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ViewPoint & Obituary

Early passes
ONE Club has come up with the idea of setting up a register on which they will note the reason and get the person concerned to sign.
This will provide an ongoing record and may make the none genuine think twice before they ask.
It seems a good idea, maybe other Clubs will follow suit?
Steve Musson


DNA testing
With reference to the articles in Our Cats, No. 1080, about the emotional cost of PKD testing. I know how devastating it is to have a favourite cat die of a hereditary disease. In my case it was HCM with IC Keoka Firestorm.

It is generally assumed that positives must be taken out of breeding and, in the case of HCM with an uncertain test, close relatives as well. DNA testing makes a difference and gives hope as kittens can now be tested.

I have been involved for some years in discussing testing and testing procedures and one topic comes up every time, and that is the damage to gene pools which can be caused by automatic or wholesale neutering.

We have DNA tests for PKD, GM in Korats and for one form of HCM, (possibly out of several different mutations) in Maine Coons. DNA tests make a difference because a kitten from a positive cat can now be tested and used as a replacement breeding cat instead of losing a valuable breeding line.

Most attempts to bring in a rule for making testing compulsory have failed world-wide. An exception is in Felis Britannica, where a carefully worded rule allows the breeding of a PKD positive Persian or Exotic to produce a replacement cat without losing a valuable line.

What was passed is that a Persian or Exotic kitten with a positive or untested parent is placed on the restricted register (ie non-active). With approval, a restricted kitten which tests negative can be derestricted. The difference a DNA test makes is that kittens can be tested and selected at an early age.

A rule of this type delays the final elimination of a hereditary disease by one generation, but is a great advance on no rule. We could have reduced the incidence of PKD from the worst affected breeds from 40% to nearly zero by 1997. A generally acceptable rule is preferable to no rule at all.
David Brinicombe, Secretary, FIFe Maine Coon Breed Council


Separate classes for Van & Bicolour Persians
I AM in favour of the Van and Bicolour Persians having their own classes. I feel the Bicolours are at a disadvantage to the Van exhibits in show.

The Vans have more white distribution than Bicolours, which should not be compared to Bicolours, as they have a higher percentage of colour.

One exhibit at a recent show had only a pencil streak of colour on the head... the rest completely white. How can this be considered fair competition for Bicolours?

I have noticed very large class sizes and a decline of Bicolours being shown because of the intermingling of Vans.

It may take some time for Vans and Bicolours to have their own class, but with perseverance they will be judged fairly when separated.
Miss L. Leicester


Change of address
LORNA and Ken Taylor and cats have moved to Ireland.
Our new address is 40 Mountain View, Myshall, Co. Carlow.
We have very much enjoyed our years of showing in the UK, and will miss our friends. We hope to return to shows from time to time and will be showing in Ireland (north and south).
Lorna Taylor


Apologies to National exhibitors
I MUST apologise to exhibitors, as I put my shopping bags and judges book down in the car park at Olympia and drove off without it!
I did realise what I had done, and returned to find it had all disappeared, and to date it has not been recovered by the car parking authorities.
Isobella Bangs, GCCF Judge


Breed enhancement?
WITH regard to the letters sent into ‘Viewpoint’ on the 4th November and 2nd December 2005. I felt a very strong need to put pen to paper.

I strongly agree with the letters written about our breeds changing.

I have only been showing and breeding the wonderful ‘Birman’ for the past three years, but previous to that I’ve been the proud owner of two Siamese for the last eight years.Whilst I love and adore the Siamese, I’ve never really taken a lot of notice of them at the shows until recently. I’ve always had a soft spot for the Siamese as my auntie used to own and breed them. Therefore, when I went to seek them out at the recent Lincolnshire CC and Supreme shows, I was totally shocked by what I saw.

They were nothing like the two Siamese I had back at home.
By personal choice I prefer the ‘Old Style Siamese’, and after talking to various people at the Supreme I was assured their personalities hadn’t changed. “Thank heavens for that”.

I only hope that in eight years time I don’t find the same thing has happened to the stunning and beautiful Birman.
Mrs C. D. Wardle


Mrs Betty Harrison
SHORTLY after judging at the Chester & North Wales Cat Club Show in August; having just finished writing her show report; my mother, Betty Harrison, suffered a major stroke.

The stroke was severe and initially she was not expected to survive but, true to form, she battled on and initially made a good recovery. Her first question when she regained consciousness was ask if she’d saved her show report and closed down her computer!

After a period in hospital, Betty came home but, unfortunately, the stroke has left her severely handicapped, requiring 24 hour care and as the weeks went by, it became obvious that we could not provide the degree of care she required.

My mother was due to go into respite care so that Mark and I could go on holiday following a visit to the registry office on 20 January, but, very reluctantly, and after much soul searching and advice from medical and care agencies, we have decided that for mother to receive the high degree of care she requires, it is necessary to make this a permanent arrangement, and so on 28 December 2005, Betty moved to St Michael’s Nursing Home, 53 marine Drive, Rhos-on-Sea, Colwyn Bay, Conwy LL28 4HS.

Betty has been very appreciative of the flowers and cards she has received from various clubs and many of her friends in the Cat Fancy. Mark and I are especially grateful for the support we have received and I’m sorry if I’ve not replied to the many people who have sent cards and messages, hopefully I will see some of you when I resume judging, but please accept our thanks.
John S. Harrison


Missing Standard of Points
DID anyone pick up my copy of the SOP book at the National Cat Club Show? It is a small red book and has my name on the cover. I would appreciate its safe return!
On another note, please accept my apology for omitting my name on my Caesarea report (it was published as ‘No Name’)!
Lesley Miles


Penning at the Supreme
BELLA Penning and Danko penned the cats at the Supreme Cat Show on 19th November 2005 and Bella Penning supplied the new penning drapes.
My apologies for omitting to mention the above in my Supreme Feature in the last issue of Our Cats.
Christine Stalker


Tonkinese Breed Show
I MADE an error in my write-up for the Tonkinese Breed Show Feature in Our Cats.
Mr Keith Scruton judged the Overall Best in Show and NOT Mr Trotter.
My apologies to all concerned.
Sue Amor


Awful atrocities
MY Christmas and New Year had me very deeply saddened and horrified by reports which I read in my newspaper (and almost a daily event) over the holiday period, of the atrocities carried out against innocent cats.

