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BREEDERS PROFILE Conducted by Emma Matthews

Breeders Name: Joan Pounds

Prefix: Jomese

Breed: Siamese

My name is Joan Pounds and I have been breeding and showing Siamese for three years now, so am still very much a novice. I live in a busy household with my husband, three teenage sons, a Golden Retriever called Daisy and six adult Siamese. My kittens are always very well socialised and used to lots of attention and noise. I have been told that they usually walk in and take over their new home!

Before I started showing and breeding Siamese, I worked for many years in cat rescue, running our local Cats Protection branch for four years. My garden (and shed with heated beds and infra-red lamps) is still home to six, allegedly, feral cats, who arrived as exceedingly wild “teenagers” and who will have no truck with anyone other than me!

I have made some wonderful and long lasting friends through being involved with showing and breeding Siamese, and can’t imagine being without either my cats or those friends.

What attracted you to Siamese?
I have always loved the elegance and intelligence of Siamese and their love of piling into beds (heated, of course!) in one great big heap. I promised myself that when I slowed down with my active welfare work, I would treat myself to just one Siamese - and it went on from there.

In the year before I retired from running Cats Protection, I was called out to rescue what turned out to be a very elderly and very arthritic old Oriental cat who had been sitting, unmoving, on a shed roof for 24 hours in the depths of winter.

He was so cold and undernourished that he could barely move and after a prolonged stay at the vets, he came to live with me - extensive advertising not having produced an owner.

Honky (because of the awful noise he made) was only with me for ten months before his poor old heart gave up, but I truly and completely adored him. He was a very dignified old gentleman and so loving and trusting - and my spur to take the leap into Siamese ownership.

How did you get into showing?
Having attended the Supreme running a Cats Protection stall, I was immediately attracted to the atmosphere and the obvious pride the competitors had in their lovely cats. I never dreamt that one day I would be showing at the Supreme and, in fact, winning BOV Siamese Kitten two years running!

At my very first show I was approached by a lovely lady called Barbara Summers who made me feel very welcome and was a great help. She has been my mentor ever since and was trusting enough to sell me my beautiful Tikindi Infinitesse, who became BOV Siamese Kitten at the Supreme in 2005 and the mother of Gr Pr Jomese Jackthelad.

I soon became hooked on showing and love the chance to show off my cats and meet friends and just have a generally great day out.

How did you come up with your prefix?
Very simply - it is a combination of Joan and Siamese.

What has been your greatest moment so far?
I’m not sure whether it was winning BOV with Tess and Jack or winning the Royal Canin Best Siamese Exhibit and Breeder this year.

What has been your funniest moment so far?
Watching Jomese The Joker trash his pen at the Supreme because his public weren’t paying him enough attention! He deliberately put a paw in his water bowl and flicked water at whoever was passing and when that didn’t work he hooked it off completely and spilled it everywhere!

“Eric” does this at every show, if he doesn’t get the attention he thinks is due to him. He always plays to his audience and loves nothing more than to come out of his pen and meet people.
The other funniest moment also involves Eric and happened when I took him to have his photo taken. He had been waiting in his basket for quite a while and when it was our turn I lifted him out of his basket, holding him under his front legs with his body dangling.

Before I realised what was happening, he started to wee. I have never seen so much! It went all down me and created the hugest puddle you’ve ever seen on the floor. He just went on and on and on, with such a serious look on his face. Everyone in the room just collapsed with laughter and my ribs ached for ages, I laughed so much!

Do you have any breeding or showing tips?
With showing I would say remember that no matter how well or how badly you do, you ALWAYS take the best cat home. Sadly, there is a minority of people in the Cat Fancy who seem to take great pleasure in being nasty and bitchy and spreading horrible rumours. Don’t ever become part of that and just assept that everyone loses sometimes and accept that with good grace. Also, don’t forget that everyone was a first-timer once and offer all the help you can.

With breeding, rightly or wrongly, I decided from the beginning that I would always use the best possible stud cat, no matter how far it meant travelling. Be very, very careful who you sell your kittens to and try to keep in touch with new owners. I also believe that kittens should live as part of the family when they are with you and that every new owner deserves to have a confident little cat who will settle happily into his new home.