From newest to oldest


From Gloria Fawcett,

My husband Scott and I have owned Bengals for 14 years, having adopted two Bengals (marbles) from a new breeder in St. Louis.  We have loved both of our Bengals, with the breed’s characteristic energy, vitality, sweet disposition and beauty.  When our younger Bengal, Mel, died from a suspected heart attack at the young age of 12, we waited awhile, and then looked to bring in a new Bengal to our family, as our other Bengal, Mal, was very lonely.
I had done some research online, and had seen Mystre Bengals.  I was amazed at the wealth of information that Mark had placed online about appropriate raw cat food diets (homemade, no less!), and about how to ensure that your breeder is reputable and that your Bengal will be healthy.  I got in touch with him, and after our first conversation, I knew that he was the person from whom we would be adopting all of our Bengals in the future.  He obviously loves his cats, and they love him back, which is obvious when you go to his cattery and see how the cats (both Bengals and non-Bengals!) interact with him and his wife.

(Mystre Bengals Comments: Below are photographs made by Helmi Flick, the best feline photographer we know of in the world, located in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area of Texas. I could not recommend more highly anyone for feline photography., please feel free to mention you saw her work here)

Mystre Bengals Paparazzi Mystre Bengals Paparazzi Mystre Bengals Paparazzi

We were able to go and meet Papi (Paparazzi) at Mystre, and I could not believe how incredibly chill he was!  He let us (whom he had never met before) pick him up, play with his paws, play with him with toys, and just in general treat him like he was already ours.  He didn’t even meow, he trilled!  So adorable.  He is also, hands down, the most beautiful Bengal we’ve ever seen.  He has gorgeous large rosettes, perfectly placed and shaped ears, an amazing profile, and the most adorable little spotted paws.  His eyes are a burnished golden color, too.
Since we’ve brought him home, Papi has made friends of everyone he meets, including Mal.  Mal and Papi used to trill at each other through the closed door during the first couple of weeks in our house, and when we let Papi out to explore after the introduction period was over, Mal and Papi sniffed each other, and there was no hissing at all!  Not only that, but Mal and Papi slept together in the same chair that same night.  I was stunned.  Mal has always been a friendly cat, but Mel, our other Bengal who died, never slept together with Mal, so I wasn’t expecting it.  Since then, Mal and Papi have followed each other around the house, always following us humans.  Papi is, as is typical for Bengals, super curious, loves water, loves to jump and climb, and is just full of vitality. We have transitioned Mal to a raw food diet (which is much easier to make than it looks!), and he’s much healthier, which is good, because he’s got to keep up with Papi’s antics!  Mark warned me that Papi wouldn’t be a lap cat…but honestly, he snuggles with me in bed every single night, and will curl up on my lap in the evening (if I play with him enough!), even booting Mal to get pride of place!  We couldn’t be happier with him.  He’s our joyful kitten, and truly brings joy to everyone who meets him.

Gloria Fawcett


From Heather Lam and Eric Frohnapple (and Beaker),

I keep trying to write this testimonial but I never seem to get past the first paragraph. It's hard to put into words how important Beaker is to us. To me. He isn't just a bengal cat to us. He's our fur kid. He's family. But here it is. If there are any particular videos or pictures you want from my FB, let me know and I'll send them along.

When you are in a relationship with someone you care about deeply, you learn how to compromise well. I love cats but my partner, Eric, is allergic to them. So I prepared to live a life without felines. Because that's love. But after we moved to Houston, we started talking again about how much I missed having a cat. Eric encouraged me to search for breeds that were low allergen and I fell in love with Bengal cats. We read anything and everything we could on the breed. Then he surprised me by saying we should get one.

Now THAT'S love.

Mystre Bengals Cats

But before embarking on this path, I had my own requirement. Nearly all of my cats had been strays needing homes. I understood why people were vehement about adopting over shopping. There are a lot of unloved animals out there. We had special circumstances driving our decision (allergies) but I wanted to be sure that the cattery was reputable. I didn't want a kitten mill. And I was willing to pay more for that peace of mind.

I combed through websites and read testimonials.I whittled down my list of possible catteries to two or three however, based on my initial research, Mystre Bengal was the top choice. A couple of phone calls and a visit to their home was all the convincing I needed that this was the cattery for us. It is quickly apparent that Mark and his wife LOVE these cats. His knowledge of the breed is incredible. 

As much as our initial visit was to see if we wanted to get a Bengal from them, this was also a vetting process on their side. Mark wants his cats to go to good homes. Ones that understand the amount of love and care needed for Bengals. After we interviewed him and he us, we decided to move forward. It was a longer wait than we had anticipated but it was absolutely worth it. 

I was in love the moment I saw him. His little mew sounded so much like the muppet Beaker that all names I had previously selected were tossed out the window. We were allowed to visit Beaker as much as we wanted. Mark patiently answered all of our questions as we "kitty proofed" our loft. After we returned from our big summer vacation, Beaker came home with us.

There are a whole lot of things you will hear about Bengals: they have a lot of energy, they are inquisitive, they are smart, they are intense, they require a LOT of attention, they are not like other cats. Know that all of these things are true. Also know that even if you think you are prepared, you probably aren't.

Bengal Kittens

Beaker's favorite games are fetch (which he can play for HOURS) and chase. He has his own rules for these games and you would do well to follow them. If he drops the toy at your feet and taps your ankle or foot, it is your turn to throw it. If you are chasing him and he jumps in the box, you can no longer see him. (Watching Eric chase Beaker around the loft is one of the funniest things I've ever seen.)

If Beaker wants your attention, he's going to get it. Sometimes he just talks up a storm at you. Sometimes he jumps onto the console table and turns off the Xbox so you'll play with him. Sometimes he steals the phone or paper in your hand and runs off with it. Sometimes he brings you a roll of toilet paper that he liberated from the steel "jail" you had imprisoned it. Even after you added an industrial velcro closure to keep him out. 

Bengals Texas

Beaker is funny and sweet and mischievous and active and fun and loving and smart and...

I can't imagine my life without him and neither can Eric, Eric has never had a pet in his adult life and never a cat (he had a pigmy goat once...that's another story). At first, Beaker was "Heather's cat" when anyone asked. But guess who Beaker follows around the house when he gets home from work...

I find myself sharing new stories, videos, and pictures of Beaker every week on Facebook. He has made me one of THOSE cat owners. Fortunately, my friends and family find our stories about his adventures hilarious and fascinating. Many see pictures of Beaker and are struck by how beautiful he is and inquire how to get one. I will tell you what I tell all of them - this is not a breed to buy based on looks alone. It bears repeating - Bengals are NOT typical house cats and require a LOT of time and attention. He's more than we expected in the best possible ways.

If you have done the research and have determined that you have room in your life for a Bengal, I highly recommend Mark's cats. Heck, I highly recommend talking to Mark even if you are only considering the breed. 

Bengals Texas

Heather Lam, Eric Frohnapple, and Beaker Frohlam


From Iain Levie

Before you consider buying a Bengal kitten you should talk to Mark Pennington at Mystre Bengals.  You should do this even if you end up getting your kitten elsewhere because his primary focus is educating potential Bengal owners rather than sales.  On my very first conversation with Mark I learned more about Bengal cats than I did from the many hours of internet research I had conducted beforehand. Mark is deeply concerned with his own cats and with the breed as a whole.  His approach is both scientific and compassionate and utterly holistic so that everything from the genetic breeding of the cats all the way down to the raw food diet is considered.  The result is that Marks’ kittens are physically, genetically and aesthetically world class.

Our experience bringing our boy Loki into our family could not have been better.  Mark is always ready to share his knowledge on any aspect of bringing a kitten home.  His warm and freely given advice ensured that we made all the preparations necessary to prepare for Loki. From the preparation of his food, to the choice of vet, to the way to introduce Loki to our other pet, to how to acclimatize him to his new environment everything is considered and covered.  I never hesitate to call or text Mark with any questions as we continue to learn about the unique characteristics of Bengal cats.

In short, you simply could not find a more professional, caring and knowledgeable breeder anywhere - bar none.  To find the best possible proof of that just look at the cats from Mystre Bengals.  Feel free to contact me anytime about this testimonial and I can share in more detail our experience.

Iain Levie

From Carla Luan

We met Mark after losing both of our precious Bengals that we had had for nine years.  They were precious to me and I was so heartbroken over their loss that I told my husband something I thought would never come from my lips:  No more cats.  Fortunately, he insisted we go to Mystre ("just to look") and before I could object slipped Mark a deposit.  His cattery was obviously well-tended, his cats friendlier than any I'd ever met, and more gorgeous than I can describe. I was equally impressed with Mark, himself.  He truly loves each and every one of his cats and this is immediately obvious. Even more important: they love him.

But I must admit, I was still not convinced.  We waited for the big event and when "Gus" was born we eagerly went to meet him.   Mark answered every single question we had and encouraged us to call him any time.  Over the course of the next few weeks, he graciously allowed us to visit any time we wanted (which was frequent) and continued to answer any questions, practically 24/7.  Texts, emails, phone--whatever kind of communication we made, he answered.

But my heart still belonged to the babies I'd lost.  Then the day came to pick Gus up.  I went alone because my husband was traveling.  I was anxious but trying not to seem so, excited but trying to hold it in.  By the time I got home, I was in love again.

Gus has his own individual personality, which is amazing, and his own sweetness, which is incredible.  I wasn't sure I was ready but apparently I was, because he's impossible not to love.  And that is the special niche that Mystre Bengals fills.  All Bengals are beautiful and exotic creatures but Mystre's cats are bred to have a loving temperament that even someone who's determined to resist can't do so.  And Mark is just as loving and unique as his cats.  When he says "call me anytime," he means it.  When he invites you to visit, you should go, and when you think your question is stupid, he's tactful enough to act as if it isn't. I couldn't recommend Mystre more highly. If you're interested in having a Bengal join your family, Mark is the man you should see.

Gus, who thankfully has no thumbs or he'd be ruling the planet, asked me to type the blog below.  I took down his very words and recorded them faithfully.  I made a few mistakes but after he corrected them, I think you'll understand how he feels, too. 

Day one morning: It seemed like a pretty normal day at first.  Then Mr. Mark came in and picked up me and my sister and carried us into the living room.  Sis went in one carrier and I went into another.  I couldn't help but notice that, IMHO, my carrier was much more fashionable.  It had a certain flair I felt was absent in hers but either way, we both expressed our disapproval at being so rudely ejected from the familiarity of our previous quarters.  None the less, we were carried out the door in those carriers to our respective vehicles.           

The ride was interrupted by a brief stop at some place called McDonalds where my driver got something to eat.  It didn't smell like something I would like.  I prefer a gourmet chicken mix, the more raw the better.  She assured me there would be some waiting at my new home.  I nodded my head in silent acceptance for that which is my due.

We arrived at our destination, something she called a high rise.  I briefly greeted the staff, then rode upstairs in the paneled elevator.  A few more steps and we entered my new home, going to a suite designed especially for me.  She called it a bathroom.  

Day one, evening: She stays inside my suite and brings me offerings.  A fluffy bed.  The gourmet chicken accompanied by a 2013 bottle of Fiji water.  It has a nice flavor, smooth taste and goes well with the chicken. I'm presented with another bed that I reject (just to keep her guessing) and a feather toy.  I condescend to bat at it, then check out the litter box.  It will do, I suppose.  Finally she leaves me alone.  I voice my displeasure at the accommodations around midnight and then again 4:30 am.  Finally she answers my summons at 5:30 am and brings me breakfast.  I agree to pay her some attention, climbing into her lap and letting her stroke me.

Day Two morning: Repeat, save the travel.  More toys, more beds, more petting.  Some I like, some I don't.  Again I express my opinions.  She soothes me.  I'm leading her in the right direction and allow her to stoke me when I find myself in her lap.  I certainly had not intended to climb up there, but it worked out well once I did.  There may be hope for her.

Day Two evening: She brings something into the suite she calls an IPAD.  I bat it in rejection.  This is my time, not hers.  SHE is the one to protest as the screen goes dark but she learns quickly.  I deserve all her attention.  I am the center of the universe.

Day Three: I sleep late since the suite was fluffed up last night with fresh pillows and linens.  She brings me food then a new gift.  I have to admit, I do like this one as it helps with my mani/pedi.  My nails have never looked so good.  This is a very good scratching post.  Clearly, she's beginning to understand what is required of her.  I deign to head butt her knee.

Day Three evening: This evening is yet to be experienced but I feel we're on the right track.  The food is excellent, the portions large, the water fresh, the beds soft.  I believe I can whip her into shape in the next few weeks and all will be well.  Mystre and Mr. Mark were nice and I liked them, but this new woman will be fine once she realizes I AM the center. of. the. universe.  Period.


From Robin Clark

I want to congratulate anyone reading this and any testimonial that follows for finding your way here.

These testimonials were helpful to me when making my decision to call Mark. My search for a Bengal kitten ended with my phone call to Mark. It took me a couple of years to find this website and boy did I learn a lot along the way. Perhaps the best way to begin is to say that I have one of the most beautiful and confident Bengal Cats in the world. I am convinced of that. I think if Mark knew what he was giving to me, then he would not have made this deal. But that seems to be his problem. He wants to keep them all, but continually has to pass up one beautiful kitten after another.

My guy was the last kitten from Mystre's Magic Man. I knew as soon as I saw Magic that I wanted one of his kittens. I called Mark and we talked for about an hour. It was the most grounded Bengal Cat conversation that I had to date. Every conversation with Mark is like that. Mark is one hell of a breeder. It doesn't get any better than this. I talked with several breeders and you are not going to find anyone with his knowledge, passion, and most of all quality. He is the real deal. Mark's kittens are not inexpensive. Prepare yourself. But I am so happy that I made the commitment. If you follow his advice, you are in for an amazing expereince.

My big boy is an amazing animal. He was a cute little hellion when he arrived, bounding out of his air carrier wanting to play with exuberance and total abandon. One thing I have to say, no matter what you think you know, Mark knows more. He is THE man. Mark's accessibility, openness, and confidence has helped me shape my kitten into the cat that I desired and dreamed about. I trust Mark totally and completely. He has my kittens' best interests at heart.

Now, about my kitten. He arrived healthy, beautiful, and his temperament, full of confidence, energy, and kitteness and so beautiful...!! I have to admit that after about a month, I was overwhelmed with the amount of attention and energy that my guy was demanding from me. One phone call to Mark, and he set us straight on a course of correction. And now...oh my god....what a companion..! He has learned that his claws hurt and now he interacts with me with soft paws. He has learned that I am not his toy. We had some very normal biting-the-hand issues.....gone. He learns incredibly fast. He figures things out quickly and adapts and shapes his behavior around our routine. We are constant companions and he seems to realize boundaries and when to go berserkazoid in my face and when to do it in his own way away from me.

I have absolutely no complaints. Call Mark will have to wait and most likely you'll have to wait for months, like me, but the wait is worth it. Mark Pennington is as rare as the quality of his cats. There aren't enough breeders like Mark. Congrats again, and go for it..! I went for it and got it..... I am so satisfied...!!

Robin Clark


From Tommy in Texas

From the time I was a young boy I loved animals.  I spent so much time at the Bronx Zoo that I think that I had almost every large animal in that zoo memorized.  However I always had my favorites and one of them was the ocelot.  I've always loved the sleek spotted leopard cats and I always dreamed of owning one.  I think from time-to-time I saw pictures of Bengal cats in publications but I guess I figured they were impossible to come by and I would never be able to own one.

Well, luckily all that has changed.  As you can see from the attached pictures, I am the proud parent of two male Bengals, Voodoo (2 1/2 years), and my new baby Buddha (almost one year).  (Voodoo is the bigger one)  Since the world is vastly overpopulated, I decided to never have kids so these cuties are now my kids.  Needless to say they are the center of my life and the light of my life.



I never realized how special Bengals were until I started reading about them.  Let me tell you that everything you read is true.  They are high energy, highly intelligent, and LOVE people.  Because of this they also need ALOT of attention.  My big boy has to jump into my arms every morning when I get up and every evening when I get home from work.  He is in a panic until we "reconnect".

Little Buddha also craves attention but he is in his Terrible Two's and he shows every bit of it.  That is good though because Voodoo has always lacked a partner with his energy level.  Needless to say they spend alot of time chasing each other around - up and down the poles and terraces I've built for them in the house.  They are madly in love with each other and when they arn't wrestling, they are cuddling and licking each other (note folded back ear in picture that got licked into that position). (I'm also building a 6' x 6' x 6' outside pen that is attached to the house which they are going to love when it is done)

Well enough about me and my kids.  I want to spend the rest of this letter talking about Mark and his cattery.  First off you should know that I've always had a high regard for beauty and quality.  In a nutshell, I think Mark has spent countless hours developing these traits in his cats and they show it.  I got Voodoo from a breeder other than Mark.  Although he is gorgeous in his own right, he doesn't have the deep golden color I associate with Marks cats.  And, my pictures don't do Buddha's markings justice, but let's just say his spots are close to perfect.  As I said, I know all of this didn't come easy and required a Herculean effort on Mark's part to achieve over many years.

Although I could go on and on about Mark's work, there is one point I do want to make.  In conversation with Mark, I found out how many people he has turned down for Bengal adoption.  These are special cats and need very special care.  I'll bet most of the people that call Mark have no idea how true this is.  So, I was very happy to hear how carefully he screens his owners knowing that he has saved his adoptees alot of misery from owners that don't deserve them.

Speaking of which, I did want to make one final comment.  If you are considering getting a Bengal from Mark, one of the things he will tell you is to never declaw your cat.  Take that warning very seriously.  When I got my first Bengal many years ago, I had her declawed.  It ruined her life.  Maybe with a low-IQ resuce cat that sits and stares at the wall all day you can get away with declawing, but not with Bengals.  They will live the rest of their lives in a state of depression - or worse.

Sorry for ending on that note but it is very important.  One of the best things Mark ever said to me, which I never forget, and I tell everyone that will listen is, "if it is between the furniture and the cat, don't get the cat".  Take that seriously.

Well, as you can tell, my life with my Bengals is great.  (I had to pause my writing once a couple of minutes ago because Voodoo needed some love and he jumped onto my desk and up on my shoulder - after about 20 seconds of love he feels alot better and jumps down and goes about his business). 

If you are a "well qualified" person that is considering getting a Bengal, I would highly recommend Mark's cattery.  I've known him for several years now and my respect for his work has just grown over time.  Best of luck!




Dear Mark,

Let me first say that I think we hit the jackpot with Mark and Leo......I researched Bengal breeders and my husband contacted Mark........just talking to Mark we were convinced this is who we should get our Bengal from......I visited Mark's cattery and met Leo's parents.....both stunning cats.....and waited for my little bundle to arrive......Mark kept me informed and welcomed and answered all my questions.......He truly cares for the kitties and introduced us to the raw diet for Leo.....which he loves......

