A bit about us...
We are Rosie & Paul. Located in South Australia, and our kittens are raised within our family home.
Health & type are the MOST important factors in our breeding program.
We have three main goals:
1. Enrich & preserve the magnificent Maine Coon breed
2. Produce healthy, well socialised companion cats & kittens
3. Eradicate the old-school toxic mindset of being 'in competition' with other preservation breeders.
We are all in this for the same goals, there aren't many of us who are striving to be completely ethical, so we MUST encourage and lift each other up.
Our beloved companion neuter is Kuro, a rescue who came from unethical breeding.
I used to be involved in rescue some years ago. It was challenging and rewarding. But I felt there was more that I could do, to get above the shelter issues.
Animals ending up in shelters are essentially the offspring of backyard breeders. Think about it..... they produce puppies and kittens like there's no tomorrow. They don't educate owners about breed traits or behavioural issues. They breed anything together, often producing genetic messes, and not taking any responsibility for what happens later. They don't provide support once the animal leaves them. They don't health test. They certainly don't take an animal back. When it inevitably doesn't work out... the new owners often feel like they don't have any other option, but to surrender or dump them at a shelter. This is heartbreaking.
Demand better for our companion animals
This quote is something that's stuck with me. It applies to any well bred animal. There certainly is a place for rescue. But we must begin to support preservation breeders more. If we eliminate ALL breeders, this would fix the shelter problem. But where would any companion animal come from? They simply wouldn't exist.
So this journey has been quite an emotional roller-coaster. We've had to earn our place (and still have a way to go). We respect those breeders who have been breeding and showing for years, decades even. I hope to learn as much as I can from those who are generous enough to share their time and knowledge.
We have several cats now who have budding show careers. I have a few people on my side helping me along. We're not in it for the ribbons, we'd just like some experience and instruction on breed standard & type. Additionally, we hope it helps to build some trust and respect from others to know that we are putting health and type first.
Kuro, our companion boy, was the first to be shown around the end of 2019, and this was for experience only. Companions are judged on temperament, grooming, coat colour. It's a bit of fun and really helped us 'ease' into the process.
Transparency and honesty is the BIGGEST thing for us. We are strong believers that we've all made mistakes, but our true character is shown with how we pick ourselves back up and learn from those mistakes. Actions are always louder than words.
Let me tell you about some of our past experiences which have shaped our mindset about remaining ethical breeders:
Several years ago, during a chaotic and toxic relationship, my ex-partner told me we couldn't keep my 2 beloved pet cats (which were there long before him). I was devastated and unwell (to the point of needing multiple hospitalisations over a long period of time). They did eventually get rehomed. But I will never get rid of that empty place in my heart from losing them. I failed them, and I never want to do that again.
Another memory... when I was a child, we had this gorgeous red long hair domestic cat. I named Tim-Tam (after the biscuits of course!) and he was a free-roaming cat, as many were back in the 1990's. Sometimes, we wouldn't see him for days, and then finally he disappeared altogether. I was absolutely heartbroken.
Another cat was baited, and yet another hit by a car. Several friends have had animals who've had snake bites. One didn't survive.
I promised myself that I would never have free-roaming cats again. This protects them from danger, but also protects wildlife too.
A few years later I fostered some other cats through a rescue organisation. Some had kittens in my care. I loved this so much. It was truly rewarding! They stayed with me until they found their furrrever homes through a pop-up adoption day organised by the rescue. I was so happy for them.
Breeding and rescuing are two concepts that many believe cannot co-exist. Many rescue organisations do not tolerate breeders. A lot of hate and resentment is thrown around unfortunately. The see us as the 'enemy'. They hold the view that breeders are contributing to the increasing numbers in shelters, and for every cat that is bought, this leaves one behind in a shelter.
I disagree, the adopt-don't-shop movement is dangerously misplaced. It paints all breeders under the same brush, when this is not true.
Instead, we need to move toward the concept of #adoptORshopResponsibly.
At the start of this journey, we didn't have much success locally (within Australia). In fact we were met with some outright hostility. When you're trying to break into a breed, you're kind of damned if you do and damned if you don't. Other breeders don't trust you because you've never bred anything before. Or if you have, they don't trust you because they think you're competition. Gatekeeping. It's bullshit. I'll always remember this when it comes to mentoring someone else in the future.
