My husband Ted and I (Kathy) live on a horse farm in the heart of beautiful Amish country. You can check us out at windyhillfarm.net
I wanted to share a longer version of how Windy Hill Farm Pets / Kathy’s Kattery came about. In
May of 2016 my dog Zoe had her first litter of Miniature American Eskimo puppies. Five cute little balls of white fluff. The puppies were sold to families in Georgia, Rhode Island, California, Alabama, and Washington state. This was after I was diagnosed with colorectal cancer in December 2015. I began treatments of chemo pills and radiation in February 2016. In May of 2017 Ted brought home a black and white momma cat with kittens. They came from an Amish friend's farm. The dad of the kittens was a traveling salesman that had the Ragdoll look. Ted said I must come down to the barn and look at this cute little blue eyed kitten that was in the litter.
Since the treatments I had been more tired and it was uncomfortable to ride horses as much as I had before the radiation. Ted said I should buy some females to breed to Sylvester and see what we end up with. Ted loves the genetic background of crosses with animals. In August of 2017 I purchased two Ragamese sisters, Sophie and Piper. On May 8th & 9th of 2018 the girls gave birth to 8 kittens a piece. I was now in the cattery business. We had converted part of the building Ted used for his dog kennels years ago. He once raised Beagle’s and English Pointer Bird dogs. Ted later found a Himalayan female for sale, which we bought. Her name was Stella. This was becoming a nice hobby for me during my journey with cancer. Sylvester crossed with the three females and has proven to be successful. All kittens are blue eyed with the same Siamese color points.
By now I am navigating my 2nd round of cancer. This time I had chemo via a port and the surgery. I didn’t have lots of energy to spare, but kittens were a great way to have me be responsible for their care and take the focus off the symptoms of chemo and cancer. I had surgery in August of 2018. A full hysterectomy. The surgeons scraped out the scar tissue from the radiation area and now I have a permanent colostomy with a bag. I was back riding horses after surgery in just 7 ½ weeks. It was nice to be back on a horse. A few months after my surgery the cancer cells were showing back up. In November I was at a cowboy church after a 3 day horsemanship clinic in our area. I was telling my story to some friends and a guy that was visiting the area walked up to our conversation. They called him a prophet. He asked if he could pray over me? I said yes, and an
Amish lady whom he had prayed over the week before; and was now healed of her ailment, laid her hands on me while he prayed. I didn’t feel any different at the time, but received any healing that was to come my way. Two weeks later at my check up with my naturopathic doctor, the test results showed all the cancer was leaving my body!! Wow! Praise the Lord! I was shocked and excited all at once. I wasn’t looking forward to round #3. I am now 100%. I feel 20-30 years younger. What doesn’t break you will make you stronger. Cancer was a Blessing not a curse. The emotional/spiritual healing that can take place is amazing. It does take work and changing from the old self and becoming a new self takes time. Well worth the effort.
Back to the cattery story...I kept two females from Stella’s first litter. (Chloe and Sasha) I received back two of Sylvester’s sons Tux and Hunter. My daughter moved from a farm and didn’t have room for them. Their moms were Sophie and Piper.
For my 60th birthday in October 2020 Ted wanted to surprise me with Maine Coon cats. He had remembered a story I had once told him. When I was around 14 years old, I had wanted a kitten with a red bow around its neck for Christmas. I was disappointed when I awoke Christmas morning and didn’t see a kitten anywhere. What I received later that day was; Dad took me to a neighbor's barn and I was able to catch a wild kitten. The kitten was so wild it tried to jump through the glass truck window while driving home. I was actually surprised Ted remembered that story. Ted spent many hours searching the internet and found the nicest Maine Coon kittens in Russia. In September 2020 Brittney and I drove to JFK airport in New York to pick up the first batch of Maine Coon kittens, Sabastian, Tatiana and Yana. In October Brittney went by herself to JFK and picked up the 2nd batch, Snow White, Natalia, Lady Diana, Ariadna, Houdini and Kimba. This is no easy task. Trusting someone in a different country, speaking another language and trusting that you will receive what you sent money for. Dealing with brokers, couriers and customs. All kittens arrived safe and sound.
Now we must expand the cattery. Our old stallion barn had been a storage area for tractors, cobwebs and such. We did a thorough Spring cleaning, and put up strong wire panels to keep the cats in. I call it a screened in porch. We also converted some old chicken coops into cat houses. I like my cats to have fresh air, sunshine, and heat in the winter months.
Over the winter Ted began shopping again and found Felix and Pearl, both Selkirk Rex cats from Samara Russia. They arrived after a very long journey in February 2021. We had also purchased Jewel (Persian x Selkirk Rex) from a breeder in Indiana. We bred her to Felix.
We got Zoe (Himalayan bred) and Tesla ( Chocolate Scottish Fold) on trade for a Maine Coon kitten in July 2021.
I think I can safely say that my hobby can be considered a full time job now. I welcome volunteers to help cuddle kittens. I know it’s a hard task, but someone has to do it.
Our goal is to raise friendly, playful, tidy, healthy and unique kittens.
Thanks for taking the time to read how we evolved into this fun and rewarding cattery. Update on 10-21-23, We have started focusing on mainly breeding Maine Coon cats. I really enjoy this breed. They are so majestic, great family cats, good with other pets, and just all around a cool breed!