The largest, rarest and most exotic domestic cat in the world is reportedly the Ashera. Simon Brodie, head of the firm, “Lifestyle Pets”, in Los Angeles, California, claims to have employed a team of geneticists to develop this designer feline for wealthy clients.
Brodie claims the Ashera is a blend of the African Serval, the Asian Leopard Cat and a domestic house cat, however its exact genetic makeup is a closely guarded secret. It resembles a mini-leopard.
The basic cost of an Ashera is $22,000, while the “hypoallergenic” type go for $37,000 and those with unusual markings can sell for up to $125,000. The cost includes nail caps, so it can’t scratch your furniture, ten years of sessions with a renowned animal behaviorist, and a one-year health guarantee. The buyer will get a kitten, neutered or spayed, micro-chipped and carefully hand-delivered to his home.
The Ashera is supposedly shaped like domestic cat, but its markings are those of its wild forebears. It has tiger stripes and leopard-like spots. When it stands on its hind legs it is about 4 feet tall and its weight can reach a whopping 30 pounds.
Although it has a very wild appearance, Mr. Brodie states that its temperament is a combination of that of a loving pet cat and affectionate domestic dog. He says it is good-tempered, child-friendly, and has a life span of up to 25 years. The Ashera eats normal dry or canned cat food from the grocery store, but, because of its exotic heritage, it does prefer a heated bed.
Brodie explains the high cost of the cats results from the “consistency” of the Asheras he sells. He promises that each kitten will have the same coloring and appearance when it reaches the owners’ homes.
He says that only 100 Asheras are sold each year around the world. Of these, 50 will go to customers in the United States. The company press release says that there are already customers who are willing to pay to get on the waiting list to purchase an Ashera. If you are interested in more information about this breed or perhaps in purchasing an Ashera, the company’s website is:
*** Extreme Caution Indicated
Later information has revealed that Simon Brodie, the founder of “Life Style Pets”, is a convicted felon who has served time in prison in Britain for fraud. He also faces a string of charges in financial matters in the United States. This is obviously an extreme case of “Caveat emptor.” (Buyer beware).
Several kittens sold and labelled as “Ashera” were confiscated at Schiphol Airport in the Netherlands in 2008, were confirmed through DNA testing to be hybrid Savannah Cats, a much cheaper breed.