Felis Historica - August 2021 - Volume 2 Number 2

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AUGUST 2021 Volume 2 No.2








“Today’s achievements are part of tomorrow’s history”



John G. Smithson editor@felishistorica.com HISTORY PARTNERS The CFA Foundation COLUMNISTS/CONTRIBUTORS

Karen Lawrence (St. Catharines, Canada)

Lorraine Shelton (California, USA)


Dr. Leslie Lyons (Missouri, USA)


Chloe Chung (Hong Kong)

Laura Vocelle (Muscat, Oman)

Florent Fissot (Monsegur, France)

Dr. Victor Zaalov (Acre, Israel)

Valerie Sheldrake Feline Historian (Suffolk, UK)

Jamie Christian (Ohio, USA)


Helmi & Ken Flick (Florida, USA)


Jack Terry (Florida, USA)

CONTENT All Rights Reserved © A-Cat-Emy Concepts SUBSCRIPTIONS Published Monthly Single Issue $4.00 USD ANNUAL $48.00 USD

AUGUST 2021 VOLUME 2 NUMBER 2 EDITORIAL – THE SECOND EDITION OF OUR SECOND YEAR! The Editor outlines the contents of Felis Historica – Volume 2 No.2!


CONTRIBUTING TEAM MEMBERS Gallery of our Team of Columnists, Contributors & Correspondents


MISS GLADYS CHEETHAM – THE OAKLANDS PHENOMENON An incredibly successful pre-WW1 20th Century Persian Breeder


THE FELINE HISTORICAL MUSEUM – Part Three - by Karen Lawrence The CFA Foundation Board of Directors






CHAMPION OAKLANDS SCEPTRE –(Blue Persian) - by John Smithson Early leading Blue Persian female from the Oaklands stable


THE DESCENDANTS OF BASTET – by Karen Lawrence New Book release information…


A PERSIAN RHAPSODY IN BLUE – by John Smithson New Book release information…


BAYARD - (Russian Blue) - by John Smithson. 19th Century Russian Blue stud, bred by Mrs. Carew Cox


THE HARRISON WEIR COLLECTION - RECENT ADDITIONS Newbury Cat Club – Period Photos and Sterling Silver Award Spoon




CAT POEMS and OTHER FANCIES / & TEN CATS – by Graham Harrop



OUR COVER PHOTO A superb original hand-coloured photo by the famous Crystal Palace Photographer Mr. T. H. Everitt. Featuring Miss Gladys Cheetham with her Blue Persian queen Champion Oaklands Sceptre. taken in 1914, held in The Harrison Weir Collection. Digital restoration by Jack Terry.

COPYRIGHT ISSN: 2744-4430 National Library of New Zealand Te Puna Matauranga o Aotearoa © A-CAT-EMY CONCEPTS / FELIS HISTORICA THE HARRISON WEIR COLLECTION No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form or by any means – electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, screen capture, or otherwise, without prior written permission. No responsibility is accepted for accuracy of advertisements or information. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED www.felis-historica.com www.harrisonweir.com

In this month’s edition, Dr. Leslie Lyons provides us with an inside view from a scientific perspective, on the unique nature of the ‘Orange’ locus and X-linked traits in our cats, which I know many of you will find interesting. This equally affords us an opportunity to celebrate Torties, Calicos and Red Persians in our Gallery linked to her article, the images for which have been generously provided by breeders. Our modern-day feature cat this month is the ruddy Somali ‘Tajhara Obsession Confession’ (aka ‘Obie’ shown opposite), a celebrated representative of his breed on a world-wide scale. Also shown opposite is his son, ‘Tajhara Uptown Swagger’, both males having attained International Winner status. Both of course, were bred by Mary Franz and both appear in our article on ‘Obie’, whose photograph is graciously provided by Starrlight Photography. Our unique cover photo is an item from the Harrison Weir Collection, a rare and precious original hand-coloured piece by the famous Crystal Palace photographer, T.H. Everitt, who has left an immense legacy of photographic studies of cats and their owners, many of which I am pleased to say are preserved in the Harrison Weir Collection. This specific piece was part of an estate purchased by myself some years ago and the photograph has been brought back to its former glory thanks to the restorative digital genius of Jack Terry (Florida), who regularly contributes to our articles in his capacity as our resident photographic and graphics expert. Thank you Jack! Both the cat, Blue Persian ‘Champion Oaklands Sceptre’ and her owner Miss Gladys Cheetham, are themselves the subject of separate articles in this month’s issue. Their stories and images are also taken from material obtained in the purchase of the ‘Oaklands’ cattery estate.




Our columnist Karen Lawrence provides us an insight this month into the multi-talented Board Members of the CFA Foundation, who contribute their time and support for the continuity of the Foundations work to preserve the history of the Cat Fancy in the form of the Feline Historical Museum. The Museum, based in Alliance Ohio, is a unique repository of feline-related artifacts, art, feline social history and that of the cat fancy itself from all over the world. It is of course, critical, that this collection be preserved at all cost, as it is a very precious link to our past and a resource for feline historians of both today and in future generations. Our period history piece, apart from those already mentioned is about the blue shorthair male, Champion Ashbrittle Peter the Great, a key contributor in the establishment of early Russian Blues, but who also appears on the pedigrees of some early British (English) shorthairs. Sadly, our planet is still being ravaged by Covid, so although cat shows are starting to reappear, but they are still relatively few, in number, and the risks are still very real and remain high. Anti-vaccinators do not help, flouting the rules that are put in place to protect us all. Unless we work as a world team, it is going to be a long haul. Vaccination programs will lead to travel eventually being possible and a better level of protection for all. Please take care one and all, and think of how your actions may affect others, as ours is a unique, very special community - which is most definitely worth preserving!


Our Feature Cat: Ruddy Somali, LA IW, BW, RW, SGC. Tajhara Obsession Confession (above) with his Ruddy Somali sibling GC. Tajhara Sunchaser (below) (Photos courtesy of Starrlight Photography and Spyzoo Photography)





ADVERTISING MANAGER advertising@felis-historica.com Director: CFA Foundation, Inc Manager: Feline Historical Museum Co-Editor: The History Project

AUTHOR/LECTURER ‘Robinson’s Genetics for Cat Breeders & Veterinarians’ Director: CFA Foundation, Inc www.wegies.net www.featherland.net

RESEARCHER/COLUMNIST FELINE GENETICS SPECIALIST Prof. of Comparative Medicine Dept. of Vet. Medicine & Surgery University of Missouri






COLUMNIST/AUTHOR FELINE HISTORY & ART HISTORIAN Creator and Founder The Great Cat www.thegreatcat.org






‘THE RESTORIAN’ Photo & Graphics Specialist Photo Humourist

President of World Organisation of Cats





















































































Miss Gladys Cheetham The young mistress of the ‘Oaklands’ cattery, a tour de force between 1909 -1914 Image: from ‘Fur and Feather’ February 16, 1912. Image: The Harrison Weir Collection Backgrounds © www.gographic.com


‘Miss Gladys Cheetham – breeder of Champion Blue Persians’ BY


Adapted from the author’s text for the book ‘A Persian Rhapsody In Blue’.

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND During the six years that Miss Gladys Cheetham remained highly active within the long-haired fancy, the Oaklands stud, accumulated a series of such singularly distinguishing show accomplishments, that the young hobbyist’s cattery was truly considered to be a ‘phenomenon’ during the pre-Great War period, between 1909 and 1914. In the words of that great ‘The Old Man of the Fancy’ Mr. Cyril Yeates, “Between 1912 and 1914 Miss Gladys Cheetham’s Blues were carrying all before them. At the Southern Counties Show of 1914, the Oakland cats took 1st and Ch, 2nd, extra 2nd, 3rd and extra 3rd in Blue female adults! Two of these, Ch. Oaklands Sceptre and Ch. Oaklands Sheila were sired by the Gondolier.” The wins recorded at this specific show were indeed an immense accomplishment by any single exhibitor, especially considering that they were gained against the stiffest competition, from within an entry comprising no less than 176 Blues! And this was not an isolated incident for the young Miss Cheetham.

But we will return to this show, once we have first encapsulated the establishment of this cattery, which has been immortalised in the memory of both judges and journalists of the period, in their various writings. EARLY BEGINNINGS Mr. T. J. Ambrose visited the Brighouse, Yorkshire cattery early in 1912 and recorded his impressions for an article published in ‘Fur and Feather’ in the February 16th issue for that year; from which I have selected the most pertinent excerpts. In his introductory paragraphs, he explains Miss Cheetham’s early decision to take up cats, the initial response of others to that decision, the power of knowledge behind her, and her own tenacity and determination; and lastly, he summarises the measure of success from her first (under two years) as an exhibitor: “There were, I know, many who shook their heads ominously when it was first announced that Miss Gladys Cheetham, of Oaklands, Brighouse, had decided to take up Cats.”

ABOVE: THE HOME OF THE FAMOUS BLUE PERSIANS – OAKLANDS, BRIGHOUSE, YORKSHIRE – IN 1912 BELOW: THE CHEETHAM’S FAMILY RESIDENCE AT OAKLANDS – AS IT APEARED IN 2017 Photos: Above: ‘Fur and Feather’, February 16, 1912. Below: GUY PRESTON. (2017) © Archive of The Harrison Weir Collection

“First of all, they urged a reason why she should not succeed, her youth (it is only those of us who are growing old who realise the great advantage of having such on our side), whilst others pointed to the climate at Brighouse as being quite unsuited to the breeding and exhibiting of Cats. “Little did I think at the time that all this would be exploded so quickly, but one chat with the Oaklands enthusiast was sufficient to convince me that she had an intense love for Cats, whilst I knew that if, she could only apply herself to the hobby as her father had done in Poultry, then would not only would exhibitors have to seriously reckon with her, but the Cat Fancy would have secured in Miss Cheetham one of the most desirable supporters it was possible to obtain. That this young lady is a most desirable acquisition needs no commendation of mine. “That she is destined to become a notability amongst breeders of Long-haired blues – she had already become such as an exhibitor – is assured. But what to me is the most important point of all – her stud of Cats and their progeny must be a source of great strength and support in the maintenance of the present high standard which blue Long-hairs have reached. “Naturally, the foundation of Miss Cheetham’s success was not of her own making; there was a master mind behind all this, her father, whose knowledge of breeding and exhibiting Poultry – he was some years ago invincible, and this, too, amongst popular breeds, proof of which was shown by the large number of champion cups, challenge cups, and trophies that were to be seen in the drawing-room cabinet – was the guiding hand. Mr. Cheetham knew that in the long run the best were the cheapest.

“This, then, was his object, to secure for his daughter the best obtainable of the most fashionable breeding, and leave the rest to her application, governed by his advice. That his confidence was not misplaced has been clearly demonstrated by the remarkable successes of the Oaklands stud. Such is told in a very few lines. The total number of firsts, seconds, thirds and specials won from May 1910, to January 1912, is as follows: Five times best Cat in show; including of course, the classic events; eleven championships, forty-four firsts, twenty-eight seconds, twelve thirds, and no fewer than seventy-eight special prizes, including cups, gold, silver and bronze medals, etc. These too, at only thirteen shows, and with blues exclusively. Surely a record for a beginner, especially when it is remembered that such has been accomplished with the most popular variety, and in the keenest competition. “Intending to give, in detail the winnings of each Cat, no further reference to this remarkable record is needed, except to say that it is the greatest possible tribute to the pertinacity of Miss Cheetham. The owner of the Oaklands stud, had, indeed, a generous start, and ample advice as to how a stud should be founded, but since then the battle has been her own, because – the truth to tell – her father is not fond of Cats, except for the pleasure he derives from his daughter’s interest in them, and naturally from the joy shared in her triumphs. Amongst his immediate friends it is well known that he would have preferred her taking up Pomeranian Dogs, for the reason that he is very partial to these himself. Miss Cheetham, however, was obdurate, and her love for Cats quickly prevailed. It was her hobby and her choice.”

