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"I Couldn't Do That"

Trish Allearz

As a breeder, I cannot even count the number of times I have heard from kitten owners that they couldn't raise kittens and then send them to their new homes... I think everyone here who has raised a litter would agree- it is a phrase you hear almost literally on a daily basis when someone learns of your choice of hobby (or labor of love)!

What people don't realize is that raising kittens IS a labor of love! We love them before they are born, we love them as they are little lumps in their Momma's tummies and we will love them the day we hand them to their new owner. What might surprise these people is that our love does not even end there- we will love them until the day you tell us that you had to let them go to the Rainbow Bridge and we will love them forever after, cherishing the memories of each kitten.

It is hard, but it can be so rewarding as well. Every story- every photo- every small email I get brightens my day in a hundred different little ways. It's much like, I imagine, how a grandmother feels about her grandkids- I tell my whole family about kitten updates and forward pictures to others who became emotionally invested in certain kittens via the internet. I brag about my kittens when they go home- I brag about the wonderful families who are now owned by them (let's be honest- Savannahs own YOU) and I am endlessly sharing stories of their escapades after they go home.

While it is sad sending a kitten home- remember- as a breeder, you want to improve the breed and further the breed. We cannot- literally- keep every wonderful kitten that comes our way. And let's be honest! They are all pretty wonderful, aren't they? Special needs kittens are perfect in a breeder's eye, nonstandards are stars, and that wonderful show kitty that you simply can't keep? Well, you were head-over-heels in love with that kitten too.

So while people say they can't do my job- and I smile and say thank you, I really wonder if they realize how much I cherish each and every home a kitten goes to... Breeding is hard- harder then hard at times- but the reward of sending the right kitten to the right home? That's priceless, as the saying goes!


Staff member
Well said, Trish! I need to remember what you have said when zuri has kittens and i have to part with them...


Savannah Super Cat
I remember as a kid we were constantly taking in stray cats, getting them fixed, and trying to find them homes. Lots of times we took in pregnant cats and it was so hard on us kids when we'd have to give up those playful kittens that we've been playing with for the past 8 weeks. You're right. It takes a special kind of person to do the job that you breeders do.

If I were a breeder I would want tons of updates. lol I send Kovu's breeder pictures & updates every 6 weeks or so. Sometimes I feel like I send them too often, especially if I don't get a reply back. But I send it just in case. I know his wife & teenage daughter were really close with him, so I hope that he at least shares pictures & funny stories about his goofy behavior with them. :)

For some reason I keep having a dream about us adopting a baby girl from India. And in my dream I always have Kovu & an F2 Savannah girl. Who knows, maybe one day I can get one of your babies Trish!


Savannah Super Cat
That's so true! It really does hurt sometimes, when you have a particular favorite. There was a typical tuxedo I called Zuka. She was just the most outgoing, sweetest thing. Up for cuddles and for play any time of the day. Course, I ws already mentally preparing to give her away, but one week at school, my mother called me and told me she had given Zuka to a relative of one of our neighbors. I'd never cried over giving a kitten away, but when I heard that, I sobbed. Guess I wasn't quite ready.

You know it's for the best, far better for them to be in a home where they're the star and not my place, which she would be, 'one of the legion for there were many', but still....

Trish Allearz

I think it is a bit easier because we know that with each litter, there are wonderful, special babies. We did rescue for a long time before starting our Cattery and our kids realize what special work we all do :) they are thrilled to get updates too!


I one day hope to breed Cavaliers and I wonder how I will cope too, when sending the little babies to their new homes one day. Honestly I think I will do fine because I recently had an experience that sortof tested how I would do!

I took in a 4 week old rescue puppy off the streets and got him healthy and started on training, found him a new home (after realizing if I kept him - and yes I wanted to keep him - I would have less room for me to do my Cavalier breeding), and absolutely love hearing about how he is doing and seeing the pictures of him as he grows up. It makes me feel so proud!


I still cry when my babies go to their new families. I have been breeding for several years now and it never gets easier. When I think I cannot do it any longer, I see how happy a new owner is and I think back to how I felt to have my first Savannah. I know that by breeding I am providing the same opportunity that was once given to me, to own such a magnificent breed, to someone else (-: