Lisa Stacholy

... Continued from homepage

Our first pedigreed cat is a wonderful family pet, we had hoped that she would be a fabulous show cat for our children to show in TICA’s Junior Exhibitor program; alas, kitty likes being a family pet.  We learned SO much during that initial time and I wish we had the resources then to make better decisions; however the path has been fun and enjoyable.  We have the good fortune here in the south east, where the Bengal breeders are a friendly, helpful community.  I’m really happy to have our Mentor, Mark Pennington, who understand the fundamental ‘goodness’ of the WHY to breed beautiful Bengal Cats.

For us, our entire family is involved in every aspect of breeding our beloved Bengals.  My husband Jan is a registered nurse (I joke that I have a “private duty nurse” for my 2 AND 4 legged babies).  Our three children Serina, Marissa and Nicholas each have their own strengths for the family ‘cattery business’ and are always more than willing to help out their siblings with the work.  We’ve fallen in LOVE with going to cat shows; the girls really like to present in the Junior Exhibitor ring; Nic is warming up to it.  I really like seeing my ‘cat friends’ at shows, hearing the latest successes (and commiserate tearfully over heartbreaks) in everyone’s cattery.  We share new ‘hints, tips and ideas’ for our cats.  The best part is when one of our friends has a cat who earns their “Supreme Champion” title; we see these kittens grow up into beautiful cats and it’s almost as much fun as watching our kids grow up!

For the ‘business side’ of our cattery, early on I knew that if we were going to do this, I wanted to do it the RIGHT way; no short cuts, no cheats, doing everything to the absolute best of our ability – what a better lesson to teach my kids- right? To jump right in and DO IT!  I knew that HCM screening was so very important in Bengals, and the thought of a $500+ screening terrified me – I got the OK from one of our local clubs to run a “Low Cost HCM Screening Clinic” open to all.  The hard part (I mean REALLY hard part) was figuring out how to pull it off!  I did a little research, and then got on the phone and called and called and called around.  Finally, I got all the pieces in place for the clinics.  Since 2010 (our first clinic) there have been over 120 cats screened for HCM at our clinics.  Raising good quality, HEALTHY Bengal Cats is so very important to me, I had to share the opportunity.  I believe ‘a rising tide raises all ships’.

It is really rewarding when I see/hear our children speaking with spectators at cat shows who ask “WOW, what kind of cat is that, he’s BEAUTIFUL”, the kids have become very knowledgeable and more comfortable speaking with the public about caring for kitten, what to look for in a Bengal, how to raise happy, healthy Bengals.

We’re still learning and enjoying this ‘family activity’.  Our most recent success is attaining a “Perfect Score” on our Veterinarian cattery inspection, receiving our Outstanding Cattery certification from TICA.  We’re looking for more great things in the future, beautiful, happy cats, adorable kittens and Fun, Felines and Friendship through our cats.

-Lisa Stacholy (