A very special treat for you today – an interview with Radka Vacikova, the proud director of Imagine Glamour Maine Coon Cattery in beautiful Prague. A few months ago I did an interview with a British-born breeder who acquainted Romania with Ragdolls – another American breed. Today Radka talks about best practices in the world of competitive cat breeding.__________________________________
MJN: Maine Coons often get confused with Siberians and Norwegians. How would you explain the different to a person who has nothing to do with felinology? Is it the shape of the head?
RV: Yes, that´s true that these three breeds can be confused by the lay public. The main difference is the head. Standard of the Maine coons says the head has a square shape, square muzzle, big ears high on the head, strong chin, profile with stop. Norwegians need to have a triangle shape of the head with the high and open ears so that the outer lines follow the line of the head down to the chin and the main difference between Maine Coon and Norwegian is the profile - Norwegians need to have straight profile without break. A difference between Maine Coon and Siberian is especially in the quality of the coat, Siberians have very dense coat with water repellent overcoat slightly hard to touch, Maine Coons have silky coat and in the shape of the head when Siberians have "round" head against Maine Coons.
MJN: In the Czech Republic, do you have the option of buying health insurance for your cats? Is there a higher tier program for cats that are breeding, to cover pregnancy and post-partum period?
RV: Here in the Czech Republic we have some possibility of the insurance, but it means only for some veterinarian service and obviously it is very expensive, especially when you have more of the cats, not only one, two ...
MJN: Among Maine Coons some are polydactyl. Is it an acceptable/desirable trait?
RV: Polydactyls are allowed and supported by some clubs but it is not just my interest and taste. But I know many people who love them :) So why not?
MJN: On your Facebook page, there is a photo of you holding a cat who appears to be huge. In some organizations, the standard is written for the male, because the male is larger. Which means that females do not get sufficiently high scores. Would you say it was true?
RV: I think you mean exactly SC Gale by Imagine Glamour*CZ, JW, DVM, DSM :) He is really huge boy around 11kg. The standard says that there is a difference between males and females of course. So this is absolutely correct despite I know really a big females too. I mean the females around 6-8kg for example. The usual weight of the boys can be between 6-9 kg and the girls between 4-6kg so higher weights means really a huge Maine Coon :)
MJN: Do you ever run into your "graduates" at cat shows? Did you ever find yourself in a situation where your cats would compete against their brothers and sisters at shows?
RV: Well, usually I am going only with the young cats, kittens. Only very rarely I can take older cat ("graduates") - it is mean that he/she needs some title or certificates which is not allow to be award to young cats - for example DVM, DSM.
Why not with older cats? It is just because younger cats usually have the better show condition and temperament. With the teenage age also some "problems" are coming, hormones, less of the coat etc, and I simply think that the show cat need to be in really good show condition to be proud of that and show their beauty in all possible ways :)
Yes, some time it can happen that I meet also my offspring at one show, the true say it is not easy for me as I wish the success to all of them and it is usually not possible :) But such situations are not so often.
MJN: How did the name of your cattery come about? Is glamour what you immediately associate with the breed?
RV: The name of my cattery came into existence 10 years ago. I was searching simply something like that - glamour, miracle etc as I adore Maine Coons. GLAMOUR cats was my winner, but it was not "free" for the registration, Imagine Glamour was correct already :)
MJN: Among Siberians, color points are acceptable. I believe, they are not acceptable in Maine Coons?
RV: You are right, color points are not allowed in Maine Coon and I am happy for that. I love the "natural" colors. Btw color pointed Siberians are called Neva Masquarade and it is the sister´s breed of the Siberians :)