We are not new to cats, I had my first cat, a sweet Silver Tabby Manx, almost 60 years ago, and my wife and I adopted our first cats together in 1974. One of those was an Egyptian Mau kitten, a wonderful cat we totally loved.
After ‘Nonsense’ went to kitty heaven sixteen years later, we adopted Matty, an adult Mau being retired from breeding. Always had at least one cat in our home until 2007, when our youngest daughter Mellie took our last kitty, Max, with her when she moved to Las Vegas for grad school.
We remained feline free until Christmas 2011, when Mellie handed me a small package. Unwrapping it I found a framed photo of an unusual spotted cat. I knew it was not a Mau, color was all wrong. Looking up at Mellie she chimed in with,
“Oh, your present is not the picture, it’s the cat!”
Saphira was a two year old Lavender Spotted Ocicat, and was being retired from breeding. While we had not picked her out, had not even been planning on adopting a kitty, and had never even heard of an Ocicat, it took us about two days to fall totally in love with her and the breed.
Almost everything you have said about them in your article on this breed is true of her, other than the fact that she is a bit shy with strangers. Within a few days she was sleeping in bed with us, had taught me to play fetch, and was following us all over the house.
Very intelligent, about a week after she joined us my wife was getting a glass of ice water in the kitchen, when a cube bounced out of her glass onto the floor. Terri returned to our bedroom, and about thirty seconds later in trots Saphira, with the ice cube in her mouth, dropping it beside Terri.
We adopted a second wonderful Oci girl Viola eleven months later, a sweet little 18 month old Chocolate Spotted Oci fireball. Both are the best behaved felines ever to own us: Perfect about using their litter box, both have been trained to stay off the kitchen counters, they rarely scratch furniture, and while they sleep with us every night they never wake us up. Saphira plays fetch and Viola plays catch. Both are just absolute joys, we could not possibly be happier with them or love them more.
They are not clingy lovey lap cats, so they are not for everyone, but if an intelligent, playful, very trainable companion who will follow you all over the house and snuggle in bed with you at night is what you seek, consider one of these little spotted “jungle cats”.
P.S. One thing I probably would add (because it might influence an adoption decision) is the often repeated fact that Ocis bond strongly with their humans, and hate being left alone. Saphira showed this whenever she perceived that we were getting ready to leave, this normally pretty quiet kitty would complain VERY vocally. Never happened when just one of us was leaving, had to be both. This was a small part of the reason we adopted Viola, the others were that we thought Saphira might like a playmate and frankly we liked the idea of another little spotted girl around. Once Viola joined us and was slowly re-introduced (they came from the same breeder but Viola was only six months old when Saphira left to join us), Saphira’s complaints ceased.
P.P.S. It goes without saying that there will be variations in character between individual cats of a certain breed. However although breeders primarily target appearance, character is also an objective (Michael).
P.P.P.S! Thank you, Warren, for taking the time to share your experiences with the Ocicat.