#2 Here is a hand-held baby. Our babies are handled daily from birth. Note the kitten is not nervous or concerned, just curious and interested, even though this is his first time this high up off the ground.
#3. This baby is 3 to 4 weeks old, enjoying his first taste of KMR. It may look like he's being tortured, but after a couple swallows, he's ferociously biting the feeding tube syringe, doing his best to swallow it whole in frantic greed, perhaps devouring a couple human fingers in his enthusiasm . We supplement our babies' diet with KMR (Kitten Milk Replacement) at an early age. The stuff is fearsomely expensive--even when you buy it in five pound bags like we do--but it reduces stress on the Mom cats, the babies love the taste, and the added nutrition helps them THRIVE, into strong, sturdy, healthy, athletic babies. We feed it to both Mothers and babies for the duration, because it is very nutritious, and getting enough calories down them all is difficult but so important. As an example, a kitten needs one gram of Calcium every day--as much as a full-grown human!
#4. Watchin' the tube, havin' a KMR, arguing over whose turn it is for a drink, getting KMR all over your face.
#5. Yup, KMR meals are messy the first few days. Learning to drink from a bowl is hard. Why can't everything tasty just come out of Mommy's faucets, like it should? Luckily Mommy or a sibling is always happy to help clean your face, paws or even your butt when you get exuberant about it.
#6. It doesn't take long before the kittens decide they can't devour KMR fast enough with the syringe, so they learn to lap it up themselves as quickly as they can. At first, this may also involve a short swim in it; sort of like bathing in champagne for a human. Fortunately, it only takes a few days for a bright Tonk kitten to achieve championship drinking skills. After that, we introduce kitten canned or home-made wet food, along with the litter box. When kittens graduate from a milk-only diet, Mom refuses to change the diapers anymore. Can you blame her? She has to use her tongue. THAT is true maternal devotion. How many of us could demonstrate that supreme level of dedication?
#7. At about age 4 weeks, baby-sized litter boxes adorn our house. This baby proudly announces: "I totally potty-trained in less than 24 hours. Can YOU say the same?"
#8. Look! A pinanta! Or maybe a kittanta?
#9. " O Hai, LOL Wut?" (Sneak preview of Zoe and her babies. More to come in a few days.)
BTW, we have no connection with KMR or any other feline product company. We just find it a good and useful, (although expensive) product. But hey, any KMR guys reading this want to send us a couple of bags, we'd be thrilled!
Ariel gave birth to three kittens on May 14, 2013 They are:
1 Blue Point Male (fourth photo, bottom of group photo)
1 Blue Mink Female (third photo, upper right of group photo)
1 Blue Mink Male (first photo, upper left of group photo)
Ariel's three kittens are old enough for adoption immediately. They are affectionate, playful, and intelligent. They love to play "soccer", are learning to retrieve toys, and always enjoy a lap to sit in.
Zoe birthed five babies starting at 3 a.m.on June 11 and not finishing until 9 a.m. We were both exhausted, but Zoe's babies are healthy little horses.
Zoe's kittens may be ready to leave in two or three weeks. We will post some photo updates of her kittens soon.
We do not let our kittens leave until they are mature at the 12 week developmental age. Sometimes, the actual age can be earlier. For example, when Ariel's kittens were barely 4 weeks old, they had passed all the 6 week old age milestones. We once let a couple of kittens go at age 8 weeks--they were as big and mature as the average 12 weeks old kitten. On the other hand, we once had a kitten that wasn't ready to leave until she was 14 weeks old. We do what's best for the kitten. Our kittens have a very enriched and loving environment--we never cage them, and they are raised with free run of the house, underfoot, in our laps, and in our bed.
We let our kittens leave when they are 12 weeks old in maturity. Because we give them such enriched environments, and supplement early with KMR and vitamins, sometimes they can be ready to go as early as 8 weeks. Usually though, it's 10 or 12 weeks. Rarely, a baby develops a little slowly; we once had to keep one kitten to age 14 weeks before she was ready. Ariel's current kittens are stout horses, and ahead of the curve, developmentally. For example, when Ariel's kittens were barely 4 weeks old, they passed all the 6 week old milestones-- scooting all over the place.
