Beginnings...

Click on Photo for Profiles
Snickers
GP, RW, Kankoonkats Snickers of TruTails
Bocephus
GP, Kankoonkats Buster Bocephus of TruTails

 

Our First Maine Coons... Like many other breeders, we got our start from the experience of being "owned" by a Maine Coon Cat, TWO to be exact. Having learned about the breed from a book several years ago, Trudie had decided our next cat would be a Maine Coon. After an exhaustive search covering most of a year we were introduced by Pat Idleman to Debra & Larry Taylor of Kankoonkats in Wichita, Kansas. With what felt like "kismet" we learned that the Taylors had a 6 month old, neutered male kitten available. A Brown Mackerel Tabby "dripping in coat," Snickers was being shown by Debra & Larry as a kitten, but they had decided to "let him go" ~ IF they could find the right home ~ you see, the future GP, RW, Kankoonkats Snickers, was sired by the National BEST Maine Coon in CFA the previous year GC, NW, Kankoonkats Leviticus! Although we had been looking for a younger kitten the pictures we received of Snickers captured our heart! In March of 1999, Trudie flew to Wichita, met Larry & Debra, and of course the outcome of her visit was predictable… Snickers flew home with Trudie that same afternoon.

What happened next was unexpected. A few weeks later Larry Taylor called to offer us the opportunity to get Bocephus,a 12-week-old kitten. GP, Kankoonkats Buster Bocephus, as he was later registered,Bocephus had been reserved, but he was now available ~ IF we were interested. Well, Trudie had admired this handsome Brown Classic Tabby boy when she visited the Taylor's home to piSnickersck up Snickers. There was no question ~ if one Maine Coon is good ~ TWO must be better!!! The result, a weekend drive to Wichita, it's really not that far! And while we were in Kansas, not content to just get Bocephus, we returned with his littermate sister, CH, Kankoonkats Danielle's Mi'tsu, as a birthday gift for our granddaughter, Danielle.


The next weekend we visited our first Cat Fanciers Association (CFA) cat show in Denver, CO. As we looked around we were awestruck by the beauty of the cats on display there. Dennis was heard to comment frequently, our kitties could "beat" any of the cats being shown that day. We picked up a flyer for the next CFA show that was to be held on July 4th weekend. With a lot of help from Debra, Larry and Pat we got "the boys" entered in the show. Trudie, having done much research on "show baths," had the boys groomed and ready for their show debut.

The Rest Of The Story... Independence Day 1999, the much anticipated Snickers first ShowCFA Show finally arrived. Snickers was nine months old & an open at the show, Bocephus was a five month-old kitten. Armed with loads of advice, some newly created cage curtains and a couple combs we were on our way. We will be forever grateful to Mary Newmarch of Kyattsuai Japanese Bobtails, for her friendly, helpful attitude that weekend. She certainly helped us "newbies" feel welcome, and gave us some invaluable "tips" about marking our catalogs, all-in-all making our first show a very pleasant experience.

Trudie was understandably nervous - would the cats look all right? BoFirstShowAll grooming responsibilities had been hers - and we have mentioned Snickers coat, it is phenomenal! One of the things TruTails Cattery takes great pride in is the presentation of our cats/kittens in the show ring! The highlight of Trudie's weekend was having Gary Powell, a CFA judge with a critical eye for grooming, compliment "Snickers owners" on his beautiful presentation during his Top Ten Final!

This first show was a real learning experience for both of us. Snicker FinalFor one thing we found our cage curtains really needed some design changes. While we watched others decorate their benching areas we made some mental notes for Cage Curtain design for our next show. (Click here for step-by-step instructions to make your own "Simple Cage Curtains.") Oblivious to their modestly decorated benching cage, Bo & Snickers were relaxed and seemed to enjoy all the attention they received from the spectators.

We proudly took our "Boys" to their first rings of the weekend - and what a weekend it turned out to be! At the end of the show we went home with 10 rosettes - yes I said TEN. Bocephus, Bo and Craig was given Best-Of-Breed in all six kitten rings and made 5 Top-10 Kitten finals. Snickers was awarded Best-Of-Breed as an OPEN in all six premiership rings, over several Grand Premiers, and he made 5 of six Top-10 finals! In the last ring of the weekend, one of the other exhibitors asked us, with surprise, "Is that cat only an open?" We did not realize the full significance of Snickers' accomplishment until later in our show experiences. We just knew the judges LOVED our boys as much as we did - BikersDennis was right in his prediction, our cats had "beaten" all those other very handsome cats!

We found ourselves still very excited the following day as we started out on a 3 week tour of western Canada on our BMW motorcycle. We spent many hours discussing our show experience and how much fun we'd had! We were "hooked!" Not something either of us had really expected. We even found time to visit Wyndabby Maine Coon Cattery while on our trip...

A New Era... While we continued to show Snickers and Bo our research started to take a different direction, and after much discussion we decided we'd like to try our hand at a "small" breeding program. We were thinking one female... We started our search for the "PURR"fect girl. TallulahWe knew the look we wanted ~ we found it in the Coonyham Maine Coons. Well, fortune visited us once again! Trudie had been communicating with Laura over the Internet and we found ourselves benched next to her at a TICA (The International Cat Association) show in Denver. We discovered Laura was expecting a litter out of SGC, RW, Coonyham Lone Star, & SGC, RW, Coonyham Sonoma. We were ecstatic when Laura let us reserve a breeder/show quality female from the litter, we got the "first pick," the kitten destined to become CH, Coonyham Tallulah of Trutails!

While awaiting the arrival of Tallulah we continued showing Snickers & Bocephus, all the while taking advantage of the shows to meet other breeders and to look for a stud to sire our first litter. We found him back at our start in Maine Coons ~ GC, RW, Kankoonkats Lil'Britches of TruTails, a half-brother to Snickers ~ he is also sired by GC, NW Kankoonkats Leviticus. He was being shown by Debra & Larry Taylor and was already a Grand Champion & ranked in the top 25 cats in the Gulf Shore Region. Imagine our excitement when Taylors agreed to let us own this wonderful boy as the cornerstone of our breeding program!

Ernest Hemingway once said, "One cat just leads to another." ...guess it must be true!



~ Quality pedigreed cats do not "spring up out of nowhere." ~
Our success is built upon the hard work and efforts of the breeders who sold us our cats & those breeders who came before them. We would like to acknowledge the hard work of these catteries & express our continued gratitude for their trust in us. Thank You!!! Coonyham, Kankoonkats, Terrificats, Dragonmaine, Texas Belle, Idlemaine, and LaPalomaAzul.

~
TruTails success is their success as well! ~

 

 

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