So we decided to look overseas to import our first cats. This involved a lot of risk (and panic attacks!) and unfortunately, like most breeders, we've lost a lot emotionally and financially.
This heartache does not come without joy though! As a result we've also gained some truly valuable experiences and friends. We're grateful for our mistakes. We have grown, in leaps and bounds. Most importantly, we're happy.
We handpicked our imports, and they were the best cats available to us at the time, with the knowledge we had (which was very little). In hindsight, many of our choices would have gone differently. But we did things the best we knew how... and we've learnt from it!
We will eventually work with new breeders. However over time, we've developed high standards (as a result of our own mistakes). We will expect any new breeders approaching us for mentorship or advice, to respect our choices and standards, and to uphold this level alongside us.
We'll never turn anyone away. We'll never be hostile. But we will call someone out if we think something's sketchy. Basically, we'll be honest with you.
This is our beloved Kuro. The one that started this whole thought process.
Mental Health Awareness
Something I'd personally like to touch on... I think it is something a lot of people can relate to. I've suffered for many years with mental health issues. I'm a big advocate for talking about it and being open, because at one point I almost died when I felt like couldn't speak out or ask for help. I don't want anyone else to have to feel alone or isolated.
I have major depressive disorder, social and generalised anxiety disorder, complex-post traumatic stress disorder, and at times of high stress I also get auditory hallucinations. All of these issues were complicated by severe post-natal depression when my son was born (requiring months of hospitalisation, medications, and electroconvulsive therapy). Things got so bad that I attempted to take my own life in 2012 and I was in a coma for 40 hours in ICU on life-support.
The one constant in my life has been my animals and their unconditional love.
Five years ago, I would have never thought we could achieve this dream. I have a long and complicated history filled with heartache, trauma, and things I'd rather not remember. All of our animals are so important to my recovery.
My inbox is always open if you'd like to reach out. I never want anyone else to feel as dark and lonely as I did.
I'm (Rosie) an ex-industrial paramedic. Previously I used to work FIFO onshore oil and gas rigs in remote South Australia, Northern Territory and Queensland. Recently, I made the huge decision to return to full time study at The Uni of Adelaide to begin a Bachelor of Veterinary Technology at Roseworthy Campus. I have a whole new set of patients now!
Paul is my partner, and whilst he doesn't appear so much publicly on this page or social media, he is just as invested! Paul is my rock. He works steadfastly in the background to make sure our home runs like clockwork. He used to work FIFO in similar circles to where I worked. However, after a major medical event early 2022, he's now working locally. He gives 150% to our crazy human & animal family.
Spencer is my son. He is almost 12 years old and loves animals, reading, Pokemon, playing pool, and riding his bike. He lives with us some of the time, and the rest of the time, he lives with his dad. Spence is really valuable to our breeding program. He is the one that helps with handling and socialising the babies. He is there from day-one and making sure that they're comfortable around little-ish humans.
We have a dog, Ziggy. He's a supermutt. He's been brought up around our cats (and snake) since he was 9 weeks old. Ziggy is also a bit extra-special, as he is training to become my PTSD Assistance Dog. Ziggy had a sister called Asher, she was his littermate. Unfortunately we lost her in late 2020. She's now running free up on the rainbow bridge.
And last but not least, there's Kuro. He is our rescue Maine Coon x Ragdoll (as a result of unethical breeding). I think he carries the best of both breeds. He is extremely affectionate and laid back. Nothing phases him, whether it's dogs, other cats, car rides, vet visits, or even walking down on the beach on his harness. In the past, I've fostered pregnant mama cats, and their babies have been born in our home. Kuro is the perfect foster daddy. He adores the babies, cleaning and playing with them... and even allowing them to "suckle" him sometimes.
We live in South Australia. Our home looks out onto a reserve with kangaroos and wild rabbits, and is only 1km from the best beach in SA.
Please feel free to contact us anytime here, or on social media using the icon on the menu.
Thank you for supporting us and our crazy crew!
Rosie, Paul & Spencer ♡