ABOVE: - ‘WHERE THE KITTENS ARE TO ROAM’ – AND THE PLACE WHERE THE KITTENS ARE BORN AND RAISED The residence of Mrs Cheetham (Snr) – ‘LONGROYD HOUSE’’ - The house in which Mr. J.A. Cheetham was born. Photo: ‘Fur and Feather’ February 16, 1912. © Archive of The Harrison Weir Collection.

A VISIT TO THE OAKLANDS STUD Mr. Ambrose then proceeds to share details of his visit to Oaklands, in what was the height of the winter season. His extensive article includes a full review of every male and female he was able to assess in the cattery, and their wins at shows. His commentaries on most but not all, are included in the individual files of the cats chosen to be featured in our survey of Miss Cheetham’s cats, those for whom we have located and identified photographs. The notes reprinted here, from his article, are those relevant to the cattery itself and to the nature of the visit and begin with details of Mr. Cheetham’s business and his residence.

“A long-standing invitation found our Mr. H. Walker, the well-known enthusiast of blues, going with me to Oaklands. On our way we happened to meet Mr. Cheetham, and expressing a desire to see the process of silk spinning, he very kindly took us through a portion of the mills, of which he and his brothers and joint owners, and at which place some £500 a week is paid in wages. What a revelation, too, is such to those who know nothing of the process of silk spinning. But this was not our mission. We had come to see Cats, and were soon on our way to Mr. Cheetham’s residence. Oaklands, I may say, is situated on the brow of a hill overlooking the valley, some 100 feet above sea level.

“Once, no doubt, a beauty spot, from the artistic point; but now, with its multitude of mill chimneys and huge stone buildings, a great industrial centre. The bleak countryside is a very bracing place indeed in summer, but during winter time only those with sound constitutions can withstand it. In consequence of this, there are many who would have doubted the possibility of making Cats a success at such a cold, bleak spot. Those of us who presume to know the successful methods of breeding and housing stock, even those varieties that are regarded as delicate, have long since proved that the constitutions of such animals can be toughened in the process by selection and proper housing. A system of coddling is neither necessary or desirable. The housing accommodation must be absolutely proof against damp and draught, whilst the feeding must, especially when the weather is severe, be very stimulating and of a heat-giving nature. All this, however, prevails at Oaklands, and every comfort that common-sense arrangements can devise is put into operation.” What followed, was a lengthy dissertation containing a detailed description of the merits or otherwise of each, and every cat, as they were observed in their respective quarters. He then continues: “There were one or two others we did not see, these being accommodated at the residence of Mr. Cheetham’s mother, the house in which he was born. This old lady is 78 years of age, and greatly interested in Cats, and for the welfare of “Gladys,” to whom she is much attached, she takes charge of some of the kittens. At this charming estate, quite near at hand, the kittens have unlimited range on grass, another great advantage, especially keeping growing kittens somewhere where they do not come in contact with Cats going to and from shows.

advantage, especially keeping growing kittens somewhere where they do not come in contact with Cats going to and from shows. “At Oaklands, as I wrote previously, there is abundant scope. The shade from the trees affords nice shelter during summer-time, whilst the houses are all built of stout timber, and are quite weatherproof. A pen room and mating house complete the admirable arrangements, except that quite recently a beautiful rose garden and summer-house have been added to the charms of the Oaklands Cattery. Every possible provision is made for the Cats’ security and comfort, and every item is complete in detail and beautifully kept. Luckily, Miss Cheetham is blessed with pertinacity, and thoroughly enjoys the labours of looking after her pets. She revels in the work of feeding and grooming, whilst the success of her Cats is the greatest tribute to the attention she bestows on her favourites. Her father will have pressed upon her the value of application, often far too lightly treated in relation to breeding and exhibiting live-stock successfully. The Oaklands stud, however, will have – if my forecast be correct – to be seriously reckoned with in the future. Everything points to continued success, and it will be a good thing for the Cat Fancy if it is so. “Our inspection of the cats and their accommodation ended, we returned to the house, where, at the invitation of Mrs. Cheetham, we were shown “Gladys’s” bedroom, for the reason that she treasures all her trophies and winnings therein. A charming little boudoir, so arranged as to give evidence , if such were needed, that Cats play a great part in the young lady’s life.

“Pleasure, too, at Oaklands, is increased very much, if only because they can admire what is good in other people’s stock. They evidently know that the joy of living is not increased be belittling the efforts, the stock, and even the sportsmanship of others. Oaklands wants the best, but they can and will appreciate a good beating. To his daughter’s hobby Mr. Cheetham has given much time. He accompanies her to all the big events in Catdom. Lucky girl, to be so blessed! May the beauty of her life be the reward of such generous parents. Nothing could bring greater pleasure.” Miss Cheetham’s beginnings within the fancy and in Blue Persians may have indeed been as wonderful, in terms of her early records achieved and noted in considerable detail by Mr. Ambrose between 1910 and early 1912; but they would only account for the smaller portion of her total achievements on the show bench, when measured against she was to attain between 1912 and 1914!


“After enjoying the generous hospitality, extended in a fashion which makes Yorkshire people appreciated by all those who have partaken of it, we bade adieu to Oaklands. “Mrs. Cheetham I would add, is a charming personality, typical of all that is truly English; and that, surely embraces everything that is worth admiring. She is greatly interested in her daughter’s hobby, mostly perhaps because of the pleasure the elder of her two children, both girls, derives from it.

The female ‘Ch. Oaklands Sceptre’ was the cat that brought her owner initial fame and her first Best in Show wins. Many judges, including Mr. Ambrose, Mr. Mason and Mr. C.A. House, considered her to be one of her very best overall queens, in consideration that she was not only a top show cat, but a reliable breeder; who gained not only her own championship title, but was also the dam of two further much admired champion blue females, ‘Champion Oaklands Rosedrop’ and ‘Champion Oaklands Seabreeze’. Of these two queens, Mr. Ambrose noted in his article: “A beautiful cat is Rosedrop, as well she might be, considering she is a daughter of that charming queen Sceptre. Here is another instance of the influence of Oaklands, from the breeding standpoint.

OAKLANDS STUD CATTERY LOG-BOOK 1909 IN MISS CHEETHAMS HANDWRITING © from the archive of The Harrison Weir Collection.

instance of the influence of Oaklands, from the breeding standpoint. Rosedrop is very sound in colour, especially in undercoat, built on very cobby lines, possesses a very charming head, is good in eye, and, at the time of my visit, in perfect coat and condition.” “Seabreeze was the next feline beauty to parade before us, and as I feasted on the charms of these queens, the impression grew as to the object of the master mind that was behind the stud. “Good Big ‘uns,” as they say in the North. “The queens were grand in this respect, and we all know that where size is a characteristic of a breed, “good big ‘uns” never give little ones, however good they are, much chance. And quite right too, providing they are correct in type and carry quality.

“Mere size is, and never should be, a governing factor. With queens of the Seabreeze and Sceptre type, suitably mated, and reasonable luck, blues are adding another pillar to the Cat Fancy. Such grand queens cannot fail to strengthen the variety, because they both have such fascinating type, size, and quality. Seabreeze has truly gorgeous eyes, the iris being not only of a most fascinating colour, but also of great width. This, with large, wide-awake orbs, makes the expression most bewitching, whilst her head, bone and make up, not forgetting her great wealth of coat, complete a wonderfully good queen, as her winnings show.” While we do not have room to enumerate all Miss Cheetham’s successes between 1912 and 1914, it would be remiss not to mention briefly the two greatest, both of which were accomplished at the large Westminster Shows, where the competition in the Blue Persian classes was amongst the fiercest in the pre-War period; first in 1913, and again the following year in 1914.

large Westminster Shows, where the competition in the Blue Persian classes was amongst the fiercest in the pre-War period; first in 1913, and again the following year in 1914. By 1913, she was seriously campaigning her latest new male ‘Oaklands Steadfast’. At that Westminster Show, there were 770 entries in all. 170 of these which comprised the Blue Persian classes. ‘Oaklands Steadfast first took the first for Blue Persian male, then he took the win for Best Blue Persian overall, defeating his kennel mates and all-comers to be Best of Colour. Lastly, he was adjudged Best Cat in Show. The judge officiating that year in Blue adults, was Miss Frances Simpson. If that were not enough, Mr. Mason, who also officiated at that show, placed ‘Steadfast’ then, ‘Seabreeze’ and then ‘Sheila’ - all Oaklands Blues, as the best three Blue Persians in the show, in that order. It was Mr. T.B. Mason who judged the Blue classes at Westminster in 1914, and from his show report that we have taken selected extracts: “With 176 entries, blues made the largest display at what is said to be the greatest Cat show ever held. For some time we have heard statements about the decline of the Cat Fancy, I have seen many shows in my time, but my opinion is that, taking the quality all round, we have never had a better show. The adult blues were splendid, and it was indeed hard work to separate six of the adult males, so little dividing them. In females I feel sure a better lot was never seen at one show, so the winning of all the money prizes in this class, including the extra 2nd and extra 3rd, by Miss Cheetham, must create a record that will take beating. In addition, Miss Cheetham won 2nd and res. In adult males, 1st novice, 1st and 2nd brace, 1st and 2nd blue neuter, cup for best blue, and many specials, surely a feat to be proud of. “FEMALE 20; 1, 2, extra 2, 3, extra 3, Miss Cheetham, such a team. Sceptre, Sheila, Selma, Seabreeze and Stella in the order named, never

cup for best blue, and many specials, surely a feat to be proud of. “FEMALE 20; 1, 2, extra 2, 3, extra 3, Miss Cheetham, such a team. Sceptre, Sheila, Selma, Seabreeze and Stella in the order named, never have I seen five exhibits of such quality and in such grand show form, put down by one person. The winner won cup for best blue.” One of the career highlights for the author was to acquire at auction the larger proportion of items from the estate of Gladys Cheetham. These included, a set of extremely rare and historically significant studio portraits of her cats, and others, all taken by the famous Crystal Palace photographer, Mr. T. H. Everitt. Most were signed by him, with some were still in their studio photo jackets. Other items included medals and awards won by her cats, show catalogues with placements marked, issues of ‘Fur and Feather’ she had preserved, and a raft of original press photos taken at shows. The luckiest find from this unique cache, was obtaining Miss Cheetham’s own cattery log-book, in which she had inscribed by hand, the details of individual cat purchases, prices paid, names of the breeders, the parentage of each cat; a record of their proclivities, and to which sires, including dates of birth and the results of litters. It also listed in detail, their show records, with wins in all their respective classes. Collectively these, including the supplement shown opposite, from ‘Fur and Feather’ dated January 24, 1913, form one of the most valuable finds on early Blue Persian breeding history, in what is now a collection of considerable depth. This, therefore has offered me an unprecedented opportunity to share a large proportion of these items with you, the reader, in their truest and most meaningful historical context.

Supplement to ‘Fur and Feather’ January 24, 1913 From the Gladys Cheetham Estate, © Image, The Harrison Weir Collection

The CFA Foundation’s

Feline Historical Museum

The importance, work, and difficulties of preserving our feline historical heritage… pre CENTRAL GALLERY & MEZZANINE STAIRCASE OF THE FELINE HISTORICAL MUSEUM in Alliance, Ohio. Ground Floor, Headquarters Building of The Cat Fanciers’ Association.

AT THE HELM of the CFA Foundation, Inc. PART THREE BY


Any organization is only as good as those who are stewarding it. It is important that those guiding the CFA Foundation have a vested interest in our mission and a passion to steer us on a path to success. The current Board of Directors of the CFA Foundation is composed of ten individuals, whose experience in the cat fancy covers a cumulative 340 years. That’s an awful lot of experience and knowledge to offer as a group when it comes to the mission of the CFA Foundation … “to acquire and conserve the history of cats and show the development of the cat fancy through the acquisition of fine art, artifacts, and literature.” Cumulatively, we’re not only covering the history, but many of us have actually experienced a great deal of history of the cat fancy in person, and thus have developed have a passion for the collection of historical information and artifacts. Many of us remember the good ol’ days when an overabundance of silver trophies, trays, and bowls were awarded as prizes at shows. Many cat fanciers kept the silver won by their cats, although I’ll admit that not all of us kept it in polished condition. We now find that these awards are making their way into the collection held at the Feline Historical Museum, along with perpetual trophies that are no longer awarded. I’d like to introduce you to the Board of Directors of The Cat Fanciers’ Association Foundation, Inc. (CFA Foundation), a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization that manages the Feline Historical Museum in Alliance, Ohio.


Don Williams is currently serving as President of the CFA Foundation. It is fitting, as he was instrumental in the formation of the Foundation in 1990, when he was President of CFA. Don registered his first cat with CFA in 1954. He attended his first cat show, held by the American Cat Association (ACA), in 1956. He went on to be President and Show Manger for two ACA clubs in 1957. By 1962, he was an ACA Allbreed Judge and a member of the ACA Board of Directors. In 1965, he began judging for CFA and has been an Allbreed Judge for many years. His numerous judging assignments take him to countries around the world where he can also spread word about the Foundation. Don's cattery names are Skyway (inherited from his mother-in-law, Vi Schuh) and Squire. Over the years, his main breed was Persians but he has also bred Abyssinian, American Shorthair, Burmese, Devon Rex, Exotic, Siamese and Singapura. Don was a member of the CFA Board of Directors from 1977 to 2004, serving for 14 of those years as President of CFA (19861994 and 1998-2004). As President, Don was responsible for stewarding the expansion of CFA worldwide, the beginning of CFA's Invitational Shows which saw the largest entry of cats at a show in North America, and the formation of the CFA Foundation. Don also has a passion for cars and has owned and operated Williams Classic Cars in Ocala, Florida since 1979. VICE-PRESIDENT: CAROL KRZANOWSKI

Carol is a lifelong resident of New Jersey. She was born and raised in North Jersey and later moved south to attend college at Stockton University, where she received her B.A. in graphic art and photography. Carol and her husband Ed always loved the beach and ocean, so they moved to the Long Beach Island area at the beautiful Jersey Shore, where they still reside today. As a child with a love for animals, Carol always had a household pet cat while growing up. She obtained her first Tabby Persian soon after she and her husband were married, and from there she learned about the cat fancy world. It was not long before she acquired her first breeder female and registered the Cozmo cattery name with CFA. The rest is history, so to speak, as Carol and Ed have been breeding and exhibiting Persians ever since. They specialize in Tabby Persians and have bred numerous award winners over the years. As an active member of several CFA clubs, Carol has held various offices and show committee positions. She is also a longtime Persian Breed Council member and a licensed CFA Master Clerk. Carol was employed as a graphic designer at Stockton for many years, but when an opportunity became available at the Cat Fanciers' Association's Central Office, then located in New Jersey, she jumped at the chance to combine her career with her love of cats. At CFA she was Associate Director as well as the Managing Editor for the Cat Fanciers' Almanac, the CFA Yearbook and the Online Almanac. During that time Carol became very familiar with the CFA Foundation and its mission to preserve cat fancy history. When Carol retired from CFA in 2009, she declared her candidacy for Director-At-Large on the CFA Board of Directors and has served in that capacity ever since. As a CFA Board member she has chaired many CFA committees and served on a variety of others over the years. In addition, she was appointed to the CFA Foundation Board of Directors in 2009 and has served as its Vice President since 2018.


Liz Watson has always had cats and dogs, even as a child in Michigan. Her favorite breed was the Russian Blue, and she began breeding them in 1976. Over the years she has shown numerous award winning Russians GC, NW Jontue's Rhythm and Blues of Casein, DM (1980-1981, 10th Best Kitten, and 1981-1982, 10th Best Cat); GC, GP, NW Heartbeeps Pistol Pete of Casein (2004-2005, 2nd Best in Premiership); GP, NW Trekuorii Maurinho (2010-2011, 8th best premiership); NW Trekuorii Bowie of Casein (2012-2013, 8th best kitten). Liz also worked with Devon Rex, yet her highest win came with a Sphynx GC, NW Enchantedlair NWA Cornflake Girl, a tortoiseshell female who was CFA's Best Kitten in the 2006-2007 show season. In 1985, Liz became a CFA Judge and currently holds Allbreed status. She has judged worldwide and thoroughly enjoys being introduced to the different customs and new people in the various countries. She has also served on the CFA Board of Directors as a Director-atLarge and as Great Lakes Regional Director. She has been a member of the CFA Foundation Board of Directors since 2012, and currently holds the position of Secretary. These days, Liz and her husband, Mac, live in New Orleans along with a menagerie of both dogs and cats -three dogs (a Papillon, an Italian Greyhound and a toy Poodle) and four cats (two are Russian Blue, of course, plus a Sphynx and a Bambino). TREASURER: KATHY CALHOUN

Kathy Calhoun began her cat fancy activities working with the Tonkinese breed. She has also bred American Wirehairs, American Shorthairs and Maine Coons. Kathy registered her 5800 Dreams cattery name with CFA, and bred two National Winner American Wirehairs - GC, BW, NW 5800 Dreams Macy Gray (5th Best Kitten, 2001-2002) and GP, NW 5800 Dreams Marley of Kemage (16th Best cat in Premiership, 2003-2004). Eventually, she fell in love with the Maine Coon breed and showed her Maine Coons with success. At the completion of the 2009-2010 show season, GC, BW, NW 5800 Dreams Sunny Halo 1983 was CFA's Best of Breed Maine Coon and 3rd Best Cat. Another National Win was achieved in the 2011-2012 show season when GC, NW Trutails Aces High of 5800 Dreams was CFA's 15th Best Cat. Kathy entered the CFA Judging Program and began judging in 2007. She is currently an Allbreed Judge, and has travelled throughout the world to judge at cat shows. She has served several terms on the CFA Board of Directors - as Treasurer from 2000 until 2010, and currently holds that position having been re-elected in 2016. In addition, Kathy served as Midwest Regional Director from 2012 until 2016. She has served as Treasurer of the CFA Foundation since 2018.


Desiree Bobby's introduction to the world of felines came through her husband, Zach, who owned a white Sphynx named Mojo way back in 1999. They subsequently shared their home with another pet Sphynx, and in 2007 Beeblebrox cattery was born when they acquired their first breeding pair of Sphynx. Desiree has an interesting background - she has a Fine Arts background and an MBA degree, but she was a punk rocker at heart. She has had a varied career over the years - building computers, web page design, ecommerce and social media management. While she is relatively new to the cat fancy world, she has successfully applied her business expertise on behalf of the Sphynx breed. In 2010, she founded Hairless Hearts, an organization that helped breeders and owners obtain affordable HCM scanning. To do so, she put together a team of volunteers to arrange HCM clinics across North America. In 2016, Desiree discovered the Lykoi breed and began working with them as well as her Sphynx. She is currently CFA's Committee Chair for the Lykoi breed as well as secretary for the World Lykoi Foundation and is working for advancement of the Lykoi breed in CFA. Desiree has been CFA's Marketing Manager since 2017, successfully bringing in exceptionally large crowds for several of CFA's International Shows. We anticipate that Desiree will be a tremendous help with the social media presence of the Feline Historical Museum. DIRECTOR: PAM DELABAR

Pam DelaBar's involvement in CFA started over 40 years ago when she got her first CFA registered cat, a Himalayan. She fell in love with Lynxpoint Colorpoint Shorthairs at her first cat show and worked on establishing a Siamese breeding program in order to work with the CPSH. Pam registered two cattery names with CFA (Sapad and Alsace), with notable cats of her breeding being GRC, NW, BW Sapad Mme Charlotte H., D.M (a blue point Siamese), GC, BW, RW Alsace Joe D. of La Charisma (a seal lynx point Colorpoint Shorthair), and GRC, BW, RW Alsace V. Lestat (a blue lynx point Colorpoint Shorthair), Her favorite cat over the years was GRC Alsace Armstrong (a Maine Coon male). Over the years, Pam has worked with Siamese/Colorpoint Shorthairs, Oriental Shorthairs, Persians, Singapuras, Maine Coon Cats, and Manx. Currently, she is breeding Norwegian Forest Cats and occasionally American Curls. Accepted in 1990, Pam has been a judge for the Cat Fanciers' Association for over 30 years and has been fortunate to have judged on every continent where cat shows are held and for almost all the member associations of the World Cat Congress and several other independent organizations. First elected to the CFA Board of Directors in 1986, she has served as regional director for both the CFA Gulf Shore Region and the European Region of CFA, as a Director-at-Large, as VicePresident and as President of CFA, culminating in 29 years of service on the CFA Board of Directors. Additionally, she served 6 years as president of the World Cat Congress, overseeing the largest expansion of the organization since its inception. Though originally from the United States, Pam moved to Finland in 2011.


Roeann Fulkerson was born and raised in southern California. She raised her family in northern California before moving to Key West, Florida. She started numerous successful businesses including restaurants built to the franchise level, vending and video game companies. Roeann successfully bred and exhibited Dobermans and miniature Poodles for over 35 years, winning many coveted titles and awards. and the firstever online dog show entry service along with several other rewarding business endeavours. Having always had a Siamese since her father brought home the families' first pet when she was five, was the beginning of a strong passion for ALL cats - pedigreed, random-bred domestics and feral with a focused purpose to "elevate the value of all cats." Compass Rose Oriental Shorthair cattery was established in 1999 and produced innumerable highly competitive and top award-winning Oriental Shorthair cats under this cattery name. Roeann now resides in North Central Florida, and for the past seven years has worked as Director of Marketing and Business Development for TICA (The International Cat Association). Prior to TICA, Roeann was with Cat Fanciers' Association for fourteen years with the same business titles. At both feline registry associations, her focus is on worldwide market growth, global business strategy, business planning, commercial negotiations, raising capital, and strategic marketing, with emphasis on building strong individual and pet industry relationships. Additionally, show production, funding, contract review, and execution for some of the largest and most prestigious cat shows/events in the U.S. The continued focused efforts to elevate the value of all cats remains key to every decision and action. From developing the first Feline Breed Poster using actual cat photos and distributed to over 67,000 veterinarians, shelters, vet schools, educational facilities, to fostering a strong partnership with American Association of Feline Practitioners to educate about pedigree cats, it is always about the cats. As a member of the CFA Foundation's Board of Directors, Roeann brings corporate and marketing expertise that is needed to make folks around the world aware of our mission. DIRECTOR: KAREN LAWRENCE

Karen Lawrence was introduced to the Cat Fancy in 1971 when she acquired her first cat, a blue point Himalayan. Additional breeds followed over the years - American Shorthair, Oriental, Ocicat, Persian, Maine Coon, Singapura and American Curls - but her life changed significantly when she met and fell in love with her first Abyssinian in 1979. Karen began a judging career with The Cat Fanciers' Association in 1995. Twenty-five years later, she has judged at cat shows around the world, in nineteen countries, and retired at the end of 2020. She was elevated to Judge Emeritus status by the CFA Board of Directors in January, 2021. In 1994, Karen worked to give CFA a social presence online through development of the first edition of the CFA web site. Once the site was launched, in the fall of 1995, she became the webmaster and was responsible for content, growth and maintenance of the site over the next 15 years. She has had numerous cat fancy related articles published over the years, and recently completed writing a book on the early history and development of the Abyssinian breed.


Lorraine Shelton is an internationally recognized expert in feline genetics, and an Allbreed judge for The International Cat Association (TICA). A prolific writer on the subject of feline genetics, she is a coauthor of a number of books including Robinson's Genetics for Cat Breeder and Veterinarians, and authored The Guide to Owning a Tonkinese (a Cat Writer's Association Award of Excellence winner). In addition, there are numerous of Lorraine's articles available on breeds, feline health, genetics and cat fancy history in various magazines and online. Lorraine is a welcome lecturer at cat shows and annual meetings for various associations and breed groups. As an Approved TICA Genetics Instructor, she enjoys sharing her expertise at TICA and CFA seminars, and FIFe judging schools. She has also participated in a UC Davis roundtable discussion on the genetic aspects of FIP. For TICA, she authored an extensive revision to their Uniform Color Descriptions in 2020. Lorraine's first litter, Tonkinese, was born in 1972. The Featherland cattery name was registered in 1988, with the goal of advancing the rare chocolate/lilac factored Persians. She has also bred award winning Turkish Angoras, was a foundation breeder of the Selkirk Rex breed, and is currently breeding and exhibiting national winning Norwegian Forest Cats. DIRECTOR: JOHN SMITHSON

Lorraine has a deep interest in historical artifacts and has located several of the pieces in the John Smithson started in cats in 1977, registering his 'Imperatus' CFA Foundation's collection. Pedigree records and linechasing are her passion. cattery with the New Zealand Cat Fancy in 1978. His first love was selfRed Persians, and with an early interest in line-chasing under his belt, he bred NZ's first Red Persian Grand Champion in 1979. Two Himalayan Grand Champions and a Pedigree Persian Kitten of the Year followed. Other breeds included Exotics, Siamese, Orientals, British, Burmese, and Munchkins, with Grand Champions in four breeds and one All-Breeds Cat of The Year. While resident in the United States John granded a Brown Spotted Tabby British Shorthair in CFA. John served on the National Executive for a few years, first as Northern Regional Vice-Chairman, Regional Chairman, and then elected as National President of the NZCF in 1992. In 1985, John entered the NZCF Judging Program and qualified firstly in Longhairs, then to Shorthairs in 1990 and All-Breed by 1994. He has judged throughout NZ and Australia, and the United States as a guest judge for both ACFA and CFA, and in Great Britain - a judging career spanning 36 years. In addition, John is an internationally recognized artist, specializing in pen and ink using the Pointillist technique. In 2010 he began the Harrison Weir Collection, amassing the world's largest private collection of original art and ephemera by this artist. Later a collaboration was begun between the Harrison Weir Collection and the CFA Foundation, with Karen Lawrence and John working jointly to create 'The History Project', an online feline history resource and virtual museum at www.cat-o-pedia.org. In recent months, John authored ‘A Persian Rhapsody In Blue’, an early history of the development of the Blue Persian.

The first Virtual Museum of the Cat! – online now at:


Everything you need to know about Genetics… You can learn from your Cat! PART FOURTEEN BY


College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri

Backgrounds © www.gographic.com

EDITOR: This is the Fourteenth article in a series based on feline genetics by Dr Leslie Lyons being published in FELIS HISTORICA during the 2020/2022 period Article Graphics ©www.gograph.com

‘TORTIES, CALICOS & LYONIZATION !’ This series of genetic articles initiated with a presentation of how cats were important and at the very forefront of early genetics, helping to prove many of the Mendelian laws of inheritance. However, Mendel did not have any examples of traits that had their controlling genes on the X chromosome. Previously, I have mentioned early and famous geneticists, such as Thomas Hunt Morgan (1866 – 1945), Leonard Doncaster (1877 – 1970), Charles B. Davenport (1866 – 1944) and Clarence C. Little (1888 – 1971), all studied the cat Orange locus and realized the orange coloration of the tortoiseshell female and orange males was sex-linked.1-3 Thus, the Orange locus in cats was one of the first traits, for any species, to be localized to a chromosome, specifically the X chromosome. Let’s now discuss the unusual process of how X-linked coloration and traits work in most mammalian species, including the domestic cat. Both male and female cats have 18 pairs of chromosomes (36 total), termed autosomes (chromosome pairs that look alike, the same or self), and one pair of sex chromosomes (allosomes – a chromosome pair that look different, other). Females have two X chromosomes (38, XX) and males have one X chromosome and one Y chromosome (38, XY). This arrangement causes a conundrum. Males will have proteins produced from the genes on the Y chromosome – making them male. But, what about the proteins produced by the genes on the X chromosome? Females should have twice as much protein produced than a male, so, how does that affect body functions? In 1949, Murray L. Barr (1908 –1995), while examining the nerve cells of domestic cats using a light microscope, discovered a small “satellite” that stained darker than the other components within a cell’s nucleus.4

Diapason Lilly, Calico female at 10 months. Born April 30, 2005. Photo courtesy of Diana Ciliento

This “satellite” termed a “nucleolus satellite” and later termed the “Barr Body” and was present only in the cells of female cats. This Barr Body was attached to the cell wall of the nucleus, was distinct from the DNA, and could be identified by various stains, include fluorescent techniques. However, it took another 10 years for Ohno and Hauschka to prove the Barr Body was one of the two X chromosomes in a female, males never had a Barr Body.5 From 1968 to 1991, a Barr Body test was used to determine gender during the olympic games.6

College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri

The next year, in a seminal paper, Mary F. Lyon (1925 – 2014) discovered that in any given cell, the Barr Body could be randomly the X chromosome inherited from the sire or the dam and was inactive, meaning the genes on this Barr Body chromosome were not translated into proteins.7 This phenomenon, known as X – inactivation or “Lyonization” led to the balance of protein production from X chromosome genes for males and females, i.e., dosage compensation. Hence, females have only one active X chromosome in any cell of the body, including the skin.

Diapason Poesia D’Amore. Calico female at 2 ½ months. Photo courtesy of Diana Ciliento

EDITOR: This is the Fourteenth article in a series based on feline genetics by Dr Leslie Lyons being published in FELIS HISTORICA during the 2020/2022 period

Dr. Lyon used both examples from mice and cats to support the “Lyonization Hypothesis”, however, the term “yellow” was used to represent the orange / ginger / red color trait in the cat, i.e., the Orange locus. The gene controlling the Orange locus in cats is known but yet to be announced. The gene has been localized to a specific area on the long arm of the X chromosome (Xq)8,9 and the mutation has been reported to be a large (several thousands of nucleotides) insertion – deletion of a DNA segment. Regardless, the gene controlling the Orange locus in cats has two states (alleles), normal (wildtype) in which the normal black and yellow pigments of a cat are expressed and the mutant in which the eumelanin (black) and perhaps the pheomelanin (yellow) are altered to a reddish /

‘JERRY’ - Red Tabby Bi-Colour Longhair Domestic Neuter owned by Lesley Chubb Photo: Ken Flick

pigments of a cat are expressed and the mutant in which the eumelanin (black) and perhaps the pheomelanin (yellow) are altered to a reddish / orangish hue. Since male cats have only one X chromosome, they can only have one state - hemizygous for the normal or mutant orange. Hence, a male cat will be either orange or have normal coloration. However, the female has two X chromosomes and one X chromosome is always inactivated. If both chromosomes of a female cat have the mutant orange allele (homozygous), the female will be fully orange, like an orange tomcat. College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri

Orange females are rare just because of the frequency of the mutant X chromosome in the population. X inactivation is occurring in orange female cats, but, since both chromosomes have the same allele, no color difference is noted. However, when a female cat is heterozygous, having one normal allele and one orange allele on each of the X chromosomes, and since the inactivated X is random, some cells of a female cat will express the normal coloration and other cells with randomly express the orange. The

‘Venus, a 12 year old Tortie, with one green and one blue eye.

EDITOR: This is the Fourteenth article in a series based on feline genetics by Dr Leslie Lyons being published in FELIS HISTORICA during the 2020/2022 period

the inactivated X is random, some cells of a female cat will express the normal coloration and other cells with randomly express the orange. The descendants of the cells maintain the same X-inactivation, thus, the coloration of a tortoiseshell cat does not change. Cat chromosomes were visualized as early as 190910, however, the correct number of autosomes (18) and the X-Y sex chromosomes were finally demonstrated in 1928 by Osamu Minouchi11. So what about tortoiseshell males, which were identified early in genetics? Chromosome studies in male tortoiseshell cats have shown these cats to be chimeras, which means some of their cells are XX and some are XY (XX/XY).12,13 Chimeras can be formed in different ways but are generally thought to be a fusion of a male and female embryo occurring very early in development, just after fertilization.

Another view of ‘Venus’ Photos: with permission from ‘Venus’s Page’ on Facebook.

The abnormalities of the sex chromosomes generally lead to sterility and fertile tortoiseshell or calico males have been noted but not clearly documented.

College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri

Tortoiseshell males can also have an abnormal number of chromosomes thus every cell could be XXY, which is known as Klinefelter’s Syndrome in humans. Regardless of the Y chromosome, one of the X chromosomes undergoes X inactivation. Note, infertile male cats that are not tortoiseshell or calico could also be XXY or XX/XY, however, if the two different color alleles are not present, the infertility may never be recognized.

‘Vladimir Swingfromthechandelier’– born February 24, 2021. Calico Tabby female Maine Coon, aged 5 months, bred by Vicki Walls. Photo courtesy of Vicki Walls.

College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri

Because X inactivation is random, a heterozygous female could nearly be completely normal in coloration or could be nearly completely orange in coloration – luck of the draw so to speak. When the first cat was cloned, the donor cell for the clone came from a calico mackerel tabby female cat called “Rainbow”.14 But, when the cloned cat, “Cc”, was born, no orange coloration was expressed and Cc was just a mackerel tabby and white. Cat breeders assumed this could just be the extreme in the possible variation in tortoiseshell and calico cats and weren’t too surprised. However, the cause for the coloration difference was more complex. When is an egg is fertilized by a sperm, X inactivation is basically not present, it resets, and begins later in development of the embryo. For Cc the cloned cat, the donor cell had the orange X inactivated, which never got reset during embryo development. Hence, Cc had two X chromosomes, but all the cells in Cc had the same X inactivated, the one with the orange allele. One of the processes causing X inactivation is the methylation of guanine and cytosine nucleotides of the DNA, which is also one of the mechanisms for epigenetics. Overall, the cloning of the cat demonstrated the processes of epigenetics, methylation patterns and X inactivation. X-linked Orange was one of the first genes mapped to a chromosome and the process of Lyonization, which can be clearly seen by people every day, is a fascinating and complex biological phenomenon – all better understood by just looking at our domestic cats! REFERENCES / BIBLIOGRAPHY 1Doncaster

EDITOR: This is the Fourteenth article in a series based on feline genetics by Dr Leslie Lyons being published in FELIS HISTORICA during the 2020/2022 period

l. On the inheritance of tortoiseshell and related colours in cats. Proceedings of the Cambridge Philosophical Society 13: pt I: 35, 1905. 2Davenport CB., Details in regards to cats. Report on the work of the Station for Exp. Evol., Cold Spring Harbor. Carnegie Institute of Washington, Yearbook 4: 93, 1905. 3Little CC. (1912) Preliminary note on the occurrence of a sex-limited character in cats. Science 35:907. 4Barr ML & Bertram EG. (1949) A Morphological Distinction between Neurones of the Male and Female, and the Behaviour of the Nucleolar Satellite during Accelerated Nucleoprotein Synthesis. Nature. 163 (4148):676. 5Ohno S & Hauschka TS. (1960) Allocycly of the X-chromosome in tumors and normal tissues Cancer Research 20:541-545. 6Ritchie R, Reynard J & Lewis T. (2008). Intersex and the Olympic Games. Journal of the Royal Society of Medicine, 101(8), 395–399. 7Lyon MF. (1961) Gene action in the X-chromosome of the mouse (Mus musculus L.) Nature 190:372-373. 8Grahn RA, Lemesch BM, Millon LV, Matise T, Rogers QR, Morris JG, Fretwell N, Bailey SJ, Batt RM, Lyons LA. (2005) Localizing the X-linked orange colour phenotype using feline resource families. Animal Genetics 36:67-70. 9Schmidt-Küntzel A, Nelson G, David VA, Schäffer AA, Eizirik E, Roelke ME, Kehler JS, Hannah SS, O'Brien SJ, Menotti-Raymond M. (2009) A domestic cat X chromosome linkage map and the sex-linked orange locus: mapping of orange, multiple origins and epistasis over nonagouti. Genetics 181:1415-25. 10von Winiwarter H and Sainmont G. (1909) Nouvelles recherches sur l’ovogenese et l’organogenese de l’ovarie des mammiferes (chat). Archives of Biology 24:65. 11Minouchi O. (1028) On the chromosomes of the cat. Proceedings of the Imperial Academy of Japan 4:128. 12Thuline HC & Norby DE. (1961) Spontaneous occurrence of chromosome abnormality in cats. Science 134:554-5. 13Thuline HC & Norby DE. (1968). Cytogenetic ano malies in male tortoise-shell cats: five types and

discussion of possible etiologic mechanisms. Mammalian Chromosomes Newsletter 9:47. 14 Shin T, Kraemer D, Pryor J, Liu L, Rugila J, Howe L, Buck S, Murphy K, Lyons L, Westhusin M. (2002) A cat cloned by nuclear transplantation. Nature 415:859.


