Lydia Bie Wyndhaven (MC)


Lydia became part of our family in the mid 90's.  My late wife and I, after having attended a number of cat shows in the area, finally decided on wanting a Maine Coon cat and when we found Lydia, we could not pass her up.

At the time, the requirement I was given (if I was to be allowed to get this girl) was, on the spot, to name her with a name that my wife really liked.  It may have been an "odd" requirement, but at the time, seemed perfectly normal.  After wandering around the show for awhile, spouting off name after name, "Lydia" came out and was immediately accepted and she became a part of our family.

The somewhat "odd" naming requirement may have been an indicator of a life that was to become far from "normal", compared to most cats.



Lydia is currently on the cover of Purina "ProPlan" Senior food.

One evening, we received one of those "annoying" calls from some "telemarketer" type of person.  The caller explained how we could submit some pictures of our cats and possibly have them selected by Purina for a photo shoot.  My wife, thinking it was a scam of some sort, passed the phone over to me.  After listening for a few minutes it became clear that though a bit of a surprise, it might not actually be a "scam".  We were not being asked to shell out any money up front (one of those tell-tail signs) and there were no promises made (another of those signs).  Instead, it was just a "possibility" and could we submit some pictures.

What the heck.  Pictures, I, like many other breeders, have plenty of.  We put a dozen together of various cats, gave their ages and sent them in (email is a great thing sometimes!!). :-)

Less than a week later, despite our doubts, we received word back that "they" were interested in two of our cats, but did we also have access to other "colors"?  We wrangled up what we could, submitted them and heard back that Maxwell and Lydia were selected.  Contact and photographer location information was exchanged and after a quick internet search, we found that the photographer was "real" and actually quite impressive and so we decided to go ahead with it.  What the heck, a night or two in Chicago was not a bad thing. :-)

Maxwell did fine, but the next day, Lydia blew them all away.

Lydia had been trained, years before, to accept and walk with a harness and leash.  When we arrived at the photography studio the second day, not only was she comfortable in the strange surroundings (a very large studio), but she wanted to "inspect" all of it.  The staff said it was fine by them if we walked around and after awhile, after Lydia had walked into each office, pulled open doors (reaching under them and pulling them open) and looking into closets, cabinets, etc... she had an audience watching her every move.  Everyone there had stopped to watch this "cat", casually walking throughout the studio, in a harness, on a leash, checking things out.