A FEW WORDS ABOUT ME, US, MY CATTERY, OUR HOME AND LIFE...
My name is Desirée Österåker, or Dezzi and I live in Vaasa, Finland with my ten cuties. I'm a medical technologist (bioanalyytikko/bioanalytiker) and I work in a pathology laboratory in a hospital.
Me and my hairy family live in a terrace house (rivitalo/radhus) in the old town of Vaasa (Vanha Vaasa/Gamla Vasa), about 6-7km outside the centre of Vaasa. Our home is quite big and have lots of rooms and places to play - six big climbing trees/places and more :) I do NOT separate any cats - all my darling cats have access to the whole house all of the time!! :) We have a wonderful, green, big and private back yard (and front yard aswell). In the back yard we have built a terrace with a roof and attached to it an outdoor enclosure (about 35m2) for the cats. The cats can go there whenever they like (when I'm home and awake)!. The back yard is next to a forest, so there are no other houses on that side, just a calm, green forest. The whole area where we live is extremely calm and peaceful, near nature :) We just love our home, it's absolutely perfect for us :) Check out Pictures to see photos from our home...
Animals have always been my life, as far back as I can remember. My first pet was a Cavalier King Charles Spaniel named Trisse, who I got when I was eight years old. I've also had a Cesky Terrier named Tupla. Both of these very precious dogs have passed away, may they rest in peace. Through the years I've had three bunnies, four budgies, two cockatiels, three rats, one gerbile, two salamanders, two frogs and a large fishtank. I think that was all... :) And I loved and took care of every one of them! :) My first cat, Rocky I got in 1996. As years went by I got more and more into specifically cats and pedigree cats and today, although I still like other pets, my interest, energy, love and life is aimed only at my cats!
As I said, I got my first cat in 1996 and it was many, many years ago I decided I want to breed cats some day. The first time I saw an American Curl live was in the beginng of 2005 at a catshow I participated in. This cat and this breed got stuck in my mind! ;) It seemed to be such a fascinating and lovely breed and I wanted a curl of my own! ;) When Figaro (who was planned to be used as a breeding-male) joined the family in 2007, everything fell in place. I loved this wonderful breed, felt that I want to breed American Curls (in small scale) and planned and hoped that Figaro would breed a daughter, who I could use in breeding. In October 2008 Figaro became a father to three boys and one girl (Safiira). Now Safiira is a beautiul lady, who has had three litters of her own! And things have kept rolling :)
Me and Sizu. Photo by Hannu Palomäki.
My hairy family & catshows
My cuties are first and foremost my little babies, whom I love more than anything and who enjoy life at home, always in the centre of attention and care!! :) but I also enjoy going to cat shows! :) I participated in my first catshow with Sylvester in beginning of 2005. Today I also have a car that actually can take me to shows around Finland... :) You see, I used to drive a car made 1972, so I couldn't really get to any shows (earlier they were seldom arranged in Vaasa) although I wanted...hehe...If I take a cat to shows, I think it is important that the cat enjoys cathows or at least don't mind them! - I would not bring a cat to a catshow, if this cat has been to several shows as a youngster and even as an adult doesn't like it at all!! Although I like catshows very much, and participate in shows frequently, my cats are my hairy beloved family members and the most important thing is that they have a wonderful life at home, filled with lots of love!! :)
My Cattery and breeding
I am the first and only breeder of American Curls in this region of Finland (Pohjanmaa / Österbotten). I have had cats since 1996 and pedigree cats since 1997, so I think I have gathered some experience, but you never stop learning ;) My cattery and breeding-name FIN*Dezzicat's was approved in FIFe 01.10.2009. All cats I use in breeding are bloodgroup-tested and tested negative for FIV & FeLV. I also test my cattery regularly (about once a year) for Dermatophytes, to make sure negative results for all my cats. I've also started to test all breeding cats for negative N/N results for PRA. The foundation for my breeding is my great love for the breed and my cats!! I think this is important - love as the foundation, nothing else! My goals with breeding American Curls are to breed healthy, well-behaved, social, sweet and beautiful Curls, as close to the FIFe-standard of the breed as possible, and to become beloved family-members!! :)
I am a member of Pohjanmaan Kissayhdistys ry (Österbottens Kattförening) - where I've been active for many years and I'm also a board member (chief editor for our magazine and prize secretary), Pirkanmaan rotukissayhdistys ry and Turun rotukissayhdistys ry, which are local cat clubs that belong to the head organization Suomen Kissaliitto, which belongs to Fédération Internationale Féline, FIFe (in other words I am a member of these). Additionally I am a member of the finnish breed associations American Curlit ry and Ocicat ry and also a member of Royal Canin Breeder Club (catfood) and Acana & Orijen Breeder Club (catfood).
My cats are my darling family members and I want all my cats to be able to share their lives equally with me all the time, I want all of them to have access to the whole house around the clock! :) Therefore, so I don't have to keep any cats separate, I don't have any non-neutered males living with me, only females and neutered males. Own males that I want to use in breeding live in other families, where they can live in the center of attention, not needed to be separate! :) If a new cat comes to (or kitten stays in) our family, and everything works between the cats, the cat spends the rest of it's life with us!! I do NOT forward my own cats and move them to other homes, after they have become familymembers, if everything is working and they have been living with me for a long time!! My own cats are my beloved familymembers and live with me forever! ;)
Me and Hani. Photo by: Hannu Palomäki
Kittens grow up as a part of our family! :) First, I have a separate room for the kittens. There, the mother and kittens have a big "nest" where the kittens are born and spend their beginning in life ;) The opening to the nest is about 15cm high and when the kittens are old enough to climb out of the nest themselves (a few weeks old), they are free to start investigating the world ;) At first, this area is limited to only a part of the kitten-room and later (after about barely two weeks) the kittens get access to the whole kitten-room (which is separated from other rooms by a net-door). Lateron, the kittens get to start investigating the whole house, little by little ;) When I am at work (and at first also during the night) the mom and kittens are in the kitten-room, but the rest of the day, when I am at home, the kittens are free to move around in the whole home, just like the other cats ;) The only thing the kittens don't have access to, is the outdoor enclosure, they are not allowed to go outside. The kittens are of course raised with quality food and lots and lots of love and care! ;) More about kittens in the Kittens-page.
American Curl is a new and quite rare breed both in Finland and the World! What you first notice about this cat is of course their curled ears! :) They also have a silky flatlying coat with little undercoat. There are both longhaired and shorthaired curls, the longhair version has semilong coat with a bushy, long tail. The breed emerged in 1981 in USA as what you could call a "nature-breed". American Curl was accknowledged in FIFe in 2003 (first curl to Finland in 2001 by Figaro's/Safiira's breeders) and today (2016) there are about 520 curls in Finland. American Curl is an absolutely wonderful, special, playful, clever, social, sweet, healthy and beatiful breed and they deeply get attached to their "owners"! :) Please see The Breed for a whole breed presentation of the American Curl.
Some breeder rankingresults
-Best American Curl breeder in Finland 2012-2015, second best 2016 :)
-2:nd best breeder in Pirok and Turok catclub 2016 + 7:th place in all of Finland in category 2 :)
-Best breeder in Pirok catclub 2014-2015, 2:nd best in Turok 2015 + 9:th place in all of Finland in cat.2 2015 :)
-3:rd best breeder in Pohkis 2013 in all categories and 2:nd best in 2012 :)