Zoe's kittens (not shown here) are:
1 Champagne Point Girl
1 Platinum Point Girl
1 Blue Mink Girl
2. Blue Mink Boys
In the coming days we will be posting pix of her babies as they become old enough to show off!
Today's featured kitten is the Blue mink female from Zoe's litter. She is just over 5 months old, and still quiet petite (you can still get in on some of her baby-ness!). She is a fearless and intrepid jumper, who can throw her little frame over impressive distances and has an extremely good understanding of not sinking her claws in through your clothes. She may be the baby, but she adamantly refuses to be dominated by her buffalo of a brother so she gives as good as she gets.
We have very nearly placed all of the kittens from the last two litters! We got badly derailed from working on kitten placement due to some personal issues, but we believe we are back on track and very eager to find these last two kittens a good home (or two).
Today we are featuring the Blue mink male from Ariel's litter. He is nearly 6 months old, still rather small and slender but with a big-boy attitude towards playing hard and loving hard. Here he is with his Uncle (one of our keeper adults), whom he loves dearly. Well, mostly he loves his Uncle's fat and fluffy belly! :)
Here are the two kittens we are featuring today; a Blue mink female, and a Natural mink female with a "twist". Remember, as of today these kittens are still available so if one (or more) strikes your fancy please feel free to contact us!
The first two shots are of the little Blue Solid girl, who is a playful little sweetheart and gorgeous to boot. She is simply a little loving doll. We think she is a Solid, but she could turn out to be a Mink. You just can't tell for sure until the kitten is at least a year old, as it takes time for some coat patterns to develop. Either way, Little Blue is beautiful, and a true darling.
The next two shots are of our sweet, smart little Natural Mink Female, who is a genuine bobtail. We consulted some experts, and they think this is the same mutation as the American Bobtail (now recognized by the CFA). It freaked us out a little when she was born, but as she continued to thrive, we researched it, talked to experts, and found out everything would be ok. She does so many cute things; like proudly trotting around with a small teddy bear in her mouth. She is just as healthy, active, and agile as her siblings. She is quite a character--very loving--if "her" humans have been gone too long, she mews pathetically. She is also beautiful, inquisitive, playful, intelligent and strong-willed (just like her beloved mother and grandmother.) She has a high, sweet and melodic mew, which she only uses when she really has something to say. When Don and I were in a room with the door shut to keep kittens out--because they all loooove to "help"--after a couple hours, she began to mew pathetically at the door. We had to take a short break to cuddle and reassure her, and let her gently chew on our fingers--we are quite tasty. :) She likes to tunnel under the blankets and cuddle--or sometimes nibble on your toes. :) She is an excellent kitten, and if not for the bobtail (which is a dominant gene) I would consider keeping her. But, since there doesn't seem to be huge demand for Tonk bobtails, I can't realistically breed her, so I'm reluctantly letting her go.
This little girl Bobtail is the only mutation in my many years of breeding kittens. This mutation has been studied and is well documented. There are no health, agility or balance problems from it at all. But I probably won't see it again, because the mutation is fairly rare.
(Note from Don: Yes, these photos of her bobtail absolutely suck. More coming soon!)
We are starting to get photos posted of all the kittens we currently have avaliable, and we should be posting more every day for the next few days until all the kittens have been featured.
These two Champagne Point Boys are genuine identical twins. That doesn't happen too often--at least, to us.. Like all the kittens from this litter, they have exceptional personalities. They are incredibly social (even for a Tonk, and that's saying something.) as well as loving, cuddley, intelligent, playful and just plain beautiful. They are both currently available for a new home (although I have seriously been considering keeping one of them as both pet and stud).
To the right is Zoe's Platinum point male. He is quite white right now, but we feel pretty sure he'll show a darker nose as he gets older..
As Deborah mentioned below, we have 7 kittens we need to place ASAP. We have cleared out our waiting list (for now), so we are eager to hear from folks who have not contacted us yet. Two of them are from Ariel's litter of March 23rd, the Blue mink male and Platinum mink male shown here.
WE HAVE TONKINESE KITTENS READY FOR NEW, LOVING HOMES!
