So long, farewell, auf wiedersehen, goodbye, adieu, adieu...
As the well-known song from the Sound of Music goes...
Sadly, this is my last column as your Editor at OUR CATS because, as from 12th January, I am off to pastures new. Initially, I am off to work for a local publisher in Knutsford, which will mean I can walk to work and have a shorter working day. ‘Bone-shaker trains’ to and from Manchester leave a lot to be desired! In future, I will also have more time to write as a freelance veterinary journalist and I have one or two other plans in the pipeline.
Before I depart, I thought I’d share a bit about my journey into the Cat Fancy... I qualified as a veterinary nurse in 1974 and worked as a veterinary nurse until 2002. I started subscribing to ‘Fur & Feather’ in 1975 and then, in 1998 I started subscribing to OUR CATS when I began to show my cats again. Shortly after that, I met our MD, Vince Hogan, at a show and began writing a monthly column in OUR CATS called ‘Cats in the Consulting Room’.
When I first came to work at OUR CATS, it was with a view to helping Vince, but as he was away when I arrived, I began to assist Brian Doyle (OUR CATS much loved, legendary Editor) and I became Brian’s Assistant and last his Assistant Editor. Following Brian’s retirement in 2003, I took over as Editor. Since then, I have felt it an honour to be part of this historic journal.
The job of Editor has had many trials and tribulations along the way and the job has been a massive learning curve for me. Those trials have been overshadowed by the joys and triumphs I have been privileged to be a part of. I have not only gained new academic skills over the past four yours but also I have learnt much about the Cat Fancy.
The best part of the job, without a doubt, has been making so many new friends along the way. Everyone has been very kind and supportive to me, and many people have been only too happy to help when I needed advice. Thank you readers, judges, show managers, photographers, reporters et al!
Chris beside a cat mural painting as ‘Asia’ inside Disney’s Animal Kingdom, Orlando, Florida.
I would particularly like to thank John Shepherd, my friend and colleague, who sets every editorial page of OUR CATS and has been wonderfully patient with my demands! Jilly, Brian and Colin have willingly ‘fettled’ the photos and created wonderful artwork for the issues and annuals. Nick mays too has been a tower of strength, supplying news, photographs and reports. Of course, I couldn’t have done without the whole team at OUR CATS and OUR DOGS who together bring your your twice monthly issues. To you all - my sincere thanks.
I would like to reiterate some parting sentiments shared by both Brian Doyle and myself, that is - please remember the the Cat Fancy is a hobby. Be kind to one another and forgive generously. Be good losers and good sports, support one another and enjoy the pleasure that our beloved cats give us so freely.
Chris and Mickey Mouse pictured with her long suffering husband Mike (far left), daughter Anne-Marie and her boyfriend Tom at Disney’s Magic Kingdom, Orlando, Florida.
As a parting shot, I’m sharing a couple of my recent holiday (in Florida) snaps with you... I have lost four stones in weight since my ‘editorial photo’ (above) was taken and have been meaning to show you the ‘new’ me! If you would like to keep in touch, in future, on a personal level, my email is email@example.com
The team at OUR CATS will, of course, continue to produce your favourite cat newspaper, under the guidance of our well-known MD, Vince Hogan. Watch out for any future staff additions in the next few weeks. We still welcome reports and photographs from our hardy band of contributors who have been so supportive during my time at OUR CATS. Vince and I have already agreed that I shall still be involved doing some reports and stories from the shows and perhaps from the veterinary perspective as well. I will, of course, still meet up with many of you at the shows, so until then, adieu!
“This photo is of my grand-daughter, Bethan Hollandt, aged 7, stewarding for Mrs J. Ashman in the Persian Section at the National Cat Club Show in December.
“Bethan took her stewarding engagement very seriously and had soon managed the art of the disinfectant bottle and cleaning the table. She handled several of the cats for Janet and delivered the slips to the table in rapid time.
“At home Bethan and her family have a large Blue Persian, ‘Paddy’, and two BSH Cats, ‘Jigglypuff’, a Golden Tipped, and ‘Amber’, a Lilac Tortie, both of whom have been shown.
“Bethan is very interested in cat shows and loves to come along. Her only disappointment on the day at the National was that she didn’t have a stewarding badge, as this would have made her day.
“On the day, playing second steward and carrying out her orders was me, Brenda Hollandt, her Nan!
“A big thank you to Janet.”
Brenda Hollandt, Pridykats BSH
Crystal Clear National Championship Finals
National Cat Show - December 2005
IT WAS a privilege to be asked to judge the Final of the Crystal Clear Litter Pearls Household Pet Competition at the National Cat Show.
Olympia is such a good setting for the National Cat Show, and the Final was held on the main stage, attracting an audience from both the floor and balcony.
The two finalists were Billy Bean, a black male, and Duke, a red and white male.
Billy Bean had a wonderful coat, beautifully presented - deep dark eyes and a nice laid back character - a lovely pet cat.
Duke was also beautifully presented; his coat was stunning with great expression and eye. He was the cat who took centre stage and held it! I had not hesitation in awarding first prize to him.
Later in the afternoon I met Pam Potter who was delighted that her cat had won - a double delight because she was the proud owner of both finalists!
I would like to thank both Carol Pike (National Cat Club) and Angela Peacock of Crystal Clear Pet Products Ltd, for making this a most enjoyable day for me.
Mrs Lynda Ashmore’s report (OUR CATS, 16th December) for Northern Counties Show - AOV Foreign Premier Neuter - ref. ‘No Name’ - this cat is Leanne Knipe’s Brown Tonkinese (74) Jerrydancer Bellaboogie.
Mrs Dalton’s report on NWCC Show (OUR CATS, 16th December) Mrs Patterson’s cat is Polly and not (!) Potty!
Royal Canin Photos (OUR CATS, 30th December) - Gr Ch Sandiman William Wallace is owned by Nan Bond, and was bred by Mrs Sandi Brown-Percival.
Mr Gillson’s report (OUR CATS, 30th December) Kentish CS Show - Corcoran’s Pizzacata Viking is a (12a5) Red, White Bi-Colour, and not as stated, Blue & White.