(1) Just before Christmas locally a cat was taken from her front garden, strangled with a skipping rope then thrown back into her hedge.

(2) A crisp packet put over a cat’s head and attached to her collar so she could not remove it. Found dead seven hours after she had gone out, and that was about midnight.

(3) A man deliberately and repeatedly drove his car over a cat. He was caught on CCTV and given a prison sentence of six weeks - suspended!

(4) A female cat of about one year found dead in a microwave. Three Men(?) were later arrested and her five poor babies are now being reared elsewhere until they are old enough to go to new homes.

(5) A cat blinded in both eyes by air gun pellets shot in each back leg, her tail and her jaw. Her owner said, I quote: ‘We think they must have held her down because none of the pellets hit her trunk. She was absolutely traumatised at first but she still climbs the fence outside and she can smell the birds and still tries to chase them’. The thugs who did this to Muppet have continued with their taunts as the owner of Muppet said, ‘one night we came home and found a bag of pellets on our doorstep’.

(6) Oh, and before all this, a woman who was scratched by her (daughter’s?) cat lost her temper and put the poor cat in the washing machine on a boil wash.

Pretty horrendous and traumatic reading, and the fact is that most perpetrators get away with these atrocities to carry on again. Apart from campaigning for far stiffer penalties (a man-size microwave, or very large washing machine comes to mind), I feel that in this present climate we must be even more vigilant to protect our companions. Today it seems that freedom has far too high and ultimate price to pay. It can be a big bad world out there. To stay at home is best and safest.
Judith F. Steels


Gill Venter
(formerly Gill Howe

WHEN my phone rang this morning and I saw Gill’s number, I picked it up in happy anticipation of what had become our twice yearly, but lengthy, chats... but no, it was the terribly sad news that Gill had passed away after a long and brave battle against her illness.

There will be many of you who probably never met Gill and her simply beautiful Coppins cats, as she gave up breeding and showing in recent years. This was due to her difficult and unhappy personal circumstances and then, at virtually the same time, and the unfairest blow of all, diagnosis of her illness; to say that she bore it all with a quiet courage and dignity is an understatement... but that was Gill.

A number of Gill’s cats have graced my home over the years and for that I am grateful; they have given me nothing but pleasure. For what I am far more grateful is the opportunity to have counted Gill as a friend. Not only would I have continued floundering without her invaluable help and advice with the cats, but on a more personal level through unsettled times of my own... she never judged or criticised, but was always there for me with her quiet, well thought out words and very often her humour; so dry, if you didn’t know Gill well, you’d miss it altogether!

I was somehow perversely pleased that she decided not to return to the cat fancy. To me it meant that, although still battling her illness, she had found new, more exciting things in her life. The last time I saw Gill was when Arron and I went to stay for a long weekend. Despite the surely appalling ravages upon mind, body and soul from her illness and the treatment she looked a picture, with a glow about her that only a new found love in your life can bring - and that is how I will remember her.

If anyone deserved to be loved and cherished it was Gill, after all she had gone through, and I am immensely happy that she found that with Chris, her husband, to whom we send our heartfelt condolences.
Denise Conway & Arron Chandler


Liz Wright
LIZ Wright, who died in December after a long fight against cancer, was a stalwart and loyal Member of the Burmese Cat Club. She was neither a breeder, nor an exhibitor, and was probably not very well known among members, but her contribution to the Club has been invaluable.

Liz was our Burmese Cat Club raffle organiser, and every year she would turn up at the show laden with prizes, and her own inimitable method of distributing them at the end. It was hard work which she undertook with patience, good humour and efficiency.

In monetary terms, her contribution could be reckoned in thousands of pounds, but we will also remember her open friendliness, her willingness to take on tasks and her quiet reliability. She will be missed.
Elisabeth Amies


Sheena Mauchline
THE Officers and Committee of the Red Point & Tortie Point Siamese Cat Club are all very sad to hear of Sheena’s death.

She was a cheerful and enthusiastic supporter of the Cat Fancy, whether showing her beloved cats to perfection, attending meetings, running highly successful raffles or judging household pets.

Despite her ill health, she was absolutely determined to honour her engagement to judge the Non Pedigrees at the 2005 Supreme - even putting off a hospital appointment to do so, typical Sheena fashion! Despite being in considerable pain, she thoroughly enjoyed her day.
We will all miss her dry Scottish wit and ‘no nonsense’ attitude a great deal.
Julia M. May, Hon Sec RP&TPSCC


THE Committee of the TPS&PBCC report with great sadness the death of our Chairman, Mrs Sheena Mauchline on 25 December 2005.

Sheena was a wonderful person, generous, kind and devoted to her cats. She was an extremely conscientious Officer and representative, caring deeply for the welfare of cats and for the many clubs for which she worked.

She loved showing her cats and had great success with her Siamese and Orientals. She also enjoyed judging household pets, and she was very proud to be invited to judge at the Supreme in 2004 and 2005.

Although she was already in great pain in November, she was determined to fulfil her engagement, and she enjoyed her day.

We shall miss her energy, enthusiasm and hard work, her strong character and, above all, her friendship.
Liz Mackenzie-Wood, Hon Secretary