SAYONARA cattery is a small cattery in rural Helensville, just thirty minutes north of Auckland.
It all started in the mid 1960s when I walked past the Auckland Town Hall one Saturday afternoon and noticed the signs advertising a cat show. A cat show? Whoever heard of cats being shown? I just had to be curious and see this.
Being wildly allergic to longhair cats I skirted that area and headed for the shorthair section and was shocked beyond belief when I set eyes on my first live Siamese. It was love at first sight.
A couple of years later, newly married and with my own home I set out to buy one of those cats with the amazing blue eyes. It actually took several weeks to find somebody who had not presold their litter, so by the time I located a single available kitten I was only too pleased to hand over two weeks wages in exchange for him.
Panda Mahal was a big clear coated sealpoint with three generous kinks in his rather over long black tail and eyes so crossed it was a wonder he ever navigated a room safely, but he was mine. Next step was a friend for him. The breeders of my next purchase persuaded me that as an owner of a really classy sealpoint girl I should consider breeding.
This was the start of a rather convoluted love affair that in the early 1970s spread to include my venture into experimentally breeding Orientals. For a short eight years I also tried my hand at the Abyssinian breed but lapsed back into my first love of Siamese and their full coated relations, the Orientals.
As the years rolled on I have bred most colours and patterns of Siamese and Orientals, including even the bi-colours. Our family of cats contains a rainbow of colours and patterns but my current aim is to perfect the classic pattern in both cinnamon and shades of silver in my Oriental family.
Since the era of my youthful excursions into cat breeding, my life style has changed and when we took the gigantic step of moving to the country I experienced the freedom of space and the support of my new husband to try fresh fields.
For twenty years plus we bred Hereford cattle and back then started a flock of coloured sheep which have blossomed into an interesting flock of spotted Polwarths. More recently I managed to persuade Martyn that three chickens might be nice to produce fresh eggs. Slowly but surely our motley crew of various colours and configurations became a flock of Orpingtons with their own guardian Guinea fowl to protect their small progeny from the hawks.
Those chickens that have survived the tender ministrations of the new puppy, regularly produce fresh eggs for the locals, fertile eggs for small blockers and fluffy chickens for collectors.
They say that variety is the spice of life! So I think that I must have a very spicy life with all this variety and I would not change it for all the tea in China. … and I love tea.