Our Cats Shop

BREEDER PROFILE Conducted by Marianne Brett

My early childhood was spent among the animals and fields of the agricultural areas of Surrey, Sussex and Suffolk, plus horses and dogs, but never cats. At age ten I would race off at 5.30am to help bring the Suffolk Punches down for their day’s work.

At 11, as well as equine activities, I gained my very own dog, a WFT with undocked tail; and new avenues were awakened. My later teenage years were in Essex and then on to nurse and midwifery education, etc., and ultimately onto the wards.


The first cat arrived unexpectedly in1978, an adorable marmalade boy, Gilbert Swithun, (guess his D.o.B.?) who sadly died at two-years-old.

Then came my own Cavaliers and Cady and the move to West Yorkshire in 1983. I have written a book on British Shorthairs and my creative writing often embraces mine and other animals. I am an Anglican reader and was a Nurse Tutor after my health took me from the bedside and eventually to an early retirement.

CADIFEE DOMNINA “Donna” with some of the Trufee dogs

Today, friends, the church family and children at the schools where I am governor know me as the one with at least one dog in the car and all those cats. Cat showing, of course, is good being usually on a Saturday - a great place too for the odd sermon anecdote!

I am struggling along to complete the Steward’s course, and also enjoy doing the odd show reportage and photography for Our Cats, especially in Northern Ireland and Eire. We love the Irish trips with a shortish drive to Birkenhead, overnight ferry with good food and a sleep either way, with which I can cope better physically, and then many helping hands across the water.

The cats seem content on the ferry and are well known among the deck hands. Among the many who have encouraged me along the feline pathway I must thank Pat Kidd, the Knapps (Kernmere) and Ursula Graves; Betty Dobbs & Margaret Baker (GCCFI) - but especially the late Doreen Watts and Roy Barraclough for their encouragement.

What attracted you to British Shorthairs?
I’m not 100% sure now: There was something about the BSH, and Cady had a similar conformation, so perhaps it was a natural progression. I had fallen in love with the clear classic tabby, noticeably the British silvers.


There is, of course, now one very special Gowlaren Exotic - a red tabby MN who has already added to our show successes and fits in well with us all.

How did you come up with your prefix?

The prefix was registered in 1989, and as with the Cavaliers affix (kennel name) it is near-enough the amalgamation of Cady, the pet name of the first cat I showed, and my initials CADI – FEE (Cadoca Magdalana, a Tabby & White HP)


For the Cavaliers it was Trudy, hence TRU-FEE (Magjen True Delight of Devonia)
How did you get into showing?

Having shown or handled ours, and others, dogs and horses on and off from childhood, an advertisement was seen for the 1981 Essex Show at a dog venue and another for a charity cat show in Wimbledon, so off I went with Cady to both events and the fascination and apparent fairness of it all just grew on from there.

What has been your greatest moment so far?

CADIFEE PATTIE PATCHWORK, the HP, “Pattie”. She was a CP rescue.

That’s a hard question - cat-wise, it’s seeing kittens born alive and well and enjoying their development remains precious. Then every special win, however small, or gaining a title is a thrill and I can’t truthfully separate one from the others. Perhaps seeing Cady on the ‘top table’ at the Supreme; Kiselle (Gr Ch & Gr Pr Kernmere Silver Lining) and puppy Maddy gaining Pet Plan photographic accolades and going on to show so well; Dotty (Gr Ch & Int Gr Pr Cadifee Dotsabracken) becoming my first home-bred kitten to gain titles. There have been the BOV and BIS days for several of my Cadifee cats, the HPs and Wee Georgie (Exotic) have added to these.

What has been your funniest moment so far?
Kiselle regularly sitting up in her show pen and seemingly clapping her front paws when her red and blue rosettes arrived. She was then apparently bemused at the Supreme!

Do you have any breeding or showing tips?
Remember we never stop learning and each animal is an individual. Well cared for cats have the best chance of healthy kittens and possible show accolades, but more significantly our animals may be among the companions for many people.

GOