NaBloPoMo Post #15
All The Nyans, Part Six
On Sunday morning, May 17 of this year, we woke in our hotel room in Milton, FL, had a quick breakfast, fed the kittens, and got ourselves ready to drive to Rare Earth Ranch to meet Remiel for the first time.
We pulled into the drive, and Summer, the breeder, stepped out to greet us. Summer breeds Bengal cats and Toy Australian Shepherds, so we were greeted by a couple of each of those as well. The little Toy Aussie's are so cute! We introduced ourselves and talked for a while, and then she led us into the room where she had Remiel (his brother had been picked up the day before) and the Bengal kittens he'd been raised with.
He was SO tiny. We had taken off our shoes before we went in. She explained that they are so little at that age and so quick, you really have to be careful not to step on them. We could see Remiel hiding behind the litter box in a corner. Summer started calling him out, with a high-pitched "Whee-whee-whee," because that's the sound they make when they are happy and excited. The kittens all came running, but Remi was a little shy. Finally he came out a bit, and Summer picked him up and handed him to Eler Beth. She was finally holding her Fennec Fox. I reached over to stroke him, thinking to myself, "Wow! This is real. I'm petting a Fennec Fox!"
Summer spent about 30 minutes or so talking to us and answering questions, going over instructions that Eler Beth had already memorized but were worth hearing again. She brought out a paper plate and spooned a little of Remi's food onto it. Fennecs can eat any dry cat food as long as it has tourine in it, and treats for them are bananas, cheerios, blueberries, strawberries, or carrots. As a young fox, Summer fed him a mixture of baby cereal, puppy formula, frozen veggies (carrots, broccolli, and cauliflower), canned cat food, and dry cat food. We would feed him this for a few weeks, and then gradually add just dry food into his diet. He still gets this mixture (minus the baby cereal and puppy formula) a few times a week, but doesn't have to have it. The cat food gives him all the nutrients he needs.
So anyway, we got to see him eat. She said he would eat only until he was full, and he did. As soon as he was finished, he left the rest and went off to play. I think the kittens finished it up. We talked a while longer, and Remi went to sleep in Eler Beth's hand. You know how a puppy or kitten will be playing and then just all of a sudden drop off to sleep wherever they happen to be? Well Fennec babies do this, only even more so! They are very heavy sleepers. When they sleep, they sleep!
I video taped a lot of the conversation with Summer, and if I can figure out how to get it from my phone to the blog, I may add it later. :)
We probably stayed at Summer's home for 2 hours. She wanted him to be fed and have a bowel movement before we left, and she gave us instructions for the ride home. She also sent him home with a little plushy rabbit that he liked to snuggle up next to.
So we tucked him in his carrier with the rabbit, buckled him into the back seat of the car, and left Summer's ranch. If you get a chance to visit her web site, I would recommend it. She and her husband don't make a living off their animals. It isn't a money-making operation, it is a sideline that means a lot to them, and they take time and spend a lot of love and energy operating it the right way. The set-up there is really lovely. Their cats and dogs (and Fennecs) are raised as part of the home and the family, preparing them for their forever homes.
Compare this picture on the left with the one of him at the top of the page. He fit in our hands when we first got him. He is still small, but he's grown a lot in 7 months! In tomorrow's post I'll cover the drive home and introducing Remiel to his new surroundings.
~ ~ Lori