Avalin – “What a Cat.”
In Thailand there is a Buddhist temple, called Tiger Temple, where the monks live with tigers. One of these is named Lightning- our Savannah F2 male is named after this wildcat, because he is an incredible combination of intelligence and wild independence, coupled with a love of people and an almost fierce loyalty to his family.
When we added Lightning to our family, our son was almost seven. As he is an only child, we were looking for a playmate and companion for him. What a perfect solution Lightning turned out to be! This Savannah always wants to be with people, so he is right in the middle of the action, whether our son is reading a book, playing Legos, sledding, or taking a nap.
After visiting Tiger Temple, the thought was born that a cat may be a good playmate for our son. So, we started doing our research on cats, and came across the Savannah breed. We started researching the Savannah breed and the breeders on the web. Exotic Cattery was an obvious “head and shoulders” above the rest, with the quality and selection of cats. And, with Petr being a professor of animal nutrition, we knew the cats would be well cared for.
So, we went to visit Natalia and Petr to see what a Savannah was. When we were there, Natalia made sure we ended up with the perfect cat for us- one that would be very social, especially as we had a child. In reality, Lightning has far exceeded our expectations- not only does he have some of the wildness and pride of his Serval grandfather, he is the most loving, playful, and non-aggressive cat we have ever seen. Yet, he is not afraid of anything. If there is a storm raging, or perhaps a bigger dog nearby, he walks towards- not away- from these powerful threats. What a cat.
Lightning has such personality, and is always ready to play- he loves to play hide and seek, and will chase a crumpled up piece of paper and bring it back up the stairs. In fact, cardboard boxes and a crumpled up piece of paper are much more interesting to him than any so-called cat toys we have purchased. However, his favorite toy is a small stuffed tiger that he hugs, licks, and very gently picks up. We have other stuffed animals he plays with but, of course, he identifies with the tiger. He is a good communicator- we always know what he wants, and he talks to us often. I have never heard a cat purr so much, but if he has to move from his position and doesn’t want to, he will let you know because he “chatters,” then walks away. It is his way of complaining!
We feed him dry cat food, and ham as an occasional treat, but he loves ice cream. When we are eating a bowl of ice cream, he will come take a sniff if you let him, but he won’t take a lick, as tempting as it is. He will then sit by you and patiently wait, as he knows he’ll get the last spoonful. What a cat.
The independence in cats is well known- however, his intelligence, loyalty, love, and curiosity are so strong that he will come when called, knows all types of words, will modify his actions very quickly (when he wants to). He is a great companion- where ever we are, he has to be. If we are in all parts of the house, he sits in the middle.
When people come over, they marvel at the friendliness and directness of Lighting- he is the first at the door when someone knocks- as well as his size. His looks and bearing are so striking, that when we were walking him down the street one day (on a leash), the neighbor man backed up his car halfway down the street to get a better look. He asked, “What is that, a mountain cat?!”’
~The Homora Family, Vietnam