Leo is a bundle of joy......he has a super personality and learned the command  sit in 2 minutes of introduction and turkey treats.... I was amazed.....he is truly intelligent and beautiful (beauty and brains).......he loves my two boys and follows us around.....he loves to cuddle up with someone on the couch and purr and talk to them.......Leo loves all his toys and is always doing something I find funny or cute.......Big personality for a little kitty!!!

I still call Mark to brag or ask a question and he is always willing to listen or offer advice......Couldn't ask for a better experience, breeder or kitten!!! 

Love, Love, Leo!!!   

Lisa Ferrigno
Mystre Bengals update from Lisa: "

I might have to child (bengal) proof my kitchen......Leo has discovered he can open the kitchen cabinet, get under the drawer and push it out and help himself to a straw or 10......This cat is a mess and I love him"

Lisa shared this video with me and I just cracked up and had to share it here for people considering a Bengal to hope you enjoy it as much as I do.

Update from Lisa and Leo: Leo is now 1 year and 6 months.  He is has blossomed into a beautiful cat, in appearance and personality. He must be the smartest kitty cat on the planet (this being said by his mommy)!  He can sit, turn around, and go up on command and he also opens doors and drawers and knows what drawer the straws are in!! He is part of the family. 

I have two boys ages 8 and 12, that both pick Leo up and kiss him on a regular basis.  He puts up with a lot of handling by the family. He is a momma's boy and sleeps at my feet and waits for me to get up in the morning.  He loves to play and is serious about his food, but I think that runs in the family, my boys and husband are serious about their food also.   Anytime the doorbell rings, Leo is the first one to the door.  He loves visitors.  He is an only animal child, but his best friend animal wise is a poodle across the street, Nicco, that comes over and comes in the house as Leo is an indoor cat only. They chase each other around our house and kiss noses.  Leo brings joy to our family on a daily basis and lots of laughter and love. He is highly intelligent and a social butterfly. I couldn't be more proud of my little Bengal.   So thankful for Leo and Mr. Mark. We still communicate with Mark via the computer and feel that he is a kind, awesome breeder who celebrates with me as Leo grows and learns new things.

Bengal cat Bengals in Houston Spotted Bengal Kittens
Bengal breeder in Houston Texas Bengal Kitten Breeder in Houston Brown Spotted Bengals in Texas Bengal cats and kittens in Texas





From Alexis Brower

I picked up my Bengal kitten, Miles, from Mark in May of 2013. From the start, Mark was amazing to work with. After our first conversation, I knew I wanted to get my cat from Mark and continue to feel grateful for his knowledge and continued interest in his cats. Mark allowed me to visit and play with the kittens daily while they were growing and he continues to be incredibly helpful anytime I need advice on the training or health of Miles. Mark has a wealth of knowledge and is always available to answer questions. He taught me how to make my own raw food for cats and people always comment on how healthy and soft Miles’ coat is. Mark puts an incredible amount of work into his breeding program to breed for beautiful structure, great personalities and to increase the health of the breed. He loves his cats and it shows.

Miles has the most amazing personality and is beautifully structured. He is very smart and he has been fun to train- he is starting to walk on a leash and loves walks in the park and playing fetch. He travels well- in the car, he curls up on my lap and stays until we arrive. He loves people and follows me everywhere around the house. I am so happy to have Miles in my life and everyone who meets him falls instantly in love!

I would recommend Mark’s cattery to anyone looking for a cat.

For more pictures of Miles on his instagram:

Alexis Brower

From Leah Neuhauser DVM

It took me over 2 years to research the breed before I was finally ready and able to take the plunge and get my first purebred, pedigreed kitten.  Midway through the research period, I spoke with Mark for the first time on the phone and after contacting dozens of breeders from all over the country, I realized right away that I would get my first Bengal kitten from Mystre Bengals.

I knew that Mark was special and that he truly cared about his kittens and their new owners.  I knew that if I ever had questions or concerns, that he would help me through it, even if it were in the middle of the night. I could tell right away that Mark was pure of heart and that he was very motivated to improve the breed, which means more than just breeding cats with pretty coats.  Yes, his kittens do have pretty coats, but I also knew I would be getting a cat with wonderful type and an amazing temperament. 

I didn’t know exactly HOW amazing the temperament would be until I brought my kitten, Gryffin, home.  I have heard people say that Bengals are flighty and are NOT lap cats.  Mark convinced me that temperament is hereditary and a good breeder will breed for temperament.  Gryffin convinced me that any of those stereotypes about Bengals not being “loving” are all wrong.  Gryffin has an amazingly snuggly personality and he is not afraid of ANYTHING. 

He took to walking on a leash immediately and is not fazed by anything we come across.  It doesn’t matter how many people, cars or dogs are crowding around, Gryffin is comfortable and curious.  I can sit at an outdoor café on a busy street and enjoy my meal while Gryffin is lounging and napping under the table on his leash.  He attracts crowds wherever we go and is perfectly happy being carried, walked or cuddled by children who ask to pet him.  He once allowed a small child to walk him around a room on a leash for a full 30 minutes while I was waiting for a car repair and didn’t show the slightest bit of annoyance. 

As a veterinarian, I see many cats and dogs in my daily routine, but I have never seen any cat with such a wonderful temperament and everyone at the clinic where I work has fallen in love with Gryffin.  He has converted many people who claim to not be “a cat person”.  I could go on all day about his wonderful personality but I can’t ignore the fact that he also is stunningly beautiful and every day as he grows, he looks more and more stunning and has already begun a successful show career.

 I am so impressed with Mark’s breeding program, the health of his cats, and the quality and cleanliness of his cattery.  Anyone interested in the Bengal breed would be very lucky to have a kitten from Mark’s program, and as I grow and develop my own breeding program, I feel so lucky to have Mark’s help, friendship, and his standard to live up to.  His positive attitude and support has definitely helped me through some rough times (that don’t even have anything to do with cats).  I feel so blessed to have found such a wonderful cat from such a wonderful breeder and I can’t wait to see what Gryffin will bring to my own breeding program.

Dr. Leah Neuhauser DVM

From Jos Couwels (Belgium)

In mid-2011 my wife, Nadia, needed to go from Belgium to Houston area for 2 weeks for work.  During her time there she had the opportunity to visit the cattery Mystre and meet the Pennington family. 

It became rapidly clear that there was a lot of passion in the way they bred Bengals and Mark had the loveliest bengals in their home.  After a few telephone calls we decided to wait for the new breeding between Maggie May and Magic Man and were so lucky that we could choose a male kitten out of that breeding. Months went by waiting for Maggie May to be in the heat.  Finally Mark phoned with the good news. Maggie was in heat and Magic Man was placed with her.  So the breeding went very fast and worked well under the expert eyes of Mark.

1st of February 2012 we received a mail telling us that Maggie May had delivered 6 wonderful kittens.  The first pictures came through after a few weeks and yes the litter was up to expectations and choosing was definitely not the easiest thing. It even became harder to choose with next set of pictures. After more telephone calls with Mark we picked our boy.

Choosing a name for this wonderful Bengal was another task.  I wanted to have a name in line with his character and his looks. In the end my wife and I chose the name Themba.  Themba is an Africa name and means “In the one we trust”.  We thought that is was fitting for the cat as well as the Cattery Mystre and the Pennington family.  Especially it was the first time we bought a cat in the US. For me the biggest part was done and just beginning for Mark with lots of paperwork for him as he started to get things organized for exporting a cat to Europe.
In early June I took a plane to Houston to collect this wonderful offspring of the beautiful parents Maggie May and Magic Man.  Meeting Mark and the rest of the family was like coming home.  He introduced me to Mystre Themba and this boy was directly very social and interested to play with me.  We spent a few days together in his home and took tours around to NASA and experienced Texas barbeque. A few days later the big journey for Thamba started.  Off we went to Houston airport, getting all papers and stamps and checking in to the airplane.

On the plane Themba was, as Mark explained, quiet vocal and I was sitting there between many people that wanted to enjoy a good night’s sleep.  To keep him quiet I put him on my lap and the boy was so happy that he fell asleep almost immediately for the whole 10 hours.  Arriving in Frankfurt he could stretch his legs and became a film star since almost everybody was taking pictures.  They even stopped security check for a while!   The last part of the trip was a 1 hour flight from Frankfurt to Brussels. Themba was used to flying by now so again he slept.  After a few days at home Themba became very social towards us and enjoyed playing out in his fenced area.

Months later Themba is growing and becoming more and more beautiful.  I have to thank Mark for this for choosing all the right genes so he could create the this wonderful Bengal. We did bring Themba to a few cat expositions and he is a very well behaving, friendly male.

Jos & Nadia, from Belgium

Mystre Bengals Update:

Show results:
17-06-2012 Deinze (BE) kitten 3-6 months EXC1 + BIV + BIS + BOB
08-07-2012 Brugge (BE) kitten 3-6 months EXC1 + BIV + BIS + BOB + Best over all
12-08-2012 Eupen (BE) kitten 6-9 months EXC1 + BIV + BIS
19-08-2012 St Job in 't Goor (BE) kitten 6-9 months EXC1 + BIV + BIS
09-09-2012 Marcq en Baroeul (FR) kitten 6-9 months EXC1 + BIV + nominated BIS
23-09-2012 Westerlo (BE) kitten 6-9 months EXC1 + BIS + BOB + special price
07-10-2012 Aarschot (BE) kitten 6-9 months EXC1 + BIS + BOB
21-10-2012 Dison (BE) kitten 6-9 months EXC1 + nominated BIS + special price

BIS=Best in Show, BIV= Best in Variety, BOB= Best of Breed

Clay Schomburg,

Been really busy lately, but I wanted to write this and thank you for giving me Ziva. I have attached a few pictures as well, but these are off my iPhone.

I have some better ones on my good camera at the house, but I will have to pull those off later.I purchase my kitten (Ziva) from Mark at Mystre Bengals around the first of 2012 and I couldn't be happier with my decision. I knew that I did not just want some random pet; I wanted a buddy for life. I talked with Mark for a very long time about the Bengal breed and he was very helpful in letting me know exactly what to expect.

I had a friend that has a small plane and he offered to take me up there to pick Ziva up. Mark went out of his way to meet me at the airport, and waited for over an hour since we hit some bad weather causing our landing to get delayed. Bengal cats have a very loud cry and when it came time to land, she let me know that she was VERY upset. The air traffic controller even asked over the radio if there was a cat on board and kinda giggled about the noise. Once I got her home, Mark gave me excellent pointers about how to introduce her into a new home and everything turned out great.

Ziva is by far the most loving animal I have ever known.  As soon as I get home from work she runs to me and plops down on her back so that I can rub her belly and give her some much needed attention.  She is definitely the center of attention everywhere we go. I trained her to walk on a leash so we can walk around the neighborhood and she picked it up very easily. Bengal cats are amazingly smart animals and you can pretty much train them to do anything. In fact, when I got her home, she started fetching a piece of paper right away. I had never seen a cat fetch before that.

Ziva has been a great addition to my family and I truly thank Mark for giving me my life long buddy! You cannot put a price on something like that.

Thank you!
Clay Schomburg, Texas

Dear Mark,

Where do I begin? I guess I will start with my first deciding that I had to have a Bengal. After researching the breed for months,I visited several websites and kept coming back to Mystre Bengals. Your cats are absolutely stunning and I love the fact that your website made me laugh. As funny as the stories and captions are, I am already starting to see that in order to own one of these enchanting creatures, one must have a sense of humor.

I was very nervous in making the first phone call and you quickly put me at ease. Your knowledge of the Bengal breed is astounding and it was a true pleasure making that first phone call. I could not ask too many questions. Your passion for your cats made an everlasting impression on me. They were not just Mystre Bengals, but they were very much a part of your family. I will always remember you telling me that when I bought one of your babies I was a part of your family forever. There are not many like you who exist. I put down my deposit right after that first phone call. I didn't just want a Bengal anymore it had to be a Mystre Bengal.

I ended up waiting 9 months to get my baby and as hard as it was to be patient and wait the reward was so worth it!! Raja is the most amazing, sweetest, most beautiful creature I have ever had the pleasure of sharing my home with.

He adores everyone he meets and has me wrapped around his paw. This little guy has absolutely stolen my heart and I can't imagine my life without him.

I flew from Dallas to get him and you were so incredible to meet me at the airport that early in the morning. The first time I laid eyes on him I was in shock, his pictures did not do him justice. He took the plane flight home much better than I did. He did not utter a sound the whole way home. His temperament is incredible. He is afraid of nothing and is very outgoing. I have had many cats over the years and see cats at work every day and hands down this is the best cat I have ever owned or met.

(Pictures below are by Helmi Flick)

I look forward to sending you updates and enjoying the years to come with Raja. I highly recommend that anyone considering a Bengal get one from Mark. You won't regret it! (feel free to use any of the pictures I sent) Thank you so much Mark. I love this little boy more than words can say. Thank you for entrusting him to me. Keri Crenshaw


Update from Keri:

Now my grandmother is a lover of all animals but has never been a cat person *hehehe*. She and my grandfather met Raja briefly after I first got him from you and they both thought he was beautiful but again they are not really cat people. So today, I decide to go for a visit and decide that it is time for his royal highness to have an outing. I put on his new walking jacket and to grandmother's house we go. Walk in the house, she is sitting at the table and is quite surprised at how much he has grown. "His coat is so much more distinct now," she says. Raja proceeds to perch himself in my grandfather's lap and remains there for several minutes.

Never mind that he had only met this man for a grand total of five minutes previously. He was a human and therefore Raja's best friend :). Off to explore the house...he met my grandparents chihuahua and sheltie. He had never met them before so I was expecting a least a small production. I got nothing. He did not mind the new dogs one bit. My grandmother keeps watching my interaction with Raja and is amazed when he comes bounding to me anytime I call his name.

Fast forward...we are watching t.v. in my grandmother's bedroom, Raja is stretched out beside me asleep while I continually rub his spotted tummy. The chihuahua is laying behind my grandmother's legs shooting Raja death rays. Raja wakes up and goes grandma picks up a magazine and emerges herself in its contents. A little while later I hear an "Oh! Raja I am so sorry I was in your way." I look over to see my cat stretched out along my grandmother's side. The jealous chihuahua softly growls a bit to which his mother reprimands him and Raja ever so gently reaches out is paw and touches him on the nose. The surprised chihuahua goes completely silent. Raja falls asleep on top of the non cat person old lady and purrs louder than I have ever heard him. All the while my grandmother is trying to hide her pleasure at being royalty's chosen one.

A while later I drive grandma to go pay bills and we take Raja and Casey (chihuahua) with us. Casey in her lap and Raja in mine. I carry Raja in the buildings I go to while grandma and Casey stay in the car. Again she is so surprised how well he behaves for a CAT. *grin*

Return home and I ask her to please add some Velcro to the walking jacket I got Raja as it was a little to big. She proceeds to the sewing machine with her spotted kitty admirer following. She sits down and I go to the kitchen to get a glass of water. Now I have told her that bengals like to be a part of all you are doing and wish to assist as much as possible. Coming back down the hall and I hear:

"Put that down"

"I can't see with your head in my way"

"Give that back, I need it"

I look around the corner into the room to see that royalty is indeed helping with the task at hand. He has is body twisted right through the middle of the machine with his head in her face and is in love with the needle moving up and down. When the needle stops he tries to take off with it but does not realize it is attached to the machine. I go sit on the floor laughing at my baby's antics. My grandmother is still trying to hide her amusement with Raja and his tricks. I call Raja to me and grandma says "Yes, go see your mother!"

Walking jacket finished, I retrieve my child and head out to leave. All the sudden I hear my grandmother call "But I didn't give Raja a kiss yet!!!" One kitty kiss and a hug later we are on our way home and my grandmother finally admits that she is not a cat person but loves my Bengal baby. We all loved our afternoon together with Raja providing all needed entertainment. My grandma will soon be a cat person wether she is ready or not (or at the very least a Bengal person).

*smiles* Keri Crenshaw

Update from Keri: Awesome story: So I take Raja to our local pet store. While walking around a very kind lady approaches me with her small child and asks if the little girl can pet him. "He would love that," I tell her. The mother points to Raja and the little girl walks up to pet him gently. He purrs and I say "He is a soft kitty isn't he." The little girl replies almost at a whisper "soft kitty." I hear sniffling and look up to see tears in the mothers eyes.

Alarmed I asked what was wrong. "Nothing" the Mother says, "she is autistic and has never spoken before"

Needless to say, this makes my day :)

Mystre Bengals Reply to Above: tearfully speechless.

Mystre Bengals Update: Below is Raja and Keri visiting a retirment home. Her comments to me were: "My Raja spreading joy at a local nursing home. He was a last minute stand in for my golden who developed a hot spot. Raja purred from the time we entered until the time we left. I am so proud of him!!!!"

Well, I couldn't be more proud of "her". She took the time to go visit and share the love she has for our boy with others. This is the kind of people the world just simply needs more of.

Keri Update 11-13:

Wow! What a year it has been. To say that I've learned a lot about showing cats and cats in general would be a huge understatement. There were more than a few times over this past year that I seriously considered giving up because of Raja's personality in the show hall. You and Karen were kind and encouraging through it all and you challenged me and some of the best ways possible. Win or lose, and we lost plenty, I truly enjoyed showing even if we came home into empty-handed. I continued to work very hard with Raja and little by little he continued to improve. Even though he does not love showing he at least tolerates it well. I will never forget his first adult show in April where he was awarded one final for the whole weekend that gave him his Champion title. I was so excited and so were you. Little by little he continued to earn finals which increased his titles. He did amazing at the regional show in August, walking in a grand champion and walking out a quadruple grand champion. At that point, Raja had only been awarded one "best cat" at any of the shows. I knew that getting a "best cat" for his Supreme Grand Champion Alter title was going to be exceedingly difficult given how his personality was in the show hall. I was in more than a little shock when this past weekend on Sunday he was given a "best cat" by the judge who had given him his only final the day before a "4th best shorthair." Even as I sit here writing this now, I still don't think it has completely sunk in. I am so glad that you and Karen were there and the you were sitting right next to me when she awarded him best cat. Raja is my very first purebred cat and my very first show cat. It is an amazing accomplishment and I wouldn't have been able to do it without both of you.


What I have learned about showing:

1. Spoiled pets do not make good show cats. Save the excessive spoiling until after you're finished showing or you will work 10 times as hard correcting bad behavior.

