Over the years I’ve mentioned very little about myself. The subject has come up and I’ve been asked to fill everyone in, so here is my attempt to do so.
The background of the formation of The Traditional Cat Association, Inc. and my recognition and subsequent naming and defining of the three different types of “Siamese” in the world is often equated only with the beginnings of TCA, INC. But the depth of my knowledge and experience of animal breeding and husbandry is much more extensive. I grew up on our Wisconsin Dairy Farm, where breeding and keeping registry and performance records on our herd of Holsteins was a way of life and the source of our means of support. Our Farm had the top-producing herd in our county for 22 years straight, based upon monthly, Wisconsin State milk tests. Horseback riding has been a life long passion. I began around age 2, when my father put me on the broad backs of our work horse team. By age 5 I had my own pony and by age 8 I had my own palomino horse. Ginger was bred to an Arabian Stallion, so thus began my career in Arabian horses. My subsequent purchases of Arabians lead to a dedicated calling to the Arabian Show Circuit. If I wasn’t working, as a Service Rep for the telephone company, I was on the road with my Arabians. Training, managing, breeding and showing were all up to me. I drove the truck and horse trailer to and from show arenas in several States.
My years resulted in several Show Championships in both halter and Performance classes. On my roster of top awards is: Lady Gay Sun, the 1970 U.S. Reserve National Champion Part-Arabian Mare. I bred, trained and showed the Sire of Zarr-Hassan (Gazarr++ X Belleza), who won the titles of Canadian National Champion Stallion and U.S. Reserve National Champion Stallion in 1982. His sire, Gazarr++ (Gazon X Starr-Fire), the stallion I raised, went on to sire over 80 Show Champions. I raised 6 full brothers from his mother, Starr-Fire, who was a full sister to a U.S. National Champion Mare. The third generation of my breeding still romps around our pastures today, adding beauty and fun to our lives.
Over those years I bred (Traditional) Siamese and sold kittens. They were prevalent then. After John and I were married, which involved a major move to a different state, we began looking for a (Traditional) Siamese of our own. During 1985 and 1986 we searched through newspapers and word of mouth. Hoping the end of our quest could be found at a cat show, we attended one. It was at that cat show where I came face to face with the Extreme Wedge Siamese. The sign on the cage read “Siamese”, but what I saw was an absolute, indescribable shock. In my mind, what ever that thing was, it surely wasn’t a Siamese Cat! When I inquired about the Siamese Cat I knew in my youth, I was harshly insulted and rebuked. That un-called for sharp criticism set me on a determined coarse to find out what had happen to “MY SIAMESE”.
In two years we still hadn’t found a Traditional Siamese kitten for ourselves, so I wrote a letter to CATS Magazine, which was published. 19 breeders responded from all across the U.S. and Canada. We ultimately purchased “Appleseed Mi Serenity of Tullycrine” as a kitten from Laura Kelly in Florida. We were and still are very happy with “Serenity”. With such a small number of breeders responding, I knew the Siamese breed I knew was in trouble. The bloodline base was scattered and obviously small. I typed all 19 breeders addresses on one sheet of paper, sent it to all of them and asked them to get together and share bloodlines. I thought that was that. Such was not the case. Their responding letters and those from people asking for help finding the “Old Style” Siamese turned into a flood of correspondence. I like helping people and animals, so the Good Samaritan in me started sending out my “Breeders List” to all who asked for it. John began wondering if I was spending too much of our personal money, so I began accounts. The letters back and forth between me and those who wrote turned into our newsletter, and my accounts became our Treasurer’s Report.
To provide distinction and respect, I created the breed names, Traditional Siamese, and Classic Siamese (and Extreme Wedge Siamese) and wrote Breed Standards for the first two. This took considerable research to accomplish. The importance of what a Breed Standard is and how it is used, demanded that I be accurate, clear and thorough.
Currently TCA, INC. is the leading force behind the push to bring back the “Original”, “Old Style” Traditional Siamese and Classic Siamese. Over the years we have accepted other breeds that have the same difference in body type as the Traditional Siamese and Classic Siamese from the Extreme Wedge Siamese. Included are the “Traditional Balinese”, “Classic Balinese”, “Traditional Burmese”, “Classic Burmese” and others. Once again, I created the breed names and wrote their supporting breed standards. All together I’ve written over 30 breed standards and am still working on more to preserve and protect other Traditional Cats from near extinction.
There are so many breeds that have been harmed by the constant revisions of their breed standards by the other cat associations, and other negative actions. I had to take a stand against this onslaught. That is one of the main reasons we are here, and are so willing to work with others who support the same goals.
We have our own Registry, hold our own shows, have major advertising both on the web and in Magazines and have a highly sought Breeders List available to prospective customers.
Staying united has helped to keep our efforts an ever-stronger voice on behalf of the Traditional Cats. Their history, personality and glorious coloration deserve nothing less. (May 2002)