With help from The Maine Coon Cat Club Kitten List, I eventually found a breeder in East Sussex who still had a blue/white female kitten available. After various telephone conversations, we went the next day to visit.
3 hours later, having accidentally become embroiled in one of the Goodwood car rally days, we arrived in Uckfield at Budletts. Terrie showed us around her bungalow which was totally given over to all her 28 cats. Only one bedroom and the kitchen were free of cats, although the latter room had 3 resident collie dogs. Boy cats were keep in specially built shelters - opening one, Terrie picked up the most enormous cat and plonked him in my arms. He immediately started purring and put his paws around my neck - I'd met Bella Cloud's grandpa Prince (winner of numerous breeding awards) and he was simply huge!
Some time later, having been introduced to several other Maine Coons and Bengals (all of whom were gorgeous), we were ushered into the 'kitten room' where Mum Guinevere was nursing and keeping a watchful eye on her six kittens. They were almost 6 weeks old and most were little balls of fluff with sharp teeth and claws. Bella Cloud stood out immediately - blue/white is my favourite and with good reason. She was so pretty, if a little timid, but didn't seem to mind being picked up and cuddled. My mind was set... we just had to have her!