HORIZONTAL ear placement, in the opinion of many, is an anatomical deformity which bears some similarity to that of the Scottish Fold, that is, such ears can be detrimental to health and wellbeing.
Ears are essential for balance and acute hearing so, if abnormally large, flared, misplaced or deformed, the cat can be subjected to gross discomfort, both physical and emotional.
Tails also, used for balance, are often too long and whip-like, sadly, these defects are increasing. Brought to my attention are small heads, which appear to increase the size of the ears, elongated necks, narrow shoulders and big rumps, which throw the cat out of balance and totally destroy its beauty; disturbingly, such cats are frequently brought out for ‘Best in Show’, which misleads and confuses breeders and the general public alike.
I am saddened to see so many Siamese and Havanas with these defects, breeds which, years ago, were applauded for their grace and beauty.
As one of the first five breeders of the Havana (1952) - and the last remaining one! - I have, in my time, been accused of liking them too typey, but this was essential if they were not to clash with, or take the glory from the Burmese, so type was all important; unfortunately, over the years, the Siamese SOP has been changed and misinterpreted, and for some unexplained reason, the Havana has been “drawn into its net” - a cat in its own right - but not, in many cases, it is quite unlike the original concept; it has no place in the Siamese SOP!
Fortunately, there are those who are aware of what is so insidiously taking place and wish to rectify it before it is too late.
The “True” Havana has unique qualities which must be retained, and it should not be confused with the Oriental Self Chocolate whose multiple gene pool has changed many of its features. Beautiful as many of these Orientals are, they should not infiltrate the Havana lines.
Present day cats which could be role models
I have no knowledge of the breeding of Mrs Hurst’s Havana, Ch Toghar Mojita, as featured in OUR CATS, issue 1089 on 5 May 2006. Only her head was shown, and while her ears were very slightly on the large side, they were in perfect balance; also, she had the true “Havana expression” - a most lovely example, if her body conformed too - we would like to see more of this cat please.
An Oriental Blue (37a) - unfortunately only the head could be seen - was Premier Merrytail Gentleman Ted, bred by Miss Caney, he looked very lovely and in balance. In OUR CATS issue 1090, strikingly beautiful and perfectly balanced was a Caramel Tabby Point Siamese, Gr Ch & Gr Pr (3rd Imperial Grand) Metaxa Shanita, breeder Anne Clay. This lovely cat was a “joy to behold” and is most certainly role model material for Siamese and Orientals (OUR CATS, 1090).
Such cats lift the spirits - is this not what cat breeding is all about?
By JOAN JUDD, Crossways Siamese & Havanas