|Old news (left just for history sake)|
|UPDATE: The kittens found a home! Thanks to everyone who contacted us!
|Greetings! This is the first update we have posted in quite a while! Due to circumstances beyond our control we had to slow waaaaaay down on breeding, but that is now behind us and we have resumed full operations. During our unfortunate lull Ariel did end up producing a litter in March 2011, but we did not have the time or energy to place them all. We currently have two male kittens, a Blue Mink and a Platinum Mink, who are roughly 9 months old. We want to find a good home for them, but we will only place them as a pair and will NOT break them up since they have spent so much of their lives together and are quite close. Accordingly, we are willing to place them for FREE, yes FREE, as opposed to our usual fee. If you are near Nashville, TN and can drive to pick them up then you would not pay so much as a dime! If you are further away and need the kittens shipped then you would only pay for the costs of shipping (which are admittedly fairly high) while the kittens themselves would still be free.
We would prefer that we place the cats with someone locally--within driving distance of Nashville, TN--and preference will be given to candidates who are close enough to pick them up, but if you really want them and are willing to pay for their shipping we are certainly open to that! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve them or for additional information.
Here are some recent photos of the pair, taken on December 25, 2011.
|Here is a full body shot of the Platinum Mink boy.|
|Here is a close headshot shot of the Platinum Mink boy.|
|Here is a close headshot shot of the Blue Mink boy.|
|Here is a full body shot of the Blue Mink boy.|
|We sincerely apologize for the recent lack of cute kitten picture updates. We have hundreds of new kitten pictures because we had one litter born February 14, (already all spoken for) and another born March 25--3 stout little boys--and we would love to share the best shots, ranging from spectacular action pics of ninja kittens flying through the air, to diabetes-inducing cute photos of wee toddlers cuddled with Mamacat and learning to swip at each other. |
Unfortunately, we recently found our best pictures have been repeatedly stolen; some of the worst offenders are large, for-profit web sites loaded with advertising. Various photo thieves have:
1. Removed our web site logo from our photos, then offered our photos for sale as their own work.
2. Used our best pictures to redirect people to their web site, instead of ours.
3. Committed fraud on people who thought they were buying one of our Tonkinese kittens, by putting our photos on their web site, then claiming the photos of one of our kittens was the kitten they would receive. The list goes on...We now know more about copyright law and DMCA takedown letters than we ever wanted to. The stress and hassle to get some of these people to stop using our photos for profit has been immense. We are fine with "fair use"; some photos have been used as forum avatar icons, and a few cute photos have been posted on non-profit, no-ads sites. But it's unfair and upsetting that much larger web sites have stolen our photos to profit from them, whether it's selling them outright, or stealing web site visitors; we have some photos highly ranked in Google searches, but when people click on the photo, they wind up at a web site crammed with spammy ads instead of our web site.
In short, to fully protect our rights, we can't "publish"--put any kitten pictures up on our web site--until they are FIRST officially registered with the U.S. copyright office. Previously, we had just registered the copyrights once per year. We survive on a very low fixed income, and it costs around $95.00 to register a batch of photos with fees and deposit mailings. We still haven't resorted to advertising--many web ads annoy us too--but we are finally putting up a Paypal button to ask for help. If we receive at least $95.00 in donations, we promise to post at least 150 new kitten pictures within two weeks of reaching that goal! It is embarrassing to ask for help like this, but I'm afraid our web site will be pretty boring until we can scrape the copyright fees together. Also, if donations happen to exceed the goal, ALL will be spent on the Tonks! Their scratching posts are in serious need of new carpet :)...
UPDATE 09/07/2011: Donation of $10.00 from Karen Z. THANKS KAREN!
UPDATE 04/27/2011: Donation of $25.00 from Jeff Kest. THANKS JEFF!
|Happy New Year! Earlier this year we suffered a total hard drive crash that took several years worth of our cat photos, videos, web site layouts and emails, and it has taken us quite a while to get back up to speed. Anyone who contacted us prior to December of 2010 and asked to be placed on our waiting list should contact us again just to make sure we have record of you (or make record of you if we lost you). Now that we are functionally operational again we should be able to resume regular posting.
While this is unfortunately several days too late for Xmas 2010 these pictures are just too cute not to post, so here you go!
"You HAVE to know... I mean, srsly... you MUST know... I will kill you in your sleep for this indignity."
Tucket dreams of sugarplum faeries. Mostly how crunchy and tasty they would be.
|My experimentation with formatting video for Youtube is largely complete, and this is the first video clip! Just some random shots of babies and mother, set to appropriate music.|
|The latest batch of kittens are doing great. We have started them on KMR supplements, so they can grow to be the big, strong moosecats we like to breed. It is fun to watch them figure out how to use the feeder, how to drink directly from the bowl, and to watch Grandma Tucket wash their faces not because the kittens need cleaning but because Tucket likes KMR too!|
|We decided to shove the kittens into coffee and tea cups, mostly just because we can, so here is a smattering of the set.