2. Patience, persistence,and perseverance.

3. Showing is tons of fun.

4. The people are awesome and all of the cats are beautiful.

5. Success only comes if you don't give up.

I was so blessed to have chosen Mystre Bengals and to be chosen in return for my first Bengal baby. I bought a cat and got so much more than anyone will ever know. Mark and Karen I love you both lots and lots!

(Karen Pennington, Judge Ana Marie Sousa, Keri Crenshaw, Mark Pennington)


Mystre Bengal Note: This is more of a joy than most could know. This young woman grew so much into our lives we consider her our adopted daughter now. She has one boy whom means a lot to us all, RW SGA Mystre A Walk on the Wild Side (aka Raja) She also has a cat that grew into a very special girl for us, Gingersnap, a calico we adore, and now she has our retired girl (at less than 2 years old lol) Pure Imagination (aka Emi). Emi is one of my cats that is probably one of the, if not the, favorite little girl I have ever had. How appropriate that my favorite girl, Keri, now has my favorite Bengal Emi. I could not ask for a better match for one of my girls. And this one is especially special as she is blind. Keri has put in the work needed to give this very special girl a very special home.. the other cats wear bells to help guide Emi around the home and Keri is adopting furniture to meet her special needs as well.. This whole thing is a huge heartwarming story. If you would like to know more about this amazing pair, write her, she will be thrilled to share their experiences with you.



As you know, my mother bred Australian Shepherds for around 20-25 years and she taught me a lot about what to look for in a breeder of any kind. I have talked with a few other breeders of Bengal cats and I would get red flags with some things (not very knowledgeable, unwilling to really talk about the breed, or didn't show). You, however, are exactly what my mother taught me to find: trustworthy, extremely knowledgeable about the breed and other tidbits about cats in general, passionate, active within the cat fancy, and absolutely loves to talk about Bengals with anyone. Not only this, but you absolutely care about the people you work with and, of course, the cats you place.

I never would have guessed that three months ago I would meet a friend or mentor back at the Austin Cat show. You are so easy to talk to and, although it has taken me probably the three months to realize it, available for me and truly happy to hear from me. That is probably one of the most valuable things you can do as a breeder for people that could be potential new parents for your kitties: always being available and willing to talk to them, no matter how long it takes. From what I have gathered in my knowing you, you are more interested in educating people about this wonderful breed than you are with pushing one of your cats. I just cannot stress how at ease that makes me feel.


Romeo has been with us for around a month now and he is the most amazing animal. His temperament is just, well, amazing! He is just so relaxed and very okay with new situations. It is very obvious that you have taken very careful planning with your breeding program so you get the best temperaments and great looking Bengals. I can only hope that someday I can get to this. However, in the meantime, Romeo is an excellent example of what I would want to strive for when I become further developed within the Bengal breeding world and you, (try not to let this go to too much of your ego *grin*) as well as my mother, are what I would want to try to strive for in becoming a breeder.

Bengal in a tree Romeo in his Canoe with Grace in Austin on River Bengal with owner

Thank you so much for being a caring breeder and striving for excellence with the Bengal. I look forward to our growing friendship and future shows.

Best wishes,
Grace Lam


Update from Grace:

Hi Mark,

Here are some pictures of some of our outings with Romeo. We went to the stream last weekend and here are some of the photos I liked and edited. He had a blast! This weekend we went to a park on Saturday and tuckered him out... THEN we went to the Austin kite festival Sunday! He crashed 5minutes getting back into the car. We wore him out!

I wanted to show you a glimpse of how many people (WITH THEIR DOGS!!!) were there... and then there's Romeo... on lead... chilling out, happy as a clam and Okay with all the attention. I carried him mostly but he did demand to be set down every once in a while. We made a joke out it actually.. if we stop, we are swarmed! If we kept moving around we wouldn't have someone want to talk to us about him. The MINUTE we stop to watch the kites we get swarmed by people wanting to take a picture, wanting to know what kind of cat he was, where I got him, how I leash trained him... yadda yadda yadda! I need to make a t-shirt that one or both of us can wear that says, "He's a Bengal Cat". :P


Hi Mark!
This weekend we went to the park and just enjoyed the day. Today (Sunday) I was hell bent in finding a field of wild flowers (particularly bluebonnets) for some photo opportunities. We spent about an hour or more tootling in the car trying to find something. Well, we did find something it just ended up being less than 5min from our house! (Doh!)

Not only did we get some amazing photo shoots with Romeo but I included some pictures that show how amazing (again) he is. We followed him around with the camera and did some recalling and he was eager and quick to respond. I'm sure you can figure out which picture is the recalling one! I am going to be clicker training him so that his recall is even faster and better. I hope you enjoy the pictures. Grace Lam

Dear Mark,

I’m that consumer that reads every scrap of material possible before making a purchase and then I fret through the entire process anyway.  I was interested in Mystre Bengals because of the testimonials, the beauty of his cats, and its proximity to my place of employment.  However as previously noted, I’m not one to rush into purchases so arranged a visit to the cattery.  It was wonderful to see kitties roaming around underfoot, very obviously loved and comfortable with people as none of them ran to hide.  Seeing his Queens and Studs in person only confirmed 2 things for me: 1) The pictures you see on his website are great but aren’t even close to how beautiful they are in person.  2) I HAD to have a Mystre Bengal.


Mark was beyond patient answering my incessant questions and concerns.  I not only had a million calls and emails chock full of questions/concerns but spent hours visiting Stitch from the moment he opened his eyes, till a couple of weeks before he came home.  Mark was wonderful every time, assuaging any guilt I felt for being so intrusive and  calming every fear (rational or not) with solid facts.  The care and consideration Mark puts into care and breeding his cats ensured Stitch inherited a “wild”, exuberant personality that is well balanced by the domestic traits I’ve always loved in cats

Mark would often tell me how energetic Bengals are (especially boys).  I’d nod politely, thinking I understood what he meant and that I’d chosen the “calm” kitten of the litter.  Uh-huh.  Like his namesake, Stitch can be “naughty” but he obviously has a heart of gold and quickly learns what is off limits with a quick squirt of the water bottle.  Stitch has been home for 3 weeks now and we’ve had such a great time getting to know one another. 

We’ve just had our first beach trip. The surf was loud so he wasn't quite certain initially but after checking to make sure I was near in case something went wrong, he was off exploring.  After he frolicked in the water for a bit, he came back to give me the cutest kitty grin as he let me know all the fun things he found in the surf.  I look forward to watching his personality develop as he grows and having lots of adventures with him.

Spend the mornings and weekends with my little guy.  Working like crazy...just getting home tonight.  Everything in between is keeping him from "killing" one of his sisters.  One of them (the oldest) gives him her clawless "get away you brat" growl/snarl/soft paw swats and he scampers away to....

......stalk the wilds of his territory and LEAP upon the prey animal known as Noina.  He grabs her haunches and rolls her.  A great snarling match ensues in which she attempts to employ the previously described growl/snarl/swat that sister uses but to no avail.  The other wild animals frantically run around uselessly screeching some protest that sounds like "No Stitch" or this could be his name for all he knows in which case they are encouraging this epic struggle.  He considers for a moment and goes with that scenario until at the last moment she escapes.  (repeat...endlessly).

Sigh, there is never any damage done except that I SWEAR Noina gives the most effective reproachful...."How could you have brought this BEAST into our happy home?" looks.  Seriously though, they may never be best friends but once in a while they forget to be antagonistic and just co-exist....we'll take it.

He has decided all things dad are the best things in the world so we look like slobs b/c he finds socks, shirts, towels, anything with dad's scent on it and drags it to the bottom of the stairs.  You should see him trying to drag long pants down...tumble, tumble pant legs, Stitch legs, pant legs, tumble, tumble...GREAT what can I find?

We play fetch and try to exhaust him...energizer bunny's got nothing...the Stitchenator..... now that really NEVER stops.

We also like to get in the car and nearly cause car wrecks b/c folks stare at this incredibly handsome kitty sitting properly on the passenger seat in his seatbelt harness looking out the window.  Then we LOVE going to Petsmart to check out the funny birds, fish, free toys (yeah he thinks the entire store is his), and best of all we make the stinky dogs go bonkers while he just looks on without fear or any real interest other than the fact that they are making a lot of noise.

The hardest parts so far:

  • Stitch and I don't agree on whether he needs his nails trimmed.  I say yes (I have an ever so slight upper hand with apposable thumbs), he says no.  We do it my way but there is not a lot of Stitch love for at least another half an hour after this activity

  • He follows me around and yowls enough that I worry someone is going to call animal control some day for animal abuse if I DARE to close a door between us.  I mean really, no animal should make such an awful sound if it wasn't being beat to within an inch of it's life.  Brooke came running the first time it happened thinking Stitch was being disemboweled or something only to find him sitting there in front of the garage door.  However, he wants dad's scent and sleeps with dad most of the time.  Yeah, I'm jealous.

  • I think Stitch has a severe case of ADD or IDC (I Don't Care).  I'm suspecting the latter when it comes to training since he is certainly bright enough.

My fave part of all this is that moment when we're watching the boob tube, he is sleeping and a bury my face in his tummy and we end up napping.  Loving my little guy more every day.

Ohhhhhh, we were at a park one day and he loves being adored by, well, everyone.  He stands around to let people admire his glitter and the little ones to stroke his fur.  Well, he was walking along happily and we stopped to let some folks walk by.  Their litter girl stopped and looked at him.  Said she hated cats and that they were gross.  He looked at her, cocked his head....and growled deep in his throat.  She ran off screaming.  He looked at me and made THE cutest "Showed her" face and trotted on to the next adoring child.  Ok, so maybe I laughed.  Mark, I'm no angel. 

Well, hope to get some water time, pictures and more stories but it may be a bit b/c we'll be getting some house renovations done...busy busy.

Hope all is well with you and your family.

Thank you Mark for helping us complete our family with Stitch. 

 Audrey - Houston, TX

Update from Audrey:
He is absolutely FEARLESS when it comes to dogs. Our neighbor has a german shepard and Stitch endlessly teases the poor thing by walking up to the fence and making the dog go crazy. At the pet stores he DELIGHTS in getting just close enough to totally make the dog crazy then he just saunters off as if nothing happens. Not so interested in the mice but kinda like the birds.

He rides in the car with me but we use the seatbelt adapter they have for dogs for his harness and he loves it. I tried putting him in a the time we got to where we were going he had rubbed his nose raw, will NOT be doing that again. He doesn't care for Brooke's car (my cat loves my Jeep). He especially doesn't appreciate when Brooke rides in "His" seat so sometimes Brooke has to ride in the back or drive since they can't share the passenger seat nicely.

We've had some fun recently and thought I'd share. I was appreciating the sun on the water and when I looked back he was kinda kittypaddling. We got back to shore and he started posturing at a rotweiler off in the distance...yeah, didn't get the memo that he's 1/4 of the dog's size and should have been slightly concerned. On the way to the beach and back he INSISTED on hanging part of the way out the window like a dog. I closed the window and he made the most terrible, earsplitting sound I've ever heard at a decibel that I was sure would make my ears bleed. He never made any attempt to jump (though he was was harnessed and securely belted to the seat belt). I honestly don't know where that came from because he normally rides harnessed and secured, sitting very politely in the passenger seat. After the beach he wanted the same thing....


I was looking to purchase a Bengal Kitten for my son who desperately wanted one.  I knew very little about exotic cats and had called several breeders in California to learn more about the breed.  The breeders that I had contacted didn’t answer all the questions and concerns that I had.  So, I expanded my search to the entire country.  I was attracted to Mystre Bengals because of the Navy Ship pictured on Mark’s website.   As a Naval Officer, I knew the Navy family would likely steer me the right direction.

I called Mark and it was the best decision I could have made.  Mark took the time to explain the breed, explain what I should look for and offered to recommend breeders in my area.   He sincerely loves the breed and everything he does is in the best interest of his cats to ethically breed loving pets and show cats.  I knew immediately that I would only buy a Bengal kitten from Mystre and I recommend Mystre Bengals to anyone that is serious about buying a Bengal.  I never thought I would buy a cat in my life but this kitten was worth every penny.

I ordered my son’s kitten in April and he was born June 6th.  It wasn’t until September that he was finally ready for me to pick but he was absolutely worth every minute of the wait.  I chose to fly to Texas to pick up our long awaited Bengal (Darwin).  Mark’s family invited me to stay the night at their home.  I had an amazing visit and I was able to see all of Mark’s cats.  I was surprised at how social, nice and loving they were.

  I brought Darwin home and we started the painful two weeks of keeping Darwin in the bathroom.  I didn’t think we were going to be able to do it but we did, and I am so glad.  Darwin howled from behind the bathroom door and it broke our hearts. Mark made it clear to me that this was necessary for his health, the health of our other cat, and for his proper socialization.  I recommend anyone that buys a Bengal to follow Mark’s instructions exactly because we have the most amazing kitten.

We have an 8-year-old part Siamese cat (Ash) that is extremely social with people, however in the past he has not warmed up well to other animals; usually he would hiss and run away. I was planning on crating Darwin in the living room so Ash could get to know him and then crating Ash while Darwin was exploring the living room for the first time, as Mark recommended.  However, when I opened the door to visit with Darwin on the day he was to transition he leaped out of the bathroom and ran down the stairs and right to Ash.  Clearly, Darwin had their first meeting already planned and they have gotten along fabulously ever since.  Not once have they hissed at one another.  I think Darwin wears Ash out a little bit but they get along very well.

Darwin follows my son and I around the house and is always sitting on our laps.  He hates to be alone and never hides.  I couldn’t have asked for a kitten with a better personality and disposition.  He is so much fun.  We absolutely love him.

When you buy a Bengal from Mark you are getting a resource of information for life.  Mark to this day is always available to answer all questions about Darwin whether it is about making him food or finding a vet. I have even called him from the vets office concerning vaccinations.

Darwin fetches, sits on command, and is starting to walk on a leash.  He loves water and we are hoping to acclimate him to water so that he likes to swim. 

We love our Bengal!  I don’t think I would have the quality of cat that I have had I not chose Mark as the breeder to purchase from.  I can’t say enough to express how happy we are.  Darwin is everything we wanted and more! 

I am happy to speak to anyone that is considering buying a Bengal from Mystre and in my opinion you can’t go wrong if you buy a Bengal from Mystre.

Lt. Beth Jasper

Hi Mark,

I have to thank you once again for allowing me to have your magnificent girl, Mystre Cracklin' Rosie of Aspengold!  She is such a good sized girl and very hearty, and I love feeling the heft of her body when I pick her up.  In just a few weeks here she shed her "baby fuzzies" and developed into a real beauty with a pattern that looks spectacular.  Her coat colors are getting more clear and more brilliant everyday and I believe the raw diet is making her coat very shiney.  The combination of her coat and pattern and her very big, round, gold eyes creates a mesmerizing creature that you can hardly take your eyes off.

Mystre Cracklin Rosie of Aspengold

Rosie is a very friendly girl both with people and other cats and dogs.  She has been to two shows now at only 4 months old and has finaled at both of them.  She shows very well as she has quite a mellow personality.

I could not have asked for a more wonderful show/breeder girl.  And also, I do so apppreciate all of the assistance you have willingly given to me as I continue to learn more about bengals, showing, breeding and nutrition.  Thank you!

Judy Miers
Aspengold Bengals


Just wanted to take this long awaited opportunity to express my gratitude for everything you have done.  When I first contacted you, I didn't get a sales pitch nor need to purchase a road map to get the answers I wanted.  What I got was honesty and a true willingness to take the time and share about the breed whether or not I was to be a future customer.  

I later visited your home and had the opportunity to see and understand what really sets these felines apart from the rest.  You really do go above and beyond to incorporate your Bengals into your life and your passion for the breed is apparent.  This is evident in your willingness to help anyone of the Bengal community.  You would be certainly be hard-pressed to find that in the automobile or home-buyers community.

Penny is growing fast and has become my ever lasting shadow.  She is very interested in everything that I am doing and doesn't skimp on the affection.  I love it when she puffs up and we chase each other through the apartment!  She is the first thing I look for when I come through the door after work and has become a very effective alarm clock.

For any Bengal owners out there, I would HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend your raw food diet!  It is an hour or so of work every few months, but Penny loves the food and it is great piece of mind knowing that she is getting the nutrition she needs.  She loves to direct me when I'm making it as she sits on the counter and lectures me.  She ensures that I don't let her miss a meal.

If any of your future customers need an outsider's opinion, they can definitely contact me at  I have no problem in taking the time to help others making the decisions I have already been through.  I'll try to borrow my friend's fancy camera to get some nice quality current photos of Penny.  Feel free to add Penny's video if you would like some added content (  Thanks just doesn't cut it, but Thanks, Mark.



Feel free to use this on your website. Also, I’ve attached a batch of pictures. I’m switching vets. . . turns out the vet I had been going to wouldn’t order the rabies shot you recommended.  I had been torn between two vets, so I called the one I hadn’t gone with. . and the only reason I hadn’t was because I had used the “other” vet for Harry and wanted to be loyal.  Well, this vet that I called yesterday already uses the shot you recommend, but they would’ve ordered it if they didn’t.  So, I’ve got an appointment for her on November 4 so they can do their own checkup and give her the rabies shot. And turns out, the girl who answered the phone said that the vet is interested in maybe getting a Bengal. . .  I gotta tell ya. . .if this is the case, I’ll definitely have him call you.  Very cool. 

If you’re looking for a Bengal, look no further.  Mark has the expertise, the passion, and the commitment.  He is dedicated to both the breed and to his customers. When I first talked with Mark, having just discovered this breed, we talked for about 2 hours.  He took the time to listen to me, answer my questions, and educate me.

When I began looking for a cat, everything directed me to not only the Bengal breed, but to Mark.  I could feel the love he has for his cats and the care he takes with breeding them.  I put a deposit on a kitten and booked a flight to Houston (I live in upstate New York).  Mark had told me that I was welcome to visit any time and that I could stay with his family. I arrived in Houston Thursday, August 25 for a two night stay, which turned into a 4-night stay.  Not only did Mark transport me from and to the airport, but when my flight arrangements were delayed, Mark was great about it.

Mark had also told me that when I bought a kitten from him, I’d become part of his family After spending 4 days with Mark, his wife, Karen, and his son Jessie, I felt like I had become part of his family.  And what a beautiful and gracious family to become part of. While at their house, I was given a guest bedroom across from Karmy and her kittens.  My Nia was one of those kittens.  Since bringing her home at the end of August, I’ve taken Nia up to the Adirondacks with me on two mountain adventures. She’s not ready for kayaking yet :o), but she makes herself at home wherever I take her.

I e-mail Mark regularly with updates and questions.  And last week, when Nia wasn’t eating normal and seemed to be having digestive problems, I called Mark.  He told me what it could be and gave me great advice.  Turns out that Nia likely ate something she shouldn’t have eaten.  She vomited that night and then was feeling better the next morning..