GC Diapason Follia D’Amore (Calico) as a kitten and cat. Bred by and Photos courtesy of Diana Ciliento.


. Beaubell’s Maya. (Dominant Calico) Born April 27, 2021. Bred by Lyn Bayliss.


Diapason Poesia D’Amore – (Calico) aged 2 ½ months. Bred by and Photos courtesy of Diana Ciliento.


Diapason Poesia D’Amore – (Calico) as a cat. Bred by Diana Ciliento. Photos by Oscar Silva


Diapason Future – (Calico). Bred by and Photos courtesy of Diana Ciliento.


Diapason Tempesta D’Amore – (Tortie) as a kitten and cat. Bred by and Photos courtesy of Diana Ciliento


GIC White R Us Izon Junior DSM - (Red) Bred by and Photos courtesy of Jose Dias.


Diapason Lilly – (Calico). Bred by and Photos courtesy of Diana Cilento


Diapason Diva – (Tortie) as a kitten and adult cat. Bred by and Photos courtesy of Diana Ciliento.


Diapason Euphoria – (Tortie) as a kitten and adult cat. Bred by and photos courtesy of Diana Ciliento.


(Reds) GC Scrimshaw Sparkplug and grandson Scrimshaw Malarkey. Bred by and photos courtesy Linda Acomb.


Scrimshaw True Colours (Tortie). Bred by and photos courtesy of Linda Acomb.


GC. RW, Scrimshaw Caliente of De Silanos (Red male) Bred by and Photos courtesy of Linda Acomb


Above: Scrimshaw True Colors (Tortie Kitten) and Below: GC. RW. Scrimshaw Mouse Magic (Tortie Cat) Bred by and Photos courtesy of Linda Acomb

CHAMPION OAKLANDS SCEPTRE with MISS GLADYS CHEETHAM Blue Persian female, born April 9, 1909. Bred by Mr. Hodgkinson (London), owned by Miss Gladys Cheetham. Original hand-coloured Photo: by T. H. Everitt. Digital restoration by Jack Terry. © The Harrison Weir Collection. Backgrounds © www.gographic.com


‘An early Blue Persian owned by Miss Gladys Cheetham’ BY


Adapted from the author’s text for the book ‘A Persian Rhapsody In Blue’, and text written for ‘The History Project’ at www.cat-o-pedia.org

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND Oaklands Sceptre was a notably trail-blazing and highly respected Blue Persian female, shown to perfection by her owner and relative newcomer to the Fancy, Miss Gladys Cheetham, of Brighouse, Yorkshire. From Miss Cheetham’s own cattery records, (now in The Harrison Weir Collection), we find that Sceptre was born on April 9, 1909; and was in fact bred by Mr Hodgkinson, of Sutherlands Rd, West Ealing, London¹. Her sire was Mr Hodgkinson’s own Blue Persian male, ‘The Gondolier’ (c1905); and her dam the Blue Persian female, ‘Donna Ulsterina’. The record shows that she was subsequently purchased by Miss Cheetham for the sum of £10.10.0! (a not insignificant amount for 1909!). Clearly, the young Miss Cheetham had inherited her father’s eye for recognising ‘show form potential’ in livestock, as time and a highly successful show career for Sceptre would soon prove, beyond any reasonable doubt. Two full siblings are recorded from repeat breedings, the first being a Blue female born on July 12,1909. ‘Rustic Queen” was subsequently exported to the USA to Mrs C W Chapin, of Sullivan County, New York. A second full sibling, ‘The Hon. Jane’ was born March 11, 1911.

The same photo of Miss Cheetham with her ‘OAKLANDS SCEPTRE’, as it appeared in ‘The Queen’, the Lady’s Newspaper, February 28th, 1914.

exported to the USA to Mrs C W Chapin, of Sullivan County, New York. A second full sibling, ‘The Hon. Jane’ was born March 11, 1911. Of Show results for ‘Sceptre’, we have an extensive hand-written record, maintained Miss Cheetham, in which are listed the following shows and wins: -

Wakefield, N.C.C.C.Show, 24th Nov.1910: Challenge & 1st in Open Class Mrs Wilson’s Special for Best Blue B.P.C.S. Badge for Best Blue Female. National Cat Club Silver Medal for Best LH Female Crystal Palace, 6th & 7th Dec.1910 Challenge & 1st in Open Class. Mrs Stephens Special for Best Blue Female. National Cat Club Silver Salver for Best Blue LH Mrs Slingsby’s Special for Best Blue Female. B.P.C.S. Challenge Prize & Badge. Messrs Wilsons Ltd Bronze Medal for Best LH Westminster, 19th & 20th Jan, 1911 Challenge & 1st in Open Class. 1st in Members. Miss Hind’s Special for Best Eyes B.P.C.S. Challenge Prize & Badge. Mrs Slingsby’s Special for Best Blue Female.

INSIDE THE SHOW HALL – PRESS PHOTO Miss Cheetham with ‘Oaklands Sceptre’ on her lap. © Image, Archive of The Harrison Weir Collection.

Batley: 21st May, 1910: 1st and Silver Medal for Best Cat in Show (First BIS) Ossett: 11th June, 1910: 1st and Northern Counties CC Medal*** Hounslow: 8th Nov.1910: 1st in Open Class, Best Cat in Show 1st in Members, Silver Cup for Best Cat in Show B.P.C.S. Badge for Best Blue Female. N.C.C.C Medal for Best in Show. National Cat Club Diploma for Best Blue.

Brmingham, Jan 4th & 5th, 1911 Challenge & 1st in Open Class. B.P.C.S. Challenge Prize & Badge. Mrs Slingsby’s Special for Best Blue Female. Lady Marcus Beresford Silver Challenge Cup for Best Blue LH Burton, Oct 4th, 1911 Challenge & 1st in Open Class. Lady Marcus Beresford Silver Challenge Cup for Best Blue LH B.P.C.S. Challenge Prize & Badge. Miss Savory’s Special for Best Blue Female Westminster, 11th & 12th Jan, 1912 Best Cat in Show, Champion of Champions Mrs Sinkin’s Gold Medal for Champion of Champions. Miss King’s Special for Best Blue Female. National Cat Club Special for Best In Show. Dr. Prior’s special for Best Female in Champions Class.

STUDIO PHOTO OF CHAMPION OAKLANDS SCEPTRE, MULTIPLE BEST IN SHOW WINNING BLUE PERSIAN FEMALE Born April 9th, 1909. Sire: The Gondolier. Dam: Donna Ulsterina. Bred by Mr. Hodgkinson, London Photo: T.H. Everett, London © Image courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection. Estate of Miss Gladys Cheetham.

Scottish Cat Club Special for Best LH in Show N.C.C.C. Special for Best in Show. Mrs Finch 5 shillings for Soundest Blue Coat Mrs Kelly’s Special for Soundest Colour in Female Adult. th

Hounslow, 5 Nov.1912 Best in Show, Challenge & 1st in Open Class., 1st in Members. Wilson’s Ltd Cup for Best in Show. The Minley Cup for Best LH Female. The N.C.C.C.Medal for Best LH in Show Birmingham, 26th & 27th Nov, 1912 Challenge and 1st in Open Class. Ch. of Champions 1st in Team. 2nd in Brace.

Mrs Slingsby’s Cup for Best Blue Female. Wilsons Ltd Medal for 2nd Best LH. S.C.C.C. Gold Medal for Best LH Opposite Sex. Mrs Briton Special for smallest ears Blue Female. Westminster, 16th & 17th Jan, 1913. 2nd in Open Class (with Oaklands Sheila 1st, and Oaklands Seabreeze 3rd!!!) 3rd in Members Westminster, 7th, 8th & 9th Jan, 1914 1st in Open Class & Championship. 1st in Brace. 3rd in Team with Silvio & Stella. 1st in Members. Oaklands Challenge prize for Best Blue Female. Lady Marcus Beresford Cup for Best LH Blue Newbury Medal for Best Blue Cat.

The private cattery of Ch. Oaklands Sceptre, at Brighouse, Yorkshire. Image from ‘Fur and Feather’, February 16th, 1912. ©The Harrison Weir Collection.

Harrogate, Jan 29th, 1914 1st & Championship in Open Class, 2nd Members. 2nd in Lancs & Yorks., 1st in Team (Steadfast/Sheila) 3rd in Brace with Seabreeze. National Cat Club Silver Spoon for Best Female Cat. Oaklands Challenge Prize, Best Blue Female (BPCS). Miss Meeson’s Special for Best Blue Female LH. For an independent assessment on Sceptre’s qualities, we turn to an article written by Judge Mr. T.J. Ambrose, who visited the Oaklands Stud in January 1913. He describes her as follows: “But of Sceptre. What a wonderful combination of strength and quality! Her head is of sufficient strength for a good male; in fact, would shame many. Her full cheeks, full snub nose, and strength of muzzle, to say nothing of the width between the ears, which, by the way, are neat and well carried, short limbs and body, and built on very sturdy lines throughout, beautiful wide-awake eyes, and immense wealth of coat, which stands, as it should

of muzzle, to say nothing of the width between the ears, which, by the way, are neat and well carried, short limbs and body, and built on very sturdy lines throughout, beautiful wide-awake eyes, and immense wealth of coat, which stands, as it should do, on end, and not, as many are, showing that tendency to flatness. Altogether, she is a beautiful example of what a Blue Persian Cat should be” The above is indeed a ‘glowing’ recommendation, given by a sound and much respected judge. Regretfully, Miss Cheetham’s beloved ‘Sceptre’ died prematurely, on April 9, 1914, having given her mistress a great deal of joy and leaving her with two exceptional daughters. Sceptre’s most successful litter was in fact her first, born July 9, 1910,

CHAMPION OAKLANDS SEABREEZE, BORN JULY 9th, 1910. MULTIPLE BEST CAT IN SHOW WINNER, 1911. Sire: Sir Archie II of Arrandale. Dam: Ch. Oaklands Sceptre. PHOTO: T.H. EVERITT, LONDON © Photo courtesy, Archives of The Harrison Weir Collection. Estate of Miss Gladys Cheetham

in fact her first, born July 9, 1910, which produced two second generation home-bred Champions; sired by ‘Sir Archie II of Arrandale’. These were namelu

namely the blue Persian queens ‘Ch. Oaklands Rosedrop’ and ‘Ch. Oaklands Seabreeze’, the latter of which is shown above.


