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"You never know what you get" could almost sum up life as a Breeder. I've got a lot to unload, but with a defeated spirit... we will see where this takes us.

Sweet Dublin has passed. She started off being one of the biggest pints I've ever had and very slowly became the smallest (for her age). The rest of the pints are doing okay, but we are not out of the woods. Today was the first time they all stuffed themselves with homemade chicken and kibble which I am happy about and are now on a bed right now looking like big bellied drunks.

Captain Morgan's first two litters have been ones I've really struggled with... Hiccups such as the cleft lips (some in each litter that never came out alive), not thriving, deformed kittens happen.... but when you change the equation up a bit by using a different female spirit or stud ....things should improve. When they don't, you must evaluate the line to see if there's a common equation (in this case ...the stud). It's a hard task for a breeder because when you get to the point you can USE your breeding cat, you've invested so much ($$$$$) ...and passing heart, hips, DNA, and proving to have a hardy immune system that first year of life is no easy task. TRUST ME. So to say it's an easy decision to decide to stop using a male who just started his time on tap.... would be a huge lie. HUGE. The boy had hair Rapunzel couldn't beat, the chin I've been working for, and the personality of Snow White in a male's body (no idea why I'm using Disney princesses as examples).

Anyhow... but my commitment to having healthy lines always remains to me my first goal. I've gone through so many "potentials" the past few years that I'm almost to the point I want to give up.

What's crazy is even though I try to do all the right things, and I can say without blinking that we have never had heart issues, hips problems, or even a cat with a weak immune system... this does not make me immune to it. I will have a cat with hip dysplasia. I will have one with HCM (hypertropic cardiomyopathy), stomatitis, etc one day ...because even when we use healthy cats, there's always a hidden piece that comes up in the bloodline or just a weak seed.

Still... I must continue to do my part so I can say I did my best to produce and provide TOP SHELF pints. Cuba Libre and Yuengling will be our main studs for the next season. Dos Equis has retired. No one is in need of a designated driver. We will be adding 1-2 more to our bar from my most favorite European breeders... and praying for... Well, we will be praying for everything.

Breeding isn't a level 1 puzzle. It's more like the kind you take out of a box and even if you collect all the border pieces... is still beyond overwhelming. We sit at the table for hours trying to piece different hopeful pieces together, but sometimes time at the table is hardly noticed at first. It's an ongoing puzzle that definitely shows it's beauty when whole parts get paired correctly. So bear with us, as we try to change up "What's on Tap" the rest of this year.

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Our Breeding Philosophy. A lot of breeders preach that females should be bred once a year. They often retire much later (4-6 yo), but those that preach this also seem to be new breeders. We follow the guidance of breeders who have been doing this for 20+ years...combined with the "Feline Husbandry" which is like the Bible to cat breeding.

Cats are not like humans where we need long periods to recover. In fact, the reason why many cats go into heat every 2-3 weeks... is because they were designed and prepared to have babies more often. Having many heats without mating can cause Pyometra which can be life-threatening... and in all cases, very serious. This is prevented by mating. I am thankful humans don't have this happen because it makes our headache excuse seem weak since sex is necessary for cats to prevent infection.

This also allows our females to retire at a very young age, which I personally feel they deserve, and I want them to have a long-loved life on the couch and not with their butt in the air. So our females get bred every 6-10 months, depending on their heat cycle, health, weight, and overall state.

So with that said, we've been keeping a secret. Mostly so we wouldn't be overwhelmed by patrons coming up the bar. Having 4 litters since Christmas has really run the bar dry. We have made the commitment to socialize and love on each of the pints like it was our first litter... so let me tell you, ...we do. This is why pictures have been slow getting out of the Valentine's litters, and I've taken my time to reveal the upcoming surprise.

We hope many of our patrons who have been seated for a while can be served by the end of summer. We are presently getting hearts and hips done on our youngest pints, and if all goes well... we hope to see Barista up at the bar soon. Our other female spirits shouldn't be too far behind. We hope with each brew, our quality stays the same and if anything,... gets even stronger without ever compromising health.

Guinness will be due as early as this Sunday!! 🍻

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