The Power of Choice

Winter Kot Siberians Queen Enya Thea

Let me tell you a few stories about the power of choice; specifically the choice between adoption and a pet breeder. I remember going to pick out a kitten as a child. There were three ginger males in the litter and I was very excited. I chose the ginger tiger kitten, and as I put that kitten in my box to go home, he cried out for his brother. So, I reached in and added his brother to my box. When I was walking away, the one kitten that was left cried out for his brothers. I went back for him, added him to my box, and started home. Those three kittens were amazing. I named them Larry, Moe, and Curly after the Three Stooges. We had a lot of fun together over the next several years. We had another adopted cat that had extra toes on both of his front paws (not common back then). My Dad named him Johnny Bench after the catcher for the Cincinnati Reds. He loved to play catch (of course) and was a great cat!

One day, my Mom said that we were going to look at a puppy in the city. We had just moved out to a big house in the country with a lot of land. We drove to the city and pulled into the driveway to see the puppy. My father got out of the car and went up to a high wooden fence. A huge St. Bernard immediately stood up on his hind legs, facing my father, and put his front legs on my father's shoulders over the fence. They were face to face! I was terrified and ran back to hide in the car. My father is a big man and this "puppy" was just as big. No wonder he needed to get out of the city. The ride home was scary with the huge dog in the car, but he was very sweet. The dog's papers said that he had about eight different parts to his name, but we called him a shortened version of one of them, Hannibal, or Hanny. He was the best dog that we ever had. Adopted? Yes. Purebred? Definitely.

Over the years, I adopted more animals. Most of them worked out, but some did not. One of the dogs that we adopted systematically hunted and killed my registered, award-winning show rabbits, one by one, until we figured out that it was not a wild animal doing it. Then he escalated and started to hunt his people (us). Terrifying. Another time, a shelter neglected to tell me that the female dog that I just adopted hated men and boys, even though they knew I had a husband and two young sons. The dog immediately tried to attack my sons as soon as she set foot in our house. Truly awful. The adoptions stopped there. Now I only turn to cat breeders; where all of my fur babies' backgrounds and histories can be thoroughly checked in advance of even considering bringing them into my home.

I have had Siberian cats since 1997. During that time, many people have asked me to breed just a few kittens so that they can also have a Siberian cat. All of my cats are fixed except one, Queen Enya Thea. I have finally chosen to breed Queen Enya (just once a year) to one specific (healthy, sweet, well-adjusted) male Siberian that my close friend owns. My close friend has been a Siberian cat breeder for over 15 years. This is not a hasty decision. It has been years in the making. Yet, I am already getting the "adopt don't shop" comments and the "breeders are the cause of the shelter problems" arguments from people.

Queen Enya's kittens are loved. They are well-cared for. They are amazing. They are sweet. They are healthy. Do you know why? Because they are wanted. They are planned. They are anticipated. They are exciting. They are celebrated. They are forever family.

I won't criticize your choice to adopt. Please don't criticize our choice not to. Thank you.