Big Sky Siberian Katz / The No Discount Discount, Bait and Switch
In a visit to the Big Sky Katz last April, I was told that, if I would give Ms Porteous the entire price of a kitten then, up front, I would get a $100 discount off the usual price. I gave her $700 in two personal checks, both of which were immediately cashed. I understood that I would have first choice of whatever litter fit my time frame inasmuch as I had paid in full already and that I would be allowed to narrow my search to two kittens before choosing between them closer to when they were old enough to leave.
In June, I received an email that a litter had been born. A series of emails followed in which I was soon being pressured to narrow my choice to one or another kitten...no more "two to choose from". I did so. Everything seemed okay for the most part, though I did notice certain questions were completely ignored if it didn't suit the breeder to answer them. She could be very friendly and accommodating, but could "turn on a dime" and would state that she "didn't have time" for any request that annoyed her.
We planned our trip out to Montana to correspond to the dates she gave us, and had on her website, for the kittens to leave the nest... September 20th. As the date approached, and as I came closer and closer to running out of medication that I have to have and cannot get filled outside of my hometown, she began hedging on the date, making it later and later. Whether I could take the kitten early and have her neutered by my own vet was one of the questions I had not been able to get answered earlier... I was afraid to ask it now.
Suddenly there was an email request for an additional $133.00 for neutering the kitten. Her website stated that kittens were "$650 to $700" and that we "neuter them before they leave so your total cost for a kitten is $800" -"all you need to add is food and love." I wrote back explaining that, inasmuch as I had already paid her $700, and had been promised a $100 discount for doing so far in advance, and the website stated ". . . ", that we should be all paid up. A return email said simply, "Read my emails!" I did, but they threw no light on the obvious fact that she was NOT honoring my "discount" by charging me additional funds for neutering! She never denied that she had given me a $100 "discount", just demanded the additional money, ignoring the facts. Nonetheless, she managed to get me to fork over another $100. More the fool I.
Then began the great date debate. You said the 20th. "Well, she weighs "2.91/2 pounds and she has to weigh three pounds" Great.. then you should be able to spay her this Monday. "She is NOT going to be able to gain 'almost a pound' in less than a week!" Say what? [There's that pesky math again! When I take 2.95 from 3, I get less that an ounce to go!! (.8)] She didn't bother to reply to my request for verification. ("Read my email!")
After I had gotten a physician to write an Rx and a pharmacist to fill and mail it out of state for me, she popped up with the announcement that my kitten had turned up "lame, but I think she just hurt her paw playing". This was followed shortly by:
"Well, if you give me a check for an additional $700, you can take the kitten early. Then I'll give your money back when you send proof that you had her spayed." Fine, says I. See you Tuesday. (This was Friday) "Mail the check", says she. I'll bring it, we would beat it there. "Bring a CASHIERS CHECK", she then demanded ... I have to protect myself against, "bad checks and stop pay" (sic). Funny, she has a six month history of my checks and knows they are good and I don't "stop pay"!
I responded explaining several things: 1) We have no local bank and therefore no way to get a cashier's check 2) This is a check you should just be holding anyway because 3) You know, from our six month acquaintance, that I do not want an un-neutered cat. and 4) You have dealt with me before and know my check is good and that I don't "stop pay"... to imply otherwise is, quite frankly, an insult.
She responded violently, with the announcement that I could now just wait the extra time until she had her neutered. She stated that she was the breeder, she made the rules, that I had been questioning her authority all along (Gee, and all this time I thought I was the CUSTOMER! Silly me!), and that if I wanted my money back . . . . .
My response was . . . . send a cashier's check to: ... !
My husband did a little exploring, immediately after this exchange, and her website revealed several things: 1) On August 30th, "our" kitten showed up as "staying with us" on the website. Perhaps this kitten, the one she had been saying all along had the most personality, the one in the litter from which she originally intended to keep two females (but had sold them all), perhaps this kitten was just too tempting to part with suddenly?
2. Her "blog" which I had never bothered to read, stated (at the time I was being offered my $700 "deal" to take my kitten "early" and unaltered) on September 12th: "Jipsee was the first to leave today as they - picked her up this afternoon - We are getting the rest of her kittens out this week and next as we have altering taking place in the morning".
Meanwhile, my kitten...already $100 over the 'discounted' price...wasn't available until much later than the promised September 20th date unless I coughed up ANOTHER $700...by CASHIER'S check? I wonder if I would ever have seen that money again?
This woman stated on her website..at least back when I first contacted her, that everyone should check breeders out carefully and report anything that is not above board to available sites on the internet.. Just doing that, Melodye, just doing that very thing.
What a racket: that one poor mother cat has had 20 kittens this calendar year alone! That's $8000 worth of kittens before she starts double dealing! And this breeder has had, to my knowledge, five litters since June, several from "queens" who produced spring litters as well. Poor things. Yeah, I know, the daddy cat got loose and 'surprised' you by breeding with the girls. Who would have thought...!