‘The Descendants of Bastet’ gives a complete overview of the first century of the Abyssinian breed, from the first mention of the breed in the early 1870s through until circa 1970. Additionally, chapters on the later development of the colors red, blue, and fawn ar included – plus the longhair version of the breed is discussed in a chapter on the originas of the Somali. The book is 8 1/2 x 11. Pre-index, it is 265 pages chock full of historical information for Abyssinian lovers! It includes a great deal of registration information, pedigrees, progeny reports and photos of cats important to the breed history. Preview of the introductory pages here – http://bit.ly/3aBqFys Contact Karen (catfanrep@gmail.com) for pre-order form. No payment is due at this time; you will be contacted when the book is available for mailing.

A word from the Author… The origins of the Abyssinian breed are unknown, and are likely to stay that way. While anecdotal stories tell of cats being imported from Abyssinia (now Somalia), geneticists have expounded theories that the breed originated in countries bordering on the Indian Ocean. Records relate the early importation of cats, but from where is never specified. Breeders have told stories of cats resembling the Abyssinian being found in Abyssinia, but they are hearsay and cannot be positively confirmed. So while origins will remain guesswork, and are explored in-depth herein, the unknown bits are most likely to remain guesswork forever.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The Descendants of Bastet weaves together what we do know and what can be confirmed regarding the history of the breed growth, in intimate detail, using pedigrees, progeny reports and historical records, starting with that first mention of Zula, on to Queen Jumbo who was the first registered Abyssinian. While we don’t know Queen Jumbo’s birthdate, we do know that she died in 1893. Other Abys of her era included Sedgemere Peaty and Sedgemere Bottle, both produced from unknown heritage; both, however, important to the early development of the breed and pedigrees.

This book is the exciting culmination of years of research, studying of pedigrees, scanning of photos and scrupulous reading of many old magazines in search of tidbits to include and expand upon. The first print run was limited to 175 copies, and there are a small number of copies still available for purchase. If you are interested, please contact Karen Lawrence at catfanrep@gmail.com.


‘A Persian Rhapsody in Blue’ – Volume 1, provides a rare look into the pre-history and establishment of the Blue Persian Cat, from the first recorded importations direct from the Khorasan province, into Europe in the 1620’s; to a detailed development in 19th and 20th century Britain. Includes many new images of Blue Persian cats, not published in well over 100 years. In depth coverage, of Foundation bloodlines and famous strains. In A4 format, Pre-index, this book comprises of 546 pages of detailed information and rare images of key progenitors of the Persian cat, and their breeders.

Preview of the introductory pages is found at – http://bit.ly/3gOMM8b Contact John (nutrenz57@yahoo.com.au) for pre-order booking form.

A word from the Author… What a long and amazing journey it has been, to collate, collect, curate and document the amazingly complex journey of the Blue Persian cat, from its genetic ancestral home in the mountainous regions of Khorasan province, to its establishment in Western Europe, and in particular, its strong foothold in the British Isles – a journey that took the best part of 260 years before it was finally recognised by a dedicated handful of English and Scottish breeders, as unique and full of beauty. From relative obscurity in the mid 1880’s a small but growing band of faithful adherents to its cause, did the faithful groundwork behind this colour variety, which would see it rise to prominence in the world of cats, the formation of the largest specialty club in the world for a time, and an absolutely phenomenal period of expansion of its influence that mirrored the expansion of influence of the then British Empire. The Blue Persian became the recognised ‘Prince’ of the Persian breed, the pinnacle of what could be achieved by any colour, if the same level of love and dedication was poured into new programs as the founders of the colour-bred Blue had poured into what had become, the cornerstone colour of the modern breed. This writing of this first volume of the history of the Blue Persian has likewise allowed me to develop those necessary skills to tackle similar feline histories with a dedication that is all pervading. It is a privilege and a joy to embrace the detective work and pedigree research involved. I recognise the unique opportunity it has afforded me to meet and work with some amazingly talented and special like-minded individuals around the world, who share a similar or same passion. For that I am especially grateful.

‘BAYARD’ – RUSSIAN BLUE MALE BORN APRIL 3, 1898 Photo: ‘The Boot of The Cat’ (1903) by Frances Simpson, Published by Cassells. Backgrounds © www.gographic.com


19TH CENTURY RUSSIAN BLUE MALE ‘An early Russian Blue bred and owned by Mrs Carew-Cox’ BY


Adapted from the author’s text for written for ‘The History Project’ at www.cat-o-pedia.org

INTRODUCTION The Russian Blue was originally cast into the mould of a ‘foreign shorthair’. Back then, breeds were not always instantly recognized, seen or considered as specific breeds, and only two factors predominated in their classification, which was their ‘country of origin’, and whether they were ‘long-haired’or ‘short-haired’. Colour, was usually a secondary classification. The Siamese cat for instance, was so-named solely on its country of origin, on the basis that it came out of the country of Siam, and of course it was originally relegated to being a ‘foreign shorthair’ variety. Many different shades of Siamese colouring were all acknowledged as Siamese. The advantage of the Siamese over the Russian, was that no-one had hitherto seen any cats of those ‘colour varieties’, namely the Himalayan pattern; being, in all its variations, unique to the 19th century cat fancy. But in the case of the Russian blue shorthair, despite it being an imported cat from a number of climes within the Soviet quarter of the northern European continent, its colour was generally speaking, not considered to be unique, and therefore, it became commonly classified as a ‘blue shorthair’, rather than, as a ‘Russian Blue Shorthair’.

and therefore, it became commonly classified as a ‘blue shorthair’, rather than, as a ‘Russian Blue Shorthair’. This failing to separate colours (by regional origin and type) lead to an unprecedented drama around what constituted the correct form and eye colour for the ‘blue shorthaired cat’. Blue shorthairs were to be found in England, Russia, Malta, the American continent and a myriad of other places, including Iceland and South-Eastern Asia. So, initially the blue shorthair of ‘Russian’ origin, was just lumped in with the plethora of other blues, very often generically referred to as ‘Maltese’. Over time, English breeders, who were attempting to perfect and develop the English shorthair and who had settled on a specific style, based on a generally large, well-boned, rounder headed, stockier built cat, with orange eyes; saw this as the best and ONLY option for the Blue Shorthair. However, importers and breeders of Blue shorthairs from Russian origins, quite obviously saw it very differently! It appears to have taken many years before their desires were finally met and the two distinctly different ‘types’ or ‘styles’ were finally and officially acknowledged.

Russian Blue and Persian pets owned by renown Silver Longhair breeder, Mrs Wellbye Photo: E. Landor, Ealing. ⁷ Image from: ‘Diseases of the Cat’ (1907) by Woodroffe Hill

distinctly different ‘types’ or ‘styles’ were finally and officially acknowledged. By 1903, ‘English Shorthairs’ of all colours were being loosely referred to as ‘British’ Shorthairs, especially as the distinction between the British line of blues was being made, as opposed to the Russian bloodlines of blues. During the long period of confusion, many good examples of both were shown against each other under a common class for blue shorthairs, and as there was only one standard, which favoured the British style of cat, the fanciers and breeders of the Russian variety, only naturally resented the fact that there was no sensible classification for their unique and

class for blue shorthairs, and as there was only one standard, which favoured the British style of cat. Therefore fanciers and breeders of the Russian variety, only naturally resented the lack of a separate sensible show classification for what they firmly believed to be a typically unique and individual breed variety. There seemed to be little if any chance of gaining recognition for what they saw as the unique and distinctive qualities of their ‘foreign blue shorthair’. This also created difficulty for judges, who, had to judge according to the written standard, no matter what their personal preferences may

what they perceived were distinctively different traits or qualities in their ‘foreign blue shorthairs’. This also created difficulty for judges, who, had to judge the class according to the written standard, no matter what their personal preferences may have been! As a consequence, many vociferous debates raged in the popular cat press of the day over the ‘application’ of the standard by judges. Due to the lumping together of both varieties into one classification, the pedigrees of both breeds contain in their origins, both varieties. British Shorthairs appear in the pedigrees of Russian Shorthairs and Russian Shorthairs in the pedigrees of a British Shorthairs. The definitive separation only happened, when the Russian Shorthair was finally recognized as a ‘variety apart’. The beginnings of this process can be seen in the following item published in the Editorial columns of ‘Our Cats’ on March 28, 1903. In it, can be observed the frustration over whether the judges are using a standard to judge by or not, and a recommendation for clearly notating whether an entry is either a ‘Self British’ or ‘Foreign’ Blue Shorthair: “BLUE SHORTHAIRS. A correspondent asks us whether the report is true that the N.C.C. issue a standard of points to their judges by which blue shorthairs are to be judged. All we can say is that we are not aware of any such standard. In our replies to the various queries we have received upon this subject, we have in no case offered any personal opinion, but have simply tried to point out to exhibitors how matters at present stand. The Cat Club at one time gave classes for ‘Russian Male’ and ‘Russian Female’, but on referring to the catalogues of the last Westminster Show it will be seen that this variety is classed merely as ‘blue’ under the division for ‘Short-haired Cats’.

Westminster Show it will be seen that this variety is classed merely as ‘blue’ under the division for ‘Short-haired Cats’. This classification, obtains also at the N.C.C. shows. Thus exhibitors showing under the rules of either club need have no difficulty as to the correct entering of this difficult variety. But we should strongly advise the secretaries of all shows not held under the rules of either club, to make special mention of blue Shorthairs in their schedule, stating whether they are to be entered as ‘Self British’ or ‘Foreign’. Under the circumstances this seems the best thing to be done.” ³ PARENTAGE & OWNERSHIP ‘Bayard’ was not an imported male, but homebred by Mrs Carew Cox. Mrs Carew Cox was a breeder of considerable repute and extensive knowledge by the time ‘Bayard’ was born on April 3rd, 1898. She had been a breeder and active importer of Russian Blues since the early 1890’s, and not just Russians, but also Abyssinians, Persians and Siamese. She was the breeder of one of the earliest Blue-cream Persians, a cat named ‘Tawny’ born in 1892, (NCC:1502). She owned two imported Siamese females ‘Yuthia’, born in 1893, (NCC:1454); and ‘Rayong’, born in 1894, (NCC:2022). Her blue short-hairs had also been purchased by other major breeders, just two examples at random being ‘Sedgemere Ena’ born 21st November, 1893 (NCC:1639), sired by her Russian male ‘Moscow’ out of ‘Dwina’, sold to Mr Sam Woodiwiss, and ‘Ballochmyle Bell Burns’ born 20th April 1897 (CCR:v1), sired by her Russian male ‘Muchacho’, out of ‘Durma’, sold to Lady Alexander of Ballochmyle.

Mrs. Constance Carew-Cox, judging shorthairs at the Newbury Show of 1912. Image: ‘Fur and Feather’. © The Harrison Weir Collection.

and subsequently sold to Lady Alexander of Ballochmyle. Her husband, Mr H. Carew Cox can be found on the Committee of the National Cat Club, as early as 1894. Constance Carew Cox was not vociferous in her opinions, .

in her opinions, but she was a steady, dedicated breeder with both feet firmly planted on the ground and with a wealth of experience. Mr H.C. Brooke, when reviewing the early history of the Abyssinian breed, made particular note of Mrs Carew Cox’s level of dedication:-

particular note of Mrs Carew Cox’s level of dedication:“Had not Mrs Carew-Cox about this time devoted herself to the breed I very much fear it would, ere now, have become extinct. Neglected – Heaven knows why – by the Fancy at large in an inconceivable manner, this beautiful and interesting breed certainly owes its existence to-day mainly to the devoted care and affection bestowed upon it by Mrs CarewCox, who for a quarter-of-a-century has fostered it in the face of discouragements which I believe would have ‘choked-off’ any other person in the fancy.” The above was in fact, only part of Mr Brooke’s exemplary tribute to the determination and fortitude of Constance Carew Cox. And she certainly is known to have applied this same dedication and fortitude in facing the struggle to get the Russian Blue, its’ rightful and due recognition. But unlike the case with the Abyssinian which was struggling for survival, the Russian Blue was a popular breed among many, in its own right. And Mrs Carew Cox was not alone in perpetuating it. Mr G. Towlerton, of Flanshaw near Wakefield, was a fancier and breeder of Siamese, Russian and English Shorthairs. He was in fact, the breeder of the renown English red tabby ‘Perfection’ later known as Lady Alexander’s ‘Ballochmyle Perfection’. He was also the owner of ‘King Vladimir’ the Russian Blue stud male who was the sire of both Mrs Carew Cox’s ‘Bayard’, born in April 1898 (CCR:v1) out of ‘Olga’; and Mrs Clinton Locke’s ‘Lockehaven Blue Royal’ born in March 1899 (BCC:238), out of ‘Nell’.