The first 3 shots are just typical cuteness, but when I saw the last shot I was struck by the resemblence between the kitten and Yoda, so before I could stop myself I edited the image to properly reflect a Yodaesque hue. If this were a LOLCat image I might be tempted to caption it "Strong in the force, Yodakitteh is!".
|Ariel, our Platinum breeding female, gave birth to a litter of 5 healthy kittens on August 11th!
There are 3 girls and two boys; 1 Blue mink male, 1 Blue mink Female, 1 male point either Platinum or Blue, and 2 female points either Platinum or Blue (can't tell yet).
The top photograph shows a very tiny 1 week old baby encountering its 18 week old sibling. Next, we recruit the 18-week-old kitten from the previous litter to supervise. Next, a baby cooperates with teacup poses for a moment because it is too tired to fight. Lastly, Ariel is pinned and all 5 babies hook up to the taps.
|We were able to sucessfully place all of Tucket's last litter. Here is a photo of Apollo, the last of the litter and scheduled to leave next Saturday. When they stay with you for 18+ weeks you get attached.|
|Once again I must apologize that Deborah and I once again let the site updates slide. We have been extraordinarily busy in our personal lives and we have not had the time to devote to site updates as much as we would have liked.
Our top female, Tucket, had a litter of 3 kittens on April 12th! We got two Blue boys and one Platinum girl, and they are doing exceptionally well. They potty trained faster than any litter we have ever had, bascially in one afternoon! They are about 14 weeks old so they are of course eating dry food, have received vaccinations, etc. They are growing kitties that are ready to go.
And therein lies a problem. We usually keep a wating list of 15-20 names, and this time EVERYONE had to decline taking a kitten at this time! Problems ranged from deaths in the family to sudden illness to moving cross-country to good old-fashioned "I'm broke". So we are in the utterly unprecedented situation of having a litter of kittens and no homes for them. We will of course keep the kittens as long as it takes to place them, but if you are reading this and want a kitten NOW, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we'll do our best to hook you up!
The first two shots were taken around 2-3 weeks, and the last three shots were taken a few days ago.
|I'm sorry that Deborah and I once again let the site updates slide, but as most of you might infer we did find homes for the last litter quite some time ago. The two Blues went off together to live across town here in Nashville, the Platinum male went to a couple in Pigeon Forge, and the Platinum girl went to the San Franscisco area of California. We are currently in the planning stages for the next litter, which may be as soon as mid-April.
In response to all of the emails we have received over the years complimenting us on our wonderful cat photos we have decided to start selling them. I have a professional photography business (Don Stratton Photography) where I already have a system for displaying and selling photo prints so it seemed logical to tie it in here. I have set up a gallery of images called "Tonkinese pictures" that anyone can access and order prints in a large variety of sizes and price ranges. As time goes on we will add more of our better photos, as well as let future owners order prints of their kitten(s) when they were newborn babes.
Here is one of the first 14 photos that are ready to order, a teeny-tiny little Platinum baby letting the world know it is here. If you see a picture on this site that you would like to purchase then drop us an email and we'll do our best to accomodate your request!
|You know the hardest part of my job on this site, besides coding and photography? Trying to come up with clever banter to accompany the pictures we want to post.
Deborah has not been feeling well, I have not been feeling well, but the kittens are absolutely adorable and virtually demanding to have cute pictures taken of themselves and posted to our site. They are at the perfect age where they eat dry food, drink from a bowl of water, use the litter box, and are still agonizingly cute animated balls of hellion-fluff that love to sleep with us, paw through our hair, run up my jeans, etc. So, since I had to take some close-ups today for a lady that needed to see their eye color I thought I would go ahead and share them with the rest of you. These are not, by any possible reckoning, some of our best photography work. The poses for two of them consisted of sneaking up on them while they were resting quietly and "PSSSTT!"ing in their face until their eyes were open, and the other two just got picked up in one hand and shot with the camera in the other hand close to a nearby window with BARELY adequate light.
And yet, they are still squee-inducingly cute. That just how they roll, yo.
|For those who follow the site frequently, hoping that we will post more pictures of the current litter and waiting for your turn to come on our waiting list, you may be closer than you think. This litter we have had a record number of last-minute cancellations, due primarily to the harsh economy. Some people got on our list almost two years ago when times were rosier, and since then they have found they cannot easily afford one of our kittens for one reason or another, so they have regretfully had to back out. This means that those of you who contacted us in recent months and were told that you would probably have to wait several months may find you are father up the list than either of us dreamed of. For those of you who have not contacted us because you assumed you stood no chance of getting a kitten anytime soon, you might want to reconsider and ask to be included on the waiting list. You never know!