They are all happy, healthy, gorgeous, loving, EXTREMELY social and affectionate! All shots, except for rabies, and medical health record of regular dewormings, etc. There are 7 little lovebugs of the following colors and coat patterns:
2 Platinum Point Males
1 Blue Mink Male
2 Champagne Point Males (who are genuine identical twins!)
1 Blue Solid (or possibly Mink) Female
1 Natural Mink Female
We apologize for not posting photos yet, but a downed tree limb left us without electricity for about 2 weeks. We will try to post some as soon as possible. Meanwhile, if you are interested in a particular kitten or two, we can email you photos directly as attachments.
We would also appreciate everyone's feedback and opinion on fairly rare situation. Our little Natural Mink Female was born with the rare, but well-documented mutation that the American Bobtail has. Since the American Bobtail is a relatively new breed to the CFA and other cat fancy clubs, here is some info:
We would like to hear everyone's opinion--the mutation is relatively rare. We have never had a bobtail (or any other mutation for that matter) before in all the many years we have bred kittens, and we probably won't see another. We'd really like to hear how everyone feels about us breeding some bobtail Tonkinese (the mutation is dominant, so about half her kittens should be bobbed).
There are no negative side effects--this little girl is just as agile, athletic, and healthy as her siblings. That funny little tail "bobs" in a cute and hilarious way as she zips around playing.
So, would anyone be interested in more Tonkinese bobtails? Good idea or not-so-great idea? We'd love to hear your opinion!!
(And we will TRY to at least get pictures of the little bobtail girl up this weekend. Power failures are not fun.)
I have added a feature to the site that should make it more convenient for some of you to keep up with our current news. Just add this feed to your favorite RSS reader, and whenever there is an update to this site (like the horribly cute photo to the right) you will know!
This is a very coarse and rough video, shot with a first-gen iPhone. What it lacks in quality (which is a lot) it makes up for in cuteness (which is a lot). Ariel's babies having their first adventures outside of the box.
It has been a while since we bred our cats, but bred them we have! Our oldest breeding female, Ariel, spat out a record-setting SIX babies on March 23rd. Prior to this her record was five, but she and our breeding male apparently decided to make up for lost time! All six of them are healthy as hell, and as of today they are exactly 4 weeks old, so we decided it was time to post the news and start contacting the folks who requested to be on our waiting list.
Little side note: we actually have FOURTEEN kittens right now; 6 from Ariel and a staggering EIGHT from our newest, youngest mother, Zoe. Zoe's babies are too small to discuss right now, but suffice to say that for ONCE we may actually be able to clear our ENTIRE waiting list and probably have some left over, so if you hesitated to contact us in the past because you didn't want to sit on the waiting list for a long time, well, now might be a really good time for you to contact us!
Here are all three of the "white" ones. It is a little too early to tell if they are all Platinum solids or if one of them may be a Blue point, but whatever the case they are agonizingly cute.
Here are two of the three Blues (and you can see the other one in the background). They are surely Blue, although again it is a little too soon to tell if they are solid or mink. One thing is for sure... they want out of the box!
UPDATE: The kittens found a home! Thanks to everyone who contacted us!
Greetings! This is the first update we have posted in quite a while! Due to circumstances beyond our control we had to slow waaaaaay down on breeding, but that is now behind us and we have resumed full operations. During our unfortunate lull Ariel did end up producing a litter in March 2011, but we did not have the time or energy to place them all. We currently have two male kittens, a Blue Mink and a Platinum Mink, who are roughly 9 months old. We want to find a good home for them, but we will only place them as a pair and will NOT break them up since they have spent so much of their lives together and are quite close. Accordingly, we are willing to place them for FREE, yes FREE, as opposed to our usual fee. If you are near Nashville, TN and can drive to pick them up then you would not pay so much as a dime! If you are further away and need the kittens shipped then you would only pay for the costs of shipping (which are admittedly fairly high) while the kittens themselves would still be free.
We would prefer that we place the cats with someone locally--within driving distance of Nashville, TN--and preference will be given to candidates who are close enough to pick them up, but if you really want them and are willing to pay for their shipping we are certainly open to that! Please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org to reserve them or for additional information.
Here are some recent photos of the pair, taken on December 25, 2011.
Here is a full body shot of the Platinum Mink boy.
Here is a close headshot shot of the Platinum Mink boy.
Here is a close headshot shot of the Blue Mink boy.
