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"Scotland the Brave" Click play to listen.



It's been ten years since my husband Kevin and I moved from the Boston area to the Annapolis area: two historical, albeit somewhat varied milestones of the Eastern Seaboard. Annapolis is to a fair degree separate from the hustle and bustle both of Baltimore and especially the Nation's Capital, and yet within reasonable commuting distance to both major cities. Annapolis is a quaint, relatively quiet smaller city with a beautiful, historical downtown surrounded by quiet suburbs, the Chesapeake Bay, and the beautiful Severn River. The Annapolis area is not only nice, but very economical especially compared to the major east coast cities. We moved here with our Newfoundland, Clouseau who was 6 and 1/2 at the time and were able to purchase a home in a very pleasant neighborhood directly adjacent to Annapolis. Our neighbors are the nicest ever, and it has a good size yard for a large dog, which Clouseau certainly was. When cancer got the better of him 4 years later I was devastated. I'd never lost a dog of my own before. When we got him he was a 3 month old puppy and I was 25 and I guess I thought he'd live forever, and Kevin had grown so attached to him he took it even worse than I did. Fortunately, some solace was brought by 3 cats who lived with the people who sold us the house. A lovely family: 3 children, very responsible hard working young man and woman who in their spare time are volunteers at a local animal shelter. The house was getting to small for them with the third child on the way and they also had 2 golden retrievers and 5 cats. Three of their cats they had adopted from the shelter shortly after they moved here in the very early nineties. Mark, an accomplished carpenter, had constructed a home made cat tree complete with landings and a tree house at the top; very sturdily constructed in a discreet corner of a laundry room which had a door with a conspicuous hole in it where the kitties could go through but the dogs could not. To sum up, this family loved and took very good care of their pets, that much was clear, and we all got along in many other ways too, and yet they implied it was difficult maintaining all the animals because their pets had come from different backgrounds and didn't all get along. I suggested that I'd always wanted cats, so they let me choose from the family of three (a mother and two daughters), or their other two cats. The mommy, Zephyr and her daughters had clearly claimed the laundry room with it's tree as their retreat and/or home if things got too busy around the other parts of the house. So in a way, these kitties whom I grew to love so much had "come with the house" so to speak. When Clouseau died they were there to comfort me and it got to a point where I felt I'd never be able to bear losing any of them either. When we adopted them they were well in to middle age and when we did have to let them go several years later; it hurt so much; I had grown very attached to them, and the house seemed very empty, and even after a year and a half of losing Lucy and Ethel who became sick and died a year and a half after their mommy, the pain was just not going away. One night Kevin and I happened upon a special on Animal Planet where they were describing different breeds of cats. When the excerpt on Scottish Folds came up I was hooked from the first glance and told myself at least to put it into the back of my mind to search for when the time was right. Not too long after, I thought I just wanted to look at some pictures of Scottish Folds, and when I did a general search it wasn't long before I came across Sue's wonderful site with all of these great pictures of Scottish Folds! Kittens and Subadults available, the one that really caught my eye was a long haired folded male, which looked like an adult from his picture. Sue had named him, Mr. Blue Jeans, and the name suited him just perfectly. He really looked like the show cats on the special I had just seen, the longhaired version. Scottish Folds also come in shorthair, and I browsed the available "adult cat" section just to see what was there and what I saw, I just couldn't resist. Mr. Teddy Bear, is what Sue had named him and his pictures and her description of him was just too much and I knew I had to have this cat. After Emailing Sue for the first time, I found out elsewhere on the sight that Teddy's roommate and best friend was the one other cat on the adult page, Mr. Stanley. Stanley is an elegant, exquisite creature who reminded me a little of my Ethel in body frame. Nothing comes close to that face of his however, and just from looking at the pictures Sue took of him there was just something that said "Silver Dollar", and took me back to my childhood when I used to love collecting silver dollars and visiting Silver Dollar City with my mom and dad in my home state of Missouri. Both Stanley and Teddy were almost two years old when I purchased them. They have been worth every penny and then some. These cats have been carefuly bred over the decades specifically for domestication and their temperament has been astoundingly different from any other cat I have ever had. No scratching. They never scratch. They can easily be taught to scratch on a scratching post