A co-ownership nightmare in the world of showing cats.

“Do you have kittens for sale?” I asked, peering into the show cage where a red Somalis sprawled in good-natured comfort. “We’re looking for one we can show in premiership.”

The cat’s owner looked up and said that yes, she had a little ruddy male that she would consider placing. He was very pretty, but had some neck marks and leg bars. However, he might do well as a premier, the class for neutered cats.

When the woman quoted her price, however, Bruce’s face fell.

“Thanks anyway,” I said.

Just then, the woman’s teenage daughter piped up, “How about a co-ownership, Mom?”

It all started out so well! This breeder seemed very generous. She sold us the kitten for a very low pet price. In return we promised to keep him in condition and show him regularly. We agreed to pay half of all show fees. Since the breeder had the red kitten she was concentrating on, she seemed satisfied that someone else would have a kitten out with her name on it. Everyone seemed happy; including the kitten.

We took him home, and fell completely in love with him. We called him “Zephyr”. He was three and a half months old, and had had no vaccinations. The breeder had told us that she had held off on shots, because he had experienced an upper respiratory infection. He seemed fine now, and we thought nothing of it.

He saw our vet immediately, slept in our bed, and quickly became our “ambassador”, greeting visitors with a happy purr. He was a constant source of amusement and affection for us. We couldn’t thank the breeder enough. We sent her notes, and photos of him as he grew.

The breeder saw Zephyr again at a show when he was six months old. She was amazed at the change in him. “He’s turning out better than I expected!”

Bruce and I were, of course, very proud. We had never owned a Show Cat before. We agreed to let the breeder help handle him, and take him to rings. We had a wonderful time watching the judging, even when he didn’t do well.

We had never known a cat like Zephyr. As he grew, he became, if anything, more lovable. He was a gentle clown, often throwing us into gales of laughter with his antics. If I called his name, he would answer me and come running immediately. He loved company, and would go to the door and meet people, often settling into their laps while they visited. He never failed to make an impression.

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  • Joni on Jan 28, 2008

    Sad story but well written. Hope others learn from your heartbreak. I co-owned a show dog once, but she didn’t win anything so I didn’t have much to worry about from the other owner. The second show dog I co-owned also didn’t win anything either and I had him neutered. I didn’t have a bad experience co-owning the dogs but I still wouldn’t do it again.

  • Allison Jae on Oct 12, 2008

    Ohh,this was so sad. I know what it’s like to lose a pet you love so much. They’re not just a pets, they’re like your kid. That breeder was wrong in what she did. I recently lost a pet I loved a great deal. A rabbit called Usagi. He died of an infection a few months ago. I posted his picture if you would like to take a look. So sorry for your lose. At least the breeder should have given him back to you when his usefulness had run out. People should have more respect for animals. Cats don’t belong a cage. Great story and very well written.I will be back to read more.

  • Cat Breeders Complaints Info on Nov 30, 2008

    That was sad. But even worse then that are complaints from buyers of very expensive pedigree cats costing almost $3000.00 to even 10,000.00. Cat Breeders Complaints Info is our ministry in serving & helping others. This agency was founded exclusively to be an advocate for the rights of all buyer’s of expensive pedigree cats. Our service is ultimately unique in that we are the only ministry of its kind anywhere in the world, dealing with pedigree cat purchasing complaints.

    We are a “watchdog”, specialized complaint agency. Our main objective is: exposure to stop corrupt cat breeders from taking advantage of the trusting public & from medically neglecting cats.

    Please visit our site or even better if you or a friend has had trouble with a cat breeder they can file a complaint on our site.

  • Cat Breeders Complaints Info on Nov 30, 2008

    Website: http://cat-breeders-complaints.info

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