Once again the pic of the day includes Tucket, who lately seems to always be cuddled with a photogenic baby. Her grandma genes seem to have kicked in to high gear recently; she was always doting and attentive, but in the last few days she has spent almost all her free time sleeping with the babies. Ariel certainly appreciates the babysitter, and the babies appreciate having constant attention... they are never more than a few seconds from having one or both mothers tending to their every need. Yet another reason why we have the sweetest, most social, best adjusted kittens of any breeder you will EVER encounter. :)
I am in the middle of a massive site redesign. This site has been more or less the same for the last few years, and times have changed to the point that it no longer meets all of our needs, so I am working on implementing a new content management system that will allow for all sorts of cool features which will enable our visitors to engage with us better. We will have a comment system, so that you can leave messages in reponse to our news postings. We will support RSS feeds, so that you can receive notification that we have posted a new piece of news, article, picture or whatever. The new system will also make it a jillion times easier for Deborah to post on her own and without needing to funnel everything through me (yes, I admit it, I am sometimes the bottleneck). We intend to start offering merchandise, primarily in the form of photo prints of our best images. One of the most profound changes, for me personally, is that we will start running small banner and text ads along with our news and articles; I resisted this for years on high moral grounds, but it seems I am just an old Luddite and I really need to get with the modern times, as I have read articles and studies that indicate most web users do not have a problem with inoffensive and unobtrusive advertising since it is now the norm everywhere. So, keep an eye out for this site to undergo a major facelift sometime before the end of the year.
Today's "awwwww" moment is of Tucket and three of the kittens all cuddled together, sleeping (and shedding hair) on a pile of clean laundry fresh out of the dryer. There is no greater cat magnet than warm linen. :)
|This afternoon all the cats and kittens were curled up together, napping, and I managed to get this shot of a Platinum baby watching me sneak up on them to capture the cuteness. As you can see my sneaking leaves something to be desired, as the baby caught me from quite a ways off and kept a lazy eye on me as I jockeyed around trying to find the best angle for some pictures. Clearly they are accustomed to me trying to sneak around while snapping photos because they rarely move, wake up or otherwise acknowledge my presence other than to lift an eyelid or two... and even then they usually get bored of hearing the shutter sound so they go right back to sleep. Would that all our lives were so simple and contented!|
Deborah and I have a very ambitious goal; to try posting updates to the site daily. Given our track record it isn't going to be easy, and we have already skipped a day here and there since we started the plan, but at least we are posting a great deal more than in the past. Part of the reason is that we appear to be at the top of the Google search results for various keywords related to Tonkinese cats, so we would like to improve our hit rate by actually having more content. The other part of the reason is we have been explicitly asked to post more often by people who have been visiting our site regularly. We'll try not to let you folks down, and thank you for the kind words (and motivation)!
This is a recent shot of Ariel taking over my bed and nursing the kittens. Notice that, mass-wise, they collectively are as big or bigger than their mother! KMR is like "kitty growth hormone"... it will pump [clap] you up!
And before any outraged pet lovers contact us, no, KMR does not contain growth hormones. Some of you may find the joke obvious, but others may not and I don't need any angry E-mails! ;)
|Once again I was taking pictures while the babies were gobbling KMR. This Platinum boy looked awfully cute nestled in some blankets, grooming himself in a contented way with a full belly, so I figured I'd post it. Enjoy.|
|Tonight I was snapping a few pix after the babies had their evening KMR, and this one really stood out due to the nice combination of blankets and piercing blue eyes. I am pretty sure this is the Blue mink boy, who stands a reasonably good chance at keeping his blue eyes for life, although probably not quite so vividly "the spice must flow" Fremen blue-in-blue like he (and all the babies) are born with. I wonder if the "M" in KMR is melange? ;)|
For the last couple of days we have started supplementing Ariel's milk with KMR, a milk supplement designed for kittens. We are often asked "Why do you do that? I had a cat that had kittens, and they turned out just fine on nothing but mothers milk!". The answer is simple. Of course we don't HAVE to do it... we do it because we are not interested in the kittens merely surviving, we want them to thrive! By giving them milk supplements we provide them with far more nutrition than one mother cat could possibly produce, and this is why our 8-week-old kittens look like 20-week-old horses to the casual observer! They don't get fat from it, they simply convert it into bone and muscle and overall mass. When our kittens leave the house they are not just ready to survive, they are ready to kick ass, take names and seek their fortune in the world! How does THAT compare with your scrawny twig-kittens you raised in ignorance when you were 7 years old? (hint: our kittens would pwn your kittens)
Here we see a slighty-over-4-week-old baby feeding from a 3ml syringe. This is the first step; introduce something like a nipple. In about a week they will grow impatient waiting for us to refill the syringe, and will start drinking directly from the bowl. BTW, don't worry about the baby's messy face... Tucket is just out of the shot, waiting patiently to clean each baby as we finish with it. Altruistic? Hell no. She loves to lick the milk off them because she loves KMR. :)
Deborah has been wanting to get more comfortable with my pro SLR, the camera responsible for most of the pictures we post, so today she is doing the shooting and I am doing the kitten wrangling! As a pro photographer I am somewhat psychotic about the quality of pictures we post here, but I think she did a very good job considering she has hardly even held my camera much less tried to use it before. The upside to her practicing with my gear is that there ought to be a lot more photos posted, something I know some of you reading this will be very appreciative for. Sorry for the glaringly mauve laundry basket in both shots, but this was a very impromptu photo shoot and we needed to block off their escape so I grabbed the first thing at hand.
