Road Trip to the Cat Ranch

My hubby and I have just returned from a long road trip to retrieve our new Cheetoh kitten.  It was a 9 hour drive in each direction, but it was well worth the drive.  We are so in love with our new bundle of fluff and I’m so happy to have seen where he was born and raised for the first 3 months of his life.

The drive was actually quite beautiful and full of all kinds of terrain.  We drove through San Diego, Phoenix, farmland, rocky hills, pine covered mountains, forest and lots and lots of desert.

This is the start of our drive in the carwash.  Thank you Snapchat for this gangster filter!

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And now onto some of the sights along the way…

And of course we had cats on the brain, so it was no surprise when I saw a lion in the clouds!!! Made us wonder if we should be naming our new kitty Simba.

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And then there was this gorgeous sunset…

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And a word to the wise if you are driving through Arizona, there are traffic cops EVERYWHERE!!! Seriously, I’ve never seen so many.  Every couple of miles they would be off to the side and even hiding sneakily in the bushes.

We stopped for the night in the small town of Show Low, AZ.  Our hotel was the Holiday Inn Express and it was probably the nicest accommodations in town, which is not bad for $135 a night.  The rooms were clean, modern and comfortable. They also served a hot breakfast included in the room rate.  I also have to mention that the staff was super friendly and gave off that great small town hospitality vibe.

After checking out of the hotel, we had about a half hour drive up to Vernon, AZ.  This is where the home of Wind Haven Exotics is located and where our baby Cheetoh was born.  It’s a cute ranch out in the country ran by Carol Drymon.  They have horses, cats and some dogs.  Wind Haven Exotics breeds Cheetohs, Savannahs, and Occicats.  As I have mentioned before, Carol is the founder of the Cheetoh breed.  The ranch also cares for lots of rescues as well as fosters for the local animal shelters.

Here is the drive into the ranch:

We were quickly greeted by Carol and were off to see our kitty.  He was with his brothers and sister in a private room.  Here is one of the kittens on top of this awesome wooden cat tree.  Unfortunately, I should have used a flash since its hard to see all the details.

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After meeting and collecting our little one into the carrier we then walked past a few older cats that are free to come and go as they please.

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We were then welcomed into the house and greeted by this super friendly Savannah.

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The cat really was friendly.  I think the ears are back because of the camera.  Sorry buddy!

We then got to see the tiniest kittens that were rescued from a box in front of Home Depot!

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And some more Cheetohs..

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Then we got to see the newest addition to the ranch who will start breeding.  What awesome markings!

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I was in cat heaven for sure! It was so nice to see the love and care that Carol provides for all the animals.  She answered our questions and offered her help for anything we may need in the future.

And then we were off and back to San Diego.

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We are still working on a name.  It’s difficult to come to a mutual decision, but after seeing his personality I am sure it will be much easier.  He is so handsome and a really great traveler.  He slept most of the way and only loudly meowed when we would take a pit stop.  We had a litter box in the backseat with pine litter, but he was not interested in using it during the car ride.

It was another beautiful ride through the national forest and then back through the desert.

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I was seriously shocked at how smooth things were going.  I mean 9 hours in a car with a cat behaving like an angel was very surprising.  But it was only a matter of time…

We were advised to keep our kitten with us in our bedroom for the first 7 days.  This will help with the bonding process and getting used to us and our smells.  I was so excited to introduce him to his new home and didn’t think about his not using the litter box for such a long time.  I should have opened the crate to the box but instead let him slowly exit and look around the room.  I think he was startled at all the new things around him and he just took off like a tazmanian devil and tornadoed all over the room.  He tried to climb the walls and ending up air pooping over my bedding all while running a million miles an hour.  I’ve never seen a cat move so quickly haha! My husband was able to stop the madness and grab him.  After that reaction, we decided to have him in a smaller and an easier to clean space for the first night- our bathroom.   The kitty didn’t have any more accidents and did use the litter box.  He did lose his appetite and didn’t eat the meat we left him for dinner probably due to a little stress.

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The next morning he was freed from the confines of the bathroom into our bedroom and there were no more incidents.  He is sooooo lovey its amazing.  We got him purring in no time and making biscuits.  My hubby even got him to take a cat nap on his arm.   By the end of the day he was chasing our furry string on a stick and in full play mode.  He is a smartie and knows that the stick is doing the work of moving the string (something that my previous cats failed to pick up on).  He is also clever at hiding.  I left to the kitchen to prepare him some food and when  I returned he had vanished.  I was so worried I lost him.  He’s not that small after all! After tearing the room apart, I found him in the dresser drawer.  I was baffled at how he had managed to get in there until he showed me an unfortunate amount of times.  He crawls under the dresser and squishes up on the sides and can move up and down to any drawer he prefers.

20170813_130842 I tried blocking underneath the dresser with some towels but he quickly started digging and moved the towels with incredible ease.  I then snuck a large flat computer monitor box under and he still squished through and up the sides.  I guess I have a new project now of blocking the bottom of the dresser.  He is already making me laugh with his shenanigans and is showing me to stay on my toes.  I love his playful nature and know he will make the purrfect pet companion.

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*Also we tried having the lid on the litter box since he is so small right now but he wouldn’t use it that way.  So no top on box is pretty mandatory for this one.  When he grows we will give him a bigger box.  A plastic storage container is what large hybrid cats need.

His appetite has picked up and he had eaten all his food last night -Hooray!!! He seems to be right on track with acclimating to his new home and family.

Thank you Carol and Wind Haven Exotics for creating these amazing cats.  He has already enriched our lives with love and joy.

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