Zen is a blue point male that had a bit of a rough start. When he was just 8 weeks old we apparently brought an upper respiratory virus home from a show. The other kitten in the litter was recovering nicely; but the medicine we were giving them was making Zen sicker and he did not want to eat. The vet ended up keeping him for over a week so that he could give him daily antibiotic injections and tube feed him.
I didn't want Zen to feel as if I had abandoned him; so I visited him everyday while he was at the vet. He was growing stronger with the tube feeding but the vet was unable to get him to eat anything. So I started bringing a jar of "meat" baby food with me and gradually coaxed him into eating it.
Zen's recovery was slow and for the longest time I didn't think he would ever get up to 5 pounds; but he finally made it. We had him neutered when he was 7 months old and he started gaining weight nicely after that. Today he is a handsome boy weighing in at about 9 pounds.
When Zen was a baby he would purr and "make biscuits" on my chest. He was such a love that we couldn't bear to part with him. As he grew it became apparent that he had all the necessary components to be a great show cat. But the show gremlins had something else in mind.
One of the first shows we took him to was the Sacred Cat of Burma show in Medina, OH the 4th weekend in August. Things were going well until the leg on one of the tables in the judges ring buckled and the entire row of cages fell to the floor.
Unfortunately, Zen was in the cage on the end that fell the farthest and that experience made him very scared of the judging ring.
It took a lot of patience, ingenuity and persistence but we were finally able to achieve the title of Grand Premier for Zen. I tried everything I could think of to distract him from figuring out that we were heading up to the judging ring. I dangled toys in front of him and put baby food on my finger for him to lick off as we walked. He was scared but well behaved in the judges ring and finally he won the last points that were needed to reach our goal. Zen is such a beautiful cat that he deserved the title of Grand Premier.
Today, he is a prime example of how lovely birman cats are after they are neutered and have reached full maturity.