Page 1


Volume 2 No.3



and much more!


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






EDITORIAL The Editor outlines the contents of Felis Historica – Volume 2 No.3!


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


THE DYNASTIC LINE OF CH. ROB ROY OF CLAREMONT The early 20th century Dynastic lines of Rob Roy of Claremont


A DAY AT THE MUSEUM - by Karen Lawrence The Cat Doll Collection at the Feline Historical Museum


EVERYTHING YOU NEED TO KNOW ABOUT GENETICS YOU CAN LEARN FROM YOUR CAT! PART 15 - by Dr. Leslie Lyons Torties, Calicos & Lyonization… Part 2!


(Hong Kong)



Laura Vocelle

LOCKEHAVEN SIAM The story of an Early American Siamese stud male


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


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


THE ADVENTURES OF A CAT AND A FINE CAT TOO - by John Smithson. A Review of the Book by Elwes and illustrations by Harrison Weir


THE HARRISON WEIR COLLECTION - RECENT ADDITIONS The early cat related art of Harrison William Weir …




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




Karen Lawrence (St. Catharines, Canada)

Lorraine Shelton (California, USA)


Dr. Leslie Lyons (Missouri, USA)


Chloe Chung

(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


OUR COVER PHOTO Best in Show Challenge Cup of the Pacific Cat Club A large three handled silver plated trophy dating from 1914 when it was won by Ch. Rob Roy of Claremont. Now in the Archives of The Harrison Weir Collection. Photo by Helmi Flick Cat Photography

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

It would be fair to say that in the 18 months or so since the Covid-19 pandemic has been a world reality, the cat show scene has suffered many trials, ranging from total cancellations, to shows under held under new legistative regulations from State and Government mandates, requiring compulsory mask wearing and social distancing, to closed shows with no public entry. These have placed a huge financial and management burden upon clubs all over the world and the chaos it has generally caused has returned again with the new Delta variant running rampant already in many countries. After opening up of shows in the United States, the United Kingdom, in Australia and New Zealand, the Delta variant has in recent weeks caused cancellations and closures or barriers to attendance. When Canada recently closed it borders to its own residents crossing into the United States, Canadians who had entered shows in the USA were immediately prevented from attending. In Australia, the State of New South Wales, was unable to get ahead of the rate of infections and was effectively closed down. New Zealand, which has managed to get through 80% of a covid-free season, was recently also closed down with a new Delta variant community outbreak, so that its upcoming late seasonal shows have now also been either cancelled or postponed. Thank goodness, that even when we cannot show our cats in person, we can still share our love for cats and for our breeds through social media, stay in contact with like-minded individuals and share with and support each other in these unusual times, as either cat breeders and /or cat fanciers. ‘Felis Historica’ is just one of the mediums through which we can stay in touch and share our knowledge. In this month’s issue our historical articles touch upon, a dynastic line of Silvwe Somali ‘Tajhara Obsession Confession’ (aka ‘Obie’




Silver Persians, in relation to the magnificent trophy featured on our cover page, won by a cat which was central to the success of that dynastic bloodline; while another sheds light on the life of an early American bred Siamese. Our columnist Karen Lawrence provides us an insight on the social history contained in the ‘Cat Doll’ collection housed in the Feline Historical Museum vault, in Alliance, Ohio. Dr. Lyons continues her explanation of the unique genetic makeup of our Torties and Calicos and the embryonic migration of melanoblasts from the dorsal region (spinal alignment) to the ventral regions (sides and belly). Our modern-day feature cat is the superb Brown Classic Tabby & White Norwegian Forest Cat male (now Alter) CFA GC, GP, NW & TICA IW, BW, SGCA Featherland Martin of Andredie, bred by Michael and Lorraine Shelton, and owned by Andrea Cobb and Michael Shelton. Other features include a review of the book and the art in ‘Adventures of a Cat – And a Fine Cat too!’ by Alfred Elwes, published in 1857, and illustrated by Harrison Weir; as well examing the difference between the two men both named Alfred Elwes, one who is the author of Childrens books and the other who was an illustrator of cats and younger contemporary of Harrison Weir. Lastly we take a peek into the revealing links between the famous Victorian naturalist Dr. Charles Darwin, and both cats and cat shows! Enjoy!


Our Feature Cat: Norwegian Forest Cat Neuter CFA GC, GP, NW & TICA IW, BW, SGCA. FEATHERLAND MARTIN OF ANDREDIE (Photos: Helmi Flick Cat Photography)





ADVERTISING MANAGER 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

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












‘THE RESTORIAN’ Photo & Graphics Specialist Photo Humourist

President of World Organisation of Cats





















































































BEST IN SHOW CHALLENGE CUP – PACIFIC CAT CLUB Awarded to ‘Rob Roy of Claremont’ – December 1914. Photograph by Helmi Flick Cat Photography Trophy in The Harrison Weir Collection. Backgrounds ©





Adapted from the author’s text for the book ‘A Persian Rhapsody In Blue’ and new text for the book ‘Threads of Silver and Gold’

‘Miss Gladys Cheethamestablishment – breeder ofofChampion Persians’ both ‘FieldBlue and Fancy’ and

It is always extremely satisfying when we can locate and secure an item such as the rare piece shown opposite, (a silver-plated triple handled trophy) in this case, awarded to the renowned Silver Persian male, Champion Rob Roy of Claremont, in December 1914, owned by the equally famous specialist breeder of silver longhairs, Mrs. H.S. Eckert. These tangible links to historic cats of the past are important, as they often provide additional information; in this specific case, also recording the winner in 1915, a Siamese male ‘O Kuro San,’ owned by Mrs. Langley Porter. The trophy, offered by the Pacific Cat Club is indeed a rare find in that there are very few physical links to the Pacific Cat Club, which had been founded in 1900; and which was ranked shortly after the turn of the 20th century to be among the new leading cat clubs on the North American continent. At that time, competition amongst new fancier magazines in America was fierce, which, the following notes by Miss Cora Wallace on the establishment

‘The Fanciers’ World’ were published in ‘Our Cats’ magazine on April 13, 1901: ‘This little English paper, OUR CATS was indeed an inspiration and joy to all cat fanciers at home and abroad. It came to us in our hour of need and necessity, and since its first advent no paper has equalled it or attempted a rivalry, although within the past few months, cat columns, cat departments, and cat journals have sprung up like mushrooms. Perhaps a few words on our cat literature may be of interest to our English readers. Stray articles appeared from time to time in our magazines and papers, but the first paper that acted as a measure as our official organ was a thoroughly nice little journal, ‘The Southern Fancier,’ published in the interest of sports, in Baltimore. ‘It has since been purchased by a syndicate of New York men, men of wealth and influence. Mr. Skinner, the former owner, was sensibly retained as business manager. The plant was moved to Broadway, New York, freshly gowned

ADVERT FOR ‘THE FANCIER’S WORLD’ ‘Our Cats’ Magazine, January 12, 1901.

gowned and newly named ‘Field and Fancy,’ published weekly, and embraced the pet sports of the hour. ‘Then ‘The Fanciers’ World,’ published in Indianapolis, under the capable management of Mr. Simmonds, appeared on the horizon. It was almost a Herculean task for so young a man, as he catered for the fanciers generally. But the journal was original and ‘took well’ from the start.’ ‘The Fanciers’ World’ as we can see by their advertising, claimed to be AMERICA’S LEADING CAT JOURNAL, also declaring itself to be the official organ of the Beresford Cat Club, the Pacific Cat Club, and the Chicago Cat Club; thereby claiming a measure of official recognition among cat fanciers across the United States. But this also shows that the Pacific Cat Club was aligning itself with the Beresford Cat Club, at that time the oldest recognised American club, organiser of the largest cat shows in the United States and the only one at the time with a Nationally based Register.

The first ‘ROB ROY’ and foundation of the Dynasty. ‘Cats: Show and Pet’ (1903) by C.A House.

THE FIRST ‘ROB ROY’ The first ‘Rob’ Roy’ was a third generation male (great-grandson) descended from the famous ‘Silver Lambkin’, who was considered to be the ‘Father of the Chinchilla’ variety. (referred to erroneously in the early years as the ‘self-silver’). This ‘Rob Roy’ was ultimately himself, the grandsire of ‘Ch. Rob Roy of Claremont’, the winner of the Pacific Cat Club trophy in 1914, and he in turn was the grandsire of the fifth generation ‘Rob Roy’ – ‘Gr.Ch. Rob Roy’s Captain of Claremont, completing the cycle of this early dynastic line in North America. But this was not to be the end of the bloodline, only the linkage in direct descent of ‘Rob Roy’s’ and ‘Captain’ was not the sole male continuing that tradition.

‘CHAMPION ROB ROY OF ARRANDALE’ surrounded by his plethora of winnings. ‘Cassells’ Magazine, 1903. Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

Advertisement for ‘ROB ROY OF ARRANDALE’ founder of the ‘Rob Roy Dynasty The Cat Manual, 1902. Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection.

THE CHAIN OF ROB ROY’S In this case study, the leading ‘ROB ROY’ was born July 13th, 1898, sired by a male called ‘Kohinoor’ and out of a queen named ‘Girlie’. He was bred by a Mrs. Seton, of Forrest Hill in London S.E., but was later sold for breeding to Mrs. George Wilson of the Arrandale cattery, in Sydenham. As a consequence of this sale, his name was changed to ‘Rob Roy of Arrandale, and he became, through the auspices of Mrs. Wilson, the founder of his own dynastic line, and of course, a worthwhile extension of the founding lines from ‘Silver Lambkin’. He was a large, massively built, heavily boned Chinchilla male, which was unusual for the period, given the wide habit of inbreeding and linebreeding for colour at that time. Consequently, he was one of the most successful silver males on the show bench for the few times that he was shown. This is largely evidenced by his impressive stash of awards shown on the previous page in the photo from ‘Cassell’s’ magazine dated 1903, as well as the impressive list of wins in Mrs. Wilson cattery advertisement. The most famous of his sons, and the one with the greatest international impact, was his namesake, the English Champion ‘Rob Roy II of Arrandale’, (ACA: 1062. v4), a Chinchilla male born October 31st 1906. The dam, was ‘Silver Duchess’, herself sired by ‘Argent King of Arrandale’ whose lines were an eclectic mix of descendants of wellknown Chinchilla and Silver Tabby bloodlines, including of course, the Chinchillas ‘Silver Lambkin’ and ‘Silver Laddie’ but also the Silver Tabby males, ‘Ch. Abdul Zaphir of Dingley’ descended from ‘Ch. Topso of Dingley’, and ‘Tuan of Tyberton,’ sire of ‘Iver Otto’ founder of yet another early Chinchilla dynastic bloodline.

