We bought our first Maine Coon cat – Murtzcoon Sapphire Star – known as Jenna in 2009. She was a beautiful blue classic tabby girl. A wonderful personality and a true coonie nature she introduced us to the joys of owning this gorgeous breed from kittenhood.
Why branch out to Maine Coons after breeding ragdolls?
We were involved in a rescue. A breeding acquaintance of ours left her cats when she moved out of her rental home and even though they were left with others those people were not equipped to look after or manage that many cats.
We found these cats in appalling conditions. Litter trays overflowing. No water. Covered in fleas and dirt etc. Little or no food and various health concerns.
Two coonies were found at the back of a garage behind a closed roller door. Apparently they were put there as they had been unwell and not responding to meds ( we are not sure if they were even given) and therefore left. We only found them because we were looking for some cages that we had been called to collect. These 2 were in one of those cages. One didnt survive and the other stayed in my bedroom for about 6 months before being well enough to go home to his original breeder.
We managed to speak to the breeder in regards to the cats. The cages we were to collect were placed in the back of husband ute and all the cats that were sick or had no homes to go to we took with us. 14 cats came home with us. Imagine 14 cats in cages in the back of a ute travelling through the streets of Sydney! While we were on our way my sister organised for our local vet to meet us at their clinic to asses the cats. There were various issues with this bunch. Malnutrition, ringworm, fleas, assumed worms and flu to mention a few. Each cat was examined, weighed and given a worm tablet and fleaed to start with. We then looked at the problematic health problems and issued meds where necessary.
Our vet was amazing and the charges etc that came about with these guys were all done under rescue and therefore at a reduced rate. As each cat was removed from the cage and taken into see the vet each and every one of them purred. I couldn’t believe that these cats who had been abandoned, were staving and sick did not struggle or scratch or bite while strangers were handling them. Every single one of them came and purred while we were examining, weighing, worming and fleaing. It really was like they knew we were going to help them.
So it began. As I said before we took the ill or homeless ones home. The rest who had to be somewhere or go to someone were sent up to breeders in Townsville. It was decided that each would be homed after recovering and with desexing and updated vaccinations done etc. When we first took them home they were placed into smaller groups in outside enclosures. When we fed them they would dive up onto the doors and hang on. They were starving – sooo hungry and unable to realise that more food would come in 12 hours! It took quite a few weeks before this behavior abated. A lot of the time we slid their food under the gaps in the door and then when they were eating we were able to enter the enclosures. They were not vicious or anything just sooo hungry they would become frantic when they thought food was coming.
So we put the word out to find homes for them as became well enough to be desexed. They did not come with pedigree papers etc but just with those wonderful personalities that enabled them to transition from their terrible situation to find a new home.
There was one boy – little more than a kitten who had a permanent head tilt. It was suspected that he had a major ear infection which didnt heal properly and this cause him to permanently have his tilted to the side. This caused him to be quite uncoordinated and unable to jump. Even though he was in a room in the house he was unable to jump up onto the table where the food was kept. This boy was starving.
The boy with the head tilt when desexed it was discovered to not have an ear infection as we suspected. Instead it was discovered that his ear drum was actually eaten away by ear mites. The ear mites would have come from the fleas and neither would have been treated. By the time he was desexed the ear drum had healed but it would never grow back and therefore the tilt was always going to be there. Larry (The Larrikin ) eventually managed to learn how to compensate and he jumps and runs with the best of them.
So thats why maine coons! Big amazing personalities!!