The sire and dam of ‘Bayard’ were ‘King Vladimir’ and ‘Olga’ respectively. If we look at the registration of ‘Vladimir’ in Volume one of the American Cat Association, where he is listed as ‘Valdimir’, we find that he was imported into Europe and we are informed that his pedigree is recorded in an unpublished volume of the National Cat Club. If we accept the pedigree of ‘King Vladimir’ as it appears in modern databases; his dam, listed as ‘Bete I’ or alternatively as ‘Bebe I’, is shown as a daughter of ‘Olga’. This would indicate that the breeding which produced ‘Bayard’ was in fact a grandmother to grandson pairing, line-breeding on ‘Olga’ herself. From the point of view of preserving the original lines, it would certainly make sense that Mrs Carew Cox would do such a breeding and then keep a male to perpetuate ‘Olga’s’ specific bloodlines. SIBLINGS & SHOWS Two clear siblings emerge from the above combinations, a sire sibling in the form of the blue male ‘Lockehaven Blue Royal’ who was by ‘King Vladimir’ and out of ‘Nell’. Bred by Mr Towlerton, this male was duly exported to Mrs Clinton Locke in Chicago, with the clear intention of founding a line of Russian Blues in the United States. With him went ‘Lockehaven Schuyla’ born a month later, to provide Mrs Locke with a breeding pair. ‘Schuyla’ was sired by Mrs Cox’s ‘Muchacho’ and out of ‘Paulina Topsy’ (originally known as ‘Kitten Pauline).¹² The second sibling (a dam-sibling) would have been his own paternal grand-dam, ‘Bebe I’. She is listed as the daughter of ‘Michael’ and ‘Olga’. There are no records extant of ‘Bayard’s show wins, but a show report from this early period helps to show the difficulty judges faced. The majority of the winners in this report are registered as ‘Short-haired Blue Russian’, but you

MRS. G. LIVESAY’S ‘IVANOVITCH’ (By ‘Bayard’ ex ‘Donna Roma’) ‘Our Cats’ Magazine, 8th January, 1911⁸ Image courtesy of Elisabeth Stark, Dushenka Russian Blues

There are no records extant of ‘Bayard’s show wins, but a show report from this early period helps to show the difficulty judges faced. The majority of the winners in this report are registered as ‘Short-haired Blue Russian’, but you can tell from the commentary that the head style sought, was broad, the standard clearly requiring a more ‘English’ look, with ears smaller and set further apart. This critique, on the Blue Short-haired Males is from the Crystal Palace Show of 1901: “OPEN BLUE MALE (5): - 1st, Lady Alexander’s Ch.Blue King, so well known, with his handsome broad head. 2nd, Mrs Illingsworth’s Acton Prince well deserved his place, as he is excellent in colour, head and eyes but too large in ears.3rd, Mrs M.Hughes’s Sherdley Alexis, rather pointed face but good eyes and correct colour. Reserve, Sherdley Michael, a young kitten that will be heard of again. Vhc, Mrs Phelps Blue Bottle, a good coloured kitten with pinched face.¹³ (Editors bolding). BREEDING & PROGENY There can be little doubt that Mrs Carew Cox was an able and successful breeder and that she was also very capable at marketing her favourite breeds. From the editorial columns of ‘Our Cats’ on 13th June, 1903, we glean a little insight into the opinion of her pet buyers and her ability to successfully promote the Russian Short-hair. “Shorthair Blues – Mrs Hardcastle of Blaston Hall, Uppingham, has recently paid a visit to Mrs Carew Cox, and has purchased and taken away with her a very handsome blue Russian kitten, with which she is much pleased. Mrs Carew Cox has four litters of Russians, and finds that the males are in considerable demand, many people, since this breed has become better known, having discovered that they make such very intelligent and handsome pets as neuters”.¹⁰

better known, having discovered that they make such very intelligent and handsome pets as neuters”.¹⁰ We now list here the progeny of ‘Bayard’ in chronological order (where known): In a litter bred by Mrs Constance Carew Cox, born to ‘Fashoda’ on 23rd March, 1900, we can trace both a blue female and a blue male. The female was ‘RIGA’, probably named after an earlier ‘Riga’ born in 1889 and subsequently sold to a Mr J. Hunt. This new ‘Riga’ was sold to Mrs Clinton Locke. (OC:23/Jun/1900).¹⁴ Also from this litter, came the Russian Blue male ‘VOLODYOVSKI’, who was sold to Mr Fred Helmer. (OC:24/Nov/1900).¹¹ ‘Volodyovski’ won a 1st at the Crystal Palace Show of 1900, when only seven months old. Next, we find a blue male born to ‘Donna Roma’ in March 1904. This was ‘IVANOVITCH’, bred by Mrs Carew Cox and sold to Mrs G. Livesay. (OC:04/Feb/1911).¹⁵ Luckily an image of this rather striking Russian Blue male survives, from the cover of ‘Our Cats’ 8th January, 1911.⁸ Also in 1904, on 11th September, Mrs Middleton’s queen ‘Lady Blue Ruin’ (ACA:227)¹⁶ produced a Russian Blue female named ‘GROVE OLGA’, who was sold to Mr Burton Heap. (OC:18/Jan/1905).¹⁷ Another of Mrs Middleton’s queens visited ‘Bayard’ in 1905. This was ‘Blue Minx’ (ACA:229)¹⁶ who produced a litter on 19th September 1905, which included the blue female ‘OLIVETTE’ (ACA:230)¹⁶ who was subsequently exported to the United States, becoming the property of Miss J. Cathcart. A second blue female from this litter, (erroneously recorded as born 21st September) was ‘BLUE MOONSHINE OF CADEMUIR’, who became the property of Miss Hill Shaw. (MCCC:1906)¹⁸

was ‘BLUE MOONSHINE OF CADEMUIR’, who became the property of Miss Hill Shaw. (MCCC:1906)¹⁸ In 1907, Mrs Cox’s own queen ‘Muffina’ produced a litter to ‘Bayard’ on 3rd March, which included the Russian Blue female ‘TILLETTA’, who became the property of Miss D. Shaw. (OC:23/Mar/1909)²¹. This was followed later in the year by a litter bred by Mrs Middleton, born 26th October, 1907, out of ‘Blue Mina’ (possibly a misspelling of Blue Minx?), which produced the Russian Blue male ‘PRINCE ROMANOFF’.²¹ For many years, Mrs Carew Cox continued to push for the recognition of the ‘Russian Blue’ as a separate variety, abhorring the fact that ‘halfbred’ blues were “usurping the places formerly awarded to pure-bred specimens, simply because it is far easier to breed them with orange eyes, when crossed with English cats.” The below letter to the Editor of ‘Our Cats’, published two years before her above comments show how some breeders were content to breed Blue Shorthairs with an exclusively ‘British’ look and definitively ‘orange’ eyes. The writer does however touch upon the possibility of also cultivating (and therefore recognising) a separate style of Blue Shorthair, almost without saying as much! Letter to the Editor of ‘Our Cats’, published 6th December, 1902: A full-length view of Mrs. Constance Carew Cox’s Russian Blue male ‘Bayard’ Photo: ‘The Book of The Cat’ (1903), by Frances Simpson ¹ Note how much more ‘foreign’ in type he looks in the head, when compared to the more round headed English or British type of Blue Shorthaired Cat.

“Dear Madam, - In view of the recent discussion respecting the shape of head desired in shorthaired blue cats, I think that perhaps it may not be generally known that these cats are to be found not only in Russia, but all over Europe and in America. It is perfectly true that those which hail from Russia invariably possess weak narrow heads, and in addition the greenest of eyes, while those from Malta, America and the British Isles generally have powerful skulls and sometimes (too seldom alas!) that most important point, glorious orange eyes

Stud advertisement for Mrs Carew Cox’s Russian Blue males, ‘MUCHACHO’, the sire of Mrs E.A. Clark’s ‘Champion Ashbrittle Peter The Great’; and ‘BAYARD’, who would later sire both ‘Ivanovitch’, and ‘Prince Romanoff’. Image: ‘Cats and All About Them’ (1902) by Frances Simpson ²

narrow heads, and in addition the greenest of eyes, while those from Malta, America and the British Isles generally have powerful skulls and sometimes (too seldom alas!) that most important point, glorious orange eyes. Why, then, should we faced cat? Surely to be consistent we should equally insist on cultivating his emerald eyes and generally puny appearance. I believe my esteemed friend, Mr Sam Woodiwiss, is supposed to be the author of this standard, but his awards, whenever he has given us the benefit of his opinion, prove that he does not practise what he is supposed to preach. “For my own part, I have invariably found that the strong-headed orange-eyed British blue has stood me in good stead, and to him I mean to stick, and should strongly advise those who wish to win to do likewise. –Yours faithfully, R.B. ALEXANDER.” ⁴

Despite the writer’s disparaging remarks about Russian versus British Blues, he or she does, through observation confirm the difference in head styles between the two varieties and confirms for us that ‘green’ eyes are the norm for the Blues of Russian origin. However, many of the registration records confirm that orange or amber eyes were also produced. Both of the ‘Lockehaven’ Russian blues are recorded as having ‘Amber’ or ‘very fine orange’ eyes. As most historians will tell you, in both the registers and in the early feline publications, it is not unusual to find errors of fact. Especially where information has been passed on and occasionally transcribed incorrectly. In the above advertisement, ‘Muchacho’ is credited with being the sire of ‘Volodyovski’ when in fact, he is by ‘Bayard’. In the published listings of National Cat Club registrations, we find ‘Volodyovski’ was born 23rd March, 1900, sired by ‘Bayard’, out of ‘Fashoda’ and owned by Mr Fred Helmer. (OC:24/Nov/1900).¹¹

Classified advertisement for Abyssinian, Siamese and Russian kittens, Note: Listing for Russian kittens offered for sale by Mrs. Carew Cox ‘Our Cats’ Magazine, 8th November 1902.⁹ © Image courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection.

sired by ‘Bayard’, out of ‘Fashoda’ and owned by Mr Fred Helmer. (OC:24/Nov/1900).¹¹

on what was their personal point of view on what constituted the correct aesthetic.


For many years, the battle waged in the exhibition hall, and in the feline popular press, with breeders falling into one or the other camp, depending on what was their personal point of view on what constituted the correct aesthetic.

Although the Blue Shorthair had almost always enjoyed a special classification of its own, the road to recognising that there were two basically opposing types and eye colours and vastly different coat textures in the available gene pool, which needed to be both separated and given individual recognition, was a particularly long and drawn out affair. the other camp, depending

But for those who had spent many years importing blue shorthairs from abroad, there was no doubt in their minds, that the Russian Blue, was unique, and did NOT emulate the basic

Classified advertisement for the sale of an adult Russian female, by ‘Muchacho’ and out of ‘Odessa’ th ‘Our Cats’ Magazine, 4 April, 1903.¹⁹ © Image courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection.

structure of the English Short-haired cat, either in form and style, eye colour, or coat. For Mrs. Carew Cox in particular, these cats were not ‘English’ cats and never would be, so how could they possibly be lumped in with the ‘British Blue’?, many of which were in her few, only a a hybridised blue shorthair.

