"Once Upon A Bengal"

"There are two means of refuge from the miseries of life: music and cats." ~Albert Schweitzer


     Once upon a Bengal, I went into a pet store in Dublin, Ohio to buy some supplies for my miniature schnauzer; I walked by a tall black wire cage with three kittens inside of it. Although our family had only ever owned schnauzers, and definitely considered itself a "dog family", I had always loved kittens (who doesn't love kittens?) and when given the opportunity to interact with them, I couldn't resist. These kittens were no exception; however, they were unlike any kittens I had encountered. They had the most beautiful markings, soft, sleek, silky fur and while most cats gave me an allergic reaction, these little guys didn't seem to bother my allergies at all. I took the kittens out of the cage one by one and when I picked up the last kitten, he seemed very lethargic and sort of drooped across the palm of my hand. I mentioned to the manager that the kitten seemed to be ill. He politely explained that the kitten was probably just tired. I left the pet store troubled at the worker's lack of concern for the kitten and didn't sleep much that night.

     The next day, I told a coworker about the kitten, and I asked if he would go pick up the kitten for me and deliver him to my brother who would care for the kitten until I completed my shift. My coworker agreed. Now came the tricky part. I knew that my parents (I was still living with them at the time) would not be on-board with the idea of a cat living in the house, so my brother (who was still in grade school) agreed to meet my coworker at my bedroom window to smuggle the kitten into my room, and that is exactly what we did. 

     When I arrived home, I found that the kitten was indeed quite sick and immediately called the veterinarian. Several hundreds of dollars later, my new kitten, now named Nico, was free of not one but two parasites that if left untreated would have claimed his life. 

     My parents initially agreed to let me keep Nico until he was well enough to be adopted by another family. Nico, had other plans. He was a very odd kitten who loved to play in water and would stand on the side of the tub when I was bathing and then get into the bath.  He would climb to the highest points in our home and then meow for rescue (not that he needed rescue, he was just stunting for attention). Nico wasn't bothered a bit by our miniature schnauzer; in fact, he seemed to love our dog as much as we did. By the time this beautiful boy was feeling well, his charismatic charm had won his way into the hearts of a "dog family". While our family didn't understand what 'Bengal' meant, Nico taught us, and I absolutely fell in love with the breed. Although Nico was only half Bengal, he was hypoallergenic and ultimately had the heart of the Bengal breed.

     Later that same year, I met a girl who was working at A-kerr's Bengals. We worked together at Cappuccino Café, a coffee shop in Dublin, Ohio that has since closed. I remember listening to her amazing Bengal stories and deciding that one day I too would have a Bengal cattery. Several years later, while looking for a silver spotted Bengal boy, I met Donna Newsome of Bengal Mania who encouraged me follow my heart, work with the breed AND KEEP MY STANDARDS HIGH. 

     In 2015 we began our journey as RAHIMI BENGALS and in 2018 added the Savannah breed and rebranded as MY EXOTIC CATS. We are a small, cattery about 30 minutes Northeast of Columbus, Ohio. The magic of working with both Bengals and Savannahs far outweighs the challenges responsible breeders face. It is an honor to contribute to such aesthetically appealing, personality- forward breeds. I hope you enjoy viewing our Bengals and Savannahs online, and I look forward to helping you pick out the purr-fect new addition to your family.