We have a house full of crazy cats in Bedfordshire, England. We have both lived around cats for many years and have been owners together since 1991.
How we began
We started with three; Persians ‘Bel Air’ and ‘Fatso’ and hybrid Persian-Siamese ‘Aubrey’. We adored the Persians but sadly lost both to illness in 1995, whereupon we bought ‘Jade’, a Lilac Oriental, shortly after to keep Aubrey company and because we love Siamese too.
We still felt that we missed having a Persian-type big, cuddly cat around. We had had problems with the Persians’ eyes, noses and breathing and this put us off owning more of the breed. We decided to try to find a similar but more ‘natural’ breed with fewer man-made genetic problems and scoured Cat Shows to find one.
Enter the Norwegians (and Angoras)
After considering Birmans, Ragdolls and Maine Coons and being put off by the very high prices of kittens, we came across the Norwegian Forest Cat breed and immediately fell for them. We bought our first NFC in 1996 and got two more in 1997 and 1998. Our first Angora also arrived in 1997 – we took to the breed as we’ve always liked Oriental-type cats and were given the chance to own a ‘variant’ that needed a home.
In 1998 we decided to have a first attempt at breeding and in October that year had a litter of Angoras. We kept Hindarfiall Tazzmania from this litter as a breeding queen and she produced her first litter in 2000.
In 1999 we had our first NFC litter with our first Norwegian queen, Astra Felis Audax, keeping Hindarfiall Screamadelica as a male neuter.
What were doing now
We recently took the decision to concentrate solely on breeding Norwegians and now no longer breed Angoras.
In April 2001 we introduced our fifth Norwegian, Kjaerligkatt Phoebe, who will eventually become our second breeding queen. As she is a CA/FIFe-registered cat, we have shown her at CA shows, rather than the GCCF shows we are more familiar with, and greatly enjoyed the experience. Thanks to the GCCF’s open doors policy since 1st June ’01 we have also shown our GCCF-registered cats at CA shows and will exhibit at FIFe shows in mainland Europe.