It is hard to believe that this year's Annual Awards have come and gone again, and that we are already into what is shaping up to be a very competitive show season for our Siamese. Still, it will be hard to top the outstanding cats that we saw last year.
It was once again a record year for DMs. There were sixteen new DMs added to the more than one hundred already acknowledged in the Siamese breed. Five of these were male, and two of the males (Klinekatz Blue Chip of Jim-An-Di and Ch Crystabel Every Bit Domingo) were owned by the same couple, Bruce and Diane Alexy. The Alexys also DM'ed one of their own breeding, so they were very busy this year. The Geishagoll, McCataclan and Pattam catteries also contributed two each to our count. Congratulations to these breeders, and to all who achieved the title of Distinguished Merit for one of their cats this year. It is one of the most noteworthy titles that can be earned in the Cat Fancy.
It appears that the Southwest region was the place to be (or to avoid, if you don't like competition!) this year. Both the Best Kitten, GC RW Radja's Vishnu, bred and owned by Ron and Jane DeWilde, and the Best Cat, GC BW RW Bluskeyes Galaxy, bred and owned by Carolyn Wiles/Michael Segal, reside in this region. Although I have never had the privilege of seeing either cat, their pictures take your breath away. I don't know if they were ever in the same show, but if so that must have raised the blood pressure of a few judges. It would have been very difficult to choose between them. Galaxy in particular had a very good year, as she was also our third best kitten and the best bluepoint.
A couple of last year's winners were also back to claim awards this year. The best chocolate point and second best Siamese in championship was GC RW Ayuthaya Amoroso of Thaifong. "Rollo" was also the Best Kitten last year. His brother, GC RW Ayuthaya Aramis of Thaifong, a kitten winner last year also, is this year's best lilac point as well as fifth best cat.
We also welcome an older breeder back with her first Siamese Breed Council award. Georgia Headley, breeder of the most famous GC New Moon Eclipse of Rogers Hts., DM, is back with GC New Moon Northernette, Best Sealpoint and sixth best cat in championship. I am sure that we will be seeing more of Georgia and her lovely cats in the future.
And speaking of comebacks: This year's best cat in premiership is an old favorite. This beautiful lilacpoint neuter was brought back out at the age of three to add to his already impressive accomplishments. GC, GP RW CSA's General Stonewall Jackson, owned by Valere and Stephen Hull and Vickie Edwards, and affectionately known as "Baby Jack", granded in his first two shows in championship and then went on to be a regional winner. He repeated the same pattern in premiership, proving that Siamese don't necessarily fade in quality as they mature, some just get better!
I also want to take this opportunity to thank all of you who sponsored the awards, both the individuals and the clubs who contributed to the success of this year's Siamese Breakfast. And much thanks to Mary Kolencik, Kathy Baron and Kathy Loveland for all their hard work. Mary did a wonderful job coordinating the awards, getting them all ordered and delivered on time, and producing and printing the awards booklet. Kathy Baron was wonderful in working out the sponsorships and working with Mary to ensure that everything was done on time. Kathy Loveland created handmade chocolate decorations for all the tables. They were lovely! And, many thanks to both Kathys for saving the BC a lot of money by bringing all the awards to the Annual by car. We probably saved at least a hundred dollars in shipping expenses.
Congratulations again to all these winners, and to all the others who are listed in the awards section. And good luck to all of you who are attempting to join them at our next awards breakfast in Orlando. I am looking forward to seeing some very good Siamese this year.
This year the Breed Council was privileged to have a very informative talk presented by Dr. Alan Spiers, DVM, PhD, ACVIM (Cardiology) on Cardiomyopathy in Felines. Dr. Spiers gave a wonderful presentation on the disease, complete with a full explanation on the types of cardiomyopathy that occurred in cats, signs we could look for, and treatments that are available. The talk was well received and the highlight of the meeting. We also had a few people present from other breed councils who wished to learn more about the disease.
This is the first time the BC has attempted to have a professional speaker, and I would like to get your feedback on it. Dr. Spiers was excellent, and I believe everyone who attended the meeting was very impressed with both his presentation and his speaking qualities. I have heard from some who wish to try to engage a speaker of his quality for future BC meetings. However, there will be a cost involved. The total cost to have Dr. Spiers was about $500, including his room, transportation, audiovisual fee (charged by CFA), and speaking fee. Most of this was donated this year, but we can't count on that for future speakers. Having a speaker will involve raising this amount each year, and I need to hear from the BC on how we should attempt to do this. We could raise the money separately from the Awards Sponsorship, or we could increase the sponsorship amount to include the speaker's fee. Or someone else may have another idea. Please let me know your feelings on this, either by phone or email (518-762-1465, email@example.com) or letter (4 Byard Street, Johnstown, NY 12095). We do not have to confine ourselves to medical topics either. Allene Tartaglia is looking into the possibility of having someone from the Disney Corp. speak to us about feline animation next year. We could also have speakers on feline nutrition, grooming, cattery management, etc. The topics are only limited to your suggestions.
