgets herself when the kittens are around and joins them in mad dashes after the laser pointer or other toys. She even joins in when they play chase, and runs around like a whirlwind.

Introducing Mango

This lovely lady is Mango. She is currently four years old and was born in July 2011. Her full name is S*Stimics Absolut Mango, and she lived with the breeders at Stimics until November 2013 when she moved to us. Prior to her move she had mothered a litter of kittens there, and also been quite successful in cat shows. She's a pretty little thing, but hasn't let that get to her head at all. And she's not so little anymore... 

Mango has a truly special personality. She was our first encounter with Siberian cats, and we fell in love with her, and the breed, right away. And not only because she doesn't trigger allergies. She is a gentle soul, who rarely makes any noise. She makes up for it with some kind of telepatic communication through her eyes. She'll just sit in a corner and look at you with her big green eyes and you just know what she wants. It's usually to sit in your lap or take a walk in the garden. 

In the evening she will scout the livingroom for laps. If someone sits in the sofa, she will walk up to that person and look at him or her with those eyes. If you pat your lap she'll jump right up and make herself comfortable. If there are more people in the sofa, she'll alternate between laps to make sure no one feels left out. 

Mango stayed with us for almost two years as our only cat, and during 2015 she was accompanied by three more cats, whereof one is her daughter. She's not too impressed with the kittens. They are too insistent, make too much noise and demand that you groom them all the time. She puts up with it, and helps clean behind their ears if they insist, but she prefers the company of humans or her daughter Metaxa, who doesn't run around like those maniac kittens.