- Pets and Animals
She is an adorable cross Persian with a wonderful personality and she makes a great mother. Having now had several litters in her 5 years on earth it was time to record the moment and share her love with the world.
You will notice she has a five point star on her right side and thus her name.
By making this lens as a tribute to Star it is hoped that people will realise that allowing a cat to have kittens and rearing them to make good pets is a dedication and should only be done by responsible breeders.
All photos are (C) Copyright
Becoming a Cat Breeder
Thanks to my Daughter
It is some 25 years now since Karen brought home a kitten from her father's place when she visited him on the Central Coast. She did phone to ask if she could bring the little one home and it was agreed. She named her new friend Bubbles and she was an extremely beautiful specimen of an animal. Silver grey in color and remarkably proud she would sit on the piano like a statue and something from the classics.
We all fell in live with her and, of course, when she got pregnant we took it for granted. It was frequently said that a female cat should have a litter before being desexed so after the litter we took her to the vet for the operation. Sadly it changed her remarkably.
From being a very friendly cuddly cat she suddenly would not allow anyone to touch her. She became withdrawn and within a year she disappeared. Whether that was from the operation or not we never knew, but after the event we could never touch her on the back. She was obviously stressed and in some kind of pain but frequent visits to the vet to try to uncover her problem amounted to nothing more than big bills.
Meanwhile her kittens were adorable and we had no toruble finding them homes. At that stage we gave them away but one that we kept was an adorable little guy called foxy. He was marked with a band over his eyes and reminded us of his namesake.
He was a remarkable little guy who stayed with us for many years until cancer of the nose finally claimed his life. He was desexed and full of love and very cuddly.
We kept another of Bubbles kittens as well whom Karen name Peaches. She was a tortoise shell with a remarkable personality and a very kissing, cuddly, friendly nature. She was with us for some 15 years and had many a litter. Gorgeous in nature her babies were also very quiet, gentle and cuddly. Mostly they were fluffy as Peaches was medium hair and the father was a beautiful silver persian.
After Bubbles and the experience we had with her it was considered not a good idea to get anymore cats desexed. Within a couple of litters we found that selling the kittens was more beneficial for the babies in the long run as people would not pay for something they did not truly want. Unfortunately we also found that people wanted kittens for some pretty horrible reasons. One guy told me he bred greyhounds and used them for the dogs to chase. So NEVER give kittens away. They are precious and should not be bred for people who will abuse, harm, maim, or kill them.
With each litter the screening process of potential buyers became ever more intense and now it is only those who have a quiet, respectable and loving home who get to take one of star's babies home. Children can easily kill a kitten by accident or desire. So I also screen the children of anyone taking these pets.
Star was Born Here
She was too precious to give away
From a litter of 5 Star was the outstanding female. She looked much like her grandmother, May, who lived till she was 17 and was another adorable cat. When May was picked up she would throw her paws around my neck in a way that resembled how humans do when getting a cuddle. She loved me to pick her up and show her the world from my level.
In one of her last litters she had a magnificent female, who was subsequently named Jenny, who was almost pure persian, except she did not have a squashed in face. She was white with a bit of tortoise shell coloring around her face and tail with a few black markings here and there. Gorgeous is the only word that comes to mind to describe her and she had a litter of kittens which she carted to the side of the house and almost buried in a nest she carved out under some garden refuse.
My neighbour helped pull her and the kittens out. There were six beautiful soft fluffy babies of which star was one.
Making her as comfortable as possible she nursed her kittens until they were old enough to be weaned. As normal they were then put out on the patio outside the dining room where I could keep my eye on them. Only something went wrong one particular night.
It was after 11pm andJenny wanted to come back inside but she was told to stay with her kittens. Soon after some fireworks were let off somewhere in the vicinity. Whether that spooked her or not we don't know but Jenny was never seen again. The kittens were just 8 weeks old and she would never have left them voluntarily.
Outraged at her loss it was justifiable that a campaign to stop fireworks had to be launched. Ringing the local paper, the Canberra Times, a reporter and photographer came to the house to photograph the orphans and tell their story. May was now the substitute mother so she also got her picture taken. Star looked so like her that they almost looked like twins, except for their obvious age difference.
After that Star and May were photographed at least three more times by the paper who launched a huge campaign to stop the fireworks. It was supported by local members of the Legislative Assembly, the RSPCA and other outraged citizens. Dogs were shown to be petrified of the noise and many kangaroos and other animals, native to the area, were killed on the roads around the time when they were let off. The radio stations were inundated with calls and my voice was added to the many who rang almost daily.
One politician told of how his cat had been targeted by lunatics who tied her to a post and set her alight. Other cats reportedly had fireworks tied to their bodies and let off.
Public meetings were organised and finally after 3 years of bitter campaigning, which saw restrictions placed on the use of them, they were banned. That came after post boxes were blown up, a charity van had its back blown out and bombs (huge firework explosives) were let off at all hours during the nights leading up to and following Queens Birthday week-end. The ACT was the only place left in Australia where fireworks were allowed and they were being purchased here and taken interstate to the frustration of other governments and people.
We may have lost Jenny but the cause she served has been a great win for all animals in the Australian Capital territory. We have pets whom we owe a great deal to and seeing my little dog, Minnie, shake with terror when crackers are being exploded was something one could not live with. Dead birds shot out of the sky when in flight and obviously startled by sky rockets or other things was also horrendous and one landed outside my back door.
Pictured is one of our most famous native birds, the magpie. Yes, they can talk as well, which is how they got their name. Just about everyone has these around the house as wild pets. My sister has a family of them which come right into her kitchen for some food. The mother always brings her young ones to Robyn as part of their education. A family of kookaburras used me in the same way when we lived in Pymble.
