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Trip to Ecuador

What has Ecuador to do with Traditional Siamese Cats?Paquita in Ecuador

I can assure you, for us a lot. It started when my dear old Siamese died, seven years ago. He was almost seventeen and without one day of sickness he felt down and slept forever. We looked for a new Siamese kitten but, like many other people, we discovered that they had changed a lot and we couldnít decide.

Till we found a "real" Siamese kitten in a pet shop in Quito, the capital of Ecuador. It was not the first time we went to this South American country and as we go, at least for three months. Not looking for cats, although I always have both eyes open.  This country has the million possibilities. And in the last years we have made some very good friends there. We found out how to bring the very little cat to Holland. Taco Latino grew up and he got a heavy big Applehaed Siamese. At that time he was the only one in Holland. Because we liked so much his special character, we wanted to realize a litter and we had to bring a female for him. Two years later I got LiliaPaquita 2000na Laguna home from the same pet shop in Quito. And now we already have had two healthy litters of them.

Last November we went again to Ecuador and before our trip I had to swear not to bring any cat with me back home. Every day we bought a newspaper for reading the national and international news. And of course I couldnít pass the announcements. One day I saw "We sell Siamese kittens" and it didnít let me go, I called up. It is not easy to make a phone call in a strange country and in a difficult language like Spanish. We made an appointment to see the kittens, but somewhere outside the big city of Quito. I think the owners didnít like to have strangers in their house. It was like an illegal transaction when we game at the meeting point. They had three beautiful kittens in their car and I could see them one by one. I had to decide what to do. This situation was very strange, it was next to the highway and it was already dark.  The kittens where all seal points and healthy, beautiful blue eyes and I were in love with all three. But I refused to buy one. This is not the way I wanted to buy a kitten. The next days we stayed in Quito and nobody could stop me now. I must go to the pet shop, where I had bought Taco and Liliana. Only for looking at the kitten department. The pet shop had changed. They had many different types of dogs in the store and there where also at least five Siamese kittens in a small bench, without space to play or sleep. The cats where all Seal-points Siamese, from about eight weeks till several months old, looking at the visitors with a very apathetic glance. It was horrible to see. It has changed be courses of the bad economy at this moment in the country. Nobody had money to buy anything and all the shops have had a hard time to survive. It was hard to refuse, but I didnít like to buy a cat with a traumatic experience. I went away and thought, what did have Taco and Liliana a lot of luck to be in Holland. I missed them very much knowing that they were okay for sure.

The last day of this century, 31 of December, our friends told me to come to see another Siamese litter. They had made a new contact and we had to see them at the house of the owner. It was the first time I met a "breeder" and to see how the litter has been raised.  It was very exciting and I couldnít refuse. We went to one of the colonial houses in the old center of Quito and the owner brought us to a big balcony. We saw a very healthy litter of eight weeks old. A beautiful mother with her six kittens where lying in the hot Ecuadorian sun.  The owner told us that he never had sold any cat to a pet shop and never should do that. A moment I thought about what I had swore about, but really, I couldnít stop myself and took one of the beautiful kittens in my hands. She looked at me, her eyes where almost purple at the edge of the bleu iris. Her soft white fur and very dark points, a round little face and perfect black tail, it seemed to be a perfect old-fashioned Siamese. The queen was looking quietly, but friendly. Almost saying that she knew I had made my choice. She was really a beautiful female Siamese. The hot sun kept her color of her body white and this gave a good contrast with her dark points. The tom cat was even lighter, but he was younger, just a little bit more than a year old. The owner asked why I had so much interest to bring this Siamese to Holland and I told him about the big change in the shape of the Siamese Cats. He was surprised about that, but had to admit that he has seen this modern Siamese type in books and he knew that this type were not in Ecuador for sale. His family have had this kind of cat for many, many years. Be course they like the intelligence and special character of the Siamese. He didnít understand why people should change the form.

Eight weeks is much too early for a kitten to split from their mother. I made the decision to buy her now and take her away, be courses the mother had soon to less milk and the kittens didnít get other food. And also I had the first choice now.  In Ecuador is it normal to sell kittens at this age. Sometimes you can buy them even younger. The breeder didnít know much about breeding, it was his second litter, he liked to hear how I explained the problems in this breed (kinked tail, squinting) or how a nice Traditional Siamese should be.

We called our new little treasure "Paquita Gallego". This is the name of a very beautiful Soap-star. Everybody here watched the daily series on TV. We took her "home", to our friendís house.

The first three days the little cat refused to eat, she didnít know how. She went skinny and I had to give her a warm bottle of water to keep her warm. Everything I tried to give her but she refused. Till the hungry have been the effort to her and then she discovered that almost everything has a good taste. She learned to eat, spaghetti, beans, bread, cheese, fruit, meat and fish. After a week we went to a veterinary for the vaccinations, rabies injection and health examination. Everything was very good and we could travel again through the country.  We had a car and together we went to the coast, the Jungle, trough the high Andes mountains. Paquita liked to be with us and every new hotel room was exiting. New surrounding to play, to climb into the curtains, jump on bed and hiding under the pillows. Playing football with a peace of newspaper. Hours of playing and at nights sleeping between our heads. She was a healthy little cat and grows day by day bigger and bigger. A week before we went home we had to arrange our leaving with the cat. Export papers and a certificate of health from the veterinary. We knew the way and what to do. We flew back with an American Company, Continental, that could be difficult. And it was! The customs didnít let us through, but also they couldnít tell us what to do with the little cat in the box. We had to wait and of course we went very, very nervous. I did not leave Ecuador without Paquita, for sure! Luckily, just before the departure of the plane we got permission of the stewards on the airplane and we could go on board. We know that when we got in, we got without any problems to Holland and we have made it for the third and LAST time.

Ineke Blokker, Cattery Cascabel. Holland
 

Paquita 8 months, july 2000
Paquita Juli 2007, moeder van haar vijfde nestje

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