We sincerely apologize for the recent lack of cute kitten picture updates. We have hundreds of new kitten pictures because we had one litter born February 14, (already all spoken for) and another born March 25--3 stout little boys--and we would love to share the best shots, ranging from spectacular action pics of ninja kittens flying through the air, to diabetes-inducing cute photos of wee toddlers cuddled with Mamacat and learning to swip at each other.
Unfortunately, we recently found our best pictures have been repeatedly stolen; some of the worst offenders are large, for-profit web sites loaded with advertising. Various photo thieves have:
1. Removed our web site logo from our photos, then offered our photos for sale as their own work.
2. Used our best pictures to redirect people to their web site, instead of ours.
3. Committed fraud on people who thought they were buying one of our Tonkinese kittens, by putting our photos on their web site, then claiming the photos of one of our kittens was the kitten they would receive. The list goes on...We now know more about copyright law and DMCA takedown letters than we ever wanted to. The stress and hassle to get some of these people to stop using our photos for profit has been immense. We are fine with "fair use"; some photos have been used as forum avatar icons, and a few cute photos have been posted on non-profit, no-ads sites. But it's unfair and upsetting that much larger web sites have stolen our photos to profit from them, whether it's selling them outright, or stealing web site visitors; we have some photos highly ranked in Google searches, but when people click on the photo, they wind up at a web site crammed with spammy ads instead of our web site.
In short, to fully protect our rights, we can't "publish"--put any kitten pictures up on our web site--until they are FIRST officially registered with the U.S. copyright office. Previously, we had just registered the copyrights once per year. We survive on a very low fixed income, and it costs around $95.00 to register a batch of photos with fees and deposit mailings. We still haven't resorted to advertising--many web ads annoy us too--but we are finally putting up a Paypal button to ask for help. If we receive at least $95.00 in donations, we promise to post at least 150 new kitten pictures within two weeks of reaching that goal! It is embarrassing to ask for help like this, but I'm afraid our web site will be pretty boring until we can scrape the copyright fees together. Also, if donations happen to exceed the goal, ALL will be spent on the Tonks! Their scratching posts are in serious need of new carpet :)...
UPDATE 09/07/2011: Donation of $10.00 from Karen Z. THANKS KAREN!
UPDATE 04/27/2011: Donation of $25.00 from Jeff Kest. THANKS JEFF!
Happy New Year! Earlier this year we suffered a total hard drive crash that took several years worth of our cat photos, videos, web site layouts and emails, and it has taken us quite a while to get back up to speed. Anyone who contacted us prior to December of 2010 and asked to be placed on our waiting list should contact us again just to make sure we have record of you (or make record of you if we lost you). Now that we are functionally operational again we should be able to resume regular posting.
While this is unfortunately several days too late for Xmas 2010 these pictures are just too cute not to post, so here you go!
"You HAVE to know... I mean, srsly... you MUST know... I will kill you in your sleep for this indignity."
Waiting for Godot Santa
Tucket dreams of sugarplum faeries. Mostly how crunchy and tasty they would be.
The latest batch of kittens are doing great. We have started them on KMR supplements, so they can grow to be the big, strong moosecats we like to breed. It is fun to watch them figure out how to use the feeder, how to drink directly from the bowl, and to watch Grandma Tucket wash their faces not because the kittens need cleaning but because Tucket likes KMR too!
We decided to shove the kittens into coffee and tea cups, mostly just because we can, so here is a smattering of the set.
The first 3 shots are just typical cuteness, but when I saw the last shot I was struck by the resemblence between the kitten and Yoda, so before I could stop myself I edited the image to properly reflect a Yodaesque hue. If this were a LOLCat image I might be tempted to caption it "Strong in the force, Yodakitteh is!".
Ariel, our Platinum breeding female, gave birth to a litter of 5 healthy kittens on August 11th!
There are 3 girls and two boys; 1 Blue mink male, 1 Blue mink Female, 1 male point either Platinum or Blue, and 2 female points either Platinum or Blue (can't tell yet).
The top photograph shows a very tiny 1 week old baby encountering its 18 week old sibling. Next, we recruit the 18-week-old kitten from the previous litter to supervise. Next, a baby cooperates with teacup poses for a moment because it is too tired to fight. Lastly, Ariel is pinned and all 5 babies hook up to the taps.
