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A Fifteen Year Wait

marlene

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I remember the first time I met a Sphynx like it was yesterday.

It was the summer of 1988. I was visiting New York City and a friend invited me to a TICA show that weekend. I was breeding and showing Maine Coons in CFA and jumped at the chance of seeing the famous TICA Maine Coons.

My friend and I were walking down the aisles when I suddenly saw a hairless cat sitting on his grooming stand. I was mesmerized. It was a Spynx, a real live one! I had heard of them and even seen a few pictures but that was all. Sphynx weren't even Miscellaneous or Provisional in CFA much less a recognized breed.

This little cream and white boy was sitting there, regal as if he was holding court. He had quite a crowd around him too. His body was relaxed yet his eyes were alert and piercing, not missing a thing. Words can't describe it, but he had "presence" and was working the crowd; he radiated "character." I remember giggling to myself and wondering how long it would take him to get bored and yawn. He never did.

I hung around and eventually got to speak with his human, a lovely lady whose name I never learned. She invited me to cleanse my hands so I could touch him. I remember that feeling, the warm living suede with eyes that looked into mine, entrancing me. I was hooked. But I was happy with my Maine Coons and didn't have room for a Sphynx, plus my husband said he would never let an ugly hairless cat into the house; but I knew that someday, somehow, I would have one of my very own.

Health issues and my changing career needs brought an end to my Maine Coon breeding in the mid '90s. The years passed and I got rid of the husband too (which sounds mean but was a good thing for both of us).

By 2003 I had only two Maine Coons left; Weanus, who was 19 and Tigger, 14. Weanus had always been independent and didn't want much more out of life than laying on the kitty condo watching birds, but Tigger was very social and required constant human/kitty interaction. I started worrying about what would happen to Tigger if he lost his buddy. I worked three 12-hour shifts each week and knew he'd be miserable if left alone for such long periods.

I was speaking to my mother about this and she said "Why don't you get one of those hairless cats you've always wanted? Weanus won't be around much longer and Tigger needs more than just you." I was stunned for a moment. I didn't have a house full of cats anymore and would be able to pay proper attention to a Sphynx. I didn't have a husband to tell me no. I owned my home and made enough money to afford one. Why hadn't I thought of these things sooner?!

So the quest was on. Tigger and I were going to have a new hairless friend. All I had to do was find the right one. Which was easier said than done. I wanted a breeder within feasible driving distance who would let me visit the cattery and who would have kittens available fairly soon, because I wanted the new baby to be integrated into the family before I lost Weanus, who was starting to show the effects of his age. This was easier said than done. Two months later I had the feeling that I was looking for a needle in a haystack.

And at work one night I was talking to a co-worker about it and she told me that her nephew's wife bred Sphynx - and that she lived only three blocks away! A phone call later and the visit was arranged.

She took me into the kitten room, a spacious airey room with lots of toys and stuffed furniture. She had two litters in there and the kittens seemed to be so happy and healthy and started crawling on me the moment I sat down. There was a little butterball of a dilute calico who fixed her eyes on mine and dug her claws into me, refusing to be removed. She was "the one."

But no, she wasn't. She was eleven weeks old and a couple from Cleveland OH had a deposit on her. I was heartbroken but swallowed my disappointment. Then she took me to her bedroom and showed me a young litter (3 weeks old) and I chose a beautiful little black and white boy and went home to wait for him. I named him Ren, short for Renaissance, for he was going to be the rebirth of a new life for Tigger and me.

Two weeks later I got the phone call. My little black and white boy had died. The breeder invited me to come look at the kittens again and choose another one. It was with some trepidation that I agreed; I was really starting to feel that there just wasn't a kitten in the world meant for me and Tigger.

When I arrived the breeder was smiling when she opened the door. The Cleveland couple had decided against getting the dilute calico and she was now available. Her name is Pedda and I made one of her baby pictures into my avatar.

Pedda and Tigger bonded immediately. He was ecstatic because he had a kitty friend who always wanted to lay with him. And what a perfect combination, the hairy old Maine Coon and the little hairless one who loved his warmth! Pedda split her time between Tigger and her new human and we were all happy, including Weanus who wasn't bothered by the new girl since she had two others available to fulfill her.

I lost Weanus that year, two weeks before Christmas and his twentieth birthday. But then I started worrying again. Tigger was 14 and what would happen to Pedda if he got sick? She was so loving that I knew she'd be miserable alone.

I called Pedda's breeder and she had a black and white boy available. He was over 4 months old but no one had bought him, she said no one had wanted him. I went to see him and he was such a long lean baby, all legs and ears with a body that stretched on forever, very "oriental" type. But he had the biggest green eyes that had ever looked into mine. I bought him on the spot.

On the drive home I was trying to think of a name for him. And every time I spoke to him he meow'd back and it sounded like he was saying "Ren." He was smarter than I was, that's for sure! So that's how Little Ren - my forever boy- came into my life.

We lost Tigger in 2006. That great killer of cats, kidneys, finally took its toll. And Pedda, Little Ren, and me were blessed with more years of happiness and love.

And to cut this short now, it took me 15 years to find the loves of my life. My best friends. I've been so very blessed. I know that Sphynx are cats; but I've never really believed that. They're people in feline bodies.

And I'm so very happy to have stumbled across this forum.
 

MissMySphynxBoys

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What a wonderful story. Thanks for sharing. Just goes to show that it's never too late for true love.
 
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I have to say, you are a great story teller! It was such a wonderful story to read. Your little girl in your icon is gorgeous, no wonder you fell in love on the spot.

I own a maincoon too, she's not a purebred, but just as regal, large, and magnificant as they come....I love her so much! All in all, welcome to the site and I can not wait to hear and see more about your kitty family!
 
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Wow! Awesome intro!! Sometimes the longest waits are so worth it in the end! I'm glad you found your babies! Welcome to the Lair and can't wait to get to know you and your lil ones better!
 

admin

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Hello Marlene and welcome to Sphynxlair! Indeed a great story! Thanks for sharing! I hope you enjoy the site! Wow two big intros today! Thats wonderful!:ThumbsUp:
 
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That is such an awesome story! Congrats on finally getting them. Welcome to the Lair!
 

Gadzukz

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That is a wonderful story. You will find a great bunch of people here to share your love of Sphynx. Welcome to the lair.

on a side note, your Pedda looks like a grown up version of my Gummi, even her face markings are the same. Amazing:Surprise::Laugh:
 

Mews2much

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What a great story.
Sorry you lost the other cats.
I have a 18 year old cat with CRF and know how you felt.
I would love to see more pics of your sphynx.


 

lemmysmommy

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Hello and Welcome! That was a great story...I can't wait to see more pictures!!
 

susi794

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What a delightful love story! Welcome to our little community of crazy cat people!
 
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