TCA History

The History of the Traditional Cat Association, Inc. Copyright 1987 TM

JANUARY 1999 

The history of the original cats of each main breed is available, stored away in old books and magazines in local libraries. The older the publication date the better the source is to support our position. Ample photos and descriptions are provided as proof that they came from their native origins with a body type that in many cases is completely different than the modern day versions. Tragically, there are very few cats left that are true representatives of the originals of their breed. This came about over the last 100 years due primarily to lack of support. Only those few who staunchly believed in the health and longevity of their chosen type, kept the faith in spite of fads and related persecution.

When I began looking for the old type of Siamese, I knew nothing of this. Even the term “apple head” was foreign to me. I bred Traditional  Siamese for several years at home on our Dairy Farm in Wisconsin.  When I married John, it was decided to leave my Traditional Siamese, female, Tanya, in the home she was born and raised in. In 1979 John and I began a search for a Traditional Siamese like Tanya, who I had left with my parents.  By then we were living in another State.  So my quest began with phone calls and reading newspaper ads.  No one close enough to us could be found, which caused our investigation to shift to the Traditional Burmese.  Unable to find a single Traditional Siamese, we purchased our first Traditional Burmese.  A second and third followed. Though the Burmese breed is so treasured by us, looking for a Traditional Siamese was on going. Every ad was followed up, but to no avail.

We intensified our search in 1980, which included attendance of two cat shows. What they were calling “Siamese” in the cages were nothing I recognized and the Persians were not even close to looking like the ones my Grandmother raised! What had happened? Why was I treated so badly, when I asked about the Traditional Siamese? I had to find answers. As a last attempt to find a Traditional Siamese for myself, I wrote to CATS Magazine. My letter was published and only 19 breeders came forward. With a lifetime of breeding, showing, training and owning Arabian horses to my credit, I knew the Traditional Siamese was in trouble and heading toward extinction. I typed the names and addresses of all 19 breeders on a sheet of paper and mailed it to each of them. I included a request of them to get together and save their breed. To tell the truth, I thought I had done my good deed and that was the end of it. Letters, phone calls and unsolicited donations began coming in. I was sending my Breeders List out to all wo asked for it. The trickle turned into a flood of requests. Our Kitten Referral Service was born? Progress reports were mailed out to the 19 breeders at my own expense. Thus our monthly Newsletter came into being. To my astonishment the whole thing has kept growing ever since, due to sheer public demand.

Below are just some of the thousands of letters that have been received, and one of our first Newsletters to those that cared enough to write to me back then. Click on the letters to enlarge.

One year later our By-Laws and Constitution were accepted by out ever-growing membership, under the name, “The Traditional Siamese Breeders and Fanciers Association, Inc. As in many of the older cat associations, the Traditional Siamese was the foundation of our group. Our kitten referral service is flourishing. Thousands of letters and phone calls have been received since our Inception! As news of our accomplishments spread, supporters of other Traditional types within their chosen breed began contacting me for help in saving what was left of their original cats. This occurred to such an extent that a vote was presented to our entire membership to change our Association name. To give support to ALL, old and now rare types of ALL breeds, our name was changed to. “The Traditional Cat Association, Inc.” (TCA, Inc.). And yes, we also support Household Pets.

Below is the article that appeared in the Johnson City Press back in May of 1988, attesting to the early days of the Traditional Cat Association, Inc.

Our motto: ‘To Protect, Preserve, Perpetuate and Promote The Traditional Cat”, that I created, is taken very seriously. Once accepted, Breed Standards are NEVER changed. Our Judges are thoroughly trained and policed by our own Committees. Thus we avoid the wide spread abuse of the term “improvement of the breed” that is followed by the other cat associations. Any deformity or genetic defect that is detrimental to the health of the cat is unwelcome here. We are interested ONLY in health, longevity, a lack of lethal genes, and a people loving personality in the breeds we support. By following the open-minded policy that there is room for all. We feel the Traditional cat has its rightful place among all others of its breed. Therefore we will continue, with firm resolve, to have our Traditional cats accepted worldwide. The persecution by the other cat associations has not stopped us in any way. Our Registry was begun for Traditional cats and Household Pets. Annual shows are being held toward Championship points. Our winners report that they are the best rewarded of all. We are well on our way to preserving what is left of the original cats. Our Breeders List contains breeders from through out the world. Currently I see only continued growth for this 15 year old Association. We have International Affiliates as well. I attribute this to good leadership, sound decisions, solid rules, honesty, high integrity, a desperate need to save the rare old types, and support by public demand. Never would I have thought that my longing for the Traditional Siamese cat I had in my youth would grow into all of this. The whole endeavor is very rewarding and exciting.

We invite all those moved to support our goal to join TCA, INC.  Membership is $15.00 annually (Jan through Dec).

CHECKS CAN BE MADE OUT TO TCA, INC.

The Traditional Cat Association, Inc.
PO Box 178
Heisson, WA 98622-0178 

Paypal for Membership can be sent to diana@traditionalcats.com


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