When Sandi and I got married and bought our first home we wanted to buy a cat. I had grew up on a horse farm with a number of different animals and pets, but when I purchased a townhouse there wasn't any room for anything other than cats. The original plan was to get a dog if we had the room, but since we didnt, I wanted the next best thing, a big cat...a Maine coon. Growing up there was always stray cats that we would keep as pets in the house and some that would stay in the barn with the horses. They were regular looking, mixed breed, short hair cats that all pretty much looked the same, just different colors. So when it came time to get our first pet I wanted something a little different, and I had always seen pics of these big beastly cats called Maine coons.
So, I went online and started looking for Maine coon breeders, and since there weren't any good ones local, we paid to have a full bred Maine coon kitten put on a flight from Texas to Philly. Her name was Lynx and she is the size of a small dog, and is as smart as one too. She cost us $800, so we had told ourselves this would be our only one.
Now, 5 years later, Lynx has a bigger brother named Rocky, and a smaller sister Bella. All three are full breed coon cats. We ended up rescuing the third one Bella, but we had swore that she would be the last and final cat that we brought into the house.
Shortly after my mom passed away, within the first few weeks, we found a litter of kittens back at the barn...only days old. The mother was a stray short hair white cat that looked like all the other stray cats that had been in and out of the barn my whole life, so we assumed the kittens would be too. The mother wasn't taking good care of them and would often leave them in unsafe places in the barn where the dog could easily get to them and harm them, so I took all four of them home with me. Sandi and I fed them with a bottle for a couple weeks and then got them on hard food, with the plan to find homes for all four of them as soon as possible.
There were two white ones and two tiger colored ones. They all had blue eyes, which is natural for kittens and usually changes as they grow older. We found homes for the two tiger kittens quickly and thought that we had homes for the white ones as well. Both white kittens were adorable, but so were all the other stray kittens that were born in that barn since I was a kid. As cute as they always were when kittens, they always grew up to be average looking barn cats, so why would these be any different? But... something about the white ones did look different. Their tails were little puff balls that I had never seen before on a barn cat and there eyes weren't just blue...they were really blue.
The plan was never to keep any of them, but after we got rid of the two tiger kittens, I started to get attached to the one white kitten. The family that was supposed to take both white kittens backed out, but we were able to find a home for the one white one pretty quickly. Now we were still left with one, the one that I had started getting attached to. There was something about him. He wasn't like all the other barn kittens.
Now a year later, he's almost all grown up, and he is just like one of the Maine coons, fitting in perfectly. His name is Flounder AKA "The Fish" and he brought new life at a time when a very important one was taken from me. He really is an awesome cat, one that I would never have believed was born in the barn. The coolest thing about him...his eyes stayed blue. The same color as my Mom's.