In honor of Deborah's first go, we are posting TWO of her pictures instead of my customary ONE. The first one shows what a 4 week old kitten thinks of kisses (and yes, it left a mark), and the second one was taken 0.001 seconds after I unleashed all of them at once... you have to shoot quick because they don't stick around long, and with 4 of them you can bet they will all go different directions at once, thereby ruining any chance at getting another decent group photo. Staged? Yes. Mindnumbingly cute? Oh yes.
One tiny bit of web site news: I moved all of the posts dating up to late 2008 on to the "old news" page. Every so often I have to do this so that we don't have a ridiculous number of pictures on this page, which slows down the loading times. Regular visitors need not worry; if we post something it will never be taken down, just moved.
|Here is a blue mink baby very happily taking a nap on my shoulder. He decided to groom me first, licking me for at least five minutes with his tiny tongue (apparently, I am quite tasty) and then curled up and fell fast asleep. He slept through all the camera clicking and flash (kittens usually prefer to thwart picture taking by instantly waking up from cute sleeping poses at the first click) and in fact, didn't budge until my bladder was threatening to explode, and I was forced to get up and gently put him with his mother. He still mewed such a plaintive protest that I felt horribly guilty--but I had no other options, especially since maintaining my position and losing bladder control would have been very unfair to the other cat nestled in my lap. ;)|
|Maaaaan, baby kittens are too much fun! Absolutely the best part about raising kittens is that we get to play with them for 2-3 months before they go out into the world to seek their fortune. The babies will be 3 weeks old as of tomorrow, and they finally know how to use their eyes and ears to build up a picture of their environment. They toddle rather steadily, and even show early signs of hopping. We noticed a couple of days ago that they know how to play with each other, which is currently limited to casual swatting and gentle chewing but will soon escalate to fierce paddle-battles and screams of anger when a sibling chomps too hard. Actually, paddle-battles is one of the first thing a kitten learns and begins at roughly 3 days old... how else you gonna defend your assigned nipple against incursion?|
Here is the first "awwwwwww" picture of the most recent litter. Ariel stayed in the carefully constructed "baby birfin' box" for all of two days before deciding that she needed to move them around to throw off any potential roaming packs of dingos, and then she spent about two days in the painstakingly excavated and luxuriously appointed area underneath a dresser in our living room, and then spent about two days halfway across the room in the relocated and re-appointed birfin' box, before finally deciding she would just shove them all BEHIND the birfin' box. Well, we learned a very long time ago that it is best to simply accommodate the mother and trim out the area with sheets and blankets rather than force her to go where she doesn't want to go... because quite frankly her will is far stronger than ours.
Here are all four babies, two boys and two girls. I was walking past them when I saw the way she was cuddling the one under her arm, and I grabbed the camera as fast (and quietly) as I could to get this fairly cute family scene. Now that they are 2 weeks old we will start playing with them more, and the quality of my compositions will improve dramatically, so keep an eye peeled for updates in the next few days.
Ariel has done it again! Last night she delivered a litter of extremely healthy (read: giant) kittens, and they are all doing fantastically. It just keeps getting easier and easier for her, and this litter slid out like she had Teflon innards! She delivered in the "birthing box" we set up for her, but thanks to Tucket urping in the box this morning Ariel decided she needed to move the babies under a nearby dresser until we could prepare her usual, more long-term home; we remove a drawer from the bottom of an antique dresser which has no bottom, and we line the area with sheets. It will take the babies about 3-4 weeks before they start to toddle out, but when they do she stops trying to hide them and just lets them go where they will.
