February 5, 2016 § Leave a comment
Recently, my Instagram feed and search history have begun looking like this:
Reason being: If all goes well, I should have my very own Siberian kitten by July!
Because of my allergies, I never imagined that I would actually have a cat. But the idea was planted on my last visit to the Meow Parlour cat cafe (on the day of the mega-blizzard, no less) as I flipped through their binder of adoptable cats and wished I could take all of them home.
Instead, I looked up a list of hypoallergenic cats — however, none are 100% allergen-free, and the list is pretty short, especially compared to hypoallergenic dog breeds. Of the handful of cat breeds, none stood out as much as the Siberian cat. (Most of the other ones were scary- or weird-looking…no offense!) I mean, just look at them:
Most people who see a Siberian think that its long fur means extra shedding and allergens, but apparently this isn’t the case! Compared to other cats, this native Russian breed somehow produces much less of the protein (Fel d 1) that causes allergic reactions.
A brief search of shelters in NYC didn’t turn up any Siberians — figures they’d be in high demand — so my only option was to purchase a kitten from a breeder. Not ideal, but worth it for the joy of having a cat I can breathe around.
If you ever want to experience an Internet time warp, visit any cat breeder website. The majority of the ones I found were practically Geocities-era: cats framed in flowers, cheesy fonts, buttons shaped like lace doilies or just bare-bones text and randomly formatted photos. I emailed a bunch in the NYC area but had my heart set on one that came highly recommended by a friend who got her gorgeous Siberian from them.
I’ll be sure to post a full write-up and review of the breeders once I get my kitten, but first things first — I had to really make sure I could handle being around a Siberian. So we set up a date for me to visit their home/cattery, where I played with one of their male breeders (AKA a stud) for an hour.
Actually being up close to a Siberian made me fall in love even more! He was so cute and fluffy and just perfect in every way! My lungs still tickled a little bit from being in the same room, but the symptoms were nowhere near what I’d normally experience. They told me that a neutered/spayed cat produces even less allergens, so a minor reaction to the stud should be fine.
So I put down a deposit, but their next litter isn’t expected until April, and they don’t send their kittens to new owners until 12 weeks of age. It’s a long time to wait! This must be what people feel like when they’re trying to conceive. I want my kitty so badly — I’ve been researching cat toys and furnishings obsessively, planning out where I want to put everything in the apartment, watching cat videos of the cute and/or educational variety — how can I wait another six months?? Ahhhhhh! Every time I see a picture of a cat, I feel a surge of yearning for my own.
There were other options for me to get a Siberian kitten much sooner (and for a cheaper price) but I trust in the quality and legitimacy of these breeders, so I’ll wait. In the meantime, I’m quickly becoming the crazy cat lady I was always destined to be.