We were able to sucessfully place all of Tucket's last litter. Here is a photo of Apollo, the last of the litter and scheduled to leave next Saturday. When they stay with you for 18+ weeks you get attached.
Once again I must apologize that Deborah and I once again let the site updates slide. We have been extraordinarily busy in our personal lives and we have not had the time to devote to site updates as much as we would have liked.
Our top female, Tucket, had a litter of 3 kittens on April 12th! We got two Blue boys and one Platinum girl, and they are doing exceptionally well. They potty trained faster than any litter we have ever had, bascially in one afternoon! They are about 14 weeks old so they are of course eating dry food, have received vaccinations, etc. They are growing kitties that are ready to go.
And therein lies a problem. We usually keep a wating list of 15-20 names, and this time EVERYONE had to decline taking a kitten at this time! Problems ranged from deaths in the family to sudden illness to moving cross-country to good old-fashioned "I'm broke". So we are in the utterly unprecedented situation of having a litter of kittens and no homes for them. We will of course keep the kittens as long as it takes to place them, but if you are reading this and want a kitten NOW, please drop us a line at email@example.com and we'll do our best to hook you up!
The first two shots were taken around 2-3 weeks, and the last three shots were taken a few days ago.
I'm sorry that Deborah and I once again let the site updates slide, but as most of you might infer we did find homes for the last litter quite some time ago. The two Blues went off together to live across town here in Nashville, the Platinum male went to a couple in Pigeon Forge, and the Platinum girl went to the San Franscisco area of California. We are currently in the planning stages for the next litter, which may be as soon as mid-April.
In response to all of the emails we have received over the years complimenting us on our wonderful cat photos we have decided to start selling them. I have a professional photography business (Don Stratton Photography) where I already have a system for displaying and selling photo prints so it seemed logical to tie it in here. I have set up a gallery of images called "Tonkinese pictures" that anyone can access and order prints in a large variety of sizes and price ranges. As time goes on we will add more of our better photos, as well as let future owners order prints of their kitten(s) when they were newborn babes.
Here is one of the first 14 photos that are ready to order, a teeny-tiny little Platinum baby letting the world know it is here. If you see a picture on this site that you would like to purchase then drop us an email and we'll do our best to accomodate your request!
You know the hardest part of my job on this site, besides coding and photography? Trying to come up with clever banter to accompany the pictures we want to post.
Deborah has not been feeling well, I have not been feeling well, but the kittens are absolutely adorable and virtually demanding to have cute pictures taken of themselves and posted to our site. They are at the perfect age where they eat dry food, drink from a bowl of water, use the litter box, and are still agonizingly cute animated balls of hellion-fluff that love to sleep with us, paw through our hair, run up my jeans, etc. So, since I had to take some close-ups today for a lady that needed to see their eye color I thought I would go ahead and share them with the rest of you. These are not, by any possible reckoning, some of our best photography work. The poses for two of them consisted of sneaking up on them while they were resting quietly and "PSSSTT!"ing in their face until their eyes were open, and the other two just got picked up in one hand and shot with the camera in the other hand close to a nearby window with BARELY adequate light.
And yet, they are still squee-inducingly cute. That just how they roll, yo.
For those who follow the site frequently, hoping that we will post more pictures of the current litter and waiting for your turn to come on our waiting list, you may be closer than you think. This litter we have had a record number of last-minute cancellations, due primarily to the harsh economy. Some people got on our list almost two years ago when times were rosier, and since then they have found they cannot easily afford one of our kittens for one reason or another, so they have regretfully had to back out. This means that those of you who contacted us in recent months and were told that you would probably have to wait several months may find you are father up the list than either of us dreamed of. For those of you who have not contacted us because you assumed you stood no chance of getting a kitten anytime soon, you might want to reconsider and ask to be included on the waiting list. You never know!
Once again the pic of the day includes Tucket, who lately seems to always be cuddled with a photogenic baby. Her grandma genes seem to have kicked in to high gear recently; she was always doting and attentive, but in the last few days she has spent almost all her free time sleeping with the babies. Ariel certainly appreciates the babysitter, and the babies appreciate having constant attention... they are never more than a few seconds from having one or both mothers tending to their every need. Yet another reason why we have the sweetest, most social, best adjusted kittens of any breeder you will EVER encounter. :)