Here is one of the first "out of the chute", still very pink and very wet.
|Even though the Rundle-Bundle invented driving the shoe on his own and made many a fine excursion in his choice of shoecar, when Don was finally ready to get around to take some good pix, he wasn't really in the mood, so in the interests of total honesty, this picture was staged, and took about 20 shots to get a couple good ones. Oh well. I think all of the other pictures on this site are true action kitten candids.|
|Here are some pictures of Ariel's babies. They are sturdy, healthy kittens, and now that weaning has begun they are drinking huge amounts of the special kitten milk. The blue Teddy kitten in particular is a little elephant--he is growing so quickly that he looks at least a couple weeks older than he actually is. Here we see three little kittens waking up from a nap. Two blue mink boys and one platinum girl (point or mink, too early to tell which yet).|
|Little platinum girl plays peek-a-boo.|
|Contented mother Ariel lounges with her three little kittens.|
|The two blue boys curled up together. Look big Puffy Teddy is, especially compared to Rundle, who is only slightly runty at this point, but his enormous brother makes him look much smaller by comparison. The little girl is "average" size, and Runty is about as big as she is now.|
|Blue mink Puff Teddy with his platinum sister snuggled up to him. You can just see her part of her head, as he is lying on top of most of her.|
|The Rundle "driving" the shoe, and thinking about doing a drive-by swip at his sister. Rundle really enjoys playing in the shoe, and often sits up in it like he is driving a little car. He likes the extra height this perch gives him, especially for making kitten swip attacks at nearby siblings.|
|Ariel has bred again! GO ARIEL!|
Ariel delivered on November 16th, and we have 3 healthy and happy bibbins to share with the world! As mentioned (often) on this site we will keep them until they are about 10-12 weeks old, at which point even the smallest of them should be ready to make its way in the world. We believe we have homes lined up already, which is why you have to get on the waiting list ASAP if you ever want one of our wee ones.
Here is a shot of Ariel and two of the babies, taken a couple of days after they were born and basking in the glory of their heated box. All of them have opened their eyes as of today so I will post some excruciatingly cute shots of them peering at the world, trying to make sense of the blurry smudges, in the next few days.
|Just a quick note to say there is nothing going on, thus no site updates since the last litter. It looks suspiciously like Tucket has taken herself out of the game as she has not gone into heat enough for her to want to breed. Oh, she's had a couple heats, just really really mild. As soon as we put her together with Woz she basically wills herself out of heat! IF we get one more litter out of her that will be it and we will fix her as soon as the babies are gone, but it sure looks like we are not going to get another litter.|
That leaves Ariel as the sole breeding female. Ariel only makes Platinums and Blues, so those of you who want a Natural or Champagne probably should look elsewhere... sorry. It feels like the end of an era, and I guess for us it is.
Here is a shot of a dual-monitor computer setup I was building for some people I do a little IT consulting for. Given as those are dual 20" LCDs the resulting image is QUITE a bit larger than life. Niiiiiice. Yes, this is the same image of Ariel as is (currently) on the bottom of this page.
|Teddy, the last kitten still available from the current litter, has found a home! He was picked up this afternoon and shuttled a short 10 minute drive across town to his new home right here in Nashville. With that, we can officially call this litter over and done.|
Here is one of the last photos we took of him. Bye-bye, little man, we love you.
Update 06-02-2008 - Kitten placed
Much to our considerable surprise we have had a unusually high number of people on our kitten waiting list decide to pass on the current litter, for reasons ranging from sudden family emergencies to a previously unstated desire for a coat/color/pattern/gender combination that is not currently available. Out of the litter of 5 kittens we have a single Blue male that is not currently reserved, so this beautiful and friendly kitten is now available. We have nicknamed him "Teddy", because he looks like a cuddly little teddy bear (even more than his littermates do). We think he will grow up to look a LOT like his father, Woz, and already shows signs of being one of the most affectionate of all the kittens in this litter--which is saying a lot, given how very affectionate Tonks generally tend to be. He is very demonstrative, and seeks us out so he can snuggle in our laps and get his head skritched. He's often the first to greet me in the morning with tiny little peeps that say "hi, pick me up and love me now!".
He's had his first series of kitten shots and deworming, he is fully potty trained, eats both canned and dry food, and is ready to go to a loving home now. If interested, please email us at deborah(at)tonkinesekitten.com. We are located in Nashville, TN.