Knowing that I can call Mark with any questions at any time of day or night gives me great peace of mind. I highly recommend Mark to anyone who is considering buying a Bengal.” 

Note:  Non-bathtub pics are from first Adirondack adventure. . . we stayed at a cottage on Kayuta Lake.  There are pictures inside the cottage and also down at the lake.  The bathtub pics are from our second Adirondack adventure in Blue Mountain Lake, where Nia discovered her love for playing in the tub. 

Ok, if you need anything else, please let me know.  Also, i'll send another e-mail soon with some beautiful autumn pics. .. lots of gorgeous color in the leaves. 
Take care!!!

-Tina Feldman

Update From Tia & Nia:


Life has been busy and a bit stressful and I'm sorry I haven't written.  But, Nia is grand and I can tell you that she brings incredible joy to my life.  She's always alert and ready for whatever is next.  She seriously doesn't miss a thing.  I brought home a couple of terrariums I had made a few weeks ago and she instantly went searching for the different smell in the house because she could smell the different soil and moss in them. 

She has learned how to turn on the bathroom faucet. . .the hot water one.  I think she mostly sits on it and because it's not super tight, it eventually starts to turn and drip. . .and then she plays with the faucet and the water until there is a stream of water.  Let's just say that this bathroom door is now kept closed unless I need to distract her for a while. . . it takes a while before the water actually starts to drip, so it's a good diversion when I need it!

I still take her outside a few times a week.  And I still take her up to the mountains with me.  I stay with a friend in what used to be a B&B.  Her friend owns it and we go up there a bit.  Nia's been up there twice so far this year.  It's a big place with lots to explore and lots of flies and lady bugs to chase!

Nia loves jumping/climbing trees. . .and I've learned that she's quite patient and will sit at the base of a tree or up in a branch waiting for a squirrel to come back down. . . she doesn't quite get that they go up the tree and then jump to another tree.  So after a while, I get her to move on to the next tree, squirrel, etc.

Oooh. . .and another thing she absolutely loves to do is somersaults!!  I mean, she will go out of her way to chase something so that she can somersault around. She's a bit crazy, that one :o) and I love her for it!!

She is fast and she is strong and she does knock things over. . .rocking chairs, sitting chairs, flat screen TV!!  I was here for the TV and was able to catch it as it fell, she jumped up on top of it to try to swat a small nail hole that she was convinced was something to catch and kill :o)!! 

My Nia truly is sweet and my friends and family all love her.  And of course, I love her, too!!

I hope that YOU and ALL of your family are well.  Would love a full update when you get a chance. 

Birthday Update-


Happy Birthday to my Nia!!  Thank you so much for all that you do and all of the beauty you bring into this world.  I can't tell you how much joy Nia brings into my life!  And she shares delight with everyone she meets.  Everyone who meets her - - little kids, runners, fishermen, teens playing volleyball on the beach, folks with dogs - - they all light up when they see her. 

I still take Nia up to the Adirondacks with me, and we go to a few parks locally, as well as outside in our own yard, in our own trees :o).   There are a few friends whose houses/yards i take her to for a visit.  We went for a walk with our friend Ellie and her dog Izzy a couple of weekends ago. . . Nia really wanted to keep up with Izzy who doesn't tend to go more than a block because she is tiny and gets distracted easily.  After our "walk," we played under a tree and just hung out, all of us together.  Such a treat!



Oscar is now two years old, although he still acts like a kitten.  He trained himself to play fetch.  One day I threw a plastic toy for him to chase and he realized if he brought it back I would keep throwing it.  He will now play fetch for hours on end.  He loves going out for walks (especially when there's bugs) and does very well on his leash.

I started leash-training him almost as soon as I got him, which seemed to help the process.  I'm able to take him to the market and he's even been to work with me.  He's also learned to get along with other animals.  My neighbors all have cats and dogs and he is very friendly with all of them (although the other cat wants nothing to do with him).  He has never met a stranger and always loves exploring new places (even to the point where he has tried walking through my neighbors' doors).

Oscar now usually travels with me whenever I go on long trips.  I trained Oscar to ride in the car and he seemed to understand right away where he was and wasn't allowed to go.  He has never tried to get down by my feet, although it did take some training to make him understand that the dashboard right in front of me was not a good place.  For the most part he sleeps in his carrier which is the best place for him anyway.  He also has no problem using the high-sided clothing bin I got him as a litterbox for long car trips.

He has also flown with me several times and has no problem walking through security on a leash (he's a total ham and loves the attention), although he hates going back in his carrier afterward.  He always yells when getting on the plane, but every single time he has quieted down as soon as the plane starts moving (no drugs required).


It helps to be able to reassure the people near me that he doesn't meow the whole flight.  I bought the SturdiPet carrier you recommended and it works very well.  It's big enough that he has room to move around but can be squeezed under the airplane seat without a problem. If you ever have anyone who has questions about flying with a bengal, I could definitely speak from experience.

Having Oscar and being able to travel so well with him helped me get through major surgery last year.  The surgery was about six hours away and then I flew home to Ohio for recovery.  He usually stayed with me when I was in bed afterwards.  It might have been laziness on his part, but it definitely made my recovery more bearable.

Jessica Mayerovitch

Mystre Bengals Comment: Thank you Jessica for serving our country. It is an honor for me to have one of our kittens with you. I was so glad you brought Oscar by to visit recently. He loved climbing the tree that you thought he wouldnt climb LOL.



When I first became interested in bengal cats, I emailed 2 local breeders in Houston. Mark was the only one who answered. He called me in less than 30 minutes and we had an hour long conversation about what it means to have bengal cats, and cats in general. My husband and I have had cats forever and we thought we were "seasoned' owners. NOT! One of the most fascinating facets about Mark is his knowledge about cats. The more I had the chance to talk to Mark, the more I learned about cats, their nature and how to take care of them. I knew that if I was going to get a bengal, I would only want one from him. If we had any questions or concerns, Mark insists we should call him "anytime, anyday." We are getting Mark "for life" - an unbeatable benefit! Our very own Cesar Millan for cats!

Suri, our bengal kitten, has been with us for a week now. Of course, she's still in the bathroom and dying to come out (and we're dying to let her out - but no cheating, promise, Mark!). Suri's tail was bitten off by mom when she was born, so she looks... unique. And what a cutie!!! On her first day, she was timid and probably just tired. She stayed in her carrier and slept. The second day, she warmed up to us quickly and was soon strutting and running around the bathroom, playing. On the third day... well, it was like she's always been here. She loves to play play play! She is unafraid of anything, it seems. Everything is met with curiosity and even when she has a bad experience, she comes right back. She has no fear - she seems eager to get to know everything - even a loud vacuum cleaner.

She is now jumping up and down the cat tree, played with water in the sink and tub, and yesterday, for the first time, jumped up on my lap (I was sitting on a chair, she was jumping from the floor).  She is such a calm, sweet cat (when she's not stir crazy!) and slept on my lap several times. My husband and I think we may just have the perfect little kitty! Thank you Mark - we are blessed to have found you and through you, Suri. Feel free to email me at if you have any questions about getting a bengal from Mark.

Pay Sung Chew

Hello Mark,

Meeko had been a good kitten so far so good and he is really easy going, he purrs constantly, loves to either be lying on you or next to you and where ever the chis go you will find Meeko.   He has a lot of energy but the chis tire him out, when their done chasing each other through the house you will either find 5 lumps under the comforter on my bed (yes he likes to be under the sheets) or you will find him in his cat tree and yes you will find a couple of chis cuddled up in the cat tree with him, to funny! When i leave to go anywhere the chis would always run to the door and i would see 4 little faces watching me leave well now it is 5, Meeko is right there with them.  He and the chis are always running through tunnels, playing hide and seek, on the bed , off the bed etc., playing tug of war but at the end of the day when it is all said and done  you can find the chis  and Meeko grooming each other and relaxing.   He loves water and will get right in the shower with me just enough to get wet and then he  gets right out, he has gotten wet and he is done.   He doesn't play in his water but usually will go get a drink if one of the chis are drinking.  He like to munch on paper, pens and toilet paper so we are having to keep them picked up and the doors closed to the bathrooms.  He is a pretty quiet kitten and only talks when he is looking for one of the chis or when he wants to eat.  He loves to be carried like a baby and he likes to cuddle the closer the better.


We continued with the raw diet that you recommend and he just loves it, his coat is so shiny and kind of a gold glitter/shimmer to it, stunning, as a matter of fact the chis eat raw as well.  It is really easy to make, takes me about 1.5 hrs. to make about 20 days’ worth and that will feed 5 furbabys daily!

He has done really well with his harness and enjoys the attention he gets when we go out; we are still working on the leash though it is more like a drag at this point!
Mark i know i couldn't of gotten a sweeter or more well-rounded kitten then our little boy is, we love him to death.

Thanks Mark for the most perfect kitten, feel free to give out my name and number as a reference if anybody has questions on your cattery or Mystre bengals

Will keep you updated on Meeko and his adventures!



My Bengal from you is absolutely wonderful.  When I first took him home he didn't make a peep the whole car ride home, and when I moved him from the crate to my lap he started purring instantly.  He still purs nonstop.  I took him to the vet within the first couple days and they reported that he was perfectly healthy and he's become a celebrity there.  All the techs know him by name, he made quite the impression.

 I named him Mingles and as expected, he is full of energy, but also loves to cuddle (both with me and my other cat) which I love. When I sit on the couch, he likes to plop right on me, roll onto his back, and have his stomach rubbed.  He is absolutely adorable.  He is also VERY curious, he has to investigate everything... paper coming out of printers, toilets flushing, and his favorite ... trying to figure out a way to get the computer mouse pointer on the laptop. He is also very smart, within the first week or two he learned to open the bathroom door.  It takes him a couple tries but he gets up onto the counter, and jumps down onto the door handle (its a lever type).  He is quite pleased with himself when he has a successful escape.  I love having him as a companion, he follows me from room to room, has no problem being held, and is never scared of visitors.  Very pleased with Mingles, thanks so much!


To Mystre Bengals,

Receiving a Seal Lynx Point Snow Bengal from Mystre’s Bengals has been a great experience. As a new Bengal owner, I had a ton of questions.

Mark assured me that Jasmine’s bloodline positioned her to be a sweet, lovable, energetic, smart, and beautiful cat. He was right. Jasmine’s bright blue eyes sparkle in the sun, and her silky coat is still developing darker, cream colored rosettes that are very exotic looking. She is always around me, and is interested in what I'm doing at every given moment. I’ll showcase her awesome personality with a story about the past Memorial Day weekend. It’s a tradition that we spend a few days in a small town in Southern IA for my family reunion.

I couldn’t decide whether or not to leave Jasmine for a couple of days, or bring her along. (I didn’t want to bother people with allergies or those who aren’t particularly fond of cats.) Of course, I decided to pack Jasmine in her Sleepypod cat car seat, and we made the 1.5 hour trek to my grandparent’s farm. She didn’t meow at all, and settled into the farmhouse immediately. She amazed the entire family of (50+) people with her friendly demeanor and exotic look. She became the topic of conversation for the weekend. People were asking, “What kind of cat is that?”, and “Where on earth did you get such a neat looking cat?” I’m pretty sure I could have been an official “Bengal Ambassador” by the end of the reunion. My cousins argued over who could hold her next. Instead of hiding and running away from new people (like most cats would,) she would jump up on people’s laps and run around without a care.

She also loves water, and will jump in the shower with me for a quick rinse. She is a pen stealer, and it’s not out of the ordinary to wake up in the morning to find toys, pens/pencils and socks that she has diligently brought back to my bed, or her “den.” She is the best! Thanks Mark for such a sweet, smart, and beautiful pet. I can’t wait to watch her grow up- and I’m so happy she’s mine.

Hi Mark,
Jasmine is wonderful! She is so smart & she is ALWAYS next to me. I moved back in with my parents for a job in Davenport, IA. They live in a big split foyer and Jasmine seems a lot happier because she has so much room to run. We have dubbed her run  the "poofy tail" run - because she likes to prance all over the house with her tail puffed up. She gets along great with the other cats (my parent's have 4) and our golden doodle. She still plays fetch, and she has her favorite toys that she carries around the house. She definitley knows that I'm her mommy and she sleeps next to me every night.

Her spots are GORGEOUS! she is getting prettier and prettier. I'll send you some pictures. Thanks for checking on us!!

Monica, Iowa City, IA

Hi Mark
Just wanted to let you know how Tabitha is doing.  We kept her in quarantine for the two weeks like you said, but she didn't make it easy!   She would cry and cry every time we left the room!  It just about broke my heart.  In the middle of the second week she started actively trying to escape whenever the door opened.  She's certainly a bold little girl!  When she was finally allowed out she explored the house and settled in very quickly.

She is just the sweetest thing!  She'll follow me around the house just to see what I'm up to.  We call her our little supervisor. (she's supervising the writing of this email, currently!) She loves to cuddle with us on the couch and doesn't even mind when we transfer her from lap to cushion when we have to get up.

She really is an amazing cat.  At the tender age of 4 months we had to fly with her to Connecticut and she was an angel on the flight.  She settled right in at my mother's house, and even took to stairs and hardwood floors pretty quick (she's used to carpet and no stairs at our house!)  She absolutely loves being around people.  This is my first cat, but even comparing her to my friends' cats she is super friendly.  She will come right out to meet new people and she's super playful.  She even dealt with my 9 month old niece gracefully.  My niece had accidentally smacked her right on the head and Tabitha just looked confused for a sec and went about her business.

Everyone who has met Tabitha comments on her sweet personality and of course her gorgeous markings.  I've sent some pictures, but the camera just doesn't do her justice.  I'm still trying to get a shot of her eyes; so blue!


Thank you Mark for such a wonderful kitten.  It's obvious that you care deeply about the breed and what you do.  Tabitha was so well socialized when we took her home and she's just continued to blossom.  You have been a great help and a wealth of information from even before we put a deposit on a kitten.  I point people in your direction whenever they ask me about Tabitha.  I've also sent people to your raw diet how-to more times than I can count!  Tabitha's coat is the softest thing I've ever felt and I'm pretty sure the raw diet has a lot to do with it.  She also hardly sheds.  It's amazing.

I'll be sure to keep you updated as she grows!

~Sarah Dunn

Lisa Stacholy, her husband Jan, and their 3 wonderful children (Marissa, Serina and Nic) from Georgia

Well, how wonderful is this?  I’m cleaning up my email InBox and found something dated back to 2009 (that’s old for my computer) when I posted a timid question on Bengals-L wondering why our dear cat began peeing on everything (seemed like anyway).  What I received was a thoughtful, logical and pretty funny response along with an offer to call you with questions.

She is doing what a whole (not spayed) girl will do. It is her way of announcing to the boys where she is and how pretty she is. If she loves you a lot she will do it where you sleep or even on your head. If you are not inclined to be loved this much then you need to find a way to confine her from roaming the house. This behavior won’t quit as long as she is not spayed. At 10 months and in her 4th heat this girl needs to either be bred or placed on birth control. You are running a risk of Pyometra with her. We always like to wait until a year old but 4 heats is pushing it in my opinion.
 Do you have a boy yet? Tell me about your program and what your plans and goals are if you don’t mind and I can try to help steer you in the right directions. Tell me some about your history and prior Bengal breeding experiences thus far. We can talk on the phone if you would feel that is easier for you. I am always available if I am not at a cat show, call me, I can help.   Also please help us know and remember your name and sign your posts.

So when I called, you were most helpful and gracious; genuinely wanting to help – it was very nice.  You helped us get the “PeePeeMama” on the right track and even coached us thru her first litter – obviously above and beyond the call of duty.  When we decided to look for a boy, who’d a ever thunk I’d put a deposit on a kitten what wasn’t even conceived yet!  Strange for me of course.  But as time passed and we all knew that spotted boy was the ‘right’ one for our fledgling cattery needed, you were wonderful in keeping us up to date on his progress.  I’m even happy to share correspondence with one of his litter mates families!  So, as time has passed, we can’t be happier or more proud of our Mystre GoldRush of RubyClaw (we call him “Grush”); it was so nice to have the kids phone you and Karen (when I was driving us home from the show) and tell you that he Championed in his 2nd adult show against some fantastic Bengal competition.  In addition to his physical development, he has to be one of the sweetest cats, and most ameanible to what ever I want to do to him!

  GRC Mystre Gold Rush  – definitely making me rethink my “girl kitties are always the best” mentality. 


You’ve also stepped up to the plate and taken on mentoring my 3 kids as Junior Exhibitors; not cutting Nic any slack; reeling Marissa back in from the clouds and challenging Serina to puzzle on several solutions just a little bit longer.

Mark, you and Karen are just good people.  The kids are really looking forward to the next few shows, and how Grush will continue to develop; hard to believe he’s not even a year old yet..  We’re also very hopeful for the future and what will come of the pairings with our other queens, and I’m really thankful for the guidance you gave me and the introductions that lead us to our SkyLily; She and Grush are quite a pair.

And, just in case you didn’t know it, you and Karen are regularly included in our family conversations at dinner time.  I hope that you will continue to teach me more, and continue to mentor my kids thru the Junior Exhibitor program.  By the way – great article in TICA Trend!  Thanks my friend, Lisa.  More updates to come.

Mystre Bengals Reply: This family is the example of why we breed these cats. Watching the family become responsible and ethical breeders and exhibitors in The International Cat Association is unbelievably rewarding. This family joined a local cat club, and has developed a successful clinic to have cats tested for HCM in their area, thereby already showing they are working on bettering this breed. The whole family pitches in and has spent a great deal of quality time together learning about owning, breeding and showing pedigreed cats. I could not be more proud of each of them.

Sam and Cathy Roberts – Port Aransas, Texas

After we lost our beloved Bengal Rocky to FIP, I was very reluctant to get another Bengal kitten.  However, Sam was determined to get another one, so I started looking online for Bengal breeders and found Mark Pennington at Mystre Bengals.  After speaking with Mark on the phone for about 45 minutes that very first time, I knew I wouldn’t buy another kitten from any other breeder but him.  He told me in that first conversation that you should first buy the breeder, then the kitten.  That just makes so much sense.  He is so knowledgeable and passionate about the Bengal breed.  The passionate part is what I was most impressed with.  One can definitely tell Mark gets a lot of joy and fulfillment out of raising Bengals.  He doesn’t just sell you a kitten and then he’s gone.  He has a sincere interest in how his kittens are doing.

After many phone conversations and many emails, we finally brought Kooper home on December 23, 2010.  What a fantastic Christmas present to each other.  Kooper has already taken over the house and has gotten into just about everything there is to get into.  His very first weekend out of isolation, he took a flying leap and landed in the toilet. Lol There is absolutely no way to keep him off of our countertops.  The way he struts around, I think we should have named him Smarty.  (Smarty Pants)  He is very vocal and if we get out of his sight for even a minute, he starts hollering.  At times he has the sweetest little meow and at other times, it’s more like a howl.  It’s amazing how many different sounds come out of this amazing little boy. 

I would highly recommend Mystre Bengals and Mark Pennington to anyone wishing to delve into the joys of raising a Bengal.  I know Mark will be there for help and guidance as Kooper grows.

Hi Mark,

I wanted you know how much our little Toby means to us. He's our Christmas gift and a fine one at that. He follows me around while I'm at home, snuggles with me at night and greets me at the door when I get home, with such excitement. It's so nice to have a furry friend that really does show his love in many ways.

During this illness there have been many days I would lay down in bed and of course he would follow and I would start crying out of pain or frustration. He was right there on my chest licking the tears off my face. I know he was telling me it was going to be all right.

As soon as we met over a year + ago and you were so eager to help me with our very sick Kodster. A Bengal that you'd never met, hadn't bred, just wanted to help. I knew at that time I wanted a Mystre's Bengal. Went to visit the site so many times looking wistfully at those beautiful cats. Thanks to a very good friend my dream came true.


Toby is by far the BEST Bengal we've had the pleasure of sharing our home with. He never bites, nips and is so careful when he plays with us that claws stay retracted. He's so gentle that my grandson came over, pulled his tail while I wasn't looking and turned around to say "Hey, that's my tail". Bryce didn't do it again, he just became fast friends with him. Bryce turns 4 in January..

He loves people. Wants to be right in the middle of everything and is always under my feet. I love him to death Mark. His beauty is stunning, amazing and I wish you could see him in person. I'm sending you some pics that you can decide which one you want to use for testimonial. This is it and I give you permission to edit if necessary.

Again Mark, words don't express what I feel about you and the love you have for animals. It definitely shows in the way you raise your, here are some pics. Wish I had a better camera but these will have to do. Again thank you so much for such a beautiful boy to spend our lives with.

Love and hugs
Susan and Rod

PS I wish the camera would capture the darkness of his spots. They just keep getting darker and darker.....WOW AWESOME!!!!!

Mystre Bengals Update: We lost Susan this year, 2014. I know Toby gave her a lot of love during her long struggle. She will be very missed. Thank you for loving Toby so much. I know you are now reunited with Kody and both are well and so happy now.. God Bless.

Hi Mark!!!

It's Sonia's (your Savannah) new family, The Naranjo Family.  Thank you so much to you and your wife for letting my girls and I (hubby had to work) into your home to look at your Cattery.  I couldn't believe how well kept "everything" is.  It's amazing that you had "23" cats at the time we were there and it never once seemed like it.  (Mystre Bengals note: the 23 included kittens lol)

I made a call to you for a Bengal and got so much more information in the first 15 minutes of our conversation than I had with anyone else that I talked to.  You truly want your cats to go to a special home. 

We were totally set on getting a Bengal but and it's a big the end of our conversation you had told me about your Savannah.  Then that totally had changed my I told my husband and girls about her and he asked me what I thought.....of course the girls or I  couldn't wait to meet her or you. 

After seeing the temperment of all the cats, I was just truly amazed.  Mark, their is no other person I trust more than you when it comes to Bengals and Savannah's.  I know you only breed Bengals and Sonia was your personal cat. 

We can't thank you more for allowing us to get Sonia.  She is truly a blessing to or family.  She is still getting used to the girls but is 100% great with them.  Sometimes she just wants some peace and quiet (but who doesn't).  She is such a smart cat.  I can talk to her and it's like she knows what I'm saying. It's the funniest thing.  Oh and she LOVE'S to eat!!!!

Mark, I can't thank you enough for letting Sonia be apart of our family.  What a blessing she is and you are for letting us take her.  She is the baby of the family and is spoiled rotten but we wouldn't have any other way.  Thank you again for everything. 

Richard & Mandy Naranjo & Hannah & Morgan Transier 

P.S. The last picture attached is her laying in the warm clothes straight from the dryer.  That is her favorite spot to be in.  When I bring the clothes to the couch to fold she goes right to them!!!!  It's very cute!!!!  Thank You again Mark!!!!

Mystre Bengals Reply: Sonia was my favorite cat ever since the day she came home to us. It is very hard to describe the relationship I had with that wonderful girl. She was a daddies girl and in my lap always. She followed me everywhere, would wait outside the bathroom for me to come out and complain until I did. She was intended to be the beginning of our Savannah breeding program but she lost her first baby that took two years of effort to get her pregnant. Then she had pyometra and due to all that trauma her and I bonded very closely. Letting her go from here was the most difficult placement I have ever done. I have had countless folks ask to have her and I have turned them all down. This seemed like a wonderful match with Mandy and this family. And it was a surprise to me when I agreed to let her go. I am forever grateful to this family for caring for my sweet Sonia and I miss her every day. I think I will add that the reason we placed her was that she was having a difficult time not being an only cat and she is so very much happier when she is the only cat attention is focused on.

Good afternoon Mark,

I just wanted to check in with you and give you an update on Sparta.  He has been home with us for 7 weeks as of yesterday.  He is getting bigger and sweeter with every single day that passes!  We (myself, Jon and Cooer, the dog) all absolutely adore him.  Of course Jon and Cooper never liked cats before, but Sparta is IMPOSSIBLE not to love!  Honestly, has brought the household closer together.  He is an endless source of entertainment...can be a bit of a handful at times...but is the best cuddling lump of fur ever!

When we first brought him home, we lived in the bathroom.  I couldn't (still can't) hardly wait to get home from work to see him.  It was hard leaving him in there but we did.  He was extrememly playful from the get-go.  Not nervous about us at all.  He really enjoyed the Peek-A-Prize Box and the stationary toy with a ball/bell connected to a spring.  He entertained himself for hours with those.  He slept in the laundry basket...which is still another favorite play place...even when it's empty!

After the 2 weeks were up we were so excited to let him explore the rest of the house and see his 6 foot sisal wrapped tree in the living room.  Initially the dog went outside while he explored.  But the first time they saw eachother, they just ignored eachother.  Eventually Sparta became interested in Cooper's wagging tail, and that is how the relationship began.  Cooper would lay down and let Sparta attack his tail...then he would wear himself out, and eventually would fall asleep next to him.  They are buddies now.  Cooper is a lazy couch dog but he has become a little more active with Sparta around.  Now at bedtime they both lay in bed with us an playfully wrestle until it is time to turn the light out.   Then it's cuddle time.

It took about 2 weeks out of the bathroom for Sparta to get into a sleeping routine.  He kept us up at night sometimes wanting to play.  But if it ever got too bad, we just put him back in the laundry basket in the bathroom until the morning, and he didn't seem to mind.  But within 2 weeks, he had our routine down like clockwork.  Now he sleeps beside me thru the night until my alarm clock goes off...then its kisses on the face until I get up to feed and play with him.  He certainly makes getting up at 5 am every day a bit sweeter!  Actually, today I woke up to him dropping his toy mouse in the palm of my hand.  He is such a smart boy! 

He can be a bit of a handful at dinner time.  At one point I was having trouble keeping him out of my dinner plate, so I threw one of his toy mice across the room to distract him...that was when we discovered he knew how to play fetch!  And he will go after his toy and bring it right back and drop it in front of you as many times as you can stand to throw it!

He is beginning to understand what "no" means, but he doesn't always mind.  And again, if he ever gets to be too much to handle at the table, he just goes into time-out until we can finish eating.
He is fascinated by water, although he does not like to be submerged.  He likes to get his feet wet, and doesnt mind sitting his bottom in the wet shower either, but he was NOT happy when he FELL into the bathtub when it was full!

Before we brought Sparta home we were a little nervous about his claws.  We have leather furniture, but to date, he hasn't used them on the furniture at all.  The only thing he seems to claw at are the rugs in the bathroom and his tree house.  He does use them to climb the bedskirt/comforter, but he hasen't really hurt anything.  His claws are really sharp and when he plays, they can scratch pretty deep.  But trimming them with regular nail clippers every week or two makes a world of differance.  (PS, the trick is to catch him resting when you need to do the nail clipping!)

We have been keeping up with the raw diet.  We just made our second batch.  (the first batch was small)  This time we added a little mule deer meet, he loved that too.  I also have on hand some of the Chicken Soup for the Cat Lover's Soul dry kibble.  I supplement that occasionally, and also leave a bowl of it out if we are ever going to be home late in case he gets hungry.  But usually, if he gets hungry, he just goes straight for Cooper's bowl!  He likes his raw, he likes both his and the dog's kibble, but I have realized he absolutely will NOT eat cooked meat.  I've tried giving him bacon, turkey and chicken leftover from my plate but he thinks it is a toy.  He will bite it, then run off and play with it, but will never eat it.

I ordered a walking jacket for him, but I don't know if Sparta is going to be a leash cat.  We have put the jacket on him about 4 or 5 times, and he goes bananas.  I know we should try a little more often to let him get used to it.  But we always feel so bad that it is off of him within 2 minutes.
Last night, I went into our master bathroom to get changed after work and was surprised by a large roach on the floor.  I went to get Jon to take care of him, but he was watching tv.  By the time I returned to the bathroom, Sparta had already found him.  That roach lasted about 60 more seconds as a play toy, then he became a meal.  A little gross, but I was thankful somebody took care of it.  lol

Thanks again Mark for inviting us into your home to meet your family and all of your babies.  What you all are doing is awesome!  Thank you!

Tracy Fontenot

Tracy Fontenot's Sparta and his first day home. All kittens are isolated for 14 days in someplace like the master bathroom.
Tracy Fontenot's Sparta plays fetch

To Mark,

My youngest son really loves animals….all kinds of them.  At the age of 10 (don’t tell his buddies) he still sleeps with 20 to 30 of his favorite stuffed animals each night.  The younger of our two Cirneco dell’Etna hounds is ‘his’ but unfortunately, Dad won’t allow a dog on the bed.  A few months back he mentioned (within earshot of his father) that he would like to have a kitty so that it could sleep with him.  When I responded, “but Daddy won’t let a cat on the bed with you, honey”, my husband responded “I wouldn’t mind if a CAT slept with him”.  I don’t quite understand WHY he makes this distinction, but Grant immediately seized on the opportunity and began to press his case for a kitten of his own.  I pointed him to various websites showing information about cats.  After researching the various breeds he decided that he wanted a Bengal kitten.  I explored a number of Bengal websites on the internet, and after reading through, sent an email inquiring about kittens.  Mark Pennington responded and in the ensuing long phone chat he provided me with an abundance of information about the breed.

Being an avid lover of my particular dog breed (I serve as a rescue coordinator for our national breed club) I felt an immediate kinship with Mark.  His passion for the Bengal was evident, and his excitement and love for them led me to arrange a visit to his cattery.  Mark welcomes visitors into his home, as the kittens are all raised ‘under foot’ as he calls it.  When we arrived we were greeted by several of his cats who were curious about us.  They were very friendly and not at all disturbed by strangers in their midst.  Mark showed us his beautiful studs who each has his own quarters in a separate part of the house, and then welcomed us into two different bedrooms to meet queens, each with a litter of kittens.  (I was impressed that with all the adult cats in the house, I couldn’t smell cats or litter boxes.)  The two litters were somewhere around 2 and 3 months old.  All of the kittens were beautiful, playful and very friendly.  We fell in love!

After we left the kittens, Grant had a wonderful time playing with several of the adult cats as my husband and I talked to Mark about acquiring a kitten. Mark didn’t have any available at the time, as all of the current kittens had been reserved.  He told us that he had a couple of more litters planned but it could be several months before a kitten would be available, based on his current waiting list.  I gave Grant the option of looking for a kitten with another breeder, or adding our name to the Mystre waiting list.  Imagine my surprise when my impatient ‘I want it now!’ 10 year old announced that he was willing to wait for a kitten from Mark!  We paid a deposit immediately and headed home planning to pick up our kitten in a few months.

I began to collect our cat supplies and re-read Mark’s website thoroughly. I watched his online videos demonstrating how to mix his recommended ‘raw diet’.  I had been thinking about converting my dogs to a raw diet as it had been suggested by several friends who saw significant improvement in their own pets’ skin and coats after making the switch.  I had actually recently begun feeding my 9 year old female raw chicken parts (which she loves) and after a month had noticed that she was starting to grow hair back on her throat where she had been previously almost bare.  Her 4 yr old son won’t touch the raw chicken, but has a very nice coat, so I haven’t worried about him.  But I went ahead and made a batch to offer my girl some variety.   Both of my dogs love it!   

I called Mark a few times whenever I had a question and he was always happy to assist me.  We were all very pleased when I called one day and was informed that one of the kittens from the litters we had met MAY be available.  A week later we found out that we would be able to take this little girl home.  On May 21 we brought 13 week old Ariel home.  She went into isolation in Grant’s bathroom.  She had a 5 foot tall cat tree in the bathroom along with plenty of toys and we all made several daily visits to play with her.  The first day she wasn’t too sure about us, but by the second she rushed to greet us.  She would rub against our legs and climb into our laps purring loudly the entire time.  (Who would have thought such a little kitten could have such a loud motor?) 

Within a week she had the entire household wrapped around her cute little furry paw!  After her two weeks were up, Grant brought her out of her isolation and introduced her to the house.  Isildur (Izzy) was at my older son’s home for a few days so she met older (calmer) Mom Dawn first.  I wasn’t terribly worried about Dawn.  The Cirneco is a hunting breed, but Dawn was around several large cats as a puppy, so I wasn’t surprised that she showed no interested in chasing the ‘new kid’. 

When Dawn sniffed at her, Ariel would arch her back and hiss, so Dawn simply walked away.   Within a day or so Ariel was creeping up to sniff back at the dog as she lay curled up in her doggie bed or beside me on the sofa.  Dawn did her best to ignore the little furball…until Ariel decided that Dawn’s tail was a toy to play with and chew on.  Dawn would just roll her eyes at me (somewhat reproachfully) and get up to put some distance between herself and her tormentor.  Sigh!!! 

I was somewhat more concerned about Izzy’s introduction to Ariel.  He is, at 4, still rather…ummmm… playful.  I was afraid that he would chase Ariel and that if she ran his prey drive would kick in so I had him securely on lead when they first met.  To say that the event was anti climactic is an understatement!  She walked up to him, he wagged his tail, they sniffed at each other for a few  minutes and that was it.  No drama, no arching of the back….not even a hiss!  The first couple of days they all watched each other pretty closely.

Every now and then Ariel would sit up and take a swat at one of the pups as they walked by, or she’d run out from under a chair or ottoman to pounce on them….They didn’t get excited about it and by the end of the 3rd day they all mingled like they’ve been a family forever.

Grant is totally thrilled with his new friend.  I work from home so when I peek in on him in the morning I find him fast asleep, and Ariel either on top of him or curled up next to him.  She has a delightful and affectionate personality, I’m sure due to all of the hands on she got during her infancy as a part of Mark’s family.  The entire family absolutely loves this little kitten and we’re looking forward to the next 20+ years.  Thanks Mark!!!

Deborah Poole

Elizabeth from San Deigo, Ca.

We purchased my first Bengal kitten from a local breeder in June of 2009. We feel in love with the breed and purchased another from the same breeder, so we could breed the two.  However, in November of 2009, she became very ill and it was determined that she had FIP.  We did everything we could to try and save her, including trying an experimental drug. Unfortunately, she passed away in December of 2009.  It was at this time which I met Mark Pennington.  I posted a comment about FIP on the Bengal board, which he moderates and he immediately contacted me.  He spent 2 hours on the phone with me just because he cared. 

Over the next few months our relationship grew as I had more questions not only about FIP, but the remaining cat.  Mark spent countless hours on the phone with me over the several months. One of the things that I loved about Mark was that he NEVER tried to sell me a cat.  He genuinely cared about my cats and began to mentor me, as I wanted to do the best thing for my cats and the Bengal breed.  

As we continued to build a relationship, I knew that I must have a cat from him.

I have never met a breeder so passionate about his cats, but also the Bengal breed.  He has done countless hours of research on diet, vaccines, temperament, health and more.  It was my feeling, since I had gone through the pain of loosing a kitten so young, I wanted someone who was an expert in the field of breeding Bengals and I felt I found that in Mark.

Once I put the initial deposit on the litter Mark continued to assist me in questions I had about my other Bengal as well as help prepare me for the my new addition.  We spoke at length about the type of kitten I wanted as I have plan to show her.  Mark also assisted us in converting all of our cats to his raw diet.  It has done amazing things for their coats as well as their litter box behaviors. It is through his research and experience that we felt this was a necessary change for our animals.

After months of waiting our little girl arrived on May 22nd . She took her first flight from Houston to San Diego. We immediately fell in love with this little bundle of joy.  She was not only beautiful, but also very sweet.  On the drive home she sat my lap and was curious to her new surroundings. Mark called several times during the day to see how she was doing.


I can’t begin to express his love for his animals. He genuinely is concerned about the placement of his animals, which is a testament to his character as person and a breeder. I spent two weeks socializing her as she prepared to meet our other cats as he recommended. I felt that Mark had done such a great job with her, that our job has been easy.

I feel very lucky to have a kitten from Mark Pennington. I have experienced what it is like to purchase a Bengal from a breeder who sees breeding cats as job.  Breeding cats for Mark is a passion and love, not a business.  He has blessed us with a beautiful family member, which we will treasure forever.  I know that if there is ever a time I need Mark, I can count on him as a breeder and a friend.

Elizabeth and Matthew McManus
San Diego, CA

Hello Mark,

First of all, please allow me to apologize for not writing this to you sooner. I’m not going to give an excuse because there isn’t one. If I had to think of one, it would be something like . . . “Well, I was waiting to see how my new Bengal was going to adjust to his new home after I picked him up from you in May of 09.” Kemah, my Bengal, turned one year old on February 19, 2010.

When I brought Kemah home from your place on May 15, 2009, he was soooooo tiny. I followed your every instruction to the tee, and then some. I kept him in my master bathroom and shut the doors for 2 solid weeks, just like you said. I cannot stress the importance of doing this! This was excellent advice! The first couple of days, I just left him alone for the most part except to feed him, change his water, and waive this little cat toy around, trying to get Kemah used to me and his surroundings. He had (still does) every single cat toy in the world in the bathroom.

After the 3rd or 4th day, he started warming up to me. He quickly associated me with his food source – weird how that happens, huh? I would lie on the floor for varying lengths of time. Kemah slowly but surely, started coming up beside me, doing the “cat walk”, you know where they arch their back, and sort of walk sideways – because he wanted something – food, or my hand to rub his head and scratch his back and speak in my little kitten voice to him. He LOVED to be rubbed, especially on the head and neck, and still does. He just likes it a little rougher these days.