Eng. Champion Rob Roy II of Arrandale (Imp. UK) Cropped image from a Period Postcard Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

His breeder, of course, was Mrs. George Wilson, who initially retained him and exhibited him successfully to gain his Championship in England, later selling him to Mrs. George H. Lynas, of Logansport, Indiana; from where his influence on the Silver Persian in North America would have a significant and long-lasting impact. From Mrs. Lynas’ stud advertisement shown opposite, we can read of his significant English wins between 1907 and 1909. Mrs. Wilson also bred progeny from him, while he was still resident in England before exporting him to the United States, and it should be noted that he was only one of many great English Silvers to be exported to the United States, giving that country a significant

Above: Eng. Champion Rob Roy II of Arrandale (Imp. UK) from ‘Everybody’s Cat Book’ (1909) by D.B. Champion. Below: Mrs. Geo. H. Lynas stud advertisement for ‘Rob Roy II’ from ‘The Cat Review’, July 1911.

exported across the ‘Herring Pond’, including Mrs. Florence Champion’s early ‘Argent’ cats and other early progeny of ‘Silver Lambkin’ and related Silver lines. In fact, competition amongst breeders of Silvers in the United States was intense, and the variety gained a following in that country equal to the Blue Persian, instigated by both breederst

by popular demand amongst breeders and pet buyers alike! The third silver male in this dynastic chain, was the Chinchilla male, ‘Ch. Rob Roy of Claremont,’ (ACA:1561.v5) born July 26, 1910, bred by Mrs. George Lynas of Indiana and sold to Mrs. H. F. Eckert, a much respected breeder of silvers located in Oakland, California.

Left: ‘Ch. ROB ROY OF CLAREMONT’ Right: Mrs. Eckhert’s CLAREMONT cattery advertisement. Images: ‘CFA Studbook Vol. 3 (1913)’ and ‘The Western Cat Fancier’ (Aug/Sept, 1915) Courtesy of The CFA Foundation, Inc. and The Harrison Weir Collection.

This ‘Rob Roy,’ of Claremont, was a very successful show exhibit, which Mrs. H.F. Eckert explains at length in her advertisement on The Western Cat Fancier of August/September 1915. By then, he had won Best Cat in Show three times during the 1913-1914 Show season, as she points out. “under the best judges of this country, viz. Mrs Lola Besse, Miss D. Champion, and Mrs. J. Gordon. One of those wins was at the Pacific Cat Club event of 1914, where he won the large threehandled Silver Cup featured on our cover page. Her advertisement goes on to point out that he also won 7 cups, 14 cups outright, many challenges and ‘numberless’ ribbons. In addition, she confides that Ch. Rob Roy is universally known for his wonderful coat of pure lavender colour, perfect blue-green eyes and splendid type. She goes on to say that he is a proven sire of superior kittens, one of which was his namesake son, Ch. Rob Roy II of Claremont. (ACA:3005, v8).

That son, the fourth generation ‘Rob Roy’ in this dynastic line, was born February 7, 1915, and followed in his sire’s footsteps as a top show winner and sire, taking out thirteen Best Cat wins between 1916 and 1921, as well as Best Opposite Sex cat on numerous occasions. His pedigree was one of the best in the United States at the time, as his dam was ‘Ch. Genee Winter of Claremont’, herself sired by one of the other outstanding males of the era, Miss Carol Macey’s ‘Ch. King Winter’ (heavily line-bred on Eng.Ch. Lord Southampton), and out of the outstanding silver female, named ‘Mlle Genee’, arguably the leading silver female of her generation, and a noted show winner. This combination, while bringing in a double on ‘King Winter’s forebear ‘Old Fort King of the Silvers’ as a notable partial outcross, also ‘fixed’ a direct line-breeding upon the original ‘Rob Roy of Arrandale’ through the dam.

CLAREMONT KENNELS advertisement for ‘Ch. ROB ROY II OF CLAREMONT’ Image: ‘The Cat Review’ (December, 1921)

Ch. Rob Roy II of Claremont, in his turn became the sire of several well-known Chinchilla and Shaded Silver males, among them being the first Grand Champion from the dynastic line, in GC. Rob Roy’s Captain of Claremont. (ACA: 6671, v15).

ACA Gr.Ch. ROB ROY’S CAPTAIN OF CLAREMONT Shaded Silver son of Ch. Rob Roy II of Claremont CFA Studbook Vol. 11, (1928)

Among his other noted sons were also the Chinchilla male ‘Ch. Roblyn of Claremont’, and the Shaded Silver male ‘Ch. Rob Roy’s Wellington of Claremont’, the former of which was a profilic producer. In this 5th generation male in our study, the only additional line added into the mix came from the dam’s sire, ‘Crystal Marvel of Claremont’ whose early lines tripled on ‘Aldermoor Don I’ a descendant of both ‘Iver Otto’ and the Blue Persian male ‘Ch. Wooloomooloo’. Herein, lies a genetic link to both the earliest Chinchillas and Blues, paving the way to Chinchillas and Goldens of the future. J. G. Smithson

The CFA Foundation’s

Feline Historical Museum

THE BANK VAULT ROOM OF THE FELINE HISTORICAL MUSEUM in Alliance, Ohio. Ground Floor, Headquarters Building of The Cat Fanciers’ Association.



FELINE HISTORICAL MUSEUM One of the more unique collections in the Feline Historical Museum is of cat dolls … dolls with a cat face for a head and unique sets of clothing. Dolls have been around for centuries. Some ancient Greek dolls date from 200BC and indicate that they were children’s toys. Today, doll collecting is a unique hobby enjoyed by a large number of people around the world, who are drawn to the collectibles because of the artistry and design, the beauty of the costumes, and a number of other countless reasons. Others collect dolls for their uniqueness – and it’s the category that cat dolls fall into. There’s even a group – the United Federation of Doll Clubs, Inc – that has an annual convention for doll collectors. The Feline Historical Museum is delighted to have a collection of specialty Cat Dolls on display. The bank’s original vault was chosen to display over 125 dolls, each with a different cat head. With no exposure to sunlight, the bright colors on the hand-painted cat faces and the fabric and color of their clothing are well protected inside the vault.

‘FRENCHY’ an antique French marionette. Photo: Karen Lawrence

The collection of cat dolls represents a wide variety of mediums – some heads and paws are made of papier-mache, while others are porcelain or bisque. Clothing is also a huge variance, with some dolls dressed in silk and satin, while others have velvet robes, sweaters, or even suede clothing. Among the dolls on exhibit are: “Frenchy”, an antique French marionette, has a life-like appearance thanks to excellent mohair work on the Siamese face. Clothing is a reproduction of the original, which had deteriorated beyond repair, but the feathered hat is the real thing. Restoration is by Donna Bragg of Fabulayce© Dolls.

‘THE GIBSON GIRL’ Photo: Karen Lawrence

The “Gibson Girl" doll by Peter and Pat Tyber of Tyber Katz©, is a 16” tabby cat wearing a teal colored dress of velvet. The lace trimmed hat sports brown ostrich feathers, and there is a custom made sterling silver broach. This doll comes with its own custom-made red velvet fainting couch.

‘The KING and QUEEN’ Photo: Karen Lawrence

The “King” and “Queen” cat dolls are made of painted papiermache. They wear Victorian period costumes in brocade, satin and velvet with gold and lace trim. Each wears a crown. These dolls were made exclusively for sale in the Neiman Marcus catalog. “Prudence Peppermitten”, is a 26” tall marionette, with a painted papier-mache head, and dressed in a red, green and white patchwork satin dress with lace and ribbon trim. This doll is designed by Wayne M. Kelski Collection of Silver Lake©.

for Katherine’s

‘PRUDENCE PEPPERMITTEN’ Photo: Karen Lawrence.

Photo: Karen Lawrence

A rare 21” Native American porcelain cat doll, by Sandra Trower, has a hand painted tabby patterned face. It is wearing a buckskin suede outfit and a headband with feathers and beads.

Photo: Karen Lawrence

“Cinderella”, of course, is costumed in her ball gown, complete with bows and ribbons being held by bluebirds. She is wearing a tiara, and hanging on tightly to her glass slipper in one paw. This is a one-of-akind doll, commissioned for a private collection. Created by Sherrie Tussell for Kidday Dolls©.

‘CORREGGIO CAROTHERS’ at work creating his dolls Image: ‘St. Nicholas Illustrated Magazine for Young Folks’ July 1882. Courtesy of the CFA Foundation.

One of the famous doll-makers of the 19th century was Correggio Carothers, of whom the poet Malcolm Douglas characterised in this short poem published in 1882. ‘CORREGGIO CAROTHERS was a man of much renown; The dolls he made and painted, were all the talk of town; In a room half shop, half study, he would gayly work away, Completing by his diligence, a dozen dolls a day. Opposite: Dolls stored in the bank vault of the CFA Foundation’s Feline Historical Museum, where they are protected from ultraviolet light.

If it chanced to be fine weather, every Monday he would go With a number to the toyman’s, where he’d lay them in a row; And some would be so beautiful that one would scarce refrain From kissing them; while others would be very very plain. “Correggio, Correggio”, the toyman oft would cry, “Oh, why do you persist in making dolls no one will buy? In my second-story wareroom I have hundreds stored away; And if each had a pretty face, they’d not be there today!” “My work is conscientious, sir,” he proudly would explain; “As dolls are mimic people, some of them must needs be plain. I cannot, I assure you, give good looks to every doll, Since beauty is a priceless gift that does not come to all!”

The dolls in our collection were made available through the generous donations of Glenna J. Moore, of Hawaii, and the estate of Wilton E. Wheeldon and Gladys J. Wheeldon.

The images of cat dolls included in this double page spread, are a random sampling from the Cat Doll collection held in the CFA Foundation’s Feline Historical Museum in Alliance, Ohio.

Photos: Karen Lawrence

Photo: Karen Lawrence

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


College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri

‘TORTIES, CALICOS & LYONIZATION !’ (Part 2) A cat of many colors, calicos derive their name from colorful cloth originating from India. Generally considered to be three colors, agouti tabby calicos, not non-agouti solids, can actually have fur of 4 – 5 colors including black, white, yellow, orange (ginger), and light orange. In the previous issue (August 2021), the process of X – inactivation (a.k.a. lyonization) was described, which is the genetic mechanism causing the brindling tortoiseshell coloration of cats and to some degree, calico cats. When calico cats are solid in coloration, they have three major colors – orange, black and white – the white being the major addition from a standard tortoiseshell cat.

Backgrounds ©

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

Besides the additional color – which is actually an absence of color – calico cats tend to coloration in large patches (Figure 1a) whereas a tortoiseshell will have more brindling of the coloration throughout the coat (Figure 1b). Thus, besides the X-inactivation, what other genetic mechanisms are occurring to produce the patches of color of a calico cat? If you look back at the Sept & Dec 2020 and Jan 2021 issues, the DNA mutations for Birman Gloving, which is caused by amino acid changes1, white Spotting and Dominant White, which are caused by a 7,000 basepair and a 700 basepair, respectively, DNA insertion into intron 1 of the gene called KIT, are presented2. KIT plays a major role in normal cell migration during the development of the body – in all species3. Melanin is a pigment protein, cats produce two melanins – eumelain (black) and pheaomelanin (yellow/red). Melanocytes are hence cells (cytes) that make pigment proteins. Particularly involved with melanocyte (the cells that produce pigment) migration, KIT mutations alter the normal flow of melanocytes in the skin4.

