Whatatrill Maine Coons is owned by Janet Brown, with the loving assistance of my husband, Nick and daughter, Alli. We are located in the beautiful wine country in Northern California. Our cattery was established in 2003 and is registered with both TICA and CFA.
Our love for the Maine Coon actually began in the summer of 2000. This is our story of how it all began:
Coonyham Jack Daniels of Whatatrill
In the 80’s we had rescued a beautiful brown tabby with white kitten. At the time our good neighbors and friends the Whites had a beautiful solid black angora type cat named Whisky. We always had a friendly game of “Keeping up with the Jones’” so we promptly name our new little kitten Jack Daniels, JD for short. I adored JD and his constant antics. When he turned 2 years old, he was diagnosed with Stomatitis, a severe infection of the gums. We spared no expense in treating JD, including specialized vet dentists, gum scalings, cortisone shots, and finally removal of most of his teeth. The cortisone shots meant weekly visits to the vet, and JD was a trooper. I would let him out of his carrier in the front office and he would jump up the counter to say hello to the office staff and vet techs. They called him “Miracle Boy”, as he had been through so much. I remember one day the vet said he thought that he had good bit of Maine Coon in him. Sadly, JD lost his battle at the age of seven. We were all heart broken. Other rescues would come and go as we raised our two children Andy and Alli. I had always kept JD in my memories and daydreamed of the day I would get to meet a real Maine Coon.
In the summer of 2000, I saw an ad in our local newspaper for an upcoming cat show. The whole family went to the show. I had promised Nick, I just wanted to look and see the Maine Coons we had heard so very much about, and the memories of JD still stood out in my mind. At the time we had 3 rescues and adding another cat seemed out of the question.
We walked through the doors at the show and the first cat we saw a huge brown tabby being carried to the judging ring. Yes, this was a Maine Coon, we were in awe. Nick looked at me and exclaimed, “Oh, Hon, we have to have one of these!” and who was I to disagree…I whole heartedly agreed.
We made several inquiries and all arrows pointed back to the Coonyham cattery. As luck had it one half of the Coonyham (Sharon & Laura Cunningham) cattery, was there at the show judging. That was Laura Cunningham. I waited for Laura to get a break in her judging and I boldy went up and introduced myself and inquired if she might have any kittens. Laura wrote down her website on a piece of paper and her phone number. We chatted for a moment and then she had to return to her judging.
That evening I went through all the business cards we had collected and sent emails to inquire about kitten availability. I then found Laura’s note, I quickly typed in her url and their website came up. One page said “Show Kittens” and when I clicked on that page my dream came true. A picture of a classic brown tabby with white kitten came up, and he was named none other than “Coonyham Jack Daniels!” It was fate, kismet, serendipity call it what you like…I immediately emailed Sharon and Laura. We chatted back and forth and soon we visited the cattery, and met Jack. As part of our purchase agreement we were to show Jack at least 4 times. At our first show he received a Best kitten and we (I) were hooked! Hence, our cat showing career began.
We remain a small cattery having a few litters of kittens each year. We prefer to raise our babies underfoot, and in our home, and socializing each kitten to give it a great start on life. Our goals are to raise healthy, happy and beautiful Maine Coons.
We screen our breeding cats for HCM by using the MyBPS3 gene test (sometimes through parentage), and annual heart scans done by a board certified feline cardiologist. Although neither are a guarantee of eliminating heart disease it is the best available testing at this time. We also screen hips for hip dysphasia via xray.
We would like to thank Sharon and Laura Cunningham for taking us under their wing, being our mentors and providing excellent advice and for always being there, we love you guys.