The Annual meeting itself was very quiet this year. All proposals were rejected by the delegation with the exception of the one allowing a cat who grands on Saturday to be transferred to grand on Sunday. This went to the Board in an advisory capacity. Two new Board members were elected: Annette Wilson and Jody Garrison. Both of these newly elected members have a conservative view of adding new breeds and a well informed perspective for existing breeds, so I believe that they will be a welcome addition to this Board.
Probably the most important thing to come out the meeting is the creation of the new database for tracking cats from other associations. While being touted as harmless and not a registry, it actually serves the purpose of tracking cats by their ancestors, just like a registry. It does give CFA the opportunity to collect the money that would otherwise go to another registry for a certified pedigree, by registering cats today in this database (and collecting a fee for doing this) that could qualify for CFA registry with a certified pedigree, and then allowing the offspring of these cats to be transferred to CFA status once they have been recorded the number of generations required. In other words, if a cat shown as a "Siamese" in Europe was recorded in this database, and all her/his offspring were also recorded for eight generations, and those generations met CFA requirements (all offspring came from breeding to CFA recognized Siamese parents), the offspring of that 8th generation would be a CFA Siamese, regardless of what was behind the original "Siamese" cat. CFA would have collected recording fees for the entire 8 generations, the breeders doing the recording would not find it necessary to go back to another association for a certified pedigree, and we would have no choice but to accept this cat into our registry.
On the surface this does not appear to be a bad thing. We already must accept any cat with a certified 8-generation pedigree, and we have no easy way of knowing what is behind that 8th generation. At least this way we have reference to the previous ancestry (assuming that CFA will also record this with the original cat), and can easily determine if this background is something that we would like to have added to our own lines. But what we are seeing is just the outline of a program. There certainly may be ways it can be abused, so we will need to be watchful. Those who have never supported the BC's position on not showing AOVs have heavily supported this recording system, and generally there is a reason for support coming from that direction. We should watch cautiously to see how this unfolds before giving it our blessing.
In other news, the Breast Cancer Auction was presented at the meeting, and people have been busy bidding on items for the past six weeks. The website is www.siameseresearch.com (many, many thanks to Rick Worster for putting up this site, and working on the bidding!!). We still have only raised about half the amount needed to get a matching grant from the Winn Foundation. I hope that everyone will take this opportunity to send a check to Betty White, or to bid on an item on the site. This is the first opportunity we have had to give to a cause that will specifically help our cats, and with the size of this Breed Council, we should have met the goal already. Each of you who have entered cat shows in the past year should contribute the amount of one entry fee (if you really want to help, consider staying home from one show and donating the amount you would have spent on entries, hotel, travel, and food), and each person who has sold pet Siamese kittens this past year should contribute 10% of the amount of one sale to this fund raising effort, at a minimum. I would also hope that those breeders who so freely use the genetics of the Siamese to maintain their own breeds (such as the Balinese, ORS, CPSH, Javanese) would also give back to the breed that has given them so much, and help us raise the money necessary to fund this research. There is still time to donate items to auction. Please contact Betty White for more information. A list of all donors (and bidders) will be published at the close of the auction. Don't let your name be missing from this list!!!
This year there was no nomination presented in time for the committee to vote on someone for the Lifetime Achievement Award. As a reminder, all nominations should be in by the end of February 2004, but they can be submitted to a committee member (Ellyn Honey, Virginia Wheeldon, Gloria Hoover) at any time prior to that date. For those who need a copy of the guidelines, they are posted on the website and can be printed (so ask a friend with a computer if you don't have one and need the guidelines).
I also want to remind you that the Breed Booth is available should a breed club wish to borrow it for their show. All you must do is pay for the shipping costs involved. Please contact Valere Hull if you are interested in using the Booth at an upcoming show.
For next year's Siamese Breed Council Awards Breakfast, Ron DeWilde has agreed to take over creating and printing the Awards Booklet (Mary Kolencik will be very busy helping with the Annual in her region), with help from Rick Worster if necessary. Sloane Wulf has agreed to take charge of the decorations for the breakfast. Kathy Baron and Kathy Loveland will continue to work on sponsorship and ordering the awards, with backup from Mary Kolencik.
As things will come up from time to time and the same people may not be able to be counted on every year, I think it would be a good idea to try to create a talent database of our Breed Council. If you have any special talents in any area -- computer, writing, fund raising, decorations -- please contact me.
Siamese Breed Council Secretary
4 Byard Street
Johnstown, NY 12095
518-762-1465, fax: 518-762-1406