CallisteCats Marketing and Sales Policy

Why we have a published policy: the Birman is a fairly rare purebred cat, the 'look' of the CallisteCats line is quite popular, and we produce very few kittens each year. For example, in 1998 we produced about a dozen kittens, and received an average of one email inquiry per day! About a quarter of these inquiries expressed serious interest in acquiring specifically a CallisteCats kitten, and the rest expressed general interest in Birman kittens. We make a good faith effort to place inquirers on one of two lists to be contacted en masse: for those who request information about buying a kitten we have a 'kitten inquiries' list, and for those who send fan mail we maintain a 'friends of CallisteCats' list. We receive quite a few requests for help in finding a Birman breeder 'closer to home', and we are happy to correspond with these folks too.

With such a small supply and large demand, we have evolved the following policy:

1) Our primary concern is that our kittens are happy in their new homes, therefore we carefully scrutinize prospective kitten buyers. The desire of any kitten buyer to have a kitten is of secondary importance. Please bear in mind that until our kittens are sold they are ours and not yours (and, once they are sold they belong to you and not us).

2) We are careful not to offer a 'pig in a poke', therefore we will not offer any kitten until we have made a determination of its quality. Definers of 'quality' include overall size, markings, and subtle nuances including ear placement, head shape, coat texture, tail length, etc, etc, etc. Newborn Birman kittens are pure white and all that can be determined is their sex and relative size. During the first month their markings slowly develop, and by the process of elimination we decide which are the breeder and show quality kittens. Once a kitten develops a characteristic which deviates from the strict published breed standard (indicating that they may not compete well at shows), and if that characteristic will likely persist as the kitten matures, then we will decide that the kitten is 'pet quality'. This determination is made by the process of elimination and is something that simply cannot be rushed, taking weeks and even months (in some cases it is not decided until the young cat is exhibited and judged at shows). This is why you may hear that we are not presently 'offering' a specific kitten, and are 'watching' him.

3) Once a determination of quality is made, we will begin to contact people by email, snail mail, phone, or not at all. In some cases people find out by word of mouth. We make absolutely no pretense about being 'fair' or 'democratic' in notifying prospective buyers. As mentioned, our first priority is in finding our kittens safe, loving, and permanent homes, and that process is intrinsically subjective. Again, our kittens remain ours until ownership is formally transferred by contract (to view a sample contract, click HERE).

4) We reserve the right of refusal for any or no stated reason, and an offer to sell does not constitute an obligation to sell. Until ownership of a kitten or cat is formally transferred by contract he remains ours, and any and all written, oral, and implied offers to sell may be withdrawn at any time and without notice.

5) We are occasionally offered 'earnest money' for a kitten or cat and we will accept it as representating a serious offer to buy, however our acceptance does not constitute a concomitant obligation to sell, and the funds may be refunded at any time and at the request of either party, and the kitten may be offered to someone else. 'Earnest money' is neither a 'deposit' nor a 'prepayment', it accrues no interest, and neither the offer nor acceptance of earnest money imposes upon either party any obligation to buy or to sell, and will not 'fix' the price (we reserve the right to solicit and consider other offers). Once we have received earnest money from someone, we may inform others of that fact, and may continue to solicit 'backup offers'. Earnest money is only that - a pledge that someone is earnest in their offer to buy.

6) All kitten and cat sales are accomplished only by written contract. Our written contract is an exclusive agreement between the Buyer and Seller and supersedes any and all prior implied, oral, or written agreements, negotiations or other dealings between the Buyer and Seller concerning the purchase and sale of a kitten or cat. Once created, the contract may be modified only in writing. Modification of a contract is binding only after its signature by both the Buyer and Seller.

7) We charge applicable sales tax, currently amounting to 3.8% for residents of Larimer County, 3% for Colorado residents, but none for out-of-state buyers.

We trust that you will understand the position we are placed in, and appreciate that we have explained our policy. We treat every buyer as an individual, thus it is difficult to compose a policy which anticipates all contingencies. Our policy is deliberately framed to address 'worse case' scenarios (which are exceedingly rare), so we apologize if it appears unduly harsh. If you are uncomfortable with any aspect of our policy, we invite you to contact us and express your concerns. If you would like to speak with someone who has bought a kitten from us in the past, we may furnish you with a reference(s) upon request.

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Last edited 02-28-04
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