or flat scratching toy, but they never scratch people even by accident and an accidental scratch on our furniture has been extremely rare. Zephyr, Lucy and Ethel would scratch on anything they could, the furniture the mattress in our bedroom any box that happened to be lying around, and they were almost semi-wild in that they would scratch up my arms in protest every time I needed to put them in a carrier to take them to the vet. It was something I had just gotten used to. I loved them sooo soo much and they loved me but it was always on their terms. When Lucy became sick with hepatitis I was able to train her to take medicine orally but it took a lot of time and patience. And putting her or Ethel into a carrier to take to the vet was an extremely stressful event every time. I have had no such problem with Sue's cats. Kevin can't even believe they're cats he says they act more like dogs in their friendliness, and this story just gets better and better. I couldn't get my mind off Mr. Blue Jeans, he was almost an adult, and looked quite a bit like the long haired Scottish Folds we'd seen on animal planet. He was sent to us no problem and my hands then felt pretty full, but I had become addicted to Sue's site and saw that Blue Jeans' brother (litter mate) needed a home after an initial reservation for him fell through. This cat's name is Bobbie, Sue has named all our cats, and from the pictures I couldn't believe my eyes, but when we picked him up from the airport he behaved differently from the others as we drove home with him, with me sitting in the back seat of the car and the door of his carrier facing me. The other 3 cats turned away from me out of shyness, they'd been through a lot from the flight so who could blame them and they burrowed into the blanket Sue had sent along with them in their carrier. Bobbie was quite a different story. He kept looking directly at me, inquisitively with big round dark blue looking eyes as if he was curious about me and his new surroundings. His eyes never left me and when we got him home and inside (it was dark outside when we picked him up from BWI) we put the carrier on the floor and opened the door. Our three other cats: Blue Jeans, Teddy and Stanley just sort of sitting or hiding from a distance watching, at first nothing happened. So I'm thinking, is Bobbie just acting a little shy, or... and then this unbelievable creature emerged from the crate. Quite confidently I might add: plush medium-long coat with a large plume of a tail. Bobbie is a tricolor, a tortoiseshell, where the colors swirl and best of all, there are these splotches on his mostly white muzzle. And what a face! Along with big, round dark blue eyes, Bobbie also has this adorable fang that sticks out just a little further than normal and his lip sometimes curls up naturally to reveal it. It's hard to describe but it is sooooo cute. The first thing I said to Kevin was,"oh my gosh, no wonder she named him Bobbie!", but what came to mind also due to Bobbies' long plume of a tail and speckled face reminded me of a somewhat larger wildcat is a larger wildcat, the snow leopard found near the Himalayas. Bobbie can have the look of a Bobcat, Lynx, Snow Leopard, from time to time he looks and acts like a dog, and there are times when he even looks like a baby seal when he's all curled up, and staring at you with those huge eyes of his. Scottish folds are human-oriented animals; they are bred to be loving and have excellent temperaments. This will be true of any Scottish Fold, straight eared included. If you purchase a straight ear the perk ears will be the only difference between the folds and the non-folds. Teddy's ears are only ever so slightly folded, he's practically a straight ear, and he was my first pick. I have been telling Sue ever since he arrived he's my dream cat: laid back, huge and once you start petting him you can't stop; he has a luxurious coat. Both he and Stanley are shorthairs thus very easy and fun I might add to comb and maintain. Since Scottish Folds have been bred to be fully adapted to domestication, they have no sense of the danger of the outside world, and must be kept strictly indoors. A clean environment, good quality food, regular vet checkups and a well maintained litter box are must-haves. I highly recommend a non-clay based litter since the clay in litter can cause illness and fatalities in both cats and dogs, and health problems even in people who happen to inhale it's dust. I use "Worlds Best Cat Litter", and have been very happy with it. I have four cats, but again, no kids, and any expense to buy and maintain a Scottish Fold or two for a family, or someone single, or even maybe someone with another pet like a dog; anyone who has the time and desire to make one of these beautiful human companions a part of their life, will be well worth it. There will be expense involved, emotional as well as some financial in order to be an ideal owner. Sue Tyler has been wonderful in answering all questions I've ever had, gives great advice and has lots and lots of experience with animals. I highly, highly recommend her and as she already knows, I am extremely tempted to purchase yet another cat from her. You will love these cats. Elli and Kevin, Stanley, Teddy, BJ and Bobbie from Annapolis, Maryland

Created By: Scoran