Fig.1 a Cats Castl Karolina, bred and photographed by Elena Zhirovova

Gr.Ch. Diapason Diva, bred and photographed by Diana Ciliento Figure 1. Images of calico and tortoiseshell cats. A) Calico cats also have white and the coloration is more of a patchwork. B). Tortoiseshell cats have no white, perhaps only a small neck or belly spot and their coloration is more brindled.

Figure 2. Embryonic migration of melanoblasts. Starting at approximately day 18 of cat embryonic development, the precursor cells for pigment production, melanoblasts, differentiate and migrate from the dorsal region, (i.e., the backbone) to the ventral region of the cat (i.e., the belly). DNA mutations in the KIT gene affect the proliferation, migration and survival of the melanoblasts, which then differentiate into melanocytes and then produce the coloration of the cat. Together with the Orange gene and X-inactivation, a melanoblast cell lineage may be normal coloration (black/yellow) or have the orange hue to the pigments. (Left) Tortoiseshell cats have more melanoblasts subject to X-inactivation and no problems with proliferation, migration and survival. (Right) Calico cats, due to the KIT DNA variant, have less melanoblasts, which need to cover a larger area, have poor migration and some lineages may die out, thereby leaving isolated spots and patches of coloration. (Images courtesy of Christine Kemmerly).

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

During development, as an early embryo, the precursor cells to melanocytes – melanoblasts - migrate from basically the backbone area (i.e., the neural crest) and move from dorsal to ventral – on both sides of the body (Figure 2)5. The melanoblast cells meet in the middle of the body (i.e., the midline) on the belly side (ventral) of the cat. Little white spots, including lockets and belly spots, are actually very mild midline closure defects, similar to a cleft palate, cleft lip, or umbilical herniations of the intestines. If a melanoblast does not finish its migration to a certain part of the body, such as the midline, the paws, or the underside of the cat, then no cells will be present that can make color, thus, the cat will be white in these areas.

A cat with one copy of the Spotting mutation, designated as Ss, will have a presentation that is actually called “ventral white” in other species. The dorsal side of the cat has coloration (a.k.a., a cape) and the underside, legs and midline of the face has varying degrees of white. Two copies of the Spotting allele, SS, add together and produce a cat with “high white” or the “Van pattern” of a Turkish Van or the “Mi-ke pattern” of Japanese Bobtails. These cats will have coloration as spots, generally near the top of their head and the tail and perhaps additional spots on their flanks and back. College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri

The cause of the variation is unknown, but the variation likely has contributions of DNA variants from other genes because many breeds can produce a very consistent amount of ventral white or more consistent patches. Genes such as KITL, PAX3, SOX8, DCT, EDNRB and others have been shown to cause white patterning in . other species6.

College of Veterinary Medicine, University of Missouri

The Spotting mutations in the gene KIT affects the migration of melanoblasts from the spinal cord region of the cat to the belly, the number of precursor melanoblasts and their survival. A cat with one copy of the Spotting allele, Ss, has disruption of melanoblast proliferation, migration and survival as compared to a normal cat, ss, and a cat with two copies of the Spotting allele, SS, has even more disruption to the precursor melanoblasts. During development, since there are less precursor melanoblasts, once they begin to migrate, one precursor melanoblast cell lineage covers a large area of the cat’s skin, thereby creating a patch of melanocytes. Some melanoblasts may die out, known as apoptosis, and produce patches that are disconnected from the spinal region. Due to X – inactivation, depending on which X is active in the given melanoblast cell lineage – that patch will have the coloration represented by the Orange allele on the active X chromosome for that lineage. Thus, the Spotting mutation controls the number and the size of the big patches, while X – inactivation controls the color of the patches. Different melanoblast lineages will have different X-inactivation and will have different colors – thereby producing a calico. If two copies of Spotting are present, then the cat will have less precursor melanoblasts, leading to less and smaller patches of melanocytes, which will have smaller areas of coloration. Since two different genes are interacting to produce the colorations, these genes are known to be “epistatic”. The cat of many colors is a cat that can teach us many aspects of genetics. Calico cats as examples of white spotting and therefore plieotrophic effects, co-dominance and variable expression. The orange colorations describe compensation, and epigenetics.

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



The interaction of the genes presents epistasis and solid versus tabby calicos explain dominant and recessive alleles for different genes. Nearly one cat can tell it all – the calico! References 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6.

Montague et al., PNAS USA. (2014) 111(48):17230-5. David et al., G3 (2014) 4(10):1881-91. Besmer et al., Development Suppl (1993) 125-37. Price & Fisher Neuron (2001) 30:15–18. Yoshida et al., Development (1996) 122, 1207-1214. Mort et al., Development (2015) 142(4):620-32.


Cats Castl Jasmin, Maine Coon female born April 26, 2021 Bred and photographed by Elena Zhirovova


Delicatessen Dragon Ball and Delicatessen Bonnie T. (aged 3 months) Both bred and photographed by Gisela Garriga


Delicatessen Dragon Ball (above) and Delicatessen Bonnie T (below) aged 3 months. Both bred and photographed by Gisela Garriga


Litter sisters Cats Castl Karolina (above), and Cats Castl Kamilla (below) Bred and photographed by Elena Zhirovova


Chun Lap Princess Jamaica bred and photographed by Alex Luk Chun Lap


Chun Lap Be My Muse bred and photographed by Alex Luk Chun Lap


Above: Chun Lap Selina, Chun Lap Sabrina, and Chun Lap Celine. Below: conversely – Chun Lap Seline, Chun Lap Sabrina, and Chun Lap Selina. bred and photographed by Alex Luk Chun Lap

LOCKEHAVEN SIAM (Imp.Siam, via France) Sealpoint Siamese male, born circa 1897 (BCC;138). Owned by Mrs. Adele Clinton Locke, (Chicago) Photo: ‘Concerning Cats’ (1900) by Helen Winslow. Backgrounds ©


‘Imported Siamese owned by Mrs. Adele Clinton Locke’ BY


Adapted from the author’s text written for ‘The History Project’ at

HISTORICAL BACKGROUND The story of ‘Lockehaven Siam’ is one of the long reach of world travel, even for cats, in the late 19th century. Both he and ‘Lockehaven Sally Ward’ would form the early foundation for Mrs Clinton Locke’s breeding program for Siamese cats. ‘Siam’ was a seal-point, or ‘Royal Siamese’, while ‘Sally Ward’ was described as being “shades of chocolate”. They were supplemented a little later, by the importation of two ‘Chocolate’ variety of Siamese , in the form of ‘Netherlands Tilu’ (formerly ‘Windsor He’) and ‘Netherlands Ma’. The word ‘Chocolate’ in this sense was a misnomer, as it did not literally describe the point colour, but instead was a reference to the fact that the body colour was mid-brown, rather than fawn, with darker points, and therefore the contrast between body and point colour, so appealing in a ‘Royal’, was missing. The eye colour of ‘Chocolates’ was generally blue, but sometimes aqua (blue-green) and in rare instances, yellow. All these factors point to the Chocolate Variety in some cases, being what today we would consider to be Tonkinese. Despite this, the real quest of the breeder of Siamese, was to produce kittens with the desired pale cream or fawn body colour, with dark seal almost black

Chocolate Variety in some cases, being what today we would consider to be Tonkinese. Despite this, the real quest of the breeder of Siamese, was to produce kittens with the desired pale cream or fawn body colour, with dark seal almost black points and deep sapphire blue eye colour. Siamese cats were fairly new to the American continent, but not as rare as some would believe. The first documented importation being that of a pet Siamese cat shipped to the American First Lady, Mrs Lucy Webb Hayes, by the then U.S. Consul, stationed in Bangkok, Mr David B. Sickels. In a letter to Mrs Hayes, informing her of the acquisition and imminent shipment, the Consul provides the following detail: Nov. 1st, 1878 “Dear Madam, Having observed a few months ago in an American newspaper a statement that you were fond of cats, I have taken the liberty of forwarding to you one of the finest specimens of Siamese cats that I have been able to procure in this country. Miss pussy goes to Hong Kong, whence she will be transhipped by the Occidental and Oriental line, in charge of the Purser, to

The cat, nick-named ‘Siam’, soon settled into the White House, where she was allowed to roam as she pleased. President Hayes is noted to have remarked that the family’s menagerie, which consisted of two dogs, a goat, a mockingbird, and a Siamese cat, “give a Robinson Crusoe touch to our mode of life.” ⁴ But although there is little evidence of other importations between this one in 1878/1879 and those of Mrs Locke c.1898, the Beresford Cat Club registers indicate that there were indeed earlier importations of Siamese bloodstock, as do articles in Society journals, such as ‘The Ladies Field’. Mrs Clintons, ‘Lockehaven Lucy Ward’ was purchased from Mrs Spencer, of Sandusky, Ohio, which suggests that Mrs Locke already had knowledge of a cattery there, populated with Siamese. First Lady of The United States, Lucy Webb Hayes First U.S. owner of an imported Siamese cat. Photo: Courtesy of The Library of Congress.

forwarding to you one of the finest specimens of Siamese cats that I have been able to procure in this country. Miss pussy goes to Hong Kong, whence she will be transhipped by the Occidental and Oriental line, in charge of the Purser, to San Francisco and then sent by express to Washington. I am informed that this is the first attempt ever made to send a Siamese cat to America. I am very respectfully, David B.Sickels (U.S. Consul).” ⁴ The cat duly arrived in Washington, much to the glee of President Rutherford Hayes daughter Fanny, who apparently watched excitedly as White House staff opened the Wells Fargo crate.

Likewise, Mrs A.M. Hoag of San Francisco has among her imported cats listed in the Beresford Cat Club Register, ‘Kiobe’ (BCC: 868) a female imported from Japan, (born in 1902) and ‘Rowdy’,(BCC: 532), a female imported directly (presumably from Siam) by Postmaster General Hastings. ‘Rowdy’ was born in 1894, so she predates the birth of ‘Lockehaven Siam’ by at least 3 years and his importation by probably 4 years. Another Siamese male registered under Mrs Hoag’s ownership is ‘Angora Sikh’ born in 1899, bred by Mrs Christian Reiss, and his parents are duly listed as ‘Sikh’ and ‘Chimela’, suggestive of even earlier importations! ³ In an article on Miss L Payne’s cattery and cats in ‘The Ladies Field’ (dated August, 1903), Miss Payne informs us about her Royal Siamese cats ‘Chula’ (a female) and ‘Frisco’ (a male). Neither of these appear in any register, but she does inform us that Chula was a daughter of ‘Sikh’ and ‘Chula the elder’ and that “both parents were imported from Siam, by Hong Kong to San Francisco and are still living”.

“Mrs. Johnson, when she died, left $4,000 for the care of her pet cats, which she had imported from all over the world.” ⁵ It was in fact, Mrs. Kate Birdsall Johnson, who had commissioned the artist Carl Kahler in the early 1890’s to produce a painting of 42 of her best longhaired Angora and Persian cats from around the world. The huge 8 feet 6 inch wide and 6 feet deep canvas which fortunately survived the 1906 San Francisco earthquake, while installed in a gallery there, and which was sold at auction by Sotheby’s of New York in November 2015 to a Californian based investor for $826,000!