I finally found him his favorite toy. It’s a little plastic circular tube, about 16” across from side to side. In the middle is a pad for him to hone his claws. I put a little catnip on there, and MY GOSH, he went to town! I guarantee he has the sharpest claws in town! It wasn’t long until he discovered the little red, flashing ball that lit up when it was pushed with his paw. He loved the noise too! I’ve already had to replace the little red ball 3 times. He’s got this toy down!

Finally, after 2 weeks, I let him out in my bedroom. So, now, he has my whole bedroom, the master bath, and my closet as his very own. It didn’t take him long to realize that this was HIS space and he owned it! He became my little sleeping buddy. Needless to say, I didn’t get a lot of sleep because he wanted to constantly play. He would pull all of his toys (that he could fetch himself), and get them onto the bed. So, when I moved during my sleep, one of his toys made a noise, and of course, this got him all wound up! J Looking back, it was well worth it!
Eventually, after a month or so, and after his booster shots, I let him have the run of the house. I live in a two story house. He had never been downstairs before, so this was going to be interesting. After the 2nd day or so, it was on!!!

I bought him two (2) very nice large cat condos. They are about 8’ tall with sisal scratching posts EVERYWHERE! They have compartments, hammocks, bridges, etc. When I put the two together, it is quite impressive. And yes, he LOVES to hang out on the very top, about 2’ from the ceiling! He keeps all of his little fetch toys in one of the compartments. I found this to be very interesting, like a dog almost.

Fast forward 8 months – Kemah has the run of the entire house. He’s never been outside, nor will he. I really thought that he would destroy my furniture by clawing at it. This is certainly NOT the case. Having clawing pads and scratching posts work wonders! Not ONCE have I ever seen him try to claw the furniture. Now, don’t get me wrong, when he gets wound up (which is a daily thing, multiple times), he will use the furniture to pounce around only to get from one place to another. He LOVES high places. I’ve seen him jump 8’ from sitting still. He loves to get in the kitchen and on the very top of the cabinets, which I have decorated with plastic greenery and just oddball stuff. Fortunately, he hasn’t broken anything. I ended up putting a towel up there, so that’s one of his favorite hang outs.

I have 2 Golden Retrievers – I did not introduce Kemah to my dogs until Kemah was 6-7 months old. Now, don’t get me wrong . . . he saw the dogs in the backyard and almost broke his neck, as he peered through my blinds to get a closer look and torment the dogs. They had a “window” relationship for several months.  About 2 months ago, I finally introduced them to each other. I was expecting this HUGE drama filled introduction. It took about 5 minutes, and my younger Golden submitted to Kemah. My other Golden didn’t even pay Kemah any attention. Kemah went over slowly and started smelling around the younger dog.  He was being very cautious. After a few minutes, these two started to play. Kemah knew where his “safe spots” were, and when he got spooked or frightened, he would quickly retreat to his “Cat Castle Condo” just high enough where the dog couldn’t reach him. On a couple of occasions, my Golden tried to climb the cat condo – I had to put a stop to that VERY quickly! There’s never a dull moment around here!  

Anyway . . . . Kemah was my first Bengal. When I contacted Mark Pennington about getting a Bengal, Mark quizzed the heck out of me. I didn’t know that much about Bengals except for what I had read. I’ll never forget my first conversation with Mark. We spoke for probably 2 hours. Thank GOD I had done some research and knew about their origin, their demeanor, their diet, and all those other things that are unique to Bengal cats. Mark didn’t even have a Bengal kitten available for me. I had to put my name on a waiting list, which I did. I had to have one of these animals!

I visited Mark’s cattery four (4) times. Honestly, I had never been to a cattery before. I didn’t even know there was a name for such a thing. Mark’s cattery was awesome!! It was unbelievably clean as well. On each of these visits, his cattery was exceptionally clean and pristine!  Most of the cats had the run of the house; however, there were some Queens that he kept separate and he kept his Studs separate – for obvious reasons! Each had plenty of room in their separate rooms to do whatever they wanted. They were not confined to small crates or cages. He has BEAUTIFUL animals and you can tell this is his passion. His Bengals are very people friendly. As soon as I walked into the rooms where the cats were, they immediately came to me and started checking me out. They were not the least bit timid, shy, or reserved. This told me that Mark has a lot of human interaction with his Bengals. I got to hold several of the Bengals. I immediately fell in love with these creatures! I didn’t know how I was going to wait 4-5 months for a kitten!

Mark and I had several conversations while my Bengal was “in the oven.” Mark was always willing to answer any questions, any time of the day or night. Every time I called, Mark gave me complete attention. I’ll never forget this one line . . . .”These are my family. When you take a Bengal home, our family just becomes more extended, and we expect you to stay in touch.”

I did check out other Bengal catteries in the area. I live about 60 miles from Mark. I did not pick his cattery because of distance. I picked his cattery because of him and his love and passion for the Bengal. Like I said, I visited his home / cattery several times, and I always found it to be in tip top shape!

As a result, I have one of the most unique animals I have ever owned. He is absolutely beautiful! He has a mind of his own, don’t get me wrong. He’s spoiled, of course, but what cat isn’t? I can’t imagine life in my home without my Bengal Kemah. Thanks again Mark for providing a beautiful, healthy, creature. Kemah is an excellent addition to our household. He never ceases to amaze me! Right now, he’s up on my desk, watching the cursor as I write this message to you, gently pawing at the screen. He’s a trip! I love him! Thanks again!

Kirk Williams, from Tomball, TX

Hi Mark,

We have had Sultan Sutera for about 2 months now and it has been 2 months filled with fun, love and great joy! We appreciate your guidance and support and how you prepared us to receive Sutera into our family. We also appreciate that he is a very well mannered, playful cat who loves people; especially our 2 children, who can do ANYTHING to him and he enjoys it; see picture :) We were uneasy about introducing him to our grumpy, 13 year old Cocker Spaniel, but as you can see from the attached picture they are good buddies!! Thank You So Much! We LOVE him!!!

James and Sharon Machac


Oscar is growing steadily, getting huge and really turning into the most stunning cat. I’m so glad to have found your cattery, because I don’t think I could have found a more friendly, loving, and hilarious kitten. Coming home and having Oscar greet me at the door has become the highlight of the day.  He always seems to know I’m coming, even if I try to walk quietly and not jingle my keys.   He follows me around my apartment and always sleeps curled around my arm (when he’s not trying to attack my feet).  He has to be in the middle of everything I'm doing.  He's always up on the sink whenever I'm brushing my teeth.  If I'm reading or on the computer, he'll climb on the back of the chair and then stand on my head to get a good view.  He also comes running whenever I eat, not because he wants what I have, but because he wants to investigate it.  He'll often grab my spoon or bowl and pull it down to him so he can inspect the contents.

Oscar’s new favorite game is vertical fetch.  I throw his favorite toy on top of the 6’ cat tree.  He proceeds to streak up the pole after it, grab it in his teeth, and then climb down, where he will drop it at my feet and look up expectantly at the tree for me to throw it up there again (I usually have to go through four rounds every morning before he’s satisfied).  It’s pretty hilarious to watch because the toy is pretty clunky and he’s not very graceful climbing down.

He took to the harness and leash immediately.  He only went through about five minutes where he tried to tug the harness off.  Since that first time, he has no problem wearing it and never tries to squirm away when I put it on him.  He does very well on the leash and is starting to enjoy going outside.  Everyone always stops to comment on the gorgeous cat on a leash.  I promise to send a picture of him on his leash once the weather is nice again.

He’s still figuring some things out.  As you can see from the pictures, he hasn’t figured out how to duck under the blinds, so he just dives straight through them (which results in him getting stuck).  He likes to fish for rubber duckies in the sink, but he’s still a little uncertain about running water.  He’s fascinated by it, but hasn’t yet built up the courage to test it out.

By the way, you were absolutely right about trying to take pictures of bengal cats.  I see him and think “that would be a good picture” but trying to get him in that position again is near impossible.  I got a lot of snapshots of a kitten butt as he runs off to go chase something else, and several oversized head shots as he goes to chase the camera instead.

Thank you so much,



Sorry it has taken me so long to write. I have attached 4 pictures of Ziggy at 6 months old and 2 with our Siamese, Tiki, taken recently.  He has been such a joy and "active" isn't a word worthy of describing him and we wouldn't want him any other way. He is a constant joy and entertains us and whomever comes to our house, with his antics. His favorite toy is his feather and LOVES his new scratching post and every empty box becomes an adventure. We have clicker trained him to come, sit and "high five." He has trained himself to turn on the water and loves to play in it until is soaking wet. He's very snuggly and likes to sleep ON us at night!
Ziggy is VERY friendly and runs to the door whenever anyone comes over to see if they are worthy of playing with him. When children come to our house, Ziggy is the first to check them out and lets them pick him up in exchange for "feather time" - he has never met a stranger.  The bottom line is, if anyone is looking for a beautiful, friendly, intelligent cat, a Bengal will meet all of their expectations! He assimilated beautifully into our family of 2 dogs and 1 other cat. He, however, now thinks he is the boss of all of them. As a matter of fact, I wouldn't think of having one without either a littermate or other pet, no human has enough time in the day to entertain a Bengal by themselves!

Ziggy is a beautiful boy, we love him very much. At 1 year old, he isn't a big cat, about 9 pounds but he is still growing, so I'm sure he hasn't maxed out, yet.

  Ziggy discovers the water faucet

Nancy Thornton

Nicolas Taboada, Texas

When I first went to go pick up my cat, I had chosen a little girl kitty who had caught my eye because she was the smallest among the three. However, due to unforeseen circumstances, Mark ended up needing the girl for his breeding program, and asked me if I would be willing to switch to an open little boy kitty. I was rather hesitant at first, but he assured me that the boy was turning out to be more amicable and sociable than the little girl, and therefore a better fit for me. Well, I ended up taking his word for it, and to be sure, Mark didn't let me down! Shaka Zulu has turned out to be everything I hoped for and more. Surely anyone can agree that a bengal is a huge investment for a cat, but knowing what I know now, I wouldn't hesitate to invest that amount again for this fantastic creature known as the Bengal!

I have been a cat owner all my life, and while most of my cats have been rescue cases, I have had a few purebreds, and for the most part, never really found them to be particularly better animals than the strays. Shaka Zulu has shown me that with the right breeding program and a focus on personality traits, the Bengal, at least, can be bred to really be a step above other cats. Not only is he beautiful (and as lovely as they look in the photographs, any prospective Bengal owner should know that a still photo simply doesn't do their coats justice, as the fabulous "glitter" effect can hardly even be noticed), which indeed was the original trait which drew me to him, but he's active, intelligent, and has the most captivating personality I have *ever* experienced in a cat. He's a total lap cat, and loves to spend just about all of his time in company with me or others, and is not the least bit averse to cuddling up with a total stranger who has shown him even the most minute interest. We're still working on getting him used to a leash, but that's more because I've been a bit inconsistent with him -- he has no problem with the harness whatsoever and loves it when I put it on him, because he knows he's going to go explore outside!

All said, I fully recommend to anyone who is looking for a Bengal to check out Mark's cats. He's a friendly, honest, and incredibly helpful fellow, and even after you get your cat from him, he will be there for you to walk you through any growing pains you might have. I've called him as late as 22:00 and as early as 0900, and he's always been there for me to answer my questions with the authority and expertise that's hard to get even from a veterinary office these days. I have had nothing but a positive experience working with Mark, and I absolutely adore my new family member, so I encourage anyone with an interest in Bengals to check out Mystre. I know I will be going back for my next one!

Thank you so much,
Nicholas Taboda

Donna Jones, Texas

Dear Mark,
I'm sorry it’s taken so long to write this, things have been so hectic. I adopted Zoe 3 years ago (still can't believe it’s been that long) And let me say I have enjoyed every minute of it. At first I was a little skeptical about having a cat for a pet since I’ve always had dogs. I didn't think I could bond as well with a cat, but Bengals aren't just any other cat. I am so glad I met you, you are more than my cats breeder you are a good friend. You have always been there for me and I just want to say I really appreciate all you have done for me. I would recommend you to anyone. As for Zoe what can I say she is more than just a pet, she is a member of our family. I have never had any problems with her, as you can see she loves her cat tree, it’s her favorite hangout.

Donna's Zoe Mckenzie and Zoe Zoe


She sleeps with my daughter at night (oh how Mackenzie adores her!) And she loves to cuddle on the couch. She is very vocal. When we have visitors she greets them at the door. Most people don't know how to react since most cats will run and hide. I am so glad I followed your instructions when I brought her home. Leaving her in the bathroom for 2 weeks was a great idea. I hope everyone will take your advice.

I am so excited to bring Jack home! I would have a house full of Bengals if I had the room! I don't want you to worry about Jack. I know you love him and will miss him, but I promise you he will be well taken care of. I will send you lots of pictures and stories! If anyone reading this is considering adopting a Bengal from Mark you are making a wise choice. You’re not only getting a pet, but a lifelong friend.

Your friend always,
Donna Jones

Mystre Bengals Note: Donna added Handsome Jack to her home as a friend for Zoe. Jack is a retired stud from Mystre Bengals and has the same grandpa as Zoe does. He is a super sweet loving boy and i would trust very few people with him. Donna is one of those people. I know she will take very good and loving care of Jack and that is so very important to us. Thank you Donna for being such a great kitty mama to your pets.
Handsome Jack of Mystre Bengals

Margaret Brown, New York City

Dear Mark,
May, 2009

You were the first Bengal breeder I contacted, and after our conversation, I knew that Mystre Bengals was where I wanted to get my kitten, even if I had to wait for him. Fortunately, I didn't have to wait long. From the moment I picked him up at the airport, his loud cries attracting many a passerby, I knew this was a kitten to contend with. Now, almost 6 months later, Matata, as I've named him, rules the house.

Matata on the roof

About Matata:
Matata is an amazing cat! He has a wonderful temperament and has no problem socializing around strangers. He also happens to be gorgeous to look at. Fabulous markings, silky fur that literally glitters with gold, and those green eyes. Wow! I have only you, Mark, to thank for being such a responsible, caring and knowledgeable breeder to achieve such magnificence in a cat.

Matata Mischeif

Playing is a big part of Matata's day.  He's always discovering new games. One of them is hide and seek.  When he finds me, he jumps on my leg with glee and dashes off to his favorite hiding place, which always happens to be the same spot!  He loves going up to my roof garden, squirrels are of great interest, not to mention anything else that moves.

He seems to be getting more and more affectionate with each passing week, lots of little head butts. On the other hand, he makes it perfectly clear when he doesn't want to be "people-handled." In other words, he has definite opinions and is very vociferous when it comes to telling me when it's time to play, eat or nap.  I'm not sure what he does at night, but by morning, there he is sound asleep on my bed.

Thanks again Mark, for being such a trustworthy breeder, for always being there to answer questions and for steering me towards the raw meat diet.  Matata couldn't look or be healthier. I hope to spend many wonderful years with this funny little guy. (Not so little anymore.) He's just great to come home to and to be around, he really makes me laugh!

Matata in New York

Margaret Brown
New York City

P.S.- To anyone who is interested in purchasing a Bengal kitten, I would highly recommend that you contact Mark, at Mystre Bengals.  He's extremely knowledgeable about this breed, and his kittens are bred for temperament as well as looks.  You really can't go wrong. I recently put a deposit on a female kitten so Matata will have a little companion.

Mystre Bengals Update: Margaret added a beautiful little blue Bengal girl to their NY City Jungle crew in October 2009 :)

The arrival of Taji

Dear Mark,
Thank you for offering me the opportunity to acquire this amazing Blue Bengal kitten.  Once again, you do not disappoint when it comes to the quality and temperament of your Bengal cats.

Taji, as I have named her, has been with me since Oct. '09, and it didn't take long for her to feel right at home.  She's very affectionate, is fascinated by water, is a good little retriever of toys and, unfortunately, has a fondness for cake!.

When I first introduced her to Matata, after the prescribed two week separation, he chased her around for so long that the little pads on his back paws were raw from wear!  Eventually, they settled down, and now, the two of them truly love one another, and I can't imagine one without the other.  They are a constant source of entertainment to each other and to me, and I never tire of watching them together.

At first, I thought that Taji was the alpha cat, even though she was one third Matata's size.  She was quite head strong and bossy, and Matata would always give in to her wishes, but as time passed, he has asserted himself more, and they seem to have worked it out, as cats do.

I've always had two or more cats at a time and, if possible, I strongly recommend it with Bengals since they are so bright and seem to thrive on interaction with each other and their owner(s).

Thanks again Mark,


Bengal Kitten

Lindsay and Patrick Waters

As newlyweds in Houston, we really wanted a cat as a new addition to our family.  We were looking for a beautiful cat with a fun and engaging personality.  Our online research led us to Mystre Bengals.  We called Mark, and he was very informative over the phone about his breeding program and philosophy about feeding Bengals and caring for them.  He and his family are always reachable by phone or email, so it was easy for us to stop by anytime and visit their home and cats. 

All of his cats are throughout his house and they are not in small cages, which was great to see.  Each one of the cats was so beautiful and friendly… we were sold and ready to get a kitten!  It was an easy process, and we were able to see the kittens from the litter throughout their early lives.  We had our pick of the litter without any pressure to make a decision.  Mark takes the kittens for vet checks and spay/neuter, so that is a nice bonus for future kitten owners. 


At 12 weeks, we picked up our kitten, and Mark reassured us that he is there for any questions or help throughout our cat’s life.  Since we have had her, she has grown and developed into an amazing cat…She is very vocal about anything that she wants to tell us, so she earned her name, Gabby. 

We adhere to Mark’s recommendation to feed her a raw diet, and as a result, her coat is shiny and gorgeous.  We get compliments from our friends and family about her beautiful markings and coat.  She loves to greet us every time we walk in the door at home… she runs to us, lies down with her 4 feet in the air & belly exposed, waiting to be petted—what a great welcome!  Gabby is a very loving pet, and on command, she gives us “kisses” with her rough tongue.  She loves to get into everything that we are doing.  For example, cooking… she wants to know what every tool is and walks into the cabinets by herself.  She also joins us in the morning at our sinks watching us get ready and splashing in the water!

We never thought that this would happen, but Gabby also has a harness and will go on walks to a playground near our home.  In the evenings, she will play fetch with us… she runs after small plastic balls, back and forth.  She is a delight to have as a pet, and we couldn’t imagine life without Gabby.  To any potential cat owner, we highly recommend getting a cat from Mystre Bengals!

~Lindsay and Patrick Waters


I just wanted to thank you again for such a wonderful kitten! The care and love you have for this breed is so apparent, from the wealth of information you share, to the health and temperament of your kittens.