Now of course, we have them as separate breeds and although they have forged a splendidly definitive look of their own of which the writer is sure Mrs. Cox would have been justifiably proud, they have also, due to geographic isolation, been refined into a number of styles and varying types, within the breed itself. However, the standard for coat and eye colour are generally universal and definitively unique. How lucky we are today, to be able to find and enjoy such exemplary examples of the Archangel cat, whose ancient and unique beauty has been preserved against extremely difficult odds.

References: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16. 17. 18. 19. 20. 21. 22.

‘The Book of The Cat’ (1903) by Frances Simpson. ‘Cats and All About Them’ (1902) by Frances Simpson. ‘Our Cats’ Magazine, 28th March, 1903. ‘Our Cats’ Magazine, 6th December, 1902. ‘The Cat Club Register’ (Vols 1-5) ‘The National Cat Club Studbook and Register (Vols.1-5) ‘Diseases of The Cat’ (1907) by Woodroffe Hill. ‘Our Cats’ Magazine, 8th January, 1911. ‘Our Cats’ Magazine, 8th November, 1902. ‘Our Cats’ Magazine, 13th June, 1903. ‘Our Cats’Magazine, 24th November, 1900. ‘Stud-Book and Register of The Beresford Cat Club’. ‘Our Cats’ Magazine, 2nd November, 1901. ‘Our Cats’ Magazine, 23rd June, 1900. ‘Our Cats’ Magazine, 4th February, 1911. ‘Stud-Book of the American Cat Association’(Vols.1-5) ‘Our Cats’ Magazine, 18th January, 1905. ‘Show Catalogue of the Midland Counties Cat Club’ (1906). ‘Our Cats’ Magazine, 4th April, 1903. ‘The Incorporated Cat Fanciers Association of Great Britain’ (Registrations 1909) ‘Our Cats’ Magazine, 23rd March, 1909. Scottish CC Registrations. Photos and quotations as per credits noted.

The Harrison Weir Collection’s Newbury Cat Club – Silver Spoon

Above: A sterling silver spoon, engraved with the name of the Newbury Cat Club and cat’s head motif in bowl. Below: Judges and Committee on stage at the Newbury Cat Club Show, in 1912. Images © The Harrison Weir Collection.

One of the most recent acquisitions to be added to The Harrison Weir Collection, is the above sterling silver spoon carrying the name of the Newbury Cat Club, having also engraved in the bowl of the spoon, a cat’s head. This is the first show award we have found notated for this club, which was formed at around the time of the establishment of the Governing Council of the Cat Fancy. The club’s first show was held in 1910, which would suggest that the above image may well have been taken at its third annual show. These shows were usually held either at Newbury or in Reading, and we know that the club was still in existence in the 1930’s as it was mentioned in an article written by GCCF Chairman Mr. Cyril Yeates. The secretary at that time was Mrs. Fosbery, who may also be seen in the photograph opposite, at left, watching the judge Mr. T.J. Ambrose at work examining a Silver Tabby Longhair at the Newbury Show of 1912. By the post Second World War period the club is no longer found listed among the member clubs of the Governing Council, which strongly suggests its demise between 1933 and the Second World War.

recent finds…

Mr. T.J. Ambrose, judges a Silver Tabby Longhair exhibited at the Newbury Cat Club Show of 1912. Club Secretary Mrs. Fosbery and her husband look on. Image © The Harrison Weir Collection.





Somali (Male)



Date of Birth: Sire:

March 17, 2018

Tajhara Zoot Sims

Dam: Tajhara Jazzy Jessy Breeder/Owner: Mary Franz

TICA IW, BW, RW, SGC. 2018-2019 Show Season TICA 7th Best All-Breed International Kitten TICA Best Somali Kitten Internationally SW Region Best All-Breed Kitten, SW Region 5th Best Cat Best Somali Kitten, Best Somali Cat CFA GC, BWR, RW. 2018-2019 Show Season CFA Best Somali Worldwide, SW Region 7th Best Cat, Best Somali TICA SW Region 19th Best Cat, Best Somali 2019-2020 Lifetime Achievement Award (LA)

OBIE’S STORY The following is a precis of an interview with Obie’s breeder, Mary Franz. Editor:

So, when did your love affair with the Somali begin?


I have always been drawn to both the Abyssinians and Somalis. We decided to register the Tajhara cattery, in both CFA and TICA, in 1985. Somalis were always our main focus, but always with the intention of using Abyssinians of the highest possible quality as the ideal outcross.


Can you tell me a little about any prior highlights from your breeding career?


There are many, other Grands and/or show winners of course, but one that immediately comes to mind was the time our Ruddy Somali, GC Tajhara Miles Davis made the cover of Cat Fancy magazine in 2001 and did again in 2004.


What can you tell me about the lines behind ‘Obie’ and his parentage?


Obie is truly an International kitty. In the lines of his sire and dam are cats from Australia, France, Germany, as well as Scandinavia and the United States. There are also cats of Ruddy,


Tajhara Obsession Confession as a kitten. Above: At 5 weeks. Below: at 12 weeks. Photos: Mary Franz

The parents of ‘TAJHARA OBSESSION CONFESSION’ Above: His sire, ‘TAJHARA ZOOT SIMS’ and Below: His dam, ‘TAJHARA JAZZY JESSY’ Photos: courtesy of Mary Franz


Cinnamon, Blue, and Fawn colors, in his background; as well as some Abyssinians of notable quality that I feel contribute to his exceptional overall type. Obie has proven to be carrying the Blue gene but not the Cinnamon gene.


And his parents?


His sire and dam were Tajhara Zoot Sims and Tajhara Jazzy Jessy. (Ed.Shown opposite). Although neither were shown, Jessy had magnificent rich Ruddy coloration and ticking; and Obie, was the result of an exceptional pair that just ‘clicked’. This same pair have produced some lovely top show kittens, residing in Japan,China, the USA and Europe. Although Covid has stalled their show careers, they are nevertheless siring and/or queening lovely kittens for their new owners, so the lines will live on, long after I retire from breeding.

‘Obie’ at his first show at 18 weeks at Arcadia. Photo: Mary Franz.


Can you tell us more about Obie and his littermates?


The litter was born March 17th, 2018 and consisted of four Ruddy males. Of the four siblings ‘Obie’ was the one I immediately had my eye on. Lots of black with intense Ruddy colour around the ears, and his body and tail were long.


Did he hold that promise as he grew?


Absolutely! He did not disappoint me as he developed. His beautiful head, ear set, type, and the ticking and color developed right along the way.


How did he acquire his name?


Ah-hah! I love Jazz music, and all of my cats are named either after a Jazz tune, or after a Jazz artist! Obsession Confession (aka ‘Obie’) was no exception. Somalis are my Obsession, and ‘this is my confession’ I would say… This tune, is written and performed by Slash of ‘Guns N’Roses’, but it is also a beautiful Spanish guitar Jazz ballad.


When did you begin showing Obie?


His first shows as a kitten were in the 2018-2019 Show Season. I took him to a local CFA Show when ‘Obie’ was just 4 months old, with his litter brother ‘Sunchaser’. ‘Obie’ managed to gain three out of six finals, which was a pleasant surprise. Then we were off! His second show was a his first TICA show, where he ended up as 3 rd Best overall Kitten. At his second TICA show, he finalised at 5th Best Kitten overall, so I made the decision to run with him as he was getting a great response from all of the judges.

Above and below: TAJHARA OBSESSION CONFESSION at 5 months of age. Photos: by Starrlight Photography.

Obie winning Best Kitten in Show, in Bogota, Colombia. Photo: Courtesy of Mary Franz.


When did you make the decision to run him for an International Win?


He was always in the Top 9 Best Kittens in Show, even with counts of 80 -100 kittens. For a Somali, a minority breed, I was thrilled. We never really looked back, so I decided to run him for an International Win…


What were his most memorable Kitten shows?


For me, his most memorable Kitten show was when he took out Highest Scoring Kitten at the Haricoon TICA Show, in Bogota, Colombia. Obie’s memory from that show, was being bored on the plane on the way home; getting out of his carrier as I slept, and going into the First Class galley for attention! Another great win, was when he took 2nd Best Kitten in Show at the Cats and Tulips Show, in Asperen, the Netherlands; (his last kitten show), thereby clinching for himself a notably high spot in the International Kitten win rankings in TICA. My best memories from travelling with him abroad, was making new friends around the world. It truly was an experience of a lifetime, one which I will treasure forever.


So how did his kitten career end?


Superbly! From his shows in the United States, plus his appearances in both Asperen, The Netherlands, and in Bogota Colombia, he finished his season as TICA’s - 7th Best All Breed International Kitten; Best Somali Kitten Internationally,; as the Southwest Region’s Best All Breed Kitten; Southwest Region’s 5th Best Cat; Best Somali Kitten; and Best Somali Cat.


And obviously he gained Cat his first Cat Wins during the same season?

Obie’s first adult show, with CFA Judge Merilee Griswold. Photo: courtesy of Sparklecat.com


Yes, at his first CFA Show he was judged by Merilee Griswold. (Ed: Shown above). In CFA, his most notable achievements as an adult Show career was gaining back to back Best Cat in Shows, two weekends in a row at the Idaho Cat Fanciers and at the Los Colores Cat Club shows. He then went on to win finals as a Grand Champion in all rings at the CFA Show in San Jose.


What were his overall CFA titles and wins for the season?


In the CFA 2018-2019 Season he gained his Grand Champion, Breed Winner and Regional Winner titles, was CFA’s Best Somali worldwide, - (with his sibling GC. Tajhara Sunchaser winning 2nd Best!); was CFA Southwest Region’s 7th Best Cat, and Best Somali. He also competed in TICA as a cat in the 2019-2020 Season and was Southwest Region’s 19th Best Cat, Best Somali and was granted his Lifetime Achievement Title (LA).


What an incredible all-round feat! And what of his litter sibling?


His beautiful Ruddy litter brother, GC. Tajhara Sunchaser, is now residing in China, with Frankie Chan. He granded in CFA before the split making China a separate Division. In the CFA 2018-2019 Show Season, he was CFA’s 2nd Best Somali worldwide.


And has Obie sired any promising progeny?

Obie at a CFA show in San Jose as an adult Grand Champion, winning spots in all finals Photo: Mary Franz.


Oh my word, yes! He has produced three litters so far. One of his sons, a ruddy Somali, was an IW, BW, SGC in TICA for last Show Season of 20202021. Tajhara Uptown Swagger also gained overall 16th Best All Breed cat Internationally. The dam of Swagger was one of my own lovely females, RW, DGC Tajhara Gypsy Soul.


And of the other litters?


He currently has a sired litter on the IW, BW, SGC, Tajhara Uptown Swagger (Born April 7, 2020) ground which contains a Blue male, Sired by LA IW, BW, RW, SGC Tajhara Obsession Confession a Blue female and a ruddy male. I am out of RW, DGC, Tajhara Gypsy Soul keeping my eye on the Blue male. Breeder: Mary Franz. Owners: Shari Miller/Mary Franz


And of the boy himself?


Obie is a very loving, gentle soul. He loves to stare you right in the eye. You can always feel his love. He is actually quite a laid back cat for a Somali. He is truly one of my heart cats!

Photo by: Justine Dillenbeck

RW. DGC. TAJHARA GYPSY SOUL who with LA IW, BW, RW, SGC. Tajhara Obsession Confession produced IW, BW, SGC TAJHARA UPTOWN SWAGGER Breeder/Owner: Mary Franz Photo by Starrlight Photography.

GC TAJHARA SUNCHASER Litter brother to LA IW, BW, RW, SGC Tajhara Obsession Confession Breeder: Mary Franz. Owner: Frankie Chan. Photo: by Spyzoo Photography.


The Harrison Weir Collection A glimpse into the past…

Ruddy Abyssinian CH. PETROZANNE JEZEBEL (Imp. England) born July 30, 1952 with her two kittens, FINISTERRE ZARIA and FINISTERRE TEYMA – Born in New Zealand, January 1956 Studio photos held in The Harrison Weir Collection







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