The story behind AURYN Maine Coons is one of surprise, lots of research, and unexpected love.
It started way back when we were operating a pet transportation service – getting new puppies from one part of the globe to another. At some point along the journey, we began to get requests for kittens and cats (mainly Persians, due to the brachycephalic [flat nose] structure of their faces) – most airlines either refuse to accept them or greatly restrict the transport of these types of dogs and cats because they tend to have breathing problems at altitude.
One day, a client was referred to us that wanted a Maine Coon cat transported from Europe to the United States. Although we had heard of the breed, we had really never actually come in contact with one before. So it was a huge shock to us when we arrived to pick up a five month old kitten that was a big as our 10 year old male rescue cat!
We were intrigued and thus began to research this breed…that was all it took to set our feet on a path that would literally change our lives forever…and for the better.
We had decided that Feline Husbandry was something that we were developing a passion for and knowing all the devotion we had shown our rescue cats over the years, we felt that by researching and educating ourselves about the intricacies of raising a purebred cat, we could be successful in that pursuit. We wanted the opportunity to introduce others to the world of the “Gentle Giant!”
We had to come up with a name for our cattery that symbolized the joy and the excitement that we felt every time we came in contact with one of these magnificent creatures! We reminisced about a children’s story we had come to love years ago. The book was entitled “Die Unendliche Geschichte“ or “The NeverEnding Story,” by Michael Ende. It tells the story of a young boy who discovers the magic and wonderment of the imagination in a land called “Fantastica” (in the film version of the story, it was known as “Fantasia”), which is ruled by a young girl known as “the Empress.” The leaders of Fantastica have gathered to meet with the Empress because a sinister power known as “The Nothing” is quickly destroying Fantastica and they are seeking guidance from the Empress.
The Empress recruits the aid of the great warrior Atreyu to help defeat “The Nothing” and bring order back to Fantastica…but there is one small hitch: The Empress is dying and it’s directly related to the destruction of Fantastica! Atreyu must defeat “The Nothing” before it completely devours Fantastica and the Empress dies.
In an effort to shield Atreyu from harm, the Empress gives him a powerful amulet, known as AURYN, an ouroboros-shaped talisman that protects its wearer against the forces of darkness. It is this amulet that we decided to name our cattery after…a sign of strength, power and majesty…all the things we believe are synonymous with the Maine Coon breed!
Fast forward to January 2016. We were beginning the winding down of our transport business when one of our best clients popped an enormous surprise on us. We had been discussing her latest litter online and she was giving us the “play-by-play” of three of the kittens who all seemed to be trouble makers. Of the three, one of them was a solid black female, whom she had named “Drew.” She expressed how rare it was for her to have a solid black Maine Coon in her cattery – she’d only had a handful of them in all the years she’d been raising Coons.
When we told her how cute we thought the black female was, without warning she asked us if we wanted her. We hesitated. Were we ready for this commitment? Then, to complicate it, she told us that she wanted to gift her to us as a “thank you” for all the years we had safely transported her furrkids all around the world. We could not resist. But that wasn’t the end of our surprises.
About a week later, we got a phone call from this breeder who said that she had been struggling to “sex” our kitten because she was so dark, she really couldn’t tell. But she was now confident that “Drew” was a BOY, not a girl. Well, the rest is history…we brought home our little black ball of fur and indeed, “Drew” was a boy! We decided to name him “Nemo” after Captain Nemo from Jules Verne’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” and “The Mysterious Island,” but even more so because the name is a derivative from ancient Latin meaning “black knight” or “dark warrior.”
During Nemo’s early kitten days, we decided to officially register him and try our hand at cat shows. If you are unfamiliar with that world, a kitten can begin his/her show career at the age of four months. From then until they turn eight months of age, they show in a preliminary class exclusively for kittens. This is where they learn the ropes of being on the judging platform and being handled by complete strangers.
His official registered name is ClassyCoons Nemo of AURYN in both CFA (the Cat Fanciers’ Association) and TICA (The International Cat Association). Nemo was shown as both a kitten and a Champion adult cat exclusively in TICA. He has appeared at cat shows around the country, including Pennsylvania, Georgia, Alabama, Texas, New Mexico, California and Washington State. In the Fall of 2016, Nemo earned the title of “Champion Cat.”
As our first Maine Coon cat, Nemo has been the pride and joy, as well as the foundation cat of AURYN Maine Coon Cattery. We will be forever indebted to Terry Edmonds of ClassyCoons Maine Coon Cattery of Martin, Georgia. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts for trusting us with this rare and precious black prince!
Soon afterwards, he made it known to his human parents that he’d had enough of the “cat show world” and he was officially retired in 2017. Today, Nemo enjoys spending time as an “exhibition cat” at cat shows around the country, in support of his “bride-to-be” while she goes through the rounds of being shown in the cat show circuit prior to her beginning the next chapter of her life (and ours) of bearing and raising kittens. You can read more about our foundation queen in the section below.
In 2017, Nemo was awarded “22nd Best Kitten” in TICA’s Mid-Pacific Region, along with “17th Best Long Hair Champion Cat” and “Best Black Maine Coon.”