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Big Sky Siberian Katz / The No Discount Discount, Bait and Switch

1 Kalispell, MT, United States Review updated:
Contact information:

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...!

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Comments

  • Co
      13th of Oct, 2010
    +1 Votes

    I am so sorry you had to experience this from a cat breeder. Well this breeder now will be known on the WWW from now on.

  • Si
      9th of Feb, 2011
    +1 Votes

    Agreed. I bought a cat from her under two years ago. I just put my cat down due to a defect that she was born with. Texas A&M Animal Reseach Hospital did a necropsy on her and has never seen anything like it. She was born with it. Big Sky told me she was moving and getting out of the cat breeding business. Just be careful if you buy from her. A couple of her cats she has available are from the same line my kitten was from. She has cut off all communication from me because I caught her in a contradiction of what she and I previously talked about. She went balistic on me. Because of her behavior, all types of RED FLAGS are flying on this breeder. Just be aware of this. Probably best to go elsewhere.

  • Si
      16th of Mar, 2011
    +1 Votes

    Recently I was contacted by this breeder wanting information about why the cat she sold me was ill and had to be put to sleep. I told her since she was very rude to me and hung up on me, cut me off from any communication etc after I questioned her about some contradictions she posted on Facebook, I told her to leave me alone. This email from her was void of any apology of her previous behavior and she expected me to just give her the information she wanted. She even tried to call my vet who would not give her any information. She only cares about herself and making money. Her cats and customers are secondary. anyone wanting to talk to me can email me at catramsey2@yahoo.com

  • Kr
      1st of May, 2011
    0 Votes

    I also had negative dealings with this breeder. She is very unprofessional and has very poor business practices.

  • Si
      4th of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    This woman is getting a reputation for shoddy business practices and for questionable animal care! I recently noticed her "most beloved boy", "soulmate" stud kitty hit the market the minute he passed useful breeding status. Also breeding females who generally had huge litters three times a year is not only selfish and even heartless, but seems to have resulted in some evidence, by way of fetal death, of just why it isn't done by reputable breeders.

  • Ca
      31st of Jul, 2011
    0 Votes

    I could have written that myself!! I also noticed that Bogdan was offered for sale (for $250) not too long ago, and reflected that she had told me that he was her "soulmate" as well, also that he was the reason she felt male cats made the best pets . . . just before she switched me to a female!
    "Our" kitten was the product of a second very closely spaced pregnancy and a second huge litter. The third litter that year (!) either produced only two babies or only two survived: not a lot of her much touted color either.
    We recently heard from another major Siberian breeder that there is a major problem here, complete with a change of locale.

  • Ft
      12th of Sep, 2011
    0 Votes

    I used to know this breeder but have not dealt with her in over a year. I always used to question her having 30+ kittens in her home at any time. I just looked at her website and I see that Taisia just had kittens in Feb 2011 & then is due again at the end of July 2011. I'm not a breeder but isn't breeding a cat 5 months apart far too difficult on their body not to mention stressful and everything else. I question her more all of the time.

  • Si
      12th of Sep, 2011
    0 Votes

    She needs to be reported as a kitten mill.

  • Fo
      20th of Mar, 2012
    0 Votes

    Wow I am in shock. I had a similar dealing with this breeder and my husband felt something just wasn't right so he encouraged me to ask for a refund. Which she actually did give me a refund. It was supposed to be a "full refund" as she stated. But she kept out $25 for her "time". I didn't even mess with it because I was just happy I got my $675 back! The whole reason we ended up asking for a refund was because she didn't honor her $100 discount for paying up front. She somehow twisted her words around and made it seem like we actually owed her more money. Just as you had stated about the spay cost. Well I am happy that you took the time to post this!

  • Pe
      25th of Mar, 2012
    0 Votes

    I ordered a fur sample from Melodye a few years ago. She sent it and my husband had a reaction as if to a normal cat. He has since tested with other Siberians and no reaction. We now own a Siberian. What bothered me about the situation was that she said that she's been finding her cats (whom she sent us fur from) are not very hypo-allergenic. My first reaction was why is she then sending fur tests and charging people for the fur tests if she has already figured out her cats aren't even hypo-allergenic. Anyhow, I was willing to test with one of her more hypo-allergenic cats who'd be expecting down the line, but she then ignored my request as if it was too much hassle for her to send more fur out to us. She definetely didn't strike me as professional. She is very changeable and difficult to deal with. Will decide not to sell to you at the drop of a dime. Her emails were often curt and seemed rude.

  • Si
      13th of Jun, 2012
    0 Votes

    We had a very bad experience with her. She has dropped off the face of the computer world for now. She gave a cat that ended up being pregnant. I helped the poor cat to deliver 8 very healthy babies and when they were 4 weeks old she came and got the mommy cat and kittens with the promise that we would get the mommy cat back and a kitten. We have two signed contracts that we own the adult cat. I am sure that we will never see or hear from her again. We have found some wonderful Siberian breeders and now have a very nice male that we are showing in premier competitions.

  • De
      30th of Jul, 2012
    0 Votes

    I have had dealings with her also. She kept putting me off on the time I could pick my Nicholas up, refused to allow me to have the kitten unless it was neutered by her vet, and when I got him home, he had worms. She seems to breed too close together, the kittens are not well socialized, and she feeds them raw food, which also leads to worms and other problems as well. I would not recommend this woman nor would I get another kitten from her. The price for mine was a flat $800 with no discounts.

  • Im
      3rd of Mar, 2013
    0 Votes

    Wow, I am shocked. I bought a cat from her in 2010 and never had any problems. She was nice on the phone, very concerned for her kitten traveling on a plane, the cost was upfront and honest and the cat is wonderful. Smart, sweet, very engaging, and healthy. It makes me sad to hear these negative things about our cat's breeder, but it is what it is, I guess.

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