My New Writing Buddy - Harry, the British Short Hair

It's been many long weeks since I lost my little friend of many years, Abby. (Yes, I know the name is female. Long story. Even the vet didn't pick she was a he) He was my little writing buddy, a stray who adopted us ten years ago. He was an expert rat catcher! By the time he was put to sleep he was almost 20 years old.

Good innings, little mate!

As I've always wanted a British Shorthair I looked around the local breeders. I particularly favour the 'blue'. In Tasmania the rules for cat ownership are quite strict, which is excellent. As an island we have serious biosecurity concerns and cats can kill up to 5 prey in one night. Therefore all kittens have to be desexed before they go to their new homes and are consequently at least 12 weeks of age, as that is the minimum age for desexing.

Enter Harry, the chocolate British Shorthair. He watched me walking up the drive to the breeder's house. He sniffed my hand and licked it. My heart melted. And the rest is as you see below.

I desperately wanted a kitten now, so I ended up with Harry, who is actually a little older than 3 months but who had the temperament I was after. When you put your name down for a kitten with a new litter you can never be sure what you're going to get. Harry is a different colour to what I had planned, (chocolate) but his nature is so endearing. Just look at those eyes! And he is settling in very well with our two Border Collies, Polly and Flossie.

Recently in my search for a kitten I saw some British Shorthairs with rather pushed-in faces, which I did not like. Harrys' breeder explained that some breeders interbred the British Shorthair with Persians in the past to achieve this snub-nosed look but it causes breathing problems, (der!) so has been phased out these days. I read that after the war there were so few of the breed  left alive that the fanciers petitioned to be allowed to interbreed them with other breeds to widen the gene pool. But this current obsession with flat faced cats is causing health problems for some breeds. I also learned that the Scottish Fold is actually a genetic fault, and that breeders are not supposed to breed two Scottish Folds, but one with a British Shorthair, otherwise the consequences are horrific for the progeny.

I think Harry is very handsome and won't have that problem. His big orange eyes are distinctive of the breed and quite mesmerising.

As I sit in my study and write he's already tried to jump up on my lap several times to investigate what goes on up here. But being a kitten his concentration span is limited and he plops off again in short order! He is fastidiously tidy and clean, which is fabulous. No messy kitten poos to clean up.

I hope he lives a long long time with me.