Xafi and Auri are so-called "American Type" Russian Blue Cats. You can read more about what kind of breed this is in the 'About' section.
Xafi and Auri are both girls.
Xafi was born in April 2016 and Auri in September 2016.
Yes, Xafi and Auri are sisters by blood, but born on different dates. The parents are the same, but Xafi was born in spring 2016 and Auri in autumn 2016.
While to us they are as different as day and night we know it's not as easy for people to tell them apart. As sisters they do look quite similar, but there are a few tricks to tell them apart:
If you look closely on this photo you can see that Auri (on the left) has a rounder face, wider ears and darker fur. Xafi (on the right) has a more angular face with slightly taller ears. Their "Meow" is also distinctly different as is the way they both move and act.
Xafi: Xafi is short for Xafira. She was born into "Litter X" (Breeders often use letters to distinguish between litters). We wanted to honour that letter and chose Xafira because one of the meanings of the name was "Sapphire", a blew gem stone which fit with her extremely light blue kitten coat.
Auri: Auri's name was also chosen because of the letter assigned to her Litter (A) and because Auri is a character in the books by Patrick Rothfuss. Especially the book "The slow regard of silent things" which is about the character Auri (without naming her) is a favourite in our house. If you do find the time, his books are well worth reading and when you meet Auri in them you will see the name is a perfect fit.
Yes they do. When Auri was still small they cuddled daily and groomed each other. Now that Auri is bigger they like their own space, but still cuddle daily and groom each other and generally spend a lot of time together.
To the side is an unedited photo of Auri showing off her eye colour. We do use lightroom to work on our photo's for the cats, because we shoot photos in raw format. However their eyes barely need touching up - they really are a vivid green.
In summer: Definitely "Catsicles" which are ice cubes with powdered natural freeze-dried chicken treats. We make these ourselves and the girls LOVE them. Otherwise they go nuts for tuna (which we only give occasionally).
They both love the range of feather wands and dangler toys, but mostly like to play with natural catnip toys. Xafi plays a lot of fetch, prefering soft golf ball sized sponge balls. Auri favours sparkly, colourful and crinkly toys as well as paper (especially toilet paper...).
For the photos we use a Canon 70D. Some videos are shot with this camera as well. Stories are shot with our phone (One Plus / Samsung).
The lenses used are mainly a Sigma 35mm f1.4 DG HSM and a Canon EF-S 60mm f2.8 Macro USM.
For editing we use Adobe Lightroom CC Classic on PC. We shoot photos in raw format so they need to be processed. The videos are edited with Lightworks on a PC or apps on the phone (PowerDirector and InShot).
Most photos are taken in natural moments when the cats are going about their daily business. If they are in the mood to pose we encourage them with treats and toys to get them to look in a certain direction. However we only do this when they feel like it. Of the two, Auri loves posing for photos a lot more and makes taking photos of her very easy. Errol is by far the most enthusiastic poser as you can see here.
That dashing little fox-like cat is Errol. He is a Somali cat that joined the family in summer 2018.
Please feel free to ask us questions or give us feedback via our contact page.