Jemstones was registered with Tica in 1996 and we raised our
first litter of Bengals in 1997. To our surprise it was a litter of 9!
Since the mother could not adequately feed them all, after she was done we would then top them all up with formula by syringe feeding them every 2 hours. It was quite the welcome introduction to the world of Bengal breeding yet I was no stranger to having syringe fed, bottle fed and even tube fed puppies. Kittens were just a little smaller!
Our family is very passionate about animals, especially cats and dogs. My love for cats began when I was 2 years old with my first cat Snowball. Both my parents were avid cat lovers and I always remember growing up with a number of cats in our home.
Previous to breeding and showing Bengals we had a Permanently Registered kennel and bred and showed Labrador Retrievers and Dalmatians for both confirmation and obedience. This was a passion which I truly enjoyed.
With our many years of experience breeding and showing dogs, it was a smooth transition over to the world of breeding and showing cats.
At that time the Bengal breed was very exciting and becoming extremely popular. Perhaps it was my love of spotted animals and the intrigue which led me to the Bengal breed. From my Leopard Appaloosa Poco, to the Dalmatians and then onto the Bengals. It just seemed like a natural progression to spotted cats and the challenge and enjoyment of breeding and showing these stunning creatures!
After we first started Jemstones we were enjoying the breed so much that we decided to add 2 foundation cats, Tabu and Puma both F1’s, to our breeding program.
In case you didn’t know, the Bengal cat breed is the result of cross breeding an Asian Leopard Cat (ALC-Felis bengalensis) with the domestic cat (Felis catus). The first three filial generations (F1 – F3) of these hybrid animals are referred to as the “foundation” generations, however the “F” stands for filial not foundation. A Bengal cat with an ALC parent is called an F1 Bengal, short for first filial.
An F1 then bred with a domestic male produces an F2, or second filial. Kittens from an F2 female and another domestic cat are then called F3. Kittens from a subsequent F3 mating with a domestic are called F4s. The F4 and later generations are considered SBT domestic bengals and are accepted in the show ring. At this time we do not have any foundation cats but are expecting some fairly soon.
Along the way, due to a personal family issue we had to sadly close our Cattery. We unfortunately did not actively breed or show for a number of years. When we finally started Jemstones cattery again we had done alot of research on Bengal pedigrees and imported cats with top bloodlines from renowned catteries around the world.
What also sets Jemstones apart and makes us unique in comparison to other Bengal breeders is being able to tell potential Bengal parents that we have also been “forever homes” for a number of our Bengals.
Over the years, we have enjoyed that special bond of unconditional love and attachment from having raised Bengals in our home from birth right up to senior years of 14, 16 and 17. We have also experienced the terrible pain and heartache as they become geriatric and succumb to age related illnesses.
Having the understanding and compassion of knowing what can be expected as they age and become seniors, along with the dedication and commitment of doing what is necessary or required to care for a Bengal from a kitten up to geriatric age and then finally have to say goodbye!
This is the true definition of what a forever home means to us…
*Me with my 3 Great Danes