About Chorus Tonkinese Cats
Mike & Lizzi Smith are relatively new breeders of Tonkinese Cats. We love cats and the Tonkinese breed in particular. Lizzi’s parents owned their first Tonk over 25 years ago – a wonderful first-generation brown boy called Feenix. After meeting him we were hooked – he had a wonderful personality and was unlike any cat we’d encountered before.
We’ve had cats in the family since we bought our first house together. Our first cats were Maddy – a petite tabby girl – and Jack – a very fluffy black boy. They were rescued from a litter born to a stray queen that had been adopted and cared for by a colleague. Feenix the Tonkinese was a major influence (as were all of the cats in our wider family) and after moving from town to country almost 20 years ago we had our first Tonkinese boy – Jacob – who died in 2015. Find out more about each of our cats here.
For us, breeding was always something other people did. Although we have always been fascinated to see kittens grow up, we hadn’t contemplated taking on such a significant responsibility until some thoughtful advice and encouragement from an experienced breeder nearby set us to consider it in detail. It took some while and a lot of soul-searching to decide that with the support of an excellent mentor we could commit to the considerable time, learning and investment necessary to begin breeding. Jacob’s companionship was a very positive influence and his memory lives on in our kittens.
We started what we hope will be a long journey of discovery over many years but are under no false impressions – this is hard work; we don’t undertake it lightly, and are committed to breeding healthy, happy, well-adjusted kittens that love being with people and would thrive in family homes. We will only have a couple of litters each year. We are committed to breeding healthy and well-adjusted kittens in accordance with the GCCF Breeding Policy, Rules and Code of Ethics.
More about us…
Lizzi trained as a nursery nurse and has since completed a BSc (Hons) in Biology with the Open University. Besides cats, hobbies include reading (especially crime, science fiction and school stories), knitting, crochet, and following cricket on the radio. All our cats are familiar with the dulcet tones of Geoffrey Boycott! Mike’s degree is in Music & Performance (Singing) – non-cat hobbies include singing in Oxford-based choirs, learning to play the organ, and collecting classical music CDs. Whilst at university Mike studied computing in his spare time – and has since built a career delivering high-stakes software projects. Music and cats are a wonderfully relaxing foil to this activity and our cats all enjoy a wide diet of “classical” music from medieval works through to the 20th Century (except the really modern stuff without tunes).
We are lucky to live in a beautiful area, but even in rural locations cats are still at significant risk, especially breeds like the Tonkinese where inquisitiveness often outweighs caution. Jacob lived for years with three legs after an altercation with a wild animal – and road accidents occur all-too frequently even in the quietest of locations.
At the end of 2013 we decided to rethink how we used the rooms in our house to support having our cats indoors with access to a large outside run. More recently, inspired by a visit to the new home of two of our kittens, we have made even more room available outside with many more options for the cats to enjoy as much space as possible. They love it!
Tonkinese are well suited to these accommodations – it’s in their nature to be with humans a great deal of the time, and so long as there’s room for everyone, this works well. A house with cats will never be pristine – but a house without cats is a far worse prospect! If building runs is not for you, there are many ways to modify a garden to be escape-proof – please do ask us for advice on his as we have plenty of experience to share.