We (Susan & John Grindell) live on a lifestyle farm just north of Christchurch in New Zealand's beautiful South Island. We also have some rare Wiltshire sheep, 8 Andalusian horses, most of whom are ex-breeding horses who are living out their years with us, along with a Welsh pony and a Paso Fino. Susan spent many years competing and training dressage horses using Classical dressage methods. She is currently having a wonderful time trekking all over the South Island on her imported Paso Fino, Pixie. Susan & John enjoy carriage driving along the lovely quiet roads in our area. John's hobby is model trains.
We became interested in Maine Coons when a kitten dumped at our farm grew into a huge brown tabby resembling a Maine Coon. When he died of cancer at 8 years old we wanted a cat just like him and looked for a Maine Coon kitten. There were only a couple of breeders in the country and none had kittens available, so we went overseas to find one. Thanks to Zena Pigden from Shiningwater Maine Coons who encouraged us to buy an entire cat to help the gene pool in New Zealand, we imported a wonderful girl from Ann Mary Bishop in the UK and bred one litter - just to see. The rest is history.
Our special interest is genetics and we are passionate about genetic diversity. This led us to foundation and outcross breeding, which means breeding from cats with very different and rare pedigrees. We imported some very special cats from Kaeren Daunt-Jones in the UK, Rasma Sauja in Latvia and Kit Mounger in the United States. The cats we breed therefore are not as inbred as the usual Maine Coons found throughout the world. Our interest in genetic diversity also led us to polydactyl Maine Coons who are pedigree Maine Coons with extra toes. This "fun" attribute was originally thought to occur in 40% of the breed but it is now rare and only makes up a small fraction of Maine Coons. It almost died out because cats were not allowed to be shown with extra toes and most cat breeders are keen show goers. New Zealand is the only country in the world allowing polys to be shown.
Polydactyls have become very popular and we have sent them all over the world. We are proud to be able to help the "polys" become established again by sending polydactyl breeding cats to carefully selected ethical trustworthy breeders like Sheila Curtis in the UK, Anne Harvey in Australia, Patricia de Larminat in France, Elisabeth Morcel in Reunion Island, Nancy in Belgium and Zena Pidgen in New Zealand. We have also sent special "outcross" breeding cats (see this page for an explanation of this term) to Catherine Semer in France, Rasma Sauja in Latvia and Ann Mary Bishop in England.
We are passionate about the health and temperament of the cats we breed. We select cats for breeding that have the best natures so that we continue to produce kittens that make wonderful companions. Our cats are disease free, we have no viruses and all new cats that come into our house have to go through rigorous testing to make sure they are free from disease before they can mix with the rest. We believe this is important for the long term health of our kittens. Newborns have poor immune systems and can have long term health issues if they contract disease at early ages. Once they are older and go to their new homes their immune systems have developed to be able to fight viruses like corona and cat flu.
We also test for genetic diseases that have been found in the breed. All our breeding cats are clear for the MyBPC gene that may cause heart problems. They all have good hips and they are all scanned regularly to check on the health of their hearts including our retired breeding cats as much as possible.