“Animals make us human.”
– Temple Grandin
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 bring to us. But it is as I grew and realized their most important gift… they make us human. 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.
In 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.
As a breeder a huge responsibility is taken on in the selection of breeding pairs, the raising of the kittens and most of all the placement of them 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.
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
- 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 .
When my husband brought the first Bengal cat into our home in 1989… we thought we would raise some litters and teach our then 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 background is in education and writing, and I am a philosopher at heart… so I began thinking of what was really needed… where were the gaps with this incredibly beautiful breed? My focus became what my cats are today noted for world wide… temperament. Not only beautiful, healthy living entities… but wanting to be with and interact with you. I read a quote from Temple Grandin, “… animals make us human.” I could not agree more… 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.
Like I said… a philosopher at heart! I really do raise these kittens with you in my mind and heart. Corny perhaps… but so very true.