Yes, you read that right…Gilles posted to the Abyssinian Cat Club on Facebook about a litter of four Aby kittens he saw in a pet store at the Animalis store in Lognes, France (a suburb of Paris).
Gilles wrote: “As I was shopping for a new tree for my Master Aby, I saw that the pet store was selling Abys. I felt worse than usual for the kittens. Considering the requested price (1100 Euros, I let you do the maths for your local currency) I couldn’t help but wonder what was to become of them in the near future as [that price] corresponds to the average monthly paycheck [in this area]…I wish I could have taken all 4 of them but Master would not have been happy.
I just hope they’ll end up in a loving and caring family.”
Well, I can tell you that, as of today according to Oanda, €1100 is $1,393.45 USD and $1,565.25 Canadian. Yikes. Those poor kittens may be in the shop for a while, and what happens to them when they aren’t kittens any more??
I commented on their Facebook page with : “Purebred Abyssinians should not be sold in a pet shop. Who is their breeder? Abys need human interaction, not to be locked in a cage… What happens to these poor kittens at night when your shop closes? I think you will get a lot of posts today from all over the world about these Abys.” and they actually responded to me! They said: ” Hello, We know Abys are special and many measures were taken to welcome these kittens in the best conditions. You must be sure our staff is professional but also loving and they take care of them!”
Okay…but…that didn’t really answer my question. So I wrote back: “But at night they still sleep in a cage, and not with people…c’est vrai, ça, non?” (I threw in a little French so they wouldn’t think I was a rude American)…they haven’t responded to that yet.
Others from the Aby Facebook Club posted comments on their Facebook page, too. Helen Warn wrote: “Is it true that you are selling purebred Abyssinian kittens? If so, what is the name of the breeder?” and their response to her was, “You can call our Store at Lognes to get this information those kittens were borned in France in the 62th department. You can come and visit the kittens, talk to our staff, they’ll be happy to guide you and answer all of your questions: Animalis Lognes, ZAC du Mandinet – Allée des Palombes 77185 Lognes 0160950400”
Gilles also wrote to them: “Bonjour. J’ai vu 4 Abyssins LOOFés a votre magasin de Lognes. Il n’est pas fait mention de leur statut FELiv ni PKDEF.
Pourriez vous svp me communiquer le nom de l’élevage qui vous les a fourni? Je souhaite voir les géniteurs pour avoir une idée de ce à quoi il ressembleront. En vous remerciant par avance.”
Gilles did manage to discover who the breeder is: Bertand Grumetz, cattery name De La Planquette. He’s a breeder from the north of France and he’s registered with LOOF (Livre Officiel des Origines Félins), but he doesn’t seem to have a website. Evidently, he had a best kitten who won Best Variety last year:
HIRMA DE LA PLANQUETTE Femelle
Pere: COPYRIGHT DES FUSAINS LOOF 2012.23425
Mere: CHIPIE DE LA PLANQUETTE N° Id: 250268710211459
Exposant: BRUN Jade Eleveur: GRUMETZ Bertrand
That’s all the information I’ve been able to gather…but doesn’t this kitten look sad? When I saw two Aby kittens in a pet store in 2006, they at least looked happy. Of course, we didn’t have camera phones or Facebook back then (the phone I had back then wouldn’t even work in Asia!), so there was little I could about them…but Abys – any cats, really – should not be sold in pet stores. If this makes you as sad as it made Gilles and it makes me…why not stop by Animalis’ Facebook page and ask them about these kittens?
The saddest part is, even if someone could afford the €4400 to “rescue” these kittens, it would only encourage the pet store – and the breeder – to continue selling purebred Abys in pet stores. I just hope everything turns out well for these little guys.