‘Chula’ (Siamese female) Photo: Miss L.Payne From ‘The Ladies Field’, August 1903 ⁹ Image: Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

Chula was a daughter of ‘Sikh’ and ‘Chula the elder’ and that “both parents were imported from Siam, by Hong Kong to San Francisco and are still living”. We may never know who imported ‘Sikh’ and ‘Chula the Elder’ or whether ‘Chimela’ and ‘Chula the Elder’ were related, but it is clear that a number of breeders based in San Francisco were importing cats from all over the world. For Mrs Hoag in particular, we have documented evidence that she imported from both Japan and from Persia, and Miss Payne tells us that some of her cats came from the bloodstock of the late Mrs. Johnson of San Francisco.

As we will show later, some of these earlier Siamese bloodlines were combined with those of ‘Lockehaven Siam’ in an attempt to widen and preserve a gene pool, but it is very apparent from a wider historical perspective to see that probably within 10 years or less of first lady Mrs. Hayes taking delivery of the ‘White House’ Siamese cat, private citizens who were cat fanciers, were busily acquiring Siamese cats of their own.

PARENTAGE & OWNERSHIP ‘Lockehaven Siam’ appears in the first volume of the Stud-Book & Register of the Beresford Cat Club, (BCC:138). No date of birth or parentage is given, but his registration indicates that he was bought in France, by Mrs Robert Locke, (daughterin-law of Mrs Clinton Locke). It also shows that he was originally born in Siam and imported into France from there, so although we have listed him as (Imp.FR) he is in fact (Imp.Siam) via France into the United States. His colour is described as being “shades of fawn with black markings – Blue eyes – Siamese”. His owner of record, is Mrs Clinton Locke, 2825 Indiana Ave, Chicago. We turn to Helen M. Winslow in her book ‘Concerning Cats’ (1900) and the Chapter entitled ‘Concerning High-Bred Cats in America’, to obtain her insight and impressions of Mrs Locke. For the sake of brevity, we only quote specifically relevant

MRS ADELE (CLINTON) G.D. LOCKE OF THE LOCKEHAVEN CATTERY, CHICAGO Photo: Munsell Publishing Company ⁷ Image courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

We turn to Helen M. Winslow in her book ‘Concerning Cats’ (1900) and the Chapter entitled ‘Concerning High-Bred Cats in America’, to obtain her insight and impressions of Mrs Locke. For the sake of brevity, we only quote specifically relevant portions of her lengthy dissertation on Mrs Locke’s many wonderful cats: “One of the first American women to start a ‘cattery’ in this country was Mrs Clinton Locke, wife of the rector of Grace Church, Chicago. As a clergyman’s wife she has done a great deal of good among the various charities of her city simply from the income derived from her kennels. She has been very generous in gifts of her kittens to other women who have made the raising of fine cats a means to add to a slender income, and has sent beautiful cats all over the United States, to Mexico, and even to Germany... “It is a full twenty-five years since Mrs Locke began to turn her attention to fine cats, and when she imported her first cat to Chicago there was only one other in the United States. That one was Mrs Edwin Brainard’s ‘Madam’, a wonderful black, imported from Spain. Her first long-haired cat was Wendell, named for the friend who brought him from Persia, and his descendants are now in the Lockehaven cattery. Queen Wendella is one of the most famous cats in America to-day, and the mother of the beautiful Lockehaven Quartette.” ¹ (Editor’s note: ‘Wendell’ was born in April 1876, and is registered with The National Cat Club; NCC:1823. He died in November 1891). “Mrs Locke’s cats are all imported. She has sometimes purchased cats from Maine or elsewhere for people who did not care to pay the price demanded for her fine kittens, but she has never had in her own cattery any cats from American origin.

“Mrs Locke’s cats are all imported. She has sometimes purchased cats from Maine or elsewhere for people who did not care to pay the price demanded for her fine kittens, but she has never had in her own cattery any cats from American origin. Her stock, therefore, is probably the choicest in America. She always has from twenty to twenty-five cats, and the cat-lover who obtains one of her kittens is fortunate indeed. A beautiful pair of blacks I Mrs Locke’s cattery have the most desirable shade of amber eyes, and are named ‘Blackbird’ and ‘St. Tudno’; she has also a choice pair Siamese cats called ‘Siam’ and ‘Sally Ward’.” ¹ But apart from her many fine and famous cats of various breeds, amongst which were chiefly Persians and Chinchillas, but also Siamese, Manx and Russian Shorthairs; her chief claim to notoriety was as both the founder and President of the Beresford Cat Club in 1899. Later, when the American Cat Association (ACA) was formed in 1904 and published its first Stud Book in 1907, she served on the Executive Board. She became Vice-President of ACA in 1909. Once again we turn to Helen Winslow for her record of the establishment and success of the Beresford Cat Club, so named by Mrs Clinton Locke, in honour of her English friend Lady Marcus Beresford. This club, which has also been referred to as ‘The Mother Club’ in the United States, was formed in the winter of 1899. “The president is Mrs Clinton Locke, who is a member of the English cat clubs, and whose kennel in Chicago contains some of the finest cats in America. The Beresford Cat Club has the sanction of John G. Shorthall of the American Humane Society, and on its honorary list are Miss Agnes Repplier, Madame Ronner, Lady Marcus Beresford, Miss Helen Winslow, and Mr Louis Wain.

“The Beresford Cat Club shows are the most successful of any yet given in America. One hundred and seventy-eight prizes were awarded in the show of January, 1900, and some magnificent cats were shown. It is said by those who are in a position to know that there are no better cats shown in England now than can be seen at the Beresford Show in Chicago. The exhibits cover short and long haired cats of all colors, sizes, and ages, with Siamese cats, Manx cats, and Russian cats. At the show in January, 1900, Mrs Clinton Locke exhibited fourteen cats of one colour, and Mrs Josiah Cratty five white cats. This club numbers one hundred and seventy members and has a social position and consequent strength second to none in America.” ¹

SIBLINGS & SHOWS There are no records of any full or half siblings to ‘Lockehaven Siam’. His show wins, gained after his arrival in the United States are recorded in the register of The Beresford Cat Club as: -

The Lockehaven Challenge Cup of the Beresford Cat Club Image: ‘Captain Kidd and Sinbad the Sailor (1906), by Caro Senor Image courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

Humane Society, and on its honorary list are Miss Agnes Repplier, Madame Ronner, Lady Marcus Beresford, Miss Helen Winslow, and Mr Louis Wain. “At their cat shows which are held annually, prizes are offered for all classes of cats, from the common feline of the back alley up to the aristocratic resident of milady’s boudoir.

1st and Special at Beresford Cat Show, Chicago, 1900. (Which means he was in attendance at the January Show of 1900, mentioned above, by Helen M. Winslow).

BREEDING & PROGENY There can be little doubt that ‘Lockehaven Siam’ was a valuable contribution to the early gene pool of Siamese in the United States. Not all breeders belonged to clubs, and not all litters were registered. But as clubs and shows became more plentiful, more and more cats were subsequently registered and pedigrees recorded for posterity. Prior to the establishment of The American Cat Association in 1904 and later, The Cat Fanciers Association in 1906, the only Stud-book and Registers maintained in the United States was that of the Beresford Cat Club, Volume I of which was published in 1900, followed much later in 1906, by publication of ‘The U.S. Register and Stud-Book for

Association in 1906, the only Stud-book and Register maintained in the United States was that of the Beresford Cat Club, Volume I of which was published in 1900, followed much later in 1906, by publication of ‘The U.S. Register and Stud-Book for Cats’ produced by the United States Official Register Association Inc., in Washington, compiled and edited by well-known cat fancier, Dr Mabel Cornish Bond. This register, was recognised by the U.S. Treasury Department, upon the recommendation of the Secretary of Agriculture under the provisions of the Tariff Act of 1897. However, despite its grand title and status, ‘The U.S. Register and Stud-Book for Cats’ contains absolutely no records of any Siamese Cats. For that we must look solely to The Beresford Cat Club, (covering from July 1899 to July 1905) and then later, to the Stud-Book of the American Cat Association, which published its first volume in 1907, finally with the approval of the U.S. Department of Agriculture. When we take time to review all the entries for Siamese in the register of The Beresford Cat Club, we discover some interesting entries plus a significant link between Mrs A.M.Hoag, (based in San Francisco) and Mrs Clinton Locke (based in Chicago). In Volume One, we find both ‘Lockehaven Siam’ (BCC:138) and ‘Lockehaven Sally Ward’ (BCC:139). Mrs Robert Locke is recorded as the purchaser (or broker) of ‘Lockehaven Siam’ on a visit to France, and it is included in his registration details that he was a direct importation into France from Siam. As an indirect import from Siam, to the United States, this made him an extremely valuable breeding proposition.

‘CHOM’ – Sealpoint male by ‘Siam’ out of ‘Rowdy’ Bred by Mrs. Hoag and owned by Mrs. Cronise. Photo: ‘Concerning Cats’ (1900) by Helen Winslow

Although we are not given a date of birth, we do know that he was shown as an adult in January 1900. Given that he was imported from France into the United States, this could not have taken place later than 1899. His birth therefore, allowing for his early development and shipment from Siam to France, is likely to have taken place as early as 1897 and at the very latest, 1898. As indicated earlier, he was not alone as a Siamese imported into the United States. Mrs A.M. Hoag’s Siamese female ‘Rowdy’, (BCC:532) (aka ‘Angora Rowdy’) is also notated in the register as a “direct importation”, but the country of origin is not given. ‘Rowdy’ was born 1st July, 1894, which makes her at least three years older than ‘Lockehaven Siam’. Where it gets interesting is with his progeny. For the first

Mrs Robert Locke, with ‘Calif’(centre), ‘Siam’ (on her lap), and ‘Bangkok’ (on her shoulder). Photo: S.S. Finley, Chicago - ‘The Book of The Cat’ (1903) by Frances Simpson ²

register as a “direct importation”, but the country of origin is not given. ‘Rowdy’ was born 1st July, 1894, which makes her at least three years older than ‘Lockehaven Siam’. Where it gets interesting is with his progeny. For the first clear indication, we again turn to Helen Winslow, who in her book ‘Concerning Cats’ (1900), on the same page on which she features an image of “Siam, Imported Siamese cat: owned by Mrs Clinton Locke, President of Beresford Cat Club, Chicago”; directly alongside, is an image of a young Siamese male whom she signifies is “Chom, pure Siamese , son of Siam and Rowdy; owned by Mrs Cronise, of San Francisco.” ‘Chom’ is not to be found in any register, but we have Helen Winslow to thank for this clarity. Both his breeder and owner lived in San Francisco. It is unclear as to whether he was an entire male or not, but very probably so. The significance of this is not immediately apparent, until we then look into the Register and in Volume Three, we find another male from this same combination of sire and dam, named ‘Chone’ (BCC:510), a desexed Siamese male who was born 12th March 1899, and is recorded as bred by Mrs Hoag and listed as owned by Mrs Mary P. Freeman, also of San Francisco. So here we have TWO Siamese males, both by ‘Siam’ and ex ‘Rowdy’ and both residing in San Francisco. Our interest is then further peaked when also in Volume Three, we find a third son of ‘Rowdy’ named ‘Calif’! With this entry there is no date of birth and no sire given. But as we would expect, the breeder is Mrs A.M. Hoag. The owner however does not live in San Francisco. In this instance the cat and his owner live in Chicago! The owner of record of this ‘Calif’, is Mrs Charles H Lane, of Chicago. He, is also listed as ‘(Madison) Calif’, and when you check the index at the rear of the volume, he appears as ‘Madison Calif’, owned by Lucy Johnstone.