She Named Herself
I had to fight to keep her
The litter was all but sold except for Star's brother and herself. A lady came and begged and pleaded with me to sell her both kittens. We debated the issue for almost an hour as my mind was not quite made up about keeping another female cat.
The longer the process went on, however, the more it seemed that my mind was made up. I could not give her away at any price. So the lady took the brother and left me her phone number in case I changed my mind.
Star was around 10 weeks old at that time and she was very much at home here. The big question was what to call her?
Discussing this with my sister over the next 2 to 3 months did nothing to resolve the issue. There was nothing jumping out at me about a name. Not, that is, until one day I noticed she had a pattern emerging on her side. It was a star, a 5 pointed star at that. My sister was delighted. "She has named herself" she said. Now that symbol was not there before or I would surely have noticed it.
At around 12 months she had her first litter and things went wrong. The milk was not there and 3 of the kittens died. I then hand reared 2 of them until she was able to feed them. Waking up every couple of hours during the night to feed kittens was not my idea of fun but I was not going to let them die if they could be nursed. Because it was a week-end my regular vet was not available and the only one who would see her was adamant that she needed to be operated on and her womb removed. The woman vet claimed she had a kitten inside of her which had died. Being a Sunday she organised to keep Star overnight so they could operate the next day.
Horrified at the thought of Star locked up in a vet hospital while her kittens were desperate for her meant little sleep for me that night. The next morning I was on the phone demanding my cat back. By this time my vet was open. Rushing the distraught cat there one of the staff, Ben, saw her in a great emergency situation. He did an ultrasound and there was no sign of a kitten inside her. The other vet was wrong and although she told me she could never have any more kittens, thanks to Ben she has now had several litters, all beautiful.
It is probably the reason for this tribute lens to a lovely cat who enjoys her babies and is giving so much pleasure to many families in the ACT and elsewhere.
Kittens at Play
These two kittens are almost identical to those of Peaches. The ginger one we called Blinkie because he was at first given to the neighbour who asked his little girl what to call him. She didn't say anything but she blinked. He came back to me because he wanted to stay here in his birth home.
The Best Training Tool
My kittens use a cat tree like this one to substitute for the trees in the garden. As indoor bred cats they get their daily exercise and love of climbing using such a great device. It is a must for indoor cats.
She loves to play
When one of my daughters brought home a project from school all that many years ago it was never thought it would still be around, let alone be the comfort toy that it is to Star. It is a knitted mouse like shape with a couple of black eyes sewn in and a bit of a tail out the other end.
Star carries that thing around the house and will often be meowing at the door to go in or out with it tucked in her mouth. She will put it in the basket with her newborn kittens as well. None of the other cats have ever played with it and star doesn't either. Its just something she carries around and causes a great deal of laughter when she comes to a window squawking to get let in and all you can see it the pink mouse thing. Did I mention it is a dark pink color.
My cats are treated to bunny rugs to lie on and these are also put over the chairs where they tend to sit. This way they gather the scent of the mother and the smell of the house and when the kittens leave here a rug goes with them for comfort and to help them adapt to their new home. The new owners love the idea and many will ring me within a few days to tell me how their baby is going. Well, they are like my babies because up until they leave here they are fully dependent on me.
Are you aware of how many diseases and conditions cats might suffer? From Addison's Disease to Worms and all in between this Company has holistic medications that will either prevent, cure or help the problem. Drops for ear mites to bad breath, cat paw injury ointment and treatment for diabetes and heart disease, whatever the problem there is something here to help your furry friend,.
Keeping loose hair away from noses is the best way to avoid allergies. Cats do shed twice a year but loose fur may be present at all times. A tool like this is a must for good maintenance.
From Onset of Labour - To a restful sleep afterwardsClick thumbnail to view full-size
A Must Have Toilet
My kittens are trained to use a hooded toilet, although the lid is held open with a peg until they are properly trained. Such a great system camouflages the smell and keeps the kitty litter contained within whenever they enthusiastically scratch to bury the droppings.
The One Thing About Star
that I love the most is the way
she reads what I am doing.
She opens doors, asks me for
food, cuddles up to me when
in labour. Gets me to rub her
back between the kittens being
born, and she is so gentle
Amazon Spotlight Personal Review
This great piece of furniture will make your kitten feel right at home. It's great for climbing, exercise, sleeping on and playing with.
Photos of Star and Some of Her Kittens - A previous litter and one of her and Qik with her kittensClick thumbnail to view full-size
Kittens Always Win the Vet Over
They take the trip very well.
Kittens are taken to the vet at least once before sale and sometimes even 2 or 3 times if one of them has a problem. The photo is of their doctor checking one of the kittens before it is micro chipped. This usually happens at around 6 weeks of age and they have a few days with mum afterwards to recover before they are sold.
It is the law in most of Australia now that pets be micro chipped so owners can be traced if lost, stolen or killed. Many an animal, such as a cat or dog, are dumped around the countryside, especially when uncaring people need to go on holidays or for other reasons. They then become feral and threaten our wildlife, which is vulnerable to such predators. Cats and dogs let loose into the country breed and grow much bigger than domestic ones.
It is an essential move by councils to insist on this procedure to protect everyone, especially the animals.
After sale the new owners have to transfer the certificate to their name and address. At least I have those things on record if they fail to do it.
Wood Chips for Cat Litter
Never use granular cat litter as it can irritate eyes and lungs and bring on stress. The best products are natural ones such as these wood chips.
Still images from Dreamstime - click here