HOW IT ALL BEGAN
I often ask myself how a normal person could possibly consider travelling thousands of kilometres to bring cats to Spain, where so many run loose on the streets. We've always been very fond of animals. We have a large house which we shared with two dogs and a few feral cats. This story about Siberian cats in Madrid begins with an abandoned kitten we found in the street.
In the spring of 2001 my son, Daniel, was six years old. One day on our way home, we came across a small group of people standing around a tree. A kitten of about six weeks had aroused their curiosity. As it could find no way to escape, it was standing on its head, front paws on the ground and belly against the tree trunk, roaring so like a tiger that no one dared approach it.
My son and I exchanged silent glances. One of the by-standers gave us a plastic bag and, while my helper kept the little panther's attention fixed on himself, I approached it from the back, grabbed it by the scruff of the neck and put it in the bag. Once home I let it loose in an empty room. It was terribly frightened and reverted to standing on its head, now with its belly against the wall. We left it alone, hoping it would soon calm down.
Now that operation rescue was over, we went to a nice large pet shop nearby to buy some kitten food. When we were about to pay I noticed a cage with two very playful kittens in it: one was striped and the other had spots and rings.
They had a bit more fur than the cats you normally see here; they were big, their heads were broad with pretty, furry ears, and their tails were bushy.
Why couldn't I take my eyes off them? What was special about them? They were the prettiest thing I had ever seen. I read the little sign on the cage: Siberian kittens.
Suddenly I remembered something: I spent my childhood and adolescent years in Germany . As I had always been an avid reader, perhaps I had once read something about this legendary breed.
These beauties are a pure breed siberians:
FELIPE & FIGARO SIBERIAN BASTET / MADRID
Or perhaps our biology teacher, who was from the former Chechoslovakia, had mentioned this beautiful, colossal animal, native of the other side of the Ural mountains. Did I know someone who had at one time seen a cat of this breed? Not very probable. I couldn't manage to organise my thoughts at that moment, but when I saw the two kittens, I immediately knew that I had finally found the cat I had always been looking for.
Curiously enough, neither the Maine Coon nor the Norwegian Forest cat had ever produced in me this irresistible magnetic attraction, although in Spain beautiful specimens of both breeds can be found. It was absolutely impossible for us to decide which of the two was more handsome, so we took both of them home with us and, of course, two more bags of croc.
The feral cat, Chavito, let us deworm and vaccinate him and, in record time, put on two kilos, but one day he disappeared. However, the other two soon began to develop the typical characteristics of their breed. They grew to be large and very muscular and at ten months of age already weighed 4 kilos. Their legs were strong and their paws enormous with abundant locks of fur between their toes. Their coat was semi-long and firm to the touch and their tail was long and bushy. Each day they became more handsome. Pancho was a quiet, cuddly teddy bear and Canavaro, a real clown who never tired of playing tricks. One day Canavero jumped the garden wall and never returned.
Nothing could relieve our distress. We had other animals but the emptiness that Canavaro had left with us was unbearable. We decided to look for another Siberian cat, but this time a pure breed.
We started searching but only found one breeder in Spain that had imported a pair from VESHNIJ SON, a cattery in Moscow . We had to wait and save up money, which for us was worth the effort because we wanted a true Siberian cat. Finally the day arrived in November 2002: Daniel and I took a plane to Barcelona where ARMONIA FANTASIA DE SIBERIA was awaiting us.
She was already 8 months old and had a very strong character but Pancho and Raissa (that's what friends call her) became great friends. We took them to our first cat show. How nervous we all were! Pancho was disqualified. His short muzzle was evidence of his mother's love affair with a Persian. We didn't want to take any chances, so we had him neutered. On the other hand, the judge was delighted with Armonía, congratulated us and nominated her.
Months passed but we still remembered Canavaro and his tricks. If the little devil hadn't escaped, we would never have considered buying a pure-breed Siberianů that's destiny for you.
One day the breeder called me from Barcelona to tell me he had a cat for me: NADIEZHDA VESHNIY SON, born in Moscow, daughter of a world champion. I couldn't believe it. Nadia was the blue beauty I had fallen in love with at first sight when I had seen her in the cat magazine where she was top model for the article on Siberian cats and, later, when I saw her in person at the cattery. Never would I have dreamt of becoming the owner of this cat.
ARMONIA FANTASIA DE SIBERIA
Colour: Torbie black classic
Born on 15th March 2002
Breeder: Francisco Collado / Barcelona
Father: ZHIZNELUV CHULO, black tabby classic
Mother: FANTASIA VESCHNIY SON, cream tabby classic
The other females were making her life impossible. She was already two years old but was small, thin and depressed.
We had a lot of experience with frightened, untrusting cats so this in no way would prevent us taking this wonderful creature home with us. That's how Nadia arrived at our house in June 2003.
NADEZHDA VESHNIY SON
Colour: Blue torbie classic
Born on 22nd. June 2001
Breeder: Komolova Nadezhda Nikolaievna, Moscow
Father: TORERO VELZEVUL PROVAS (World Champion)
black silver tabby mackerel
Mother: SIMONA URKIS VESCHNIJ SON (World Champion),
blue torbie classic
She only needed one point to finish her International Championship. In September we took her to a cat show in Portugal . We must admit she wasn't in the best of condition.
It was taking her time to adapt. The summer heat and, above all, the difficult moments she had lived through, had spoiled her magnificent coat. She was small for her age and underweight. Nevertheless, the Chech judge immediately recognised her qualities. She was delighted with the shape of her head and her sweet expression. She told us that she had seldom found such a lovely girl-like face outside Russia . She told us to take good care of her because she was a real gem. I think she was right.
Nadia has proven to have an iron constitution. She has completely recovered and now weighs about 5 kilos. She has a sweet character and we've kept three of her daughters for breeding, carriers of the blotched and the dilute genes: Clarissa, Carioca and Calina, the best litter of 2004.
Well, that's the way two lovely Siberian females came to form part of our family. Now we needed a nice strong, handsome boy for them.