Calif’, and when you check the index at the rear of the volume, he appears as ‘Madison Calif’, owned by Lucy Johnstone. This is what we would expect, as Lucy Johnstone was the legitimate owner of the ‘Madison’ Cattery name, lived in Chicago, was the Secretary of the Beresford Cat Club, and the close friend and confident of Mrs Clinton Locke. A little more insight about the connection between Mrs Hoag and Mrs Locke is gained from an article about Mrs Locke’s cattery, published in ‘The Ladies Field’, on 27th June, 1903. The journalist seeking to interview Mrs Locke, filed this introduction to the article: “The Beresford Cat Club of America is said to be the largest cat club in the world. It has a membership of between three and four hundred, and was the first club of the kind to publish a stud-book. To Mrs Clinton Locke, the president, much of the success of the club is due. It was under her presidency that the first stud-book (now in its third volume) was published. The work is acknowledged by all the representative clubs in America – the Atlantic, the Detroit, the Pacific and the Washington – and is really a valuable contribution to the cat literature of the country. “The headquarters of the Beresford Cat Club is in Chicago, but when a LADIES’ FIELD contributor called at Mrs Locke’s address there he found that the president was wintering in Pasadena, California. As the journey there takes something over a week, it was thought to be more convenient to take advantage of the postal service, and in reply to the letter Mrs. Clinton Locke, who is the wife of the Dean of Chicago, sent some interesting particulars regarding her cats.” ⁸

two of those are confirmed as sired by ‘Lockehaven Siam’. However, ‘Madison Calif’ (who may or may not have been sired by ‘Lockehaven Siam’) is NOT the same ‘Calif’ as that which cat fanciers have long recognised in the famous images of ‘Calif and Bangkok’ with both Mrs Robert Locke and Mrs Clinton Locke. These siblings should now be known more correctly, as ‘Lockehaven Calif’ and ‘Lockehaven Bangkok’. For although we can find no official registration for either of them, we can none-the-less find evidence of their parentage from an unofficial source. That, comes from the pen of Mr E.N. Barker of New Jersey, who in the chapter on ‘Cats in America’ from ‘The Book of The Cat’ (1903) has this to say about Mrs Locke and her cats: -

Mrs Clinton Locke, with her kittens ‘Calif’ and ‘Bangkok’ Photo: ‘The Book of The Cat’ (1903) by Frances Simpson ²

We should remain mindful of the fact that Mrs Hoag’s ‘Rowdy’ was born in 1894, and therefore was a mature and likely proven female when ‘Siam’ arrived in Chicago, around 1898. ‘Chone’, was born in March, 1899, so the breeding must have taken place in January of 1899. There is little doubt in the writer’s mind, that Mrs Locke and Mrs Hoag, would have been in regular correspondence, and it seems probable, that Mrs Locke may have visited her, if wintering in California on earlier occasions. In any event, the breeding took place and progeny of record resulted. So, we have as a matter of record, at least three Siamese known to be out of ‘Rowdy’ and at least two of those are confirmed as sired by ‘Lockehaven Siam’.

“...I must say I had heard of Mrs Locke many years before I ever had the pleasure of meeting her, and her cats were well known before the advent of cat shows. Mrs Locke has made a name with several colours and breeds, and has imported and bred Persians, Siamese, Russians, etc.. “Mrs Locke has been the owner of good Siamese, and from ‘Siam’ and ‘Sally Ward’, she bred ‘Calif’ and ‘Bangkok’, who carried all before them at the Chicago show of 1902, and were the best pair I have seen this side of the water, and would have given a good account of themselves anywhere.” ² This was high praise indeed, but also a wonderfully clear record of the true heritage of the progeny of ‘Lockehaven Siam’. Now we have four clearly identified progeny, ‘Chom’, ‘Chone’, ‘Lockehaven Calif’ and ‘Lockehaven Bangkok’. Others probably existed, but only these are identifiable.

IN SUMMARY Although clearly not the first imported Siamese male to arrive in the Americas, ‘Lockehaven Siam’ is certainly the most widely known from this early era. His fame will forever be linked with that of his worthy owner and winning progeny. In the cat fancy of today, the prefix of a cats registered name does not change, but that was certainly not the case during the early years of the fancy, when a cats name could alter many times, where there were multiple changes of ownership over time. So, we must consider every possible option for lineage and ownership, and never take anything for granted. As one of the foundation males of the Siamese breed in North America, the name of ‘Lockehaven Siam’ is permanently preserved in the annals of Siamese cat history. We should remain mindful of the fact that such long journeys from their native lands, to far-off shores, were the lot of many fine cats, and that none of them exercised any choice or control over their fates. All cats are subject to the whims of their keepers, and their lives are consequently a precious and awesome responsibility. References: 1. 2. 3.

‘Concerning Cats’ (1900) by Helen M. Winslow ‘The Book of The Cat’ (1903) by Frances Simpson ‘Stud-Book and Register of The Beresford Cat Club’ (1900)Vols.1-5. 4. ‘The Rutherford B Hayes Presidential Center’. 5. ‘The Ladies’ Field’ August 1903. 6. ‘Captain Kidd and Sinbad The Sailor’ (1908) by Caro Senour. 7. ‘Photograph of Mrs Adele D.G. Locke’, Munsell Publishing Co. 8. ‘The Ladies’ Field’, June 1903. 9. ‘The Ladies’ Field, August 1903. 10. Photos and quotations as duly noted.

Two views of ‘Lockehaven Siam’ above as a young Cat, and below, matured, image cropped from the photo of him on the lap of Mrs. Robert Locke.


‘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 – Contact Karen ( 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


‘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 – Contact John ( 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.

FRONTISPIECE – ‘Portrait of a Lady’ from ‘The Adventures of a Cat’ by Alfred Elwes. Published in 1857, George Routledge & Co, London. Illustrations by Harrison Weir. Images from a first edition copy held in the Harrison Weir Collection. Backgrounds ©


‘The book by Alfred Elwes, illustrated by Harrison Weir’ BY


Adapted from the author’s text for written for ‘The Poet of Nature’ A biography of the life and work of Harrison William Weir.

INTRODUCTION Both the author of this book, Alfred Elwes, and the illustrator, Harrison William Weir, were well known to Victorian publishers. But there was also a second Alfred Elwes, an artist/illustrator, better known as Alfred T. Elwes, who was also a friend of co-worker with Harrison Weir, so these to Alfred Elwes are very easy to confuse as one and the same, one being an author, the other an illustrator. We will take a look at both, but the subject of this article is chiefly the working relationship between the author/writer and Harrison Weir, and in particular in regard to the book, ‘The Adventures of a Cat’ published in 1857. The 19th century author ‘Elwes’ was primarily an author of Children’s literature, an academic and an occasional translator of French, Italian and Portuguese literature into English. He was for a time , Professor of English at Leghorn in Tuscany, later returning to England where he served as President of the British Literary Society between 1857 and 1858, which coincides with the writing and publishing of ‘The Adventures of Cat and a Fine’ ,one of

Fine Cat too’ (1857); just one of series of Children’s books, which began in 1853 with ‘The Adventures of a Bear and Great Bear too’ (1853), ‘The Adventures of a Dog and a Good Dog too’ in

‘A Juvenile Party’ and ‘An Unwelcome Visitor’ Illustrations from ‘The Adventures of a Cat – And a Fine Cat Too’ Illustrations by Harrison Weir, Images courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection.

1854, and then followed by ‘The Adventures of a Cat and a Fine Cat Too’ and ‘Funny Dogs with Funny Tales’ both in 1857. All were published by Addey & Co, Covent Garden, with whom Harrison Weir already had a working relationship as an illustrator. For those of us who are now very familiar with viewing anthropomorphic images of cats dressed to mimic people, especially from our exposure to the memorable caricatures produced by Louis Wain a half century later, at this time, Weir was one of the few in England providing such images, his style very probably influenced by the work of an earlier French caricaturist, named Grandville, whose political and social provocation and exceptional skill in which human characteristics were

were embedded into his caricatures, led to him being engaged by numerous periodicals of his day. Weir also achieved this, but on a much smaller scale and having already succeeded in so doing in both of the first two books by Elwes for Addy & Co in 1853 and 1854 respectively, was the obvious choice to also illustrate ‘The Adventures of a Cat and a Fine Cat too’ and then ‘Funny Dogs with Funny Tales in 1857. The books were produced both in black and white versions and in colour, and all sold well, with later reprinted editions following. We gain a much clearer insight into what Alfred Elwes was trying to achieve with these books simply by reading his preface,

‘A Select Class’ and ‘One Too Many’ Illustrations from ‘The Adventures of a Cat – And a Fine Cat Too’ Illustrations by Harrison Weir, Images courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection.

by reading his ‘Preface’ to the new book: “By selecting the biography of another animal from the Archives of Caneville, for the entertainment of a very different race, I thought I could not do better than fix upon ‘The Cat;’ and as the celebrated Miss Minette Gattina, the historian of poor Job, had bequeathed some of her own memoirs to her native City, furnished too, with an Introduction by herself, I at once seized upon the materials thus afforded me, and converted them into their present form. I know not whether they will enjoy the same favour which the Public has deigned to accord to the veracious story of ‘A Bear,’ or the simple ‘Adventures of a Dog.’. Time will show whether these true memoirs will be as attractive to youthful

youthful readers as the other tales of the feline race, from time immemorial such standard favourites; whether they will have even a chance of success, after the story of that strong-minded Puss, who trod down the ignorant, and made her own and master’s fortune in a pair of top boots; or that other famous tabby, so intimately associated with City annals and the name of Whittington, whose powers of leading her proprietor to wealth were no less remarkable. “I count as but of little moment the story of the ‘White Cat;’ for though it often charmed me in my days of romance, when the world seemed all bright and beautiful, and the Golden Age appeared no marvel, I have been since angry with

‘Bon Voyage’ and ‘Wandering Minstrels’ Illustrations from ‘The Adventures of a Cat – And a Fine Cat Too’ Illustrations by Harrison Weir, Images courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection.

with myself at my admiration, as though charmed under false pretences, seeing that the said ‘White Cat’ was no Puss at all, but a very free and easy young lady in disguise. “My Canville Pussy is at least a true one. From the respect in which she appears to have been held in her place of borth, and from the attention which seems to have been bestowed upon her by most of the great animals of Caneville, there is every reason to believe that the scenes she describes were real; for it was a weakness of the Dons in that famous City only to grant favour where it was merited, and never to associate with those whose moral character was not above suspicion. “With these preliminary remarks, I leave Miss Minette

Minette to tell her own story. That no one more capable of doing so may be judged from the fact that is was a customary thing with her to relate it to a crowd of admiring listeners, whom the fame of her beauty, adventures, and with attracted to her dwelling; and though the comments which were made and the questions asked by one or other of the auditory, made the narration on such occasions a rather lengthy one, the written memoirs, from which this tale has been translated, may be considered the pith, the marrow, as it were, of her ‘household narrative.” (Ed: Our readers access the story text online at: The adventures of a cat, and a fine cat too! : Alfred Elwes : Free Download, Borrow, and Streaming : Internet Archive

‘AND A FINE CAT TOO’ - illustration from ‘The Adventures of a Cat – And a Fine Cat Too’ (1857) Illustration by Harrison Weir, Engraved by John Greenaway. Images courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection.

