My name is Robert and I love cats! I grew up in Aurora (long before it was the size it is now!) and started breeding Siamese cats in the 1960’s and then took a break from active breeding for a couple of years. By the late 1960’s I missed having kittens around but had a consulting business that occupied much of my time. Around 1970, I saw a sign for a local cat show near my office location, and of course, needing a kitten fix, went in.
I was immediately in LOVE with the Siamese that were there and then in a corner I saw a very beautiful and very unhappy looking Sealpoint male about 2 or 3 years old in a cage for sale. I fell in love with him as he was by far the nicest looking Sealpoint I had ever seen and was totally miserable, unhappy, but very sweet and purred when I picked him up. I brought him to my office and set up a room with beds, litter pans, food dishes and a large collection of toys and goodies I had bought at the show.
For the next few weeks I spend much time giving him attention, and he turned out to have a lovely personality and was my companion all the time I was in the office, which was many hours every day. I showed him a few times and he did alright but didn’t like shows much. I bought a couple of females and starting breeding litters again. That was the start of the present cattery.
Then a few years later, a new breed of cat appeared that had the best of the Siamese without the points, the Oriental Shorthair. I immediately was very interested in these really beautiful and new cats. They were provisional, not yet accepted for show, but the breeders were showing them so the judges and board would get to see them.
After a few years of breeding a variety of breeds I kept running into people who were getting out of the industry. They didn’t want to deal with the hassle that running a cattery can bring and many people get into the business because they love cats but forget that running a cattery is a business. And a business takes work. That’s how I first got into the rather unusual brokerage side of things. These people knew their cats were valuable and didn’t want to give them up to a shelter where they weren’t sure what would happen. They already knew me and the way I care for my cats so they knew that their friends would be in good hands with me. After years of living in Aurora, I knew quite a few people who were great cat breeders.
From there I focused on only three breeds: Siamese, Raggamuffin and Himalayan. After more than 30 years of being a cat fancier, those breeds remain my top three hands down. Nothing beat the personality or energy of those cats.
Today Bee Jay Cattery of Aurora is just as much of a collective as it is a person. I work with a variety of cat breeders across Colorado to find the cats with the best health and the best personality. It is equal parts creating connections and equal parts breed knowledge.
It’s hard work but I love every day of it.