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Thursday, April 08, 2021

Tonkinese Kitten Update

TBT HERE:  I spoke to the Tonkinese breeder I contacted last Summer and send a deposit check to for a female kitten "basically looking like Iza"  I wasn't TOO specific about it, as I know Tonkinese can vary between Siamese and Burmese colors.  The personality and  soft fur were important.

 Even though I've lived longer than any cat, there will always more distinctive appearances and personalties than I can experience in my lifetime (and that doesn't mean I didn't love the series of grey tabby females of my younger years - wonderful companions all).

But I decided in 1992 that I was missing out on other types with different personalities and furs.  I have generally preferred cats that looked different from previous ones since.  So I went looking at local pet stores for a Siamese.  I didn't find one, but I found mostly orange male Skeeter.  Then I found black&white female LC a year later.  Then I found my female Siamese Ayla.  The variety was wonderful and each one was distinct in personality and appearance.

Sadly, Skeeter went Over The Bridge.  I asked the Siamese breeder about any "unwanted" Siamese kittens (as in unsuitable for breeding).  She offerred Ayla as "too small to breed".  She was a beautiful kitten.   I drove an hour to the breeder, Ayla crawled up on my lap and I took her home.  She is a dear one, my "Princess".

My initial reaction when LC left us a year later was to find another male orange kitten.  But the Siamese breeder had a "smudged colored" female Siamese and was able to deliver as she had business in my town, and I took her sight unseen.  I mean, she offerred to send pictures, but I thought I knew enough about Siamese so I said "surprise me".

The breeder had gotten her equally sight-unseen, but had pedigreed papers, but thought she was a poorly-colored Siamese.  Turned out she was a Tonkinese (Thank you forever again Tonk's Tail) and was perfect for the breed.  

After Iza and Ayla weren't getting along great (nothing serious likely Laz) I was guided to Marley.  Marley is a loving peacemaker as orange/white males seem to be in general.  

Iza left too soon and while Ayla and Marley got along great, it felt right to have a 3rd cat in the house.  Wondering about another Tonkinese, I asked the Siamese breeder about one and she said that Iza was a confusion and she had no connection to any Tonkinese breeders.  

So I did an internet search and found one 60 miles+ away and asked.  There was a long waiting list and to even get on it required a $100 deposit.  Well, we all know that $100 is minor in cat costs, LOL!  So I sent the check.

The breeder asked for preferences in color, and that is where things got confusing.  The possibilities (according to one site) are: 

  • Natural mink
  • Champagne mink
  • Blue mink
  • Platinum mink
  • Natural solid
  • Champagne solid
  • Blue solid
  • Platinum solid
  • Natural point
  • Champagne point
  • Blue point
  • Platinum point

I had not the slightest idea how to describe Iza, and for once, I DID want a similar appearance.  But I also knew that with so many possibilities, I could have to wait a decade for an exact one and I can't wait a decade.  I sent a picture of Iza and said "one something like that"?

The breeder replied that kittens like that were expected to be available in Feb/March.  Sadly, there were problems with miscarriage.  The next kittens generally like Iza were expected for June adoption.  And apparently they were and healthy.  But I wasn't high enough on the waiting list...

And so we come to the present.  Apparently, the breeders deliberately breed kittens of varying adult colors by the mating.  Some customers want different shades of furs from Siamese to Burmese and the breeders naturally alternate among them.  For "Iza-like", I am next on the list.

It sounds horribly "retail" I know.  And it sounds like I want "Iza The 2nd".  But there are personality differences among Tonkinese and I want one that is "like" Iza without having to BE Iza.  It will be a mutual learning experience between a new kitten and I, and there will be some differences.  I will cherish both the differences and the similarities.

Skeeter was the cat he was because of his horrid experience as a kitten in a small pet store being renovated loudly.  He was terrified of plastic trash bags (maybe where dead cats went?) and thrived in the calm of my house.  LC fought being removed from the large cage she was accustomed to (the owner and I had to push her claws off the cage one-by-one).

If I had had Skeeter cloned, the new one would not have been "Skeeter" even if it looked like him in every way.  The cloned Skeeter2nd would not have had the same terrifying kittenhood, the same pet store renovations, the same "plastic bags are where dead kittens go".  Skeeter2nd would have been raised without fears like that.

I read about cloning at the time.  It was possible.  I had money.  I was very tempted to see what Skeeter might have been in a different upbringing.  Not doing it was actually hard.

Thankfully Ayla and Iza were brought in PTUs without my knowing much about their past.  And Marley crawled up on my lap at the previous owner's home and he and she knew I was "The Right Person".

So back to "someday new Tonkinese female kitten"...  

The Tonkie breeder sent a picture of a female kitten last week, saying it was loving and playful and to reply "if I was interested".   She sent a picture.

I'm not a breeder, but that sure looks like a regular Siamese to me.  Much like Ayla who I adore, but not a Tonkinese.

I called the breeder and said she sure looked like a regular Siamese to me and not a Tonkinese.  She swears it is a Tonkie, and who am I do argue with a breeder.  But I declined.

She said she was looking at the picture of Iza and that the next litter of kittens that would look like her were available in August (assuming good birth and health).  I explained that I wanted an Iza-like kitten and would wait, and she understood.  

Some things about this "waiting for the right kitten" bother me.  I should not be so specific.  Almost any kitten/cat that arrives here is happy with me and I am happy with them.  Well, Laz is a special case and still needs more time and attention.

I was expecting July.  Now I am expecting August (different litters).  The delay of a month month will go by quickly enough.  But I have never had to anticipate a future kitten this way.  It is frustrating and rather uncertain.

August will arrive eventually...