Sometimes a photo doesn't need a clever caption to set it up. I took this photo, showed it to Deborah on the camera, and she said "GO POST THAT TO THE FRONT PAGE NOW!! Enjoy the agonizingly cute babies... we sure as hell are.|
The kittens turned 4 weeks old today! Everyone is doing spectacularly well; this batch seems a bit more advanced for the age than the last couple of litters. They opened their eyes early, they started reacting to motion and sound early, they have almost perfected facial recognition, they trundle all over our bed (in anticipation of bolting across the room), they have learned to fight each other, they have a SHOCKING bite now and like to use it on your fingers, and they drink milk supplement from a syringe.|
This one is saying "I can has birfday cake with that milk?"
Ariel unleashed a litter of 5 wee demons on February 18th! We have 3 Blues and 2 Platinums, broken down as 4 boys and single Platinum girl. As of today they are about 3.5 weeks old and doing very well.
Before anyone even THINKS it, sorry... all 5 were spoken for well before the LAST litter was born. We typically have a waiting list backlog of 1.5 litters, but since we haven't been able to get Ariel and Tucket to breed at the same time we are a bit behind. As mentioned before we do not expect Tucket to breed more than one more time, so we will likely have an ever-increasing wait.
Here is one of the first "awwwww" shots from this litter; Ariel has pinned the baby under her arm. Poster reproductions available upon request at modest charge. ;)
The last of the current batch of kittens are gone, off to live new lives; one of the browns went to Chicago to become an office cat, and the other brown and the Platinum went off to Brooklyn to live a life of what I am sure will be spoiled decadence.|
We have not raised the price in years, even as other regional breeders price tags shot through the roof (really... $1500 for a cat? Are you other breeders insane?!?). During the same time our name and reputation have built up to the point that our kittens are reserved up to 3 litters in advance and demand has far outstripped supply. So, we are finally raising it (please contact us directly for the current price). We are still willing to discuss the possibility of discounting a second kitten that is going to the same home, so feel free to ask.
We have every reasonable expectation that we will breed again in about a month. That probably puts a new batch out around May 2008, not April as I mentioned below, but as usual that is not cast in stone and it is always possible the date could continue to slip. Hey, we breed when we breed, and that is just reason #487 why we are better than the typical breeder.
Here is the last picture of this crop of kittens; towards the front and left we see Tucket and Ariel, and towards the back and right we see three babies, getting in some last-minute quality time with the whole family before being shipped off to far destinations.
I forgot to mention it, but all the kittens from this litter are spoken for. Actually, they were spoken for many weeks ago... that's what our waiting list is for. We do not know when we will breed either Tucket or Ariel again, but even if it was tomorrow there would not be any babies ready to go until about April of 2008 so those of you who E-mail us asking for kittens now or in the near future are out of luck. Anyone who thinks they might want a kitten or two in Q2/08 are welcome to contact us and ask to be put on the waiting list. As of today there are probably a couple open spots left for the next litter, so hurry and get on the list!|
Oh, side note: for those who have not noticed it, the custom icon for our web site is a small image of Tucket. You have no idea how hard it is to get a 16x16 pixel image to be at all identifiable, but thanks to my mad Commodore 64 skills I was able to make something that at least Deborah can recognize as her beloved cat, and that is all that matters.
In keeping with the tradition of posting shots from the current litter regardless of the news topic here is a nice shot of one of the brown babies, who has discovered the joy of sleeping in the laundry basket.
Today I added a new section to the site, "Photos of our wayward babies", where I will be posting photos that are send in to us by the proud owners of kittens from past litters. Some of them look just like our cats, and some are strikingly different, which just goes to show that you cannot really tell how babies will turn out until they are a year or two old.|
The current litter is in full rampage mode, having long since been cut loose of the birthing box and left to destroy an entire room. Sure, litter training is hard on the carpet, but we buy cheap carpet for the kitten room and change it out every few years once steam cleaning stops doing the trick. ;) Here's a shot where they all have dinner together.
Everyone is doing great, and have evolved to the "photo op" stage of life, so I thought I would share a couple of the recent images. Yes, they ARE horribly cute. I suggest diabetics click away from this page NOW!|
They haven't made it to the stage where they toddle more than a couple of feet, and they still haven't figured out how to climb out of the "playpen" (a box with tall sides, padded with sheets and towels), but that will come soon enough and we will get tons more action shots to post.
In the top photo we see the blue girl and one of two brown girls, learning to chew each other up while nestled on a towel. In the bottom photo we see (from left to right) a brown girl, a blue girl, and a brown girl. The white boy's head can just be seen behind the rightmost brown baby... we'll get a better picture of him later.
KITTENS!! KITTENS!! KITTENS!!
Our eldest mother, Tucket, has delivered a new batch of kittens! They were born August 1st, and there are 4 in the litter, all healthy and stout as horses. By my informal calculations that means these babies will be ready to go mid-to-late October, depending on the kitten. Here is a highly staged photo-op of the babies, taken about 15 minutes ago by throwing out my favorite gray photo backdrop on the bed and piling wiggling kittens in the middle of it until Tucket lays down with them.
