My interest in the Maine Coon breed began decades ago when I was in college. My roommate and I adopted a "Maine Coon Wannabee" - a pretty domestic long-hair named Felicity who came from an animal shelter in Chapel Hill.
In 2001, I was finally able to fulfill my dream of acquiring my first pedigreed cat (and my first Maine Coon) with Coonoak Sarsaparilla of Dracoonfly. Sassy easily earned her title of CFA Grand Champion and went on to produce many outstanding kittens as my founding queen.
Dracoonfly is a registered cattery with TICA (The International Cat Association) and CFA (Cat Fanciers Association). We are located in Ledyard, Connecticut, near Mystic and New London and about two-and-a-half hours from New York City.
The Dracoonfly motto is, "Beautiful Cats, Inside and Out." We have found the Maine Coon breed to be a beautiful addition to our family, one that makes an impression when it enters a room of guests, will greet you at the door, follow you around the house, and provide constant, laid-back companionship. My husband and I are empty-nesters now, but our cats are still an integral part of the family that includes a dog and chickens (although the chickens live outside).
Each litter has a theme used to give the kittens call names so we have a personal way to identify them for the 3 months they live with us. Maine Coon kittens are born in the bedroom and run amuck in the house (under supervision) after first vaccinations.
I utilize the latest medical screening methods in the Dracoonfly breeding program to prevent knowingly passing on unhealthy genes in our lines. As ultrasound is still the most effective method of screening for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM), I have the hearts of our breeding cats echoed every 1-2 years by a Board Certified Cardiologist as well as utilize DNA tests to check for one of the genetic mutations found to be responsible for causing HCM. For most of my kittens, not only are the sire and dam screened normal, but so are the grandparents, great-grandparents, and other relatives. Documentation of the parents' heart screenings is provided to each kitten buyer. No breeder can absolutely guarantee a cat's heart won't develop heart disease, but I am more comfortable knowing that my breeding cats have normal, healthy hearts.
I also do genetic screening for Pyruvate Kinase (PK) Deficiency and Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA).
In most cases, kittens will be spayed or neutered before leaving at the age of 12 weeks. Micro-chipping can be done at the new owner's request at the time of the kitten's surgery. I do not ship kittens.
I serve on the CFA Maine Coon Breed Council and was the Northeast Regional Director of the now dissolved MCBFA (Maine Coon Breeders and Fanciers Association) for several years. I show my cats and kitten and also manage TICA cat shows in Connecticut every year as President of Cats Ahoy Cat Club.
Dracoonfly's theme is fly-fishing; the Maine Coons that are part of the breeding program are named after fishing flies. Each cat's namesake fly is pictured on his or her individual page. This was one way to keep my fly-fishing husband, Jay, involved in the cat fancy. If Jay gives up a fishing weekend to attend a cat show, he can often be found tying flies (and cat toys) at the grooming space next to our cats.
In 2018, I ventured into showing a new breed, the Selkirk Rex. For more on Oenophile Selkirk Rex, click here.
For the reader's further education and entertainment, I invite everyone to read my blog, Sharon Space. Not all my blogs are about cats, but many are.