phi·los·o·phy/fəˈläsəfē/ Noun: The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, esp. when considered as an academic discipline. A set of views and theories of a particular philosopher concerning such study or an aspect of it.

phi·los·o·phy/fəˈläsəfē/

Noun:

The study of the fundamental nature of knowledge, reality, and existence, esp. when considered as an academic discipline.

A set of views and theories of a particular philosopher concerning such study or an aspect of it.

"Animals make us human." 

 - Temple Grandin                    

from Libbie...                                    

Animals have always been a part of my life.  Growing up amid horses, dogs and cats, I experienced the acceptance, patience, and entertainment that animals share with us.  As I grew in understanding, I realized their  most important gift... they make us humanThe quote from Temple Grandin, "... animals make us human"      summarizes this relationship between human and our domestic pets.  They bring us to  the present moment...  they live here and now, a place that the human mind does not like to be... while our bodies know nothing else but this moment. Animals live in the moment.   They are where their bodies are… here -  now.  But you and I are rarely in the now.  In fact in reading this you are connecting to past and future… we are rarely present.   But touch a purring cat, appreciative of your contact… and you touch and become aware of this moment.    .

When my husband brought the first Bengal cat into our home in 1989... we thought we would raise some litters and teach our young sons, how to care for animals, run a "business" and communicate to the public.    These cats have provided that and so much more.  John's animal science degree from Ohio State University seemed a perfect fit for this endeavor, but it soon was apparent that I was going to be the one to work with the cats.  It took a lot more time than we had at first imagined!  

My degree from Ohio State University gave me a background in education and writing, and I am a philosopher at heart..  My approach was about the animals, but it was also centered on the human aspect.  I began thinking of what was really needed and where this beautiful breed was headed in the future.    My focus became what A-Kerr's cats are today noted for world wide... temperament.  Not only beautiful and healthy cats but also cats that were driven both genetically and environmentally to want to be with humans.

Choosing to breed Bengal cats, I was aware first of this connection to the present that animals bring  and second that in order to bring this sense of acceptance to my clients I would actively and consciously have to select for these traits. My main purpose for breeding: to breed for temperament and to educate and write about the process.  This became the "why" of my focus in breeding, it was to add love and acceptance into the lives of the owners of an A-Kerr's kitten. 

As a breeder a huge responsibility is taken selecting breeding pairs, the raising of the kittens and most of all the placing kittens into the hands of another person.   I do not take this responsibility lightly.   I realize that I am injecting myself in what would have been random selection in nature.  In doing so, I am selecting for and against certain genetics...  and understanding  how limited my window into this process is.     I am choosing the direction of the next generation... trying to control outcomes.   It is a humbling experience, being a breeder... for you discover how little is  known and controlled by you.   

In return, the cats have brought many people into our lives... and a part of this "our" is Samantha, who in 2006 walked into our lives.   She loves cats and always wanted to raise them.  She bought her first Bengal cats in 2004 while a student at Ohio State University, majoring in Animal Sciences.   This love for the Bengals began with the seal lynx series, "snow" leopards!   In her quest for going to shows, learning more about the cats, she contacted me and we began a journey together that ultimately led to her meeting my oldest son, Jay.  The short story is... they fell in love, married and now Samantha is continuing the tradition of the cattery at her home!   She will tell her side of this encounter on her page...

I began phasing out of the actual breeding in 2014 and in 2015 Samantha will take over the cattery completely while my role becomes that of "consultant".  I plan to continue to assist her and  do the website as well as take more time for writing and teaching, which are my true loves.  The cats are in good hands with Samantha!  

Together we make the following observations: 

At A-Kerr's we work to control what we can ...  and learn humble acceptance of what lies outside the realm of current understanding.  

  • Creating the right environment for the cats to thrive... not simply live.  
  • Giving the public the proper tools to make the best decision before bringing a cat into their home
  • Selecting breeding cats based on 
    • The Bengal cat Standard {The International Cat Association, TICA) 
    • Health
    • Temperament
  • Listening to what the potential owner is wanting... and giving options on how to best meet those wishes
  • Providing the best possible
    • Veterinary care
    • Daily care and interaction
    • Communication .

Like I said, I am a philosopher at heart and my philosophy is not just idea based, it is rooted in the everyday whether cleaning a litter box of sitting in front of a computer or taking a walk in nature... it is to be present, to be aware and to expand constantly my awareness of others.  

Libbie 

http://www.seedsofunfolding.org

http://www.cafh.org