Our First Savannah Cat: How Luna Joined Our Family
Since Luna came into our lives, every blog post I've written focuses on her FIP and the drug trial. What I haven't shared about our little sweetie, is how Luna joined our family earlier this year. We have a habit of doing things the hard way and for us, buying a specific breed of cat and having things go easy, was no exception. I am writing about this because the lesson, as well as the outcome are worth sharing and we are happy that things worked out the way they did; although we could definitely do without that dreadful FIP! Here is how this went down:
Jamison and I had often discussed that we would love to get a Savannah cat one day. We have a very active lifestyle and if we were to get a cat, we wanted one that could travel along on our camping, backpacking, and other daily adventures; much like folks do with dogs. Our research taught us that Savannah cats love water, are athletic, interactive, walk on a leash, play fetch, enjoy car rides, and are very high energy in general; it seemed like the perfect choice. As you can see, so far, so good!Rewind to December 2016 when I found, what seemed to be, a reputable and ethical breeder.We purchased a baby boy Savannah kitten from this cattery in Alabama. This would be our first pet together and my first indoor pet. The timing was perfect since I was recovering from spinal surgery and we didn't have any major trips, activities, or destination races planned; meaning that we could dedicate our time to adapting to the new kitten in the coming months. However, the best laid plans are often the ones that do not work out.Twelve weeks rolled by and as we awaited the time of our new kitten's arrival, things started to feel somewhat "off". The response times from the breeder had spaced out and we were generally refused most photos and any videos of our kitten, except for a few headshots (that I continually asked for). It was bizarre that we could not see our kitten on his feet or romping about; it never felt real. Fast forward to February 2017 and two cancelled prior delivery dates for two different excuses, we finally received a shipping confirmation for his February 15th arrival.On the evening of the 14th at around 9:00 pm, we received an email (not a phone call) from the breeder stating that our kitten and his litter mates had been killed the day before by one of their other stud cats. The kittens were 14+ weeks old and we didn't buy this story for anything, but we gave them the benefit of the doubt. The breeder offered to replace our kitten with another kitten once another litter was born plus give us a free F5 to "gift to a friend or family member, or keep ourselves". So, now we were looking at at least another six or seven months of waiting!Since nothing about this transaction had gone right, we requested, and very luckily, received a full refund as well as a few litigation threats because how dare we question them or discuss what had happened openly on social media, but we only spoke the truth. At that point, we were simply ready to be done with all of it, sad and disappointed with the outcome, and that we had done so much to prepare for our kitten's arrival. It was all for nothing.Because neither of us give up easily; and to be honest, we did consider giving up, we decided that we should learn from this experience, and make sure we do it better the second time around, thanks in part to the many Savannah cat groups on Facebook that lent tons of advice and recommendations. That second chance led us to Luna's breeder, who was very kind, compassionate, and an absolute delight to work with. Luna's purchase was a fun and exciting one and we had all the photos, videos, and information about her that we asked for. Even through all the chaos of the FIP diagnosis, she has stayed right by our side, lending support, advice, comfort, and friendship; not to mention, a refund that helped to cover Luna's medical bills and the trip to UCD for her drug trial.Because of Luna and FIP, we have met some wonderful people and formed many new friendships and connections. Whether this trial works or if it doesn't, whether it gives us a few months or several years with our special girl, we are okay that things did not work out the first time with the Alabama breeder. Sometimes second chances can lead to unexpected happy endings.