I really appreciated how open you were to us coming by to visit kittens when we were looking to purchase, and while we were waiting for Jasper to be old enough to come home with us! I believe that this kind of open-door policy is the mark of a quality cattery – which you clearly have.

Jasper has been such welcome addition to our family. On his first day home, he spent a little time hiding, but within a couple hours was settling into laps and purring. His favorite spot to sleep is still on my lap. He loves people, my other cats, and even the dog – who remains a little confused about the little purring guy who's just curled up next to him. Jasper's socialization and temperament impress everyone who meets him – visitors always begin by remarking about how beautiful he is, and then they're struck by his friendly and outgoing nature.

If you're considering purchasing a kitten from Mark, feel free to contact me with any questions ( I can't speak highly enough about the quality of his cattery, the breeding and socialization of his kittens, or the passion he displays about his cats.

Carol Woods

Hi Mark,

I wanted to send you an update on Cassandra (the green one from Reiny’s July 06 litter). The name Cassandra just didn’t quite suit her… so we call her Twinkie. Actually, we call her Triiiiiiinks after the long vowel-heavy mews she makes.

She’s growing up so quickly but she still surprises us everyday. Twinkie needs to be involved IN EVERYTHING we do. She needs to be involved in everything our 5-yr old calico does as well. Perhaps the most surprising relationship has been between her and our 3-yr old Aussie dog… the two of them chase each other around the house each morning

.It’s amazing how well socialized Twinkie is! Other cats run when company comes over, but Twinkie treats it as an opportunity to get as much attention as possible. It is truly amazing!

Twinkie plays fetch. I would have never believed it from a cat. Fetch. On the bed. She’ll take a Q-tip or her feather-toy, drag it onto the bed and then start howling. This is my cue that she wants to play, so I’ll then throw her toy out of the room and she’ll retrieve it in her mouth and bring it back to me. We repeat this about a dozen times. She’s also, on occasion, brought pencils, twist-ties and toilet paper tubes onto the bed. We’ve learned to check to see what she’s hoarded during the day before we crawl in at night!

I wanted to share our trip to NY for Christmas. We drove from Texas to NY with both cats in the car. During the 2-day trip there and 2-day trip back, there was barely a sound from Twinkie. She was so well behaved we could barely tell she was there. She cuddled up in her carrier and was a perfect angel (unlike our other cat, which howled the ENTIRE time)! No other cat I’ve ever had has been this tolerant of car rides and new places. As soon as we got to our destination, she was so confident and self-assured… she walked around the new house like she owned the place! Everyone there was so impressed by her (and curious about the Bengal breed) and I think this is the result of good breeding but most of all, a good breeder!

Thank you again Mark for trusting us with her; she has truly brought joy into our lives!

Shannan Rossi



I realized that I didn't have any recent pictures of Twinks, so I followed her around all weekend and finally snapped this shot of her and Dukes. I think it shows off her green eyes nicely, but she does look a little chubby here due to the strange camera angle (oh well). She's so svelt and muscular, but she does have a slight belly pouch. It's so hard to take decent pictures of her that actually do justice to her glitter and rosettes... I think she looks like a nice combination between her parents. If I'm not mistaken, didn't Reiny have green eyes too?

Mystre Bengals Reply: Thank you so much Shannon for the updated pictue of Twinks and her buddy. The "belly pouch" is actually a throwback to the wild, we call that a primordial pouch and its basic purpose is to protect her during a fight. She is beautiful and has her mamas eyes. No other cat has those eyes. They are spectacular. Thanks again :)

Hi Mark,
This is Valerie Williams.  My husband, Ron, bought the little boy kitten from you who was born Oct. 8th - and I got him for a Christmas present.  Bagheera is so wonderful, and I would like to show you some pictures.  He has grown so much. 
Bagheera's personality is great.  He lets us hold him, carry him around and pet him all we want (even on the tummy); but when we put him down, he licks his fur and looks annoyed as if to say, "I just had this suit pressed!"  Rest assured, he is loved very much - even by the dog.  We have since gotten a marbled Bengal female, 2 yrs old, who we got from a breeder getting out of the business. She is a good friend for Bagheera, and she is officially our daughter's cat.  Her name is Trouble, so when Bagheera wanders around the house we say he's "looking for Trouble."
Bagheera and Trouble both know how to open all cabinets and (seriously) drawers.  They get into everything.  I'm becoming "trained" because I plan to rearrange the furniture in the den to lessen the likelihood they will knock over the lamp again (for the hundredth time).  Our daughter now keeps her bedroom door shut when she's gone for the day because if she doesn't, all of her toys that will fit into a cat's mouth we be all over the downstairs by the time we come home. 

When they want to play, they bring the toy to you, drop it on you, and meow incessantly until you do what they want.  If you throw it, they will bring it back!  Oh, and they eat A LOT!  ...And I couldn't part with them for a million dollars.
Thank you so much.

Dear Mark,

Thought I’d drop you a short note and let you know how our little kitten, Fury, is doing these days. I’ll start by giving you a sequence of events since we picked her up from you. The first weekend was spent learning about her and her learning about us. We found that she enjoys watching the water drip into the bathroom sink and that she really likes to stalk things.She was running around the bathroom (her jail for two weeks) and liked to watch us brush our teeth.  She particularly liked our shower even though she didn’t get the courage to get into it for a few weeks.


By Friday, we learned she had developed a unique skill. Remember when I said she enjoyed watching the water drip in the sink? Well, she figured out how to turn the water on! We have a faucet that just takes some upward pressure to turn the water on and Fury learned from us how to do it.Now, whenever she wants to play in the water, she turns it on herself.

After the two week period (actually, a little longer than that), Fury was allowed full access to the house and found out who that other cat was. Our older cat, Spot, showed very little interest in his new sister.However, Fury was very interested in everything Spot did.They have been together now for almost 3 weeks and, although they wrestle, they have not had any major spats.Fury seems to be the dominant one and usually drives Spot away from wherever he is at. Fury is growing up nicely.At 4 months, she weighed 4 pounds 2 ounces. Her coloration is wonderful and her personality is perfect.

At bedtime, we now have a short play period before the light goes out.  Fury chases those evil toe-mice under the covers. But once the light goes out, she has learned play time is over and it’s time for sleep. Sharon and I are very pleased with her.I’ll be putting some more pictures up when I work up the initiative to do it!

Robert and Sharon Goehring

Mystre Bengals Note: Robert and Sharon join the ranks of those not believing me that they will eventually want another Bengal but end up getting another one LOL, they have their name on a baby due in May '07. This is a family we are thrilled that want another baby. Their cats live the good cat life there with a couple that are completely smitten with Bengals.

Dear Mark,  

Just thought we’d give you a quick update on how Mezzo is doing. We are very pleased with her progress. She was in quarantine for the full two weeks. She makes us laugh. Kevin found a mouse-like toy and put it on a string. She loves that. Of course, she is very active and curious and, as you warned us, quite a jumper. She jumps onto my jewelry box which stands about 4 feet off the floor with a very limited landing zone. Amazing! She talks to us all the time. We are still trying to learn what she is telling us. She gets up on the bed with me at night. She lets me pet her while she purrs until I fall asleep. She doesn’t stay the whole night, but I think it’s incredible that she will voluntarily get up on the bed with me.

I can even pick her up and put her on my lap or beside me and she doesn’t “fuss” at all. I haven’t tried picking her up and holding her yet (I think one reason she warmed up to us so quickly is that we didn’t try to push her to do anything before she was ready). She found a plastic rose in my office, which she loves to bat around.

Thanks again for all your advice and instruction. She is doing well and we are quickly becoming very attached to the little rascal. Have a great weekend.  

Jayne & Kevin

Mystre Bengals Note: Mezzo was kept quarantined here for an unusual length of time due to an illness in our cattery at the time to make sure she didnt catch it as well and consequently was more shy than any of our previous or subsequent kittens, however she quickly came out of her shell and assumed the temeperament of her father, which is nothing short of incredible. Please note her tail in this picture.. it is one of the best bengal tails I have ever seen.

Michael and Carolyn Arnim, Texas

Dear Mark and Karen,

We purchased our male cat from you folks about 5 months ago, we've since named him Peanut!  He was about 3 mos old when we brought him home and I've attached some recent pictures.  We followed your instructions to the letter and he is a wonderful pet!!  Very, very playful and curious but he loves to curl up with us on the couch too.  Thank you so much for the oppurtunity to own such a beautiful and loving animal!!  Best regards,
Michael and Carolyn Arnim

Keira, Malina, Serina, Truong Nguyen

Dillinger's a total Ham! I am going to start keeping the camera by the bed in the morning because he is the sweetest most adorable baby you've ever seen when it's time to wake up. He crawls up from underneath the comforter and leans his back against Truong and looks straight at me, he Meows and then stretchs really far and meows again then climbs over Truong and kisses his nose as if to say "Daddy wake up!" the he climbs back over Truong and if I still haven't gotten up he climbs back under the covers cuddles up against me and puts his head on the pillow facing me then he just starts to purr he is the loudest purrrer I have ever had .

No kitten in the History of the Nguyen Family has ever shown so much effection and joy when being with myself and my Husband together as well as the Girls. He knows the minute they get home because he can hear them yelling and announcing they're hungry and want a snack and he'll start calling to them from the bedroom, at which time they drop absolutely everything they're doing (Including they're homework, backpacks, jackets and lunchbags) and run straight for the bedrom! When he sees them there's a special meow he makes which he ONLY makes for my Girls and a look of sheer joy in his eyes. No cat in my house has ever loved these girls as much as Dillinger loves Malina and Serina!

I've got to say you have done an absolutely incredible job of socializing this baby! He is our dream come true and the kitten that makes my Husband and daughters late for school in the morning because no one wants to leave and everyone wants to stay and play with "Dillinger"

Update 03-07:

Can't believe this is really happening finally.. Remember what you told me you wanted so much for Dilly and I wish you were going to be here with us to see him do his thing, he has the most awesome personality and any judge that doens't see that is crazier than I am :) I really do LOVE this BIG LUG. You know Mark he is my best friend!!! Thanks for the best cat in the world hope we can do you and Derringer proud...We'll be thinking of you on Saturday and by the way we even made up business cards with our site link and The Nguyen Family with Dillinger's Picture.We are changing the website name over Dillinger's picture it says "Cosmo's Legacy" in Cosmo's memory he did turn out to be everything Cosi would have wanted for me and I know Cosmo is watching us now and smiling down on us he is especially happy to see Dillinger has his new Brother Shaker they are sooo cute together I LOVE Bengals!

Keira & The Dillinger Gang

Mystre Bengal Reply: This was an email sent right before Dillingers first show. He championed his first time out and his personality shined. The temperment of this boy is what makes him loved, his outstanding appearance is merely a wonderful icing on a fantastic cake. This boy is a special one, and he is blessed to have a wonderful crazy cat family so in love with him.

RW SGCA Mystre Dillinger Mystre Bengal Note: 06/07/09 Derringer is now a RW SGCA (Regional Winner Supreme Grand Champion Alter) in The International Cat Association. Congratulations Keira, Derringer and Family on a great job getting Dilly his SGCA. Woohoooo!

Claudia Thompson

Wow!!  I can’t begin to tell you just how wonderful our little “Cosmo” is. We are hooked on Bengals for sure. He spends most of his day following me from room to room eager to play and to be sure he keeps his eye on me. Cosmo sleeps right between us all night long and we now have a built in alarm clock because as soon as daybreak creeps through the blinds, we are awaken by the cutest little meow and soft fur brushing our faces reminding us it is time for breakfast. He doesn’t know the meaning of the word “stranger”, everyone who comes over to visit is his new friend. We have been amazed at his social skills, he friendly to every one, he never runs and hides, not even from kids. All of our guests have fallen in love with him, when they sit down he is up in their laps wanting to be loved.

  When we got our little Cosmo from Mystre Bengals, I had just suffered from a life threatening brain hemorrhage. Cosmo has been the best therapy for me, his cute little antics and cuddling up to me has helped me to a speedy recovery.

Thank you so much Mark for the best little sweetheart we could have hoped for. We now know what you mean by you are not buying a kitten, you are buying a breeder. We are so glad we chose to buy our Bengal from you, I would not buy one anywhere else!

Update On Cosmo:

Hello Mark:

Just wanted to send you an update on Cosmo now that he is 6 months old already. Time is going by much to fast. Cosmo no longer looks like a kitten but still acts like one. He has really gotten big and more beautiful everyday, his spots have become so distinct and his coat is so silky and glitters like gold. Mike attributes the gorgeous coat to the raw diet you recommended and he is still on it. I cannot begin to tell you how much we are enjoying him and how big a part of our family he has become. He climbs everything and what a mouth...... every evening he sits at the back door and meows very loudly until we put him on his leash so he can go in the backyard...... he loves to go for a walk on the golf course with Mike. I have attached a couple of pictures!

Claudia Thompson


Dear Mark:

It has been a little over a month since we got our second Bengal, the marble we got from (*breeder name deleted)..... Let me tell you that I now know exactly what you meant by "you don't buy the kitten, you buy the breeder"..... If you EVER have a potential buyer who thinks you are to expensive, have them call me. Oh my gosh... the difference between Cosmo and Marbles is like night and day. If we would have bought Marbles as our first Bengal we would be turned off by the Bengal breed for sure. We are having a difficult time socializing her. It has helped to have Cosmo but she still acts alot like a wild cat. We know she will never have the personality of Cosmo but we still hope she continues to get better. Wow... she loves your raw diet....

You do such a fantastic job with your kittens. Cosmo needed no extra care in socializing. He never meets a stranger and loves to be held and cuddled. You cant EVER do that to the other Bengal. Cosmo is the most awesome cat I think that has ever been born!! He even follows us around while we do yard work, all the neighbors stop by to pet him and say hello... Thank you so very much and don't hesitate to give me as a reference...... YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR.......

Claudia Thompson

Sleepy Bengals

Andrea Font Hickham

We wanted to give you an update on April/Peanut.

Peanut and Zachary are best of friends. He carries her with him from room to room. She loves him and they play together all the time.My vet told me that Bengals are aggressive, high strung etc., but I can assure you as I did her, that this is not the case.

Peanut is a sweet loving kitty that we are really enjoying. She is certainly vocal, and lets you know if she wants something but she is a ball of love.She and Taz are getting along well. Sometimes Taz who is 10 years old gets a little mad at her, but Peanut immediately lays down in a submissive pose and Taz backs off. Other times they run up and down the stairs playing. It is making Taz a younger cat.

She has adjusted really well to our family and we wanted to say thank you for such a wonderful cat. We know she will be with us for many years to come.I have attached a pic of Peanut in Zach's bed.

Hope all is well with you. Take Care and Thanks again,

Andrea Font Hickham

Emily Fumuso,  Beaumont, Texas

My adorable little Luci came as a surprise to me from my husband at Christmas 2005, and it is hard to believe she has only been with us for two months!  She is of course the most spoiled member of our family now and I am unable to imagine us ever getting along without her. 

Thank you so much Mark for allowing us to adopt her!!  We could not have had a better experience than the one you have provided for us!  When we first brought Luci home, she tip toed around the house, but in no time she was completely comfortable in her new surroundings.  Her social skills have amazed me from the start!  She always insists on being in the same room of the house that we are in. If I get up and go to another room, Luci is right on my heels wondering what I will do next, or showing me what she wants to do next!  She is very good at communicating her thoughts!  She is also exceptional around other people!  We have family members of all ages who visit frequently and Luci loves to play (our most recent favorite game is fetch!) and snuggle with them, just as she does my husband and I.  She also loves to snuggle at night (which I love).  I usually sleep on my side and as soon as I lay down she curls right up next to me and lays her head on my right arm. 

Her attitude about waking up in the morning is similiar to mine as well!  I usually have to drag myself out of bed after hitting the snooze button three or four times.  When I do finally get up, Luci is still sleeping, so I gently pet her and give her a soft shake.  To this her response usually consists of her lifting her head slightly, opening her eyes half way, and giving me a look that says 'just five more minutes' before her eyes close once more and her head falls back onto my arm!  Recently, I was sick for a day and had to stay home.  Luci insisted on staying right at my side all day, leaving me for only five minutes in the morning and five minutes in the evening to eat.  She definitely wants to be my best friend!

The intelligence and personality of Luci still amazes me a little more everyday, every time I do something that she seems to understand, or she communicates to me in a way that I understand!

Once again, my husband and I could not thank you enough Mark for the awesome experience you have provided to us.  We could not imagine our lives without Luci!  The amount of training, time, and love that you and your family devote to these kittens is unbelievable.  Please feel free to give my information to anyone who needs a reference for your services!  I would be excited to share our wonderful experience with them! 

Emily Fumuso

Neil Appleby of Houston, Tx

Dear Future Bengal owners……

Breeder: The quality of cats that this breeder produces is phenomenal.   From the first time I visited the cattery, I felt a very warm welcoming presence and knew that the kittens were in good hands, and that I was not at a Bengal kitten farm.

Breeders expertise level
: Before you talk to him, get some paper and a pen, he is loaded with knowledge and excited to share the knowledge.   His knowledge and guidance is invaluable to future Bengal owners. 

The cats: Amazing eyes, amazing stature, amazing coat……..I could go on

Their behavior: very loving cat, once you peel them off the ceiling (joke) Well taken care of from the very beginning, there was not clawing of furniture, bathroom accidents…..etc..etc… The breeder prides himself on the health and wellbeing of the kittens/cats, you can see this by his vet bills (PS don’t ask him as its painful to think of that lol )
The purchase process/visiting
: Breeder is very flexible, and will let you visit the cattery any time possible.
I am ready for the next one!

Mystre Bengal note:
Neil just put a deposit down on his next Bengal born in May of '06

Neil Appleby
EP G&G Technical Systems
El Paso Production Company

Mystre Bengals Reply: Neil is a great daddyman for Sasha. She has, I believe, taught Neil patience. (laugh) Also, Neil has caught the Bengal bug along with everyone else who has ever had the opportunity to share their home with one. Once you realize that you are not the one in charge and the cat has taken over every aspect of your life, then you have became like the rest of us; Bengal Slaves. Neil was warned and warned that Bengals are addictive, no one believes me when I say that... He has now purchased his second Bengal and has joined the ranks of the smitten completely. I think the cats convince us to get more bengals while we sleep LOL Thank you Neil for loving Sasha and caring for that very special little girl. You and her are both blessed. Comfy Cat

Robin Chamberlain of Illinois

Mark,  I just want to say how impressed I am at the great job you do in socializing your kittens!  From the moment that Windy, aka 'Bisquits', came out of her carrier at the airport, she was giving my husband and I kisses, head butts and making bisquits. Each day that she has been home, she has continued to show us how well socialized she is.  She has never hid or acted frightened at her new surroundings, and she continues to give kisses and head butts any chance she can.  She wants to be with us all of the time, no matter what we're doing.   And she didn't mind, at all, when we fitted her with her first harness...we can't wait to take her out for visits!  So, thank you again for such a great girl.  We just love her!