ALFRED THOMAS ELWES This is probably an appropriate point at which to throw light on to whom the second Alfred Elwes was, especially in relation to Harrison Weir. Alfred T. Elwes was a 19th century artist and natural history illustrator born in 1841, who, like Weir, worked as a contributing draughtsman for The Illustrated London News , The Graphic, and The Illustrated Sporing and Dramatic News. If some of these images appear familiar to you, it is probably because Elwes was instrumental in illustrating

the creation of illustrations of exhibits at cat shows, including the one opposite, of cats that were entered in the Crystal Palace Cat Show of 1881, in this case, published in the ‘Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News’, or like the signed image shown bottom left, drawn in a style which is remarkably reminiscent of the work of Harrison Weir, and which appeared in a children’s book, entitled ‘The Cat Picture book’ published in 1879. Although 17 years younger than Weir, they would have rubbed shoulders often at the offices of these periodicals. They would have also frequented the same circle of publishers, both acting as an additional optional resource whenever needed, to create images related to natural history subjects. When Irish educationalist Vere Foster approached Weir to create illustrations for his series of Drawing Books for use in Schools, he also did the same with Alfred T. Elwes, the cover of the one number ‘O7’ in a series of Animals in which both artists participated. In this case, the cover cat seen washing his face is drawn by by Elwes. When it comes to Cat Shows, if Weir was unavailable to cover the event with his pencil, then Alfred T. Elwes was predominantly called upon to do so.

A White Longhaired Cat drawn by Alfred T. Elwes From ‘ The Cat Picture Book’ published in 1879.

Other such images in our collection include a full page image of cats at the 1879 Crystal Palace Show, published in the ‘Pictorial World,’ and two others from the 1884 1885, 1887 and 1890 shows respectively, published in the ‘Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News’,

Above: Exhibits at the Crystal Palace Cat Show of 1881, drawn by Elwes. Published in The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News.

Below: The Cover page to Vere Foster’s booklet numbered ‘O7’ in a series of Drawing Books‘ for Schools. (aka. ‘Copy Books’), the Cat being drawn by Elwes. Published by Blackie & Son Ltd, Circa 1860’s / 1870’s Images: courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

The Harrison Weir Collection’s Cat Art by the ‘Father of the Cat Fancy’ Although the mission of The Harrison Weir Collection includes collecting all material considered relevant to the life and work of the ‘Father of the Cat Fancy,’ it is of course a very special day when we uncover new original drawings or period prints of cats, created by the artist, that are less commonplace. The oldest image of a cat in the collection currently is that which appears in an original watercolour, (shown below left), which features a cat lapping spilt milk from the cobblestones next to a wooden milk pail, signed and dated 1846, when Weir was just 24. The next is a book plate image, one of several, (shown above opposite) which appear in a book entitled ‘Tales of Catland’. This image is captioned ‘Friskarina meets Tibb’, published in 1850. This edition is hand-coloured making it a more interesting period piece. Two recent additions include a copy of the book ‘Domestic Pets’ by Mrs. Loudon, which contains four images by Weir, the one shown (above left) being a favourite of mine, as it is a bookplate image showing four cats taking advantage of heat from a fire a hearth fire, published in 1851. Lastly, another recent addition is the book plate image of the colour distribution on both a tortie and a calico, from the French publication ‘Chasse et Peche’ dated 1887. This piece is of interest because it predates his book ‘Our Cats’ published in 1889, in which appears similarly styled drawings, none of which have been hand-coloured. Needless to say - our searching continues!

recent finds… Book Plates

‘Le Chat Couleur Ecaille de Tortue’ - Book Plate, from ‘Chasse et Peche’ Acclimatation et Elevage. Image: Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection


FACTFILE Pet name: Breed:

Norwegian Forest Cat


Brown Classic Tabby & White

Date of Birth: Sire:

April 2, 2018

Featherland Ropes

Dam: GC RW Featherland Tinuviel Breeder: Michael-Lorraine Shelton Owners:



Andrea Cobb-Michael Shelton

2018-2019 2018-2019 2018-2019 Jan 5, 2019 2018-2019 Oct 3, 2020 2020-2021 2020-2021 2020-2021

CFA 4TH Best Kitten CFA Southern Region Best of Breed CFA Kitten CFA 20th Best Kitten Nationally CFA Grand Champion 21st Best Cat, CFA Southern Region TICA Supreme Grand Champion Alter TICA 5th Best Alter Best of Breed CFA Premiership Best of Breed TICA Premiership

MARTIN’S STORY The following is a precis of an interview with Martin’s co-owner and caretaker, Andrea Cobb: Editor:

So, when did your love affair with the Norwegian Forest Cat begin?


I’ve loved Norwegian Forest Cats for over 10 years. In 2013, I acquired a Brown Tabby and White boy named ‘Walker’ from an acquaintance. It was love at first sight. Walker was with me until 2018, when he passed from liver lymphoma.


That must have been hard for you.


It was, I was devastated. Unbeknownst to me, Lorraine and Michael Shelton put me onto their waitlist for another kitten and almost a year later I received a text…


That must have been a surprise.


Yes, but there is quite a story behind it. Martin was born April 4th, 2018. His story really began in May 2018 with a message from Lorraine Shelton, with baby pictures attached. She basically asked me what I thought, and I said. ‘I want!’ Over the next couple of months she kept me updated with pictures, and needless to say, I was truly smitten!

Above: Martin next to mothers back leg (2 weeks) Below: Martin (right) aged 8 weeks. Photos: Lorraine Shelton

Above left: ‘Martin’ (centre) with litter siblings at aged 8 weeks. Above right: ‘Martin’ at 12 weeks, starting to show the promise of what was to come. Photos: courtesy of Lorraine Shelton


So, when did you finally get him?


Not as soon as I had hoped. He was originally coming over to Georgia in September of 2018, because at that time, Lorraine was planning to come over to the TICA Annual, which was being held in Birmingham, Alabama. Then, on the weekend of August 11th, Michael took Martin to his first kitten show, (at the Poppy State Cat Club). Martin did so well there, that Michael called me on the Monday, asking if they could keep him for a while, to run him for a National Win in CFA.

‘FEATHERLAND MARTIN’ at 12 weeks, Already sporting a truly exceptional profile! Photo: Lorraine Shelton


How did you feel about that?


Naturally I was disappointed, as I was looking to Martin coming to me, but how could I say no? There were not enough shows for me to give it a try.

‘Martin’ being assessed by CFA Judge Brian Moser’ at the Hemet Cat Fanciers Show in California. Photo: Lorraine Shelton.


What transpired then?


I sure did.


Martin was already doing very well in his kitten career. In October 2018, at the CFA International Cat Show, I finally got to meet Martin, and to show him, while Michael clerked.

On the weekend of November 3rd, he was exhibited at the Cotton States Cat Club show. This was the show from where I finally got to take Martin home.


You must have thoroughly enjoyed doing that!

It was bitter-sweet, as I knew how much Michael loved him.

Left: TICA Judge Peter Vonwanterghem assessing Martin’s profile in the ring at the CFA International Show. Right: creating a caricature portrait of Martin at the CFA International Show in Cleveland, Ohio. Photos: Lorraine Shelton.


What happened after that?


So nothing to worry about…


Martin’s kitten career continued for two more shows, then it was time to run with the big kitties!


Absolutely not! As Martin went on to make all the finals on the second day!

By the end of the CFA Show Season, Martin had achieved 4th Best Kitten in the CFA Southern Region, and 20th Best Kitten Nationally.


Where did he end up by the end of his first adult season?


For the 2018-2019 Show season he was CFA Southern Region’s 21st Best Cat.


What was the next event on his calendar of events?


Editor: Andrea:

Quite an achievement! And how did his adult career begin? At the Nashville Cat Club Show on the weekend of December 29, 2018, on his first adult outing he gained 117 Grand Points. Almost half way there!


You must have been delighted!

In July 2019, Martin was sent to Ohio on a date. But he and his betrothed were only interested in playing, so after three months he came home.


It was certainly encouraging! His next outing was the Absolutely Abyssinians Cat Club Show on January 5, 2019. Martin succeeded in granding on the first day.

Sadly, due to severe illness in my family, I could not arrange more play dates. Then if that were not enough, in March 2020, a family death and Covid 19 followed.




A month later, Martin started to feel like he was a boy after all. The timing was just not right, so I made the very difficult decision that he should be neutered.


I can only imagine how hard that a decision of that magnitude would have been to make. So, what took place after that?


In August of 2020, TICA Shows once again began to open up. In September 2020 Martin went to his first TICA show as an Alter, at the Cattyshack Cats event, and despite having competition from within his breed, he did very well. Two weeks later, at the Skyways Cat Club show, Martin was second highest scoring Alter in show, so I took a look at the calendar and decided to give an International Win a shot!


Good for you! How did he go?


Martin went to 11 shows and was consistently placed in the top ten. For the most part we stayed in the Southeast Region, but we did fly to Texas three times. In the meantime, another NFC was coming very close to passing Martin, but I was not going to let that happen. A breed win was very important to me. By the middle of March we were both tired, so I took a long look at the Standings/Points and decided that Martin was probably safe for his International Win.


Oh well done Martin! tid-bits can you now about Martin the cat about his character personality traits?

So what tell me himself, and his



Martin is truly one of the most ‘easygoing’ and lovable cats I have ever had the pleasure of ‘owning’. He loves his cat brothers and sisters and is kind of ‘the leader of the pack’. Underneath that beautiful and calm exterior is a rascal who really enjoys pestering his Jbob sister, M.J. Despite this, they are best buds. But spending time with Mommy at the shows and hotel rooms is his most favourite pastime


(If the photograph of them together here is not proof enough of that, I don’t know what is!)

Sincere thanks to Andrea Cobb for her time and to the photographers, Helmi Flick and Lorraine Shelton for allowing us to present their photos.



DR. CHARLES DARWIN – author of ‘The Origin of Species’ Portrait Illustration from ‘The Illustrated London News’ March 1, 1871. Cropped from an original full-page image in the Harrison Weir Collection. Backgrounds © www.




