One of my very good friends happens to be a cat breeder. Her specialty is oriental short hairs, and, in addition to breeding, is a regular at regional and national cat shows. She is fairly well known in the cat show circuit (not a very big but an extremely odd world) and a few of her treasured felines are heavily decorated champions. Her cattery is a business but it is a consistent money loser. Breeding and raising cats the right way is very expensive and even when your kittens can sell for upwards of $1,000 it is virtually impossible to turn a profit. Like almost all breeders (I wish I could say all but of course there are a few bad apples ) she is in it solely for the love of the cats and the breed. I have had the great pleasure of spending a considerable amount of time with some of her charges and they are very special indeed. I have also helped her on occasion with sales and with transfers and transport of kittens and cats between various breeders and buyers. If you are interested to learn more about the exciting world of cat transfers I’ve provided a link below about a particularly interesting case. It is a pretty funny story, truly, read it, now, go, go read it, please.
Because we have spent a considerable amount of time together she often shares stories about the cat business. Most often these revolve around the interesting and sometimes bizarre people she meets in the show world and online when selling kittens and cats. Recently she described the case of a woman whom she thought for sure was going to purchase a kitten. Everything sounded great about the situation for the kitten. A huge home in Florida with a fenced in pool and yard owned by a seemingly very nice single older woman (of course) who had previously owned orientals and knew the breed well. This woman had even sent pictures of her house featuring its many varied and large rooms and the aforementioned pool. The woman requested pictures of the three kittens that were for sale so that she might try and select the one she wanted for her own. This makes total sense and is not at all unusual, and so of course my friend complied with the request and promptly prepared several very nice photos of each of the kittens. The next day the woman asked for another set of photos saying she couldn’t decide and wanted more pictures. Again my friend complied and prepared and sent more pictures. The following day another request from the old lady for pictures, but this time she wanted specific profiles and distance shots and backgrounds. Even I thought this was kid of weird and my friend indicated it was not that common but it did happen from time to time. Many buyers want lots of pictures and multiple requests for them are not uncommon.
At this point however my friend began to press the buyer to make a real commitment. She had several other interested parties and though it is a first come first serve business, and great deference is given to the first interested buyer, ultimately whomever comes up with a deposit first (and of course meets a broad range of other criteria deemed requirements to be a responsible and loving cat guardian) gets the cat. The potential buyer continued to demur and for the next four days straight asked for additional pictures. When my friend did not comply with her last few requests she became very angry and began to accuse her of all sorts of nastiness including false advertising among a host of other totally unjustified charges. It had become obvious that the woman had zero interest in actually buying a kitten but instead was only interested in getting as many pictures of them as she possibly could. My friend said she did a little bit of deeper digging after the last email tirade and it is not clear that this woman actually owns any home, or lives in Florida, or if the name she provided was actually real.
After this story I commented to my friend about how weird the whole thing seemed. It actually could be viewed as sick or as a sickness, some sort of kitten picture obsession, but not of the humorous sort like the popular internet meme OCD — obsessive cat disorder. She agreed, but then relayed to me that this has happened to her on many occasions when selling kittens. She said “There are some people who really want pictures of kittens and will say just about anything to get you to send them.” She then added, “Interestingly enough it has not happened once with an adult cat for sale.”
People are weird. Very, very weird, and sick.