Robin Chamberlain

An Update:

Just wanted to let you know how Bisquits did this weekend at the show.  She got two finals, one in Elektra Hammonds' ring and another in Dewayne Barnes ring...that one was WONDERFUL to get.  She ended up with an 8th Best Kitten and a 6th Best Kitten.  She had some great competition too...she was up against kittens from Hugh Price and Donna Syverson, so she did very well.  Donna even commented on what a nice girl we had!  The older Bisquits gets, the more and more I see Derringers' face and type in her.  This will probably be her last kitten show.  She is six months old now, so I don't think I'll be able to get to any of the shows in the area during April.   So, by her next show, she'll be in the adult class.  I can't wait to see how well she does.  I'm sending along a newer picture of her so you can see how well she is looking.

Take Care,

Update, Bisquits is a mama :

I will get some more pics this week.  They are just starting to cute.  Bisquits is a great did a fabulous job raising her.  We showed her up to her TGC and 3rd heat and didn't want to hold her off any longer.  She was almost 14 months old when we bred her and at the last show I went to, one of the judges asked me where my beautiful girl was.  She had remembered fact, she always finalled her when she was in her ring.  She said that she was one of the nicest girls she'd seen. 

Audrey Kaiser of Wisconsin


We just returned from an evening at my friend's home in Fontana, WI on Lake Geneva....and a great time was had by all!  I took my pup and our little girl with; she needed a break from her bedroom prison(ed note:due to isolation prior to introduction to rest of cats); I knew she'd have kids and adults to play with.  This little girl wowed everyone!  Not only is she a VERY pretty girl with a fantastic profile, but she also has the most spectacular personality!  No matter who was holding her, she would either curl up on their chest and purr or climb onto their shoulder.  Whatever situation she encountered, was taken with a sense of calm.  I thought since she was handling things so well, I would take her with us to watch the fireworks; people thought I was nuts as cats are notorious for being frightened.  She perched herself on my shoulder and watched them with me in wide-eyed amazement!!  Not only that, but she purred most of the time! 

You have done a most incredible job of socializing this girl and I want to thank you.


Veronica Nemeth of Houston

I never imagined that I would have such a sweet little guy like Maximus as my pet.  While the first few nights were a bit difficult for him once he was acclimated and introduced to his new friends (China the Chiuaua, Jinx the Himalayan and Madeline the Persian), he was elated.  He is my snuggle bug, the snooze on the alarm clock, my bath tub buddy, and roadie who rides with me everywhere.  He also needs to be convicted for grand kitty theft lasagna as he ENGULFED nearly an entire serving of my lasagna while I momentarily stepped outside. He is so intelligent and loving its unbelievable.  He is also a bit on the lazy side like myself in the mornings and in the evenings.  We love that snooze button. 

In addition to the affection and attention he demands, the thing I love about him the most is his little dreams of catching mice that he must have because his paws, lips and eyes wiggle as he sleeps.  I love Maxx a lot and I am so glad we took the trip (1 hour, lol) back in September to pick out these unique creatures that became companions.  Thank goodness Kody the Roadie did not make it all the way back to 

Mystre Bengals note: Kody was a boy of ours that had tried to stow away in the carrier they took the cats home in lol)

Thank you for your help throughout the process and reassurance upon homecoming.  I hope I do not become a crazy cat person!   MEOWWWW! 

Kind Regards,Veronica Nemeth

Update: He has such a personality!  He tries to meow to get his way, bless his heart.  He gets up in the morning with me when I need to get up, he snoozes that extra ten minutes when I feel like snoozing.  He is the best cuddler ever!  This morning as I woke up, I hit snooze and moved around a bit so Max fell off the covers onto the pillow next to mine.  When I turned over to lay on my back I looked over and it was perfect, Max was sitting up against his pillow in a human like position, just perfectly perched against the pillow!  All that was missing was a cigarette in one paw and a martini in the next.  I could not help but crack up hysterically and he just sat there, too lazy to move.

I have these mirrors in my dressing room and he likes to play with his reflection.  Well, I caught him doing it earlier this evening and as I looked at him and laughed, he got sooooooooooo embarassed, he ran off with that wild "running and meowing at the same time" meow.  Later on I went in the dressing room as it also serves as my computer area and as I was getting some work done I glanced over at him from the corner of my eye, and bless his heart, he caught me looking and laughing at him again and ran off, lol.  While at work, or away from my home, I crack up on occassion just thinking about how goofy he is sometimes.He is always in my lap or running by my feet and he never ever turns down any attention I want to give him.  He always goes along with whatever it is that I want to do which amazes my other bengal owner friends because they can not seem to control their bengals!  

Veronica Nemeth

Mystre Bengals Reply: Well, Veronica is yet another who never believed me when I said that Bengals are addictive. She has put her name on yet another Mystre Bengals kitten and will be able to take her home around August '06. I am so lucky that Veronica sends me frequent updates on Maxx's progress and their life together. When I talk to her on the phone I can hear how Maxx hates for her attention to be off of him and he talks to her about it until she gets off the phone to play with him. He is a very beautiful boy and was one of the most photogenic cats I have had. Maxx could easily be a very successful show cat, but he is very happy being a pet to a very loving friend. A funny story (now) When Veronica first got Maxx home she started calling the next day in tears thinking she had to bring him back. She thought he hated her.. he was making lots of noise and having all kinds of fits.. he was in isolation (2 weeks of that is required) I told her that he was indeed unhappy because he wanted to be with her and not in the isolation, but it was a necessary thing that he go through.. she persevered and they came out the other side of that just like I told her they would, and he is her best friend and they are truely a match made in heaven. What a great companion Veronica is for Maxx. Lest we never forget, they own us, not the other way around :)

Cecilia Strahle Engquist, Houston , Texas

This testimonial is a tribute to the extraordinary temperament of our 5 month old kitten Dragonfly who has a heart and bravery the size of a tiger. On Thursday 21 September at 4.30 my husband, Dragonfly and I began what ended up being a 19-hour long nightmare in form of evacuating from Houston in an attempt to escape the wrath of hurricane Rita.

We rode separate cars and Dragonfly rode with me. After the first 3 hours I let him out of his carrier to move about in the car. He checked it out and rubbed everywhere. Then he settled on my lap and lay there purring for hours on end. He kept speaking with me in his soft voice during the whole trip. He has an amazing habit of looking straight in your eyes as he speaks and communicates his wants and needs or just for the sake of having a conversation.

When we finally arrived to my parents-in-law’s house at 11 pm I let him out in our bedroom to recover. But hey, “recover from what?” he seemed to ask. In 5 minutes his tail was confidently straight up in the air, he kept speaking softly, he started playing with his favorite toys immediately after having eaten and gone to the litter-box and then he dashed right past me to curiously go explore this new cool place. There was not a sign of stress. At night he stretched out his long body along my spine and slept the whole night through. To me personally it meant en enormous deal to have him with me in the car. I felt I was not alone during that gruesome drive with daytime temperatures between 102-108 degrees F, no way of knowing if there would be any gas available before I ran out and with no telephone network making it impossible to speak with my husband or anyone else for that matter.

Dragonfly is our first cat. The help and generosity we have received from Mark is beyond words as far as assistance, information and time spent on the phone and in Mark’s home is concerned. He and his whole family have been extremely helpful.It is obvious that Dragonfly has been gently and lovingly handled from day one. We have no problem trimming his claws, brushing his teeth, and he lets himself get handled without protesting (at least for a little while). He is a confident and loving kitten, full of curiosity and trust. He loves playing fetch, especially while running up and down the carpeted stairs where he can tumble and have fun while chasing the favorite furry toy-mouse. If you are getting a Bengal kitten I highly recommend getting it from Mystre Bengals. You can rest assured that the cat is from a fantastic cattery where the health and well-being of the cats is of outmost importance. And you can count on the kitten being well socialized. Dragonfly is – of course - an extraordinary kitten but I heard from Mark that his other cats had behaved the same way as he after their evacuation. That says something about the temperament and psyche of these amazing cats.

Ps. Pray your kitten inherits the same trait as Dragonfly as far as taking medication goes. He had been coughing just a little bit and was on liquid medication. “Nightmare!”, you may think, to get that into a cat. Well, think again. We quickly discovered that the easiest way of getting the medication into Dragonfly was to measure it up on a teaspoon, put that on the floor, call his name, and wait for him to come running to contentedly lick the medication to the last drop and then meowing for some more.

A Dragonfly update:Just wanted to give you an update on Dragonfly as he is about to turn one year next week. I will begin saying he's an awesome cat and both Erik and I love him dearly. He's a cherished member of our family. Some of the things he does are:In the morning he gets up when Erik gets up. After a while he ventures back to bed determined to get me up with insistent meowing and threading on my chest until I wake up enough to stroke his whole body. This is his way of getting a morning massage. When I get up we usually play our morning game. He sits on the bed and I throw a small crinkly ball high in the air above him. He'll take a giant leap and smack the ball with his paw to send it flying and then he chases after it, returns to the bed and waits for me to throw the ball again. We do this for 10 minutes or more. Every evening he'll come running when either of us brush the teeth. He'll sit next to us on the sink and then drink from the faucet. He'll stay around until nobody has any more business around the sink. And yeah, another favourite game is to steal the tops of my make-up remover bottle or the contact lens bottle, bring it over to the sink and let go so it flies around. Then he'll pick it up and go hide it somewhere.He is absolutely fascinated by the printer. He'll come running when he hears it go off and then he'll just sit there watching. He is also a proficient cockroach-catcher I've noticed ...He is good being on in a harness on a leash. He loves being outside and will race me to the front door every time I approach it and he always tries to sneak out.

I've have had to bring him down from the tree outside the times I've not been quick enough closing the door. He annoys the workers coming in to the house, insisting to check out they're doing their job right by sitting staring at them, running off with their tools or simply trying to get into whatever bag/tool-box they're carrying. He hates being in a travelling bag and will scream like mad until he is allowed out of it. Then the thinks car travel is fun. He is as noisy as ever and even will attack his toys at times, jumping at them with a mighty meow as if he was a hawk trying to scare his prey. Never seen a cat doing that - they're supposed to be silent hunters!I will never forget how supportive you were during that scary time last winter. I hope all your cats are healthy and happy. I have been thinking of getting another (don't tell Erik :-) but it'll have to wait as I just bought a horse that is consuming all my money at the moment.I'm sending some pictures of Dragonfly taken last weekend in Austin at my parents-in-law's house. He went canoeing with me and was a bit reluctant at first but then seemed really pleased to be out on the water.

Mystre Bengals Reply: WOW! These are truely the most amazing and wonderful cats there are. Thank you Cecilia for the love you give our obviously special cat. We are so blessed you made him part of your family.

Leisa Mellberg - Colorado

Thunder finally has a name, Dylan.  He seems to like it since it is the only one he acknowledges.  It was a pleasure to meet your and your family.  It is good to know that he has and always will be in a loving environment. Dylan is truly a special boy.  He did remarkably well on the trip to his new home in Colorado, although his preferred way to travel is on my shoulder between the head rest and my neck.  He immediately ran around checking out everything at the hotel rooms we stayed in before settling down to play and have something to eat/drink.  The first night, I saw him checking out the toilet (there wasn't a lid) and quick grabbed him as he was jumping up on the seat.  We then covered it for the night.The next night, before I knew what he was doing, he was up on the toilet with his front feet in the bowl! 

  Other than he had to have his feet washed after that, I don't think it bothered him much.  He has ! been very adventurous and loving.  He definitely does not have a problem telling me when he doesn't like something.  (There was no question when he was tired of being in the crate.)  He is also showing his intelligence already.  He has figured out how to get out of the carrier, so it is now useless.  He sticks his little head out, looks around, and then he pushes the rest of his body out.  It is pretty funny to watch.  He seems very happy and content in his new home so far.

Thank you for allowing Dylan to be a part of my family.

Leisa Mellberg

Mystre Bengals Reply: What a special and amazing boy he is. You are so lucky to have such a loving little guy. He loved to sit and cuddle with me for as long as I would let him stay, and being the softy I am, he stayed as long as he wanted and whatever I had to do could just wait. We named him Thunder while he was here because when he was born he was quickly noticed as being the most vocal at the time. We got to the point where we new each kittens particular sounds and meows. He was very distinctive to us and it always gave us something to smile about. His soft coloring and very expressive eyes can draw you right into his big heart. He had the biggest feet in the litter and I think he will end up huge like his daddy is (20+lbs) so break out the checkbook and buy that food because that little boy is a chow hound. Thank you Leisa for giving our little guy a loving and wonderful home. You took the time to drive all the way to Houston from Colorado just to pick him up and drive him home rather than let him fly alone. What a wonderful expression of your dedication to this sweet boy. Bless you for caring so much.

An Update:

Dylan is doing great, although I cannot get him to believe I am not a tree.  He is also convinced that he needs to have some beer.  I have never seen any animal so determined to get beer.  He chews on the bottle opening and tries to knock it over and will not let anyone deter his ambition.  He evidently decided my cell phone needed to be cleaned since I found it in his water dish.  His fascination with toilets continues and we have to watch him closely around them.  He has introduced himself to all my co-workers already, insisting on speaking while I'm on conference calls.  He checks everything out and loves to sit on my shoulder.  He is still very affectionate and Jim and I think he is the coolest little guy.

Leisa Mellberg

Mystre Bengals Reply: I guess I failed to mention that Bengals are little thief's. If your missing things like watches are jewelry, find his hiding spot and you will find all that is missing. LOL He would steal my wife's watch every night and hide it when he was growing up here. He is such a lover. I am really jealous of you having him. I love his personality. I am so thrilled to have these babies with such wonderful folks. Makes this breeding thing really worthwhile to me. Thank you for giving him a great home. It is obvious he is loving every minute.

Kathy M. of Houston, Tx

My Bengal (Zorrro) was born on 4/1/05,  I had been looking for a kitten for some time and had done a lot of internet research trying to find the perfect one.  I looked into another hybrid breed and was not pleased with the findings.  I finally found Mark Pennington with Mystre's cattery who had new kittens.  After talking to him I made an appointment to go out and see the lovely babies.  I put my deposit down that very day.  I had to wait until he was 12 weeks old before I got to bring him home.  There were visits in between, even though I said that I wouldn't. Mark was very accommodating.  His kittens are raised "under foot" and with help of all the other family members.  They are loved on all day.  Zorro from Mystre Bengals

  I picked up my baby on 6/23/05.  He had been neutered before I picked him up and had no problems.  When I got him home he looked around and explored, met my daughters and settled right in.  He is very loving and playful.  Already litter box trained and no accidents.  His personality is great.  He is a fast learner, and the water gun is working well as a deterrent.  These cats are wonderful, loving, and highly intelligent.

Katherine Martinelli

Mystre Bengals ReplyZorro was the biggest boy of the litter. He was the first to do everything from the first steps the babies made out of their closet in our bedroom. He was the first to learn to climb a baby gate, the first to learn to jump, use the litter box, eat big kitty food and even the first to purr. He is an amazingly beautiful boy and one I should have kept as a show cat. However he has gone to a wonderful forever home and will be very happy there and that is always the bottom line for us, that the kittens have a great forever home. I loved to have Zorro here and he was always running to get in my lap and give me headbuts and would just fall all over me to get attention. What a blessing to have such a great stud as their daddy is with a temperament that is passed down to his kittens like this. I miss my babies so very much and always will.

Hey Mark,
Just wanted to update you on my little guys progress. He is growing fast and very curious.  Seems to be into everything.  His favorite toy at the office is a paper bag.  He still sleeps a lot too.  He sucks on his paw like a baby with his thumb.  He loves to drink the water right out of the faucet and gets very upset when anyone is in the shower or bath tub.  He loves his cat tree at home and he also likes to sleep in our bed at night. He wakes me up by licking me on the lips and nose. He does love to kiss.  Purrs all the time and is very vocal.  We are getting so much enjoyment and love from him.  Thank you for a wonderful boy.


Donald Berg, San Antonio, TX


Thank you very much Mark. From the beginning of our conversations via email until introducing a beautiful new Bengal kitty to our family.   I emailed about 6 catteries in Texas looking for a Bengal kitten. You were the only one who answered me back and no less than 24 hours.

Lightening from Mystre Bengals After a one a half hour phone conversation, you made me feel very comfortable, and gave me great perspective into what the Bengal breed is all about. In fact I didn't want to spend this kind of money at first, but after hearing what you go through, the quality of cats you provide and passion you have for the breed, I quickly changed my mind. As I am sitting here now at my computer typing this email and Lightning is resting on my lap.When he got to his new home he explored a bit, but mostly he followed me around the house. When I took out the trash for a short bit, I could hear him MEOWwwww all the way the parking lot! He's a loud boy indeed.

When I came back he was content and quickly nestled to my chest as I watched TV with him. The socialization is amazing! He wanted to be with someone to feel comfortable, even in his new surroundings. He loves people. That is something I have noticed you don't see in most of the breeders, animal shelters and pet store pets. Most of cats there are scared to come to people and be handled. It is very apparent what socialization means and how it makes a huge difference in buying a cat that is loved and handled from birth. Lightning will be a very friendly cat as he gets older.


Please feel free to contact me at for anyone who want a first hand personal experience buying a kitty from Mark. I will be glad to vouch for the professionalism, passion, and dedication this man and his family has for the Bengal breed and his cattery.


Thanks a million Mark, I will always be in touch and I will recommend your cattery to anyone looking for Bengal cat,


Donald Berg


Mystre Bengals Reply: It was a pleasure to meet and get to know Don. It was apparent from the start how much he loved this boy. Lightening is one of the neatist kittens. He is very vocal and will make sure you are listening to him as he trys to tell you what he wants. He slept with me from the moment he left the birthing area and would play hard but always come back to sleep under my chin. I could sit and stare into his eyes for hours. He has great type, and his skin is darkly spotted. He has a great profile and he is more fun than you can imagine. I have been very blessed to have shared a small part of my life with this incredible creature, and I am also blessed to know that he has a wonderful home with Don and his wife, Lu.


Lightening is a testiment to the difference genetics makes in temperament. Socialization plays a big part in behavior, but the reason that kitten is so wonderful is the breeding. This match between kitten and his new forever home is what makes breeding a joy. We will sure miss Lightening but know he will be very happy in a great home.

See a video of them playing (takes a while for it to download, please be patient its worth it)