“WEGIEKATT CATTERY,” you ask?!? Well, it REALLY all began in Worcester, Massachusetts in 1983 with the death of my dearly beloved rabbit, Emily! One can blame it all on Emily!! My then-husband, Pat, came home from work one day, only to find me bawling my eyes out over the death of Emily. Feeling sorry for me, he made the mistake of saying, “Well, why don’t you go out and get a cat to take Emily’s place.” I did, and the rest is history. In that I am able to do little in moderation, I “accumulated” fifteen alley cats within a period of two years or so. Fortunately, we had plenty of room and lots of help (our two boys, Greg and little Pat).
Well, one day while sitting in the veterinarian’s office, little Pat pointed out a magazine article on Norwegian Forest Cats that had pictures of the most beautiful cats I’d ever seen. I had to have one! Or two!! Or three!!! In fact, I absolutely HAD to breed them!!!!
So, within a year, I had placed all but one of our alley cats, had “collected” ten Norwegian Forest Cats (or “Wegies” as we so like to call them), and poof -- WEGIEKATT CATTERY HAD BEGUN!! My first female, Katie, came from Mary Buckmaster in Virginia, and my first male came from Margarete Leleithner in Germany.
|definition of "raised underfoot"
even a joke picture is worth a thousand words
In 1987, we moved to a suburb of Chicago, Illinois, having purchased a house whose purpose was primarily to house in style all of our Wegies. Although the cats and kittens roamed the house, I also had an elaborate set of walk-in, 10’ X 10’ hardwood cages built in our 60’ X 20’ basement. It was during this period of time that I built my reputation, so to speak. There were three articles written in the national cat magazines on my Wegies, my life and on WEGIEKATT CATTERY. Also, my cats made innumerable covers and were in several advertisements for cat products. It was while living in Chicago that I developed my love of showing -- often showing 8 to 10 cats at a time! It was also while living in Chicago that I added four more breeds to my cattery: American Shorthairs, Longhaired Scottish Folds, Birmans and Silver Persians.
We pulled up stakes in 1991 and moved to Jacksonville Beach, Florida where we had a good enough sized house, with plenty of room to house our five breeds of felines. It was in Florida where we opened up a new company called FOR CAT'S SAKE. We tried unsuccessfully to make a living by breeding cats and selling cat products at various cat shows up and down the eastern seacoast. Things devastatingly didn’t work out and all of our own personal showing ceased to be. We sold our house, kept our Wegies (my favorite breed of the five), placed the others, and we moved to a two-bedroom apartment in nearby Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida.
Fortunately, Pat got a new job which involved all of us moving to the San Diego area in 1994. However, our marriage finally fell apart after twenty-three years, and I moved back to Florida one-and-a-half years later. With one stud, two breeding females, and four altered Wegie pets, I eventually bought a charming house in Waynesville, North Carolina (basically, a suburb of Asheville) where I lived very happily for three years.
The next stage of my life started in 1999 when once again, I pulled up stakes and moved to Flemington, NJ, in order to marry my second husband Robert Hudson. He had been a kitten customer of mine since 1992, and we got reacquainted once again via the internet. We were only married for three years, however.
I have now moved to Matthews, North Carolina, a lovely little town! It's really more a suburb of Charlotte, though you'd never know it......dairy and cattle farms abound !! I was lucky enough to find a house that had just started being built.......and what a THRILL it was to design it exactly as I wanted!!!!!!! I don't know whether the cats or I like it better!!! I've lived in so many different places, and I've been breeding under three different names now ... Gavin, Hudson, and now again, my maiden name, Harriman. No matter the place, no matter the name, though, one thing is for certain ... I'll always be breeding Norwegian Forest Cats!!!!! They are my TRUE joy.
Love, Patti =^..^=