Tucket is about 8-9 years old, and we feel that this is likely going to be the last litter we ask of her... and this spells the eventual END of us breeding Tonks! We have only one other female who can breed (Ariel) so this means we will be producing half as many kittens as we used to, and when Ariel is done we will STOP BREEDING TONKS!
If you or anyone you know ever thought about getting a Tonk, I'd seriously consider doing it now. Tucket has the best genetics we have ever seen in a breeding female, and her like will not be readily seen again.
Deborah found some old prints we have of Woz (our breeding male) retrieving a bone, so we scanned and cleaned up the best one and stuck it on the last page next to the section where we talk about the amazing tricks they can perform. Since it is so damn cute I figured I would also gratuitously show it here as well. :)
Yes, he really is fetching a bone. It is a small spare rib bone, and we can toss it and have him bring it right back and deposit it at our feel like the wee doggie he is. Once, just to see how far I could push it, I got him to bring it back 39 times. 39 times! He got bored for about the last dozen, but he dutifully did his job until he got so sick of it he just laid down on it.
Just another example of how kewl Tonks are. Try getting your average muttcat to do that!
Despite our local paper, The Tennessean, screwing up our E-mail address people were still able to track us down (hopefully the correction the following week helped too) and we placed the last two kittens (shown at right) last night. They went as a pair, my preferred way and an absolute requirement in this case as their new home did not have any other pets to play with. The new owners let us know that they are settling in very well and credit our fine job of hand-raising them.
Bye bye, wee ones! The last ones to leave the litter break our hearts the most.
Our local paper, The Tennessean, managed to screw up the ONLY important piece of information in our classified ad! The ONLY thing we needed them to get right was our E-mail address, so instead of "tonkinesekitten.com" (singular) they listed it as "tonkinesekittens.com (plural). We were pretty damn clear on this point, as it is a common screw-up, and they still fscked it all up. I am still fairly livid right now, and this is likely the last time we ever run an ad in that useless rag.
We prefer to be contacted via E-mail, so instead of a phone number we included our E-mail address. Very fortunately for us it turns out that tonkinesekittens.com (plural) is no longer an active domain, so fortunately all the people who MEANT to send E-mail to us will have it "bounce" back, and hopefully that will give them the hint they need to find us, either via Google or calling the damn Tennessean. For those of you who DID manage to find us, WELCOME! :)
As you can see from the picture to the right, when I am angry the whole clan is angry. ;)
The first baby is gone! In the pictures below, it is the kitten on the left in each shot (nice coincidence), the Platinum boy. He was spirited off to his new home in Indiana by his new owners, who yesterday drove the nearly 5 hours down to pick him up and turned right around and drove the 5 hours back! Here is one of the last shots we got of him, sleeping with the Blue boy.
So, the ones left are the Blue girl and boy. In the photos below the boy is in the water case, and the girl is to the right of the pendulum toy. With only two of them I should be able to get some group photos soon.
Wow, the world must be coming to an end... we've updated the web site twice in one week after years of neglect! ;)
It's funny what a few days will do to your perspective. We now think one of the previously-assumed Blues is really a Platinum in disguise! It has stayed remarkably pale, while its bluer brethren have continued to darken down. It's still awfully hard to tell, but in the pictures here he is the one on top of the water, and to the right (far side) of the pendulum toy. In the water image the other kitten is the mink male, and in the pendulum photos the other baby is the solid female. They are Blue for sure... um, probably. ;)
We have been rather busy the last year and a half, and this left no time or opportunity to breed our cats. Well, that all changed around December of 2006 so we decided to go ahead and breed a litter with our newest mother, Ariel (seen at right, just days before delivering, about ready to explode!), who we also raised from an earlier litter. Ariel delivered three babies on February 14th... yep, Valentine's Day! They are all Blue; a boy and girl are solid and the other boy is mink.
I want to address the 3 most common questions we get:
-We are in Nashville, TN. That is mentioned elsewhere but it is the #1 question we get ("I want a kitten! Where are you?") so I thought it was worth saying again
-We breed quite sporadically, so as of today I have ABSOLUTELY NO IDEA when we will breed again. Remember, this is not a business for us, this is just for fun. We sell kittens when we have them, and we don't work on anyone's schedule but the whims of the breeding adults.
-We have shipped kittens via same-day commercial airline service (maximum was a 4 hour flight, 8 hours from my door to a door in Colorado!), and while not cheap (~$200) it sure is effective. Our kittens have also taken 8 hour car trips, should you live as close as say Chicago and wish to pop down here to pick them up.