‘Early Links between Cat Fanciers and Dr. Charles Darwin’

INTRODUCTION When we think of Mr. Charles Darwin, we immediately think of his famous work as a naturalist, geologist and biologist, and his theories surrounding evolution, natural selection and his ground-breaking treatises on them. The last thing that would occur to us, is that he would share any interest in cats or cat breeding, but in fact, nothing could be further from the truth. I well recall a meeting I had with feline geneticist Dr. Leslie Lyons when she visited New Zealand in 2014, as a guest speaker at the World Cat Congress held in Auckland, on her most recent work in her specialist field. As a historian, I had also been invited to speak on feline history on the same day, and after we had both completed our speaking engagements we got into a conversation about how history could support science and science support history. A part of that discussion was that we were both interested in Charles Darwin and his connections to the world of cats, Dr. Lyons asking me to dig up whatever I could on the topic, as she was keen to pass any historical references on to her students.

Dr. Lyons was genuinely surprised when I mentioned to her that Darwin was well-known to Harrison Weir, (who was a hobby Ornithologist), his brother John Jenner Weir (an Entymologist), and had in fact attended cat shows, and had made a personal visit to Harrison Weir’s residence at ‘Weirleigh’ in Kent in order to buy pigeons from Weir, to supplement his stock for his own pigeon-breeding program. As a result of our discussion, I agreed to look up references to Darwin’s involvement with the Weir brothers, and specifically, any links to cat shows and send these on to her, which I duly did. But there were other somewhat more obtuse connections between Darwin and the cat fancy which were less direct. One of these was his working relationship with Lady Dorothy Nevill, who was, to be fair, rather more than a hobby gardener on her huge estate, at Dangstein near Petersfield and Midhurst in Sussex. Lady Dorothy was a collector and cultivator of rare plant specimens, but she also had amassed an eclectic array of rare animals, among them, some of the earliest Siamese cats to be imported into England.

DARWIN’S HOUSE AT DOWN, NEAR BECKENHAM, KENT. Image: The Illustrated London News, Dec.10, 1887. Courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection.

There was in fact, a handful of links between these naturalists and others, like Tegetmeier, a poultry expert and biologist, the Weir brothers, Sir William Hooker, and his son, later Sir Joseph Hooker of Kew Gardens in London, and Lady Dorothy Nevill. The common denominator to all, was in the person of Harrison Weir. Weir had known Lady Dorothy since the late 1840’s when he was illustrating the race meets for the Illustrated London News. She attended with her father, the Earl of Orford, and husband; her father being an avid follower of ‘the track’ who not only owned race horses but also bet on them rather heavily. His son-in-law, Reginald Nevill, although a partner in a horse, was more circumspect and much more careful with his money. Lady Dorothy had been gifted some pigeons from Weir for her estate at Dangstein, and in her memoirs relates the following humorous anecdote: -

“Mr. Harrison Weir, besides being an excellent artist, possessed a very considerable knowledge of natural history. The keeping of pigeons was one of his special hobbies. He once gave me some, but carelessly enough, after confiding them to the charge of the head gardener, I paid little further attention to them. A week or so later Mr. Harrison Weir came to pay us a visit, and on his arrival inquired: ‘Well, how are the pigeons I sent you?’ ‘Quite well,’ said I, ‘as happy as the day is long.’ To which he rejoined, ‘I know they are, for three days ago they all came back to their old home in my garden, and have remained there ever since.’ “Mr. Weir made the most delightful sepia sketches, and amongst my treasures I especially value the portrait of a lovely Siamese cat he painted for me. He was also a proficient in the art of portraying wild Nature,

whilst in sketching birds, his talent has never since been equalled.” It was in fact, pigeons that brought together, Mr. Charles Darwin, both Harrison and John Jenner Weir and Mr. William Tegetmeier, the latter three all being members of the Philoperisteron Society. It appears that Darwin may have became interested in breeding Pigeons after observing common foraging for oats from split horse feeds. Later, when reading about a Pigeon show and seeing the range of fancy birds that breeders had produced, it seems probable that he conceived the idea of the possibility that fancy pigeons may have all descended from the common pigeon known as ‘Columbia Livia’ or the Rock Dove. He is known to have been encouraged by the well-known ornithologist, William Yarrell, to attempt to prove that theory. He began reading as much as he could about Fancy Pigeons and Pigeon breeding, and soon after he began to think about how to set up and acquire stock. He also then set about commissioning a local Downe carpenter, John Lewis, to build a Pigeon loft, designed to a proven specifications suitable for breeding birds, which included 3 foot wide by 20 inches by 18 inches breeding boxes, duly arranged four high all around the walls, and a large 9 foot aviary or flight on the side to allow the birds to exercise and/or be observed. Knowing that he had much to learn about the breeds and varieties, he wrote to a selection of naturalists and zoologists asking them questions. One of these was the poultry and pigeon expert William Bernhardt Tegetmeier. His first pigeons were purchased from the reputable pigeon dealer John Baily and included a pair o

Mr. Darwin’s theory demonstrated by his pigeons. The Illustrated London News, Dec 10, 1887. Drawn by Alfred T. Elwes.

a pair of Pouters and a pair of Fantails. At the popular annual Anerley Show, he was finally introduced to Tegetmeier by William Yarrell, and at a meeting of the Philoperisteron Society in November 1855. It is probable that he would have also met both Harrison and John Jenner Weir at either of these events, as Harrison was a regular exhibitor/prize-winner. Both the Weir brothers had raised pigeons since boyhood. In fact, Weir won the prize for the best pens of Toys (pigeons) at Anerley, a year later, in 1856.

FANTAIL PIGEON, DRAWN FROM LIFE BY HARRISON WEIR, 1861 Published on the cover of ‘Band of Hope Review’, September 1863 Image courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection.

SILVER TANKARD WON BY HARRISON WEIR ESQ, FOR THE 4 BEST PENS OF TOYS (PIGEONS)AT THE ANERLEY SHOW, 1856 This trophy was later renamed in honour of Weir’s brother, as the John Jenner Weir Tankard in 1894. Photos by Tom Reeves. Courtesy of the Lewes Town Council.

By this time Darwin had already built two pigeon houses and produced progeny from a selection of the breed varieties, including Fantails, Pouters, Runts, Jacobins, Barbs, Dragoons, Swallows, and Almond Tumblers. In October, he had also been elected as a member of the Society.

In this letter he informs Tegetmeier that Weir had already supplied Runts to a dealer in London that were due to be sold on the Tuesday, so he asks Tegetmeier to purchase a pair, or at least one for a proposed fee range and to ship them to him.

It should be noted, that he was now also in semiregular correspondence with Tegetmeier and later also with the Weir Brothers, most notably with John Jenner Weir. His correspondence has for some years now been collected by the University of Cambridge under the Darwin Correspondence project, which remains ongoing.

From a speech given by Darwin’s great great grandson Randall Keynes in 1997, we find an anecdote quoted from Darwin, that explained the immense value that Darwin placed on the practical experience of his naturalist breeder friends, especially those numbered amongst the membership of the Philoperisteron Society, to make an important scientific point about cross-breeding and inheritance. He quotes: -

A letter from Darwin to Tegetmeier dated as early as March 15th 1856, includes a statement from Darwin that he had in fact visited Harrison Weir at his home the day before, presumably to enquire about obtaining additional bloodstock.

“I sat one evening in a gin-palace in the Borough (in South London) amongst a set of pigeon fanciers, when it was hinted that Mr. Bult

Bult, crossed his Pouters with Runts to gain size; and if you had seen the solemn, mysterious and awful shakes of the head which all the fanciers gave at this scandalous proceeding, you would have recognised how little crossing has to do with improving breeds, and how dangerous for endless generations the process was. All this was brought home far more vividly (in that evening in the gin-palace) than by pages of mere statements.” The correspondence between Darwin and John Jenner Weir was more considerable and over a longer period. By April 1868, Darwin had even decided to create and maintain an index of the responses from Jenner Weir to his own letters. On April 18, he wrote to J. Jenner Weir stating almost wistfully: “I daresay, you hardly knew yourself how much curious information was lying in your mind till I began the severe pumping process.” Then in another response to J.J. Weir dated May 30th he added apologetically: “Heaven have mercy on you, for it is clear that I have none.” It should also probably be noted that Tegetmeier and Harrison Weir already had a significant working relationship due to their joint interest in Poultry. The two Weir brothers had been raising Poultry since childhood and both were in fact seasoned Poultry and cage-bird Judges, regularly officiating at shows, most notably at the annual Birmingham Show. Tegetmeier was also an expert on Bees and Pigeons (especially homing pigeons) and as Secretary of the Philoperisteron Society had quickly developed a working relationship with Charles Darwin in both disciplines.

Since 1851 and then notably in 1853, Harrison Weir had been engaged to illustrate a several books on Poultry, among them a large classic ‘The Poultry Book’ by Wingfield & Johnson. When the periodical ‘The Field’ began in 1853, both were engaged to contribute, Weir predominantly as an illustrator of natural history subjects, and Tegetmeier as a writer on Poultry. In 1854, Tegetmeier produced a book entitled ‘Profitable Poultry’ again, illustrated by Harrison Weir. The Wingfield and Johnson book became the Standard bearer on Poultry until another similar treatise of even greater magnitude and the same name was re-written by Tegetmeier, and published in 1867, using many of the original images by Weir from the Wingfield & Johnson edition. (Images above opposite). This was duly followed in 1868, by Tegetmeier’s own treatise on Pigeons, similarly illustrated by Harrison Weir. (Images below opposite). It could be argued that in fact, Tegetmeier and Weir were the two most knowledgeable men in England on these subjects. Hence, they were in relatively regular contact on the subjects over several decades. Hence when Weir founded Cat Shows, he of course, invited Tegetmeier to officiate at some of the early shows. It was over this approximately 15 year period that Darwin had developed his firm relationship with all these gentleman linked from the world of Poultry, Pigeons, Ornithology and Natural history between 1855 and 1869, when the bulk of his communication in writing with them took place.

DARWIN AT WORK IN HIS GREENHOUSE The Illustrated London News, Dec. 10, 1887. Image courtesy of The Harrison Weir Collection

We now return to the links between Lady Dorothy Nevill and Charles Darwin. As we have already established, her gardens at Dangstein, in Sussex were extensive, but the full extent of their content, and her interest in them are perhaps best summarised in a few quotes from ‘Exotic Groves’ (a Portrait of Lady Dorothy Nevill) , by her relative Guy Nevil, published in 1984. “Dorothy was a pioneer of the herbaceous border, long before Mrs. Earle, Miss Jekyll and Mr. Robinson made this kind of planting popular. From her childhood she had been whirled off to well-known seedsmen and nurseries by her father.” “Sir William Harcourt was never reconciled to Dorothy mispronouncing the Latin names of plants. He thought her look and charm enough wealth. ‘Nature has done more for you than science and the arts are likely to accomplish,’ he said to her. Nevertheless, in spite of such chauvinistic discouragement the gardens at Dangstein flourished, enveloping more and more forest. Thirty-four gardeners slaved away day and night scooping out dells, ponds, sunken lawns and terraces, planting magnolias, weeping holly, Wellingtonias, bamboos, pergolas and herbaceous borders. These were followed by elaborate orchid and fern houses, which, like Dangstein, required huge furnaces and shifts of stokers.” “…over the next four years the gardens expanded steadily. Progress was astonishing. Thirteen greenhouses shot up, together with peach houses, melon and cucumber pits and kitchen gardens planted with apples, pears, vines and plums fanning out over the sunny walls.”

