Wednesday, January 30, 2008

DNA Parentage Testing

It seems to me that the simplest and most foolproof way to determine if this cat is an Ashera cat as claimed, or an F1 Savannah as the breeder of the kitten is claiming, is to do a simple scientific test. I don't know if there is a laboratory in Europe that offers this, but here in the United States, the University of California Veterinary Genetics Laboratory, , is available to send swabs to. A simple cheek swab of the kitten in question, and swabs of the Serval and Egyptian Mau parents, and a little time should prove it pretty nicely?

Of course, one would want the Dutch Authorities to be doing the swabbing of the kitten, not some representative of Lifestyle Pets...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

"Straight from the Horse's Mouth" - an email from the Breeder

I am Christopher Shirk, owner of Cutting Edge Cats.
I was recently made aware of the supposed Ashera cat confiscated and being held at the Schiphol Airport, Netherlands. Upon viewing the pictures of him, both stretched out on the black blanket and in the carrier I can POSITIVELY identify him as an F1 Savannah bred and raised here by me at my home. He was born Sept 3, 2007 out of 'Ace Man' my Serval cat and 'Jazz' my Egyptian Mau. He is registered as a domestic Savannah cat with The International Cat Association (TICA). The picture of him stretched out on the black blanket was taken by me here at my home.
In NO WAY was he to be sold to Life Style Pets as an Ashera cat. He is a Savannah cat. He was sold to A1 Savannahs to be sold within the USA as a pet and has ended up in the wrong hands that he was resold overseas. I am very distraught over this and only wish for this kitten's safe return. He was loved, held, and cuddled and a part of my family. I can't imagine how stressed he is. He is a sweet sweet guy and I pray for his safe return. I have enclosed a picture of him taken here at my home. Sincerely, Christopher Shirk
Compare the picture above sent by the breeder to the Photoshopped pic on the website... the alien eyes have been fixed but it is the same picture.

The Actual Breeder of the Ashera Cat Confiscated in the Netherlands Finds Out!

This post is forwarded with permission from the SavannahKittens YahooGroup email forum:
I was recently made aware of the supposed Ashera cat siezed at Schiphol Airport. This kitten is a domestic savannah cat bred by me here at CUTTING EDGE CATS. I sold this cat to A1 Savannahs and he was to be resold to a private client in the USA. He was not sold by me to Life Style pets (and as told by A1 Savannahs) was not sold to Life Style Pets as an Ashera cat. I'm very distraught over this whole thing. Anyone with more info please contact me at or my cell # 717-669-1765. Chris

Chris Shirk is the breeder of the F1 Savannah kitten in the picture of the newspaper article about the Ashera cat confiscated at Schiphol airport. He took the very picture used in the story and positively identifies the cat from further pictures on the website of the buyers as his kitten. He is doing all he can to retrieve that kitten as it was NOT sold as an Ashera cat.

Ashera Cat Confiscated at Schiphol airport in the Netherlands,1

It seems that Lifestyle Pets might want to get an exporter's license and apply for CITES permits when exporting their "Ashera cats" around the world from the United States. Paperwork needs to be filed for any cat descending from an exotic cat, whether or not it is a registered Savannah or Bengal or an unregistered hybrid mutt labeled Ashera.

One would think that if they are being paid $22K for a cat then they could afford to file the appropriate paperwork! Oops!

On a serious note, it is very sad that the poor cat is the one to suffer. It has to be stressful and frightening for a kitten/cat to be shipped internationally, then to be held likely in a shelter or caged setting while its fate is determined, well that is terrifying for the animal.

And really, what kind of ridiculous hype is this, the cat is described in the news story as growing to the size of a "large dog"? Even an African Serval is not that large (generally 30-40lbs) and the Asian Leopard Cat is domestic cat sized...