We found the blue baby a home! Actually, we found her at least four really good homes, but she is just one kitten and we finally made a decision. The extra weeks of attention from Deborah and I and the extra interaction with her mother and sister helped dramatically rehabilitate her and she is not nearly as skittish. Now she craws under the blankets with us, purrs like mad, and only occassionally looks spooked. ;)
Here she is at the Nashville airport saying goodbye from within her new cat carrier. Her new owner flew in from Denver at 2PM, got the kitten and the health records, and caught a flight out at 5:30PM... talk about same day service (but Oy, the cost!). I compulsively tracked the flight online until it was down (what can I say? I loved her a lot and the internet is our friend).
We still have ONE kitten left, but this one is special for two reasons; this kitten needs a particular kind of home environment, and when we find a good home for her we will be GIVING HER AWAY FOR FREE.
This kitten is unusually skittish for a Tonkinese. She doesn't like sudden movement or loud noises, and if you scare her she will run into the next room for a moment while things calm down. She is VERY healthy, there is not a damn thing wrong with her except her skittishness. She is loving, and will happily climb into your lap and sit for hours or crawl under the blankets with you in bed. She loves little treats like bits of steak or fish or cheese and will take them from your hand. She loooooooooves plastic straws as her primary toy, with plastic milk rings as a close second. She also likes human-powered toys like "Da Bird" or even a piece of string, so it isn't like she fears people. I cannot explain it. She is just... skittish.
I want only ONE thing for this kitten; a perfect home. Is that so much to ask? ;) Seriously, kittens from this litter sold for $500 each. This is not remotely about money. This is about finding her the PERFECT home. I believe she needs a quiet, stable home... and by that I generally mean I do not believe she should be around most children. Very few children have the personality or mindset that would keep them calm and composed when in the presence of the kitten, and the first time some kids go running through a room screaming in their banshee pack fashion this poor baby will go shooting under the nearest cupboard, dresser, bed, couch, etc. I believe this kitten deserves a "sedate and measured" home like an elderly person/couple, though I may be overstating it a bit since most adult homes would fit the bill.
If you would like to be considered for adopting this kitten FOR FREE please drop us an E-mail (deborah_at_tonkinesekitten_dot_com) and please let me know why you think you would provide a good home for this baby. More pictures are available, but I love this one so I thought I'd post it first. I will add more as soon as I can
All the kittens are born; one litter from Tucket and one litter 3 weeks later by Pyewacket. We had planned to take a great deal of pictures and video, and do massive updates and upgrades to the web site, but harsh realities of life made that very difficult. Until quite recently I was working 14-18 hour days at work preparing for the release of a new product I am in charge of, and Deborah got a nasty cold at least once and a fairly nasty flu, both of which slowed her way down for a while.
As of today we are down to only FOUR kittens, and that counts BOTH litters! Response as usual has been frantic, and our waiting list has gotten to the size of a rural phone book. Out of the four remaining kittens there may be as little as ONE actually available, the other three having been partially or entirely spoken for. To know a Tonk is to want one...
In what is sure to be an annoying blow to those of you who thought you WERE on our waiting list... well... uh... we may have lost the master list!
While reviewing some recent pictures of the kittens I found this one, which I call "Escher's Kittens" as an ode to MC Escher and the observation that these three kittens each appear to have a different "down".
New kittens born on June 1, 2005. First batch outta the gate! Tucket delivered _FIVE_ healthy babies at 3:00 a.m. They are all in great shape. We did snap a few early photos once Tucket got them all cleaned and dry, and will be posting them soon.
We have two mother cats that we only breed about once a year. In 2003, one litter of kittens was born on April 8, 2003 and the other was born on April 21, 2003. The babies are not actually be ready to leave their mothers until they are 11-12 weeks old; but but starting around 8 weeks they are old enough to be played with and shown to people, who can reserve their favorite and pick them up when they are ready.
In 2003 there were nine kittens total; eight boys and only one girl! That has never happened before; it's always been about half and half males and females.
ALL OUR KITTENS HAVE NEW LOVING HOMES FOR 2003. Thank you for coming by, and let us know if you would like a spot on our waiting list for 2004.
Pyewacket had 5 kittens on April 8, 2003. They were:
1 Blue Mink Female (ADOPTED)
1 Platinum Mink Male (ADOPTED)
1 Champagne Mink Male (ADOPTED)
1 Champagne Point Male (ADOPTED)
1 Natural Point Male (ADOPTED)
Tucket had 4 kittens on April 21, 2003. They were:
1 Platinum Mink Male (ADOPTED)
1 Natural Point Male (ADOPTED)
1 Natural Point Male (ADOPTED)
1 Champagne Point Male (ADOPTED)