My special Chilli at just 12 hours old
Everyone who knows me knows my boy, Chilli. But what many people don't know is the story behind Chilli and my journey to get him.
To start this story I have to go right back to 1988, when my mother purchased her first Abyssinian Cat Biru Henry Pawson, aka Pharoah, Pharoah was a big Tawny male and after him came two more Abys, Biru Shade Agbaje aka Nefertiti who was an elegant Tawny female and Zeor Silver Khian aka Khian who was a Black Silver male. Both Khian and Nefertiti were born in 1989.
Khian and Pharaoh became the best of friends, and Nefertiti liked to keep to herself, but one day Khian was hit by a car and tragically killed, and Nefertiti was assumed stolen until sighted as feral several years later.
I wasn't around to meet Khian or Nefertiti, and Pharoah was going on 7 when I was born. I grew up with Pharoah and loved him more than anyone could possibly imagine, he was my best friend. On the 8th of May 2005 (mother's day) Pharoah was put to sleep, he was going on 17 and I was 10, so I didn't take his death very well and never really got over it.
It wasn't until early 2008, almost 3 years later, that my cousin told me she was getting a new Ragdoll kitten! I hadn't thought of owning a cat for a long time, and when I heard this news I was very excited for her, and it took me back to when Pharoah was with me.
I'd vowed that I would never replace Pharoah, but it was at that point that I realised it's not possible to replace a cat, they're all different and will take up a different place in your heart, so I thought, I'm going to find myself an Abyssinian breeder and get a new Aby, all for myself! For months I sat at the computer desperately searching for an Aby breeder, as much as I tried I couldn't find one, until I thought, why don't I just go to the next cat show? And that's exactly what I did!
It was the 28th of May and I was looking through all the many cats on exhibit, when I came to a Cinnamon Abyssinian girl named Ruby. I asked someone who the owner was, and they took me to a lady by the name of Gillian Little. I spoke to her for about 10 minutes, and when I left I had several answers.
There were no Abyssinian breeders in Tasmania (she was the last and retired), and if I wanted a Blue Aby (I wanted a Blue male at the time) I would be best to go to George and Julie Kennedy of Nile Abyssinians, or Sue Jentsch of Osiris (V) Abyssinians. I firstly contacted Sue, but she unfortunately told me that she was retiring from breeding for a few months, so instead I contacted George who told me he had several litters throughout the year. I looked at photos of his cats, and decided I really liked his boy, Lenny and his girl, Posh. But it was only May, and I wanted a kitten in October.
So time went on, litters were born, and I got to know George more and more. August came and early in the month George had mated his Fawn girl to Lenny, and later in the month he was planning on mating his Cinnamon girl to Lenny. But then plans changed, and he mated Posh to Lenny! I instantly asked to reserve a Blue boy from either litters, but I was given the disappointing answer that it was unlikely for there to be any Blues. So that's when I decided that I wanted a Tawny boy, like my Pharoah!
On the 4th of October 2008 the Fawn girl gave birth to 3 kittens, 2 Cinnamon girls, and a Cinnamon boy. I was disappointed that there were no Tawny boys, but I still had hope that Posh would give me my dream kitty! About a week later, on 12 October 2008 Posh gave birth to 4 kittens, 3 Cinnamon girls and ONE TAWNY BOY!!! I thought that was more than a coincidence, all the other kittens were Cinnamon, except for this one which was exactly what I asked for.
George lived in Sydney, so I couldn't meet the Tawny boy who was now name Nile Chilli Pepper, but George kept me up-to-date and gave me lots of photos, every time I saw a picture of my boy I felt intensely happy and I knew he was meant to be in my life. Having to wait for him was SO hard, but now it feels like no time at all!
It was the 23rd of January that Chilli came to me from Sydney. I remember waiting in the airport thinking "my boy is in Hobart, I can't wait to hold him in my arms and know that he'll be mine forever!" As I waited another lady came out with her new Maine Coon kitty, seeing her with her new cat ridded me of all patience, and I walked in there and asked for my cat! A man came back with a travel crate, and said "we've lost the tag to this cat, is it yours?" I looked in a saw a tiny Tawnu Abyssinian cat peering out of the cage, I must have looked like an idiot with the giant grin on my face but I simply said "yep, that's him!" and took him.
As I walked to the car he screamed and screamed, we got in and I let him walk around the car, he was beyond perfect!
Over a year later, I cherish the memory of my journey to get the purrfect Aby, and everytime I look at Chilli I know that he was the best decision I ever made! I see Chilli not as a pet, but as my son, and that's how I treat him. He means the world to me!