I founded Avondell Bengals in 1993 with encouragement
from Jean Mill and many visits to her Southern California
home and beautiful Millwood Bengals. I joined TIBCS
(The International Bengal Cat Society) shortly after.
Along with Bengal breeder and wildlife biologist
Pam Knowles, I co-authored the original TIBCS
Breeder of Distinction Program, which I chaired for
several years. My determination was and is to establish
and maintain a family of cats which would reflect
what has become the Avondell Bengals motto,
Leopard Beauty Always"
The Bengal as a breed has come a long way since those
early days, and the Avondell family has progressed as well.
My sincere thanks to to all of the dedicated breeders and
fanciers I've had the pleasure of working with, and
particularly to my dear friend and Bengal breed founder
Jean Mill for all of her encouragment and her inspiration
in this effort. I shall always treasure my visits to her
Today I am proud to have produced both grand champion
show winning cats and a number of top quality individuals
earning titles and producing beautiful Bengals for others.
Most importantly, I feel that the small family of cats
I have today fully represent both the sweet, gregarious
nature and the true leopard type for which they have
been carefully and selectively bred for these
many generations. I am proud to present them, and their
ancestors, here for your enjoyment.
The Cashmere Bengal Cat:
It was back in 1995 that I first becme interested in the idea
of a long coated Bengal cat. After several years of researching
and determining that longcoat carriers solidly occur in every
line of Bengal pedigrees, I founded the first
One of the first to join the group was Renete Mock, a breeder
from Germany, who's dream it was to bring notoriety to the
longcoat under the name "Cashmere". I adopted the name
Cashmere Bengal and promoted it throughout the
international fancy. Today the Avondell Cashmere Bengals
are well known and sought after for their sweet and loving
personalities, their leopard beauty, and their easy care
semi-longhair coats that add a luxurious plush quality to
their overall beauty. Many Avondell Cashmeres have been
placed with allergy suffers who report that they have no
problem living with these cats and have dubbed them to
be genuinely low allergen. As well, one was placed with an
exotic fur expert who says: "This cat has a coat that is softer
than that of ANY wild animal - bar none!"
You're listening to
Hearthside Maine Coon Cats
As a native New Englander, my first feline love was the big, sweet,
shaggy, lovable Maine Coon Cat. After moving to California in
1986, I spent a number of years seeking out a Maine Coon of the
type I remembered as a child. Disappointed in the effort, I never
found one. Then in 2016, I renewed my search, this time using the
internet. One particular morning I clicked on a link to a FaceBook
page, and there he was - The most beautiful Maine Coon kitten
I could have ever hoped to lay eyes on! Never in my thrill of
finding him did I EVER think he might actually be within my
grasp of ownership. Not only was he far too gorgeous to expect to
still be available by the time I could type an inquiry, but he was in
Russia - all the way on the other side of the world!
It is with deep gratitude to premier Maine Coon Cat breeder
Ekaterina Ryzhova, great personal joy, and immense pride in
ownership that I invite you meet this glorious cat - the foundation
of the Avondell Maine Coon Cats: The American Original with a
Russian soul. Luxury Line Mulby Juice - from Russia with love.
Not only did Mulby travel to us in California all the way from
Moscow, but along with him came the most beautiful, loving and
heart capturing female Maine Coon, Luxury Line Yaromila.
These two cats are the foundation of my now TICA registered
Hearthside Maine Coons. If you're looking for a truly giant sized,
exotic looking, shaggy, sweet, laid back love of a cat,
Bengal Cat breed founder Jean Mill closed her eyes in death
on June 6, 2018, at the age of 92. In memory and in great admiration,
I include here my personal tribute to her:
Jean Mill was a breeder's breeder - always there to encourage others and expand her visions for the breed she created to include those of everyone who had a passion for the Bengal cat. Perhaps because she had seen the unwelcoming side of an established breeding community to her own new ideas, she was determined that the Bengal community be a more
visionary place - and to her great credit - she succeeded admirably.
In that light, I will always remember her calling me to ask if I had snow kittens available for her customers wanting that color even though it
wasn't her particular cup of tea. Knowing they weren't her cup of tea,
I always felt especially honored when she would praise the work I was
doing with the snows and encourage me to continue.
When I later became involved with the establishment of the long coat
"Cashmere" variety of Bengal, I was quick to tell everyone determined
to look down their noses at them that the very first long coats I had seen were in fact at Jean Mill's house. No, she was not personally interested in perpetuating the variety, but she had nothing but encouragement for me
in doing so, and thus I feel fully justified in crediting her with the foundation for the ultimate success we've had with the acceptance of the Cashmere.
Visits to Jean's house were always a special treat not just to see the latest
Millwood Bengals, but to enjoy long conversations on everything from feline genetics to the amazing adventures she had experienced in her world wide travels. While I dearly miss our visits, our long discussions, and
Jeans always warm and welcoming smile, I look forward with great eagerness to seeing her again when, very soon, the paradise this earth was created to be is fully restored and the divine promise of the resurrection of the dead is fulfilled. "And He will wipe out every tear from their eyes,
and death will be no more. Neither will mourning, nor outcry, nor
pain be any more. The former things have passed away." (Revelation 21:4) RIP - Resurrection In Paradise! I will see you there, young and healthy,
and as full of life as I always think of you Jean!
The First Lady of Bengal Cats
"Beauty always triumphs, be it sensual, intellectual, scientific, mathematical,
or moral." (Jean Mill)