“Friends would send Dorothy exotic crates full of strange creatures; mice, half-brown, half-white, that Dorothy said got up in the middle of the night and danced and danced; lion dogs from China, bred at Goodwood by the Duchess of Richmond; a Kurdish sheepdog sent from Turkey by her brother, Horace, which cost her £40 for its passge; a demoiselle crane dispatched from the Crimea by Sir John Mitchell which terrorised the chickens and ate their eggs; Siamese cats, a beautiful dun colour, specially bred by the King of Siam, so delicate they rarely survived long (although one of them, Mrs Poodles, lasted long enough for Dorothy to show her at the Crystal Palace and duly won the gold medal); and some storks which ate everything.” “In just four years Dorothy’s schemes achieved public recognition. Her gardens were noticed in the Gardeners Chronicle. Dorothy confided the glad tidings to Mary Anne Dsraeli and two days later they were even gladder. The notices has reached illustrious ears: ‘Sir William Hooker of Kew has written to propose himself to Dangstein. We are getting on well in the Botanical world.’ It was a great compliment that the seventy-year-old Master of Kew was prepared to make the arduous journey. In fact Hooker has already met Dorothy several times and escorted her round the Fern House and gardens at Kew.” “The Hookers (Ed: William and Joseph) loved the extraordinary establishment and were so impressed by the plants that they ordered many rare specimens for Kew.” “Recognition by the Gardener’s Chronicle, her friendship with the Hookers and her rare plants, particularly the orchids and insectivorous plants which were part of Dorothy’s serious research, bought

LADY DOROTHY NEVILL IN 1865 – Botanist, cat fancier and Cat Judge in December, 1871 Photo: from her memoir ‘Under Five Reigns’ published in 1910.

bought her in contact with the most famous botanists, scientists, geologists and explorers of the day: Huxley, the zoologist and man of science; Professor Richard Owen, anatomist and Superintendent of the Natural History Museum; Professor Mivart, the biologist; Sir Roderick Murchison, explorer and geologist; and even Darwin himself.”

“The correspondence resumed some years later, in 1874, when Darwin was investigating and preparing a work on insectivorous plants, sixteen years after his first observations.”

“In 1861 Darwin was preparing a book on the intercrossing of plants, the fertilisation of flowers by insects, using The Fertilisation of Orchids as his treatise. After observing the behaviour of fifteen genera of British orchids he turned to the great exotic tribes that ornamented tropical forests. But where could he obtain them? It was Dr. Lindley, the author, previously Assistant to Sir Joseph Banks and now Secretary of the Horticultural Society, who gae Darwin a letter of introduction to Dorothy. He wrote to Sir William Hooker.

“…Dr. Hooker has told me you would much like a plant of Dionaea. Alas, ours is too small to be of any use to you, but we have plants of Drosera Dichotoma and we could send you some of the different kinds of Sarracenia. I am sure we possess numerous plants which would interest you. Would you but come and see them.

“…Lindley from whom I asked for an orchid with a simple labellum has most kindly sent me a lot of what he marks rare and rarissima of peloric orchids, etc, but as they are dried I know not whether they will be of use. He has been most kind and suggested my writing to Lady D. Nevill who has responded in a wonderfully kind manner, and has sent me a lot of treasures.” “Darwin’s book on The Fertilisation of Orchids was finished in 1862 and had provided him with one of the finest of all test cases for the theory of evolution.” “In August 1864, Darwin had resumed investigating the digestive system and behaviour of the drosera and the Dionaea – an insect had only to touch one of these and the trap snapped shut ‘with a loud flap’, he observed.”

“Hooker spoke to Dorothy of Darwin’s need for specimens. Although frightened that Darwin might not take her seriously, she took up her pen:

“Darwin replied that he had never seen Drosera dichotoma and that he would very much like to make an examination of it. ‘I have so often heard of the beauty of the gardens at Dangstein,’ he wrote, ‘that I should much enjoy seeing them; but the state of my health prevents me from going anywhere.’ The drosera was duly despatched with full instructions for its maintenance.” “Dorothy then offered Darwin five small plants of Utricularia montana. He was most grateful for a fine specimen.” “On 18 September he wrote to Joseph Hooker excitedly. ‘I have had a splendid day’s work and must tell you about it. Lady Dorothy sent me a young plant of Utricularia Montana, which I fancy is the species you told me of… “On the same day he dashed off the news to Dangstein: “…the great solid bladder-like swelling almost on the surface is a wonderful object, but are not true bladders. Those I found on the roots near the

the surface, and down to a depth of two inches in the sand. They are as transparent as glass, from 1/20 to 1/100 of an inch in size, and hollow. They have all the important points of structure of the bladders of the floating English species, and I felt confident I should find captured prey. And so I have, to my delight in two bladders, with clear proof , that they had absorbed food from the decaying mass. For Utricularia is a carrion-feeder, and not strictly carnivorous like Drosera…”

may have made an appearance, as his interest in one of the exhibits that was duly recorded in one of the periodicals of the era, published July 22, 1871, in which was recorded this commentary: -

“Now shall you think me very greedy, if I say supposing the species is not very precious, and you have several, will you give me one more plant, and if so please send it to ‘Orpington Station, S.E.R., to be forwarded by foot messenger’. I have hardly ever enjoyed a day more in my life than I have this day’s work; and this I owe to your Ladyship’s great kindness…

Although this was the first polydactyl cat to make headlines in a show report, it would certainly not be the last, and although Darwin never did get to see Lady Dorothy’s Siamese cat, he nevertheless as a naturalist, did however lend his support to the principle of cat shows, knowing as he would have by then, that at least three or four of his most ardent supporters in the form of the Weir brothers, Tegetmeier and Lady Dorothy were themselves either cat judges and/or cat fanciers.

“It was all very gratifying that she was being so useful. Dorothy immediately dispatched another utricularia complete with bladders, but apparently bladders were not enough to tempt him so she tried a new line – in cats “I see in your interesting work of animals and plants on the cats you make no mention of the Siamese breed, of which I possess the only specimen. He is just like an otter with a brown fur coat and a beauty. I am not much in L. (London) during the winter and if you will do me the great pleasure of calling on me I would bring him up and show him to you. “But Darwin seemed to prefer bladders to cats:” But before these events had taken place, the first Crystal Palace Cat Show, organised by Harrison Weir had been inaugurated in July 1871, and on that momentous occasion, Darwin it appears make

“There was the extraordinary cat with seven claws – a strange monstrosity which has already attracted the attention of Mr. Darwin – particularly when the fact must be recorded that that the seven-clawed cat is the mother of sevenclawed kittens, and there is no knowing when the wealth of claws will ultimately end”.

Evidence of that support is to be found in the list of Patrons published in the catalogue of the 1873 Birmingham National Cat Show, where the patrons included Lady Mildred Beresford Hope and The Honourable Lady Cust, both of whom had judged at the 2nd Crystal Palace Show of December 1871, and the author Mrs. S.C. Hall, who edited the book ‘Animal Sagacity’ published in 1868, the animal illustrations for which, had come from the pencil of Harrison Weir. Another instance is to be found in an article about the Crystal Palace Cat Show, published in the Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News on October 16, 1875, from which is duly quoted: “The facile pencil of Mr. R.H. Moore has presented us with portraits of the chief prizewinners

Cropped image from a page of the Catalogue for the 1873 Birmingham National Cat Show Featuring the name of Charles Darwin Esq. F.R.S. F.Z.S. in the list of Patrons.

PRIZE CATS EXHIBITED AT THE CRYSTAL PALACE CAT SHOW, 1875 Patrons noted for this show included both Lady Dorothy Nevill and Mr. Charles Darwin. Image: from ‘The Illustrated Sporting and Dramatic News’, October 16, 1875. Drawn by R.H. Moore. Archives of The Harrison Weir Collection.

Winners at the Crystal Palace Cat Show, held on the 5th, 6th, and 7th of this month. It is probably owing to the exertions of Mr. Wilson of the Natural History department of the Crystal Palace, that this feline exhibition has been so firmly established that we now look upon the Cat Show as an annual fixture. The judges this year were Mr. Harrison Weir, Dr. Gordon Stables R.N., and Mr. J.J. Weir, whilst Lady Dorothy Neville (sic) and Mr. Charles Darwin were among the patrons. It is not known whether it is in pursuance of his researches as to the “origin of species” that Mr. Darwin is studying the cat, and whether the philosopher intends in a forthcoming volume to demonstrate that man, or rather, woman – is descended from a tabby, no matter what fundamental objection may be taken to his theory. Certain it is, however, that Mr. Darwin’s patronage of the Cat Show, was a well-merited honour. There were 323 cats exhibited; and not a few were really splendid creatures. A glance at the specimens illustrated will prove this.”

presented Dorothy with an autographed copy. She wrote in reply: -

Just months prior to the aforementioned cat show, Darwin latest work was published. Guy Nevill again provides us with a fitting explanation of its contents and of Darwin’s gratitude for Dorothy’s part in providing assistance from his book ‘Exotic Groves’: -

Thus we have shown connections between the cat lovers/cat fanciers of the mid to 19th century to Darwin’s peripheral interest in cats through his interests in plants and pigeons, supported by his correspondence and records from the lives of those with interests aligned with his own.

“Darwin’s work was published in July 1875 just after Dorothy’s visit, revealing the important discovery that a plant should secrete when properly excited a fluid containing an acid and ferment, closely analogous to the digestive fluid of an animal, and proving that the higher species of insectivore plants subsisting by such diversified means are admirably adapted for capturing aquatic or terrestrial animals. Darwin

“How seldom things in this world dovetail so nicely – A wet day and the receipt of your interesting book was however all I could wish. I have been reading the Droseras with the greatest attention and am going thoroughly to digest every part. “Although he never did get to Dangstein Darwin paid Dorothy several visit to Charles Street and their researches continued into the nastiness of vegetable matter. Specimens of orchids, earthworms, vegetable snails and bladders, packed in Wardian cases, streamed from Dangstein to Down, where Darwin was engaged in researching for a large edition of his ‘Fertilisation of Orchids’, and a work on the ‘Formation of Vegetable Mould through the Action of Worms and the Power of Movements in Plants’, experimenting with seedlings representing the whole plant kingdom dispatched from Kew, South America and Dangstein.

References: 1. Exotic Groves – by Guy Nevill, 1984 2. Reminiscences of Lady Dorothy Nevill – by her,1906. 3. Catalogue of the National Cat Show, Birmingham 1873. 4. Under Five Reigns – by Dorothy Nevill, 1910. 5. The Poultry Book – by W. B. Tegetmeier, 1867. 6. Pigeons – by W.B. Tegetmeir, 1868. 7. The Illustrated London News, Dec.10, 1887. & Mar.1871. 8. The Illustrated Sporting & Dramatic News, Oct.16, 1875. 9. The Band of Hope Review, September 1863. 10. The Lewes Town Council.






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Felis Historica - September 2021 Volume 2 Number 3  

An online cat magazine for all cat lovers.

Felis Historica - September 2021 Volume 2 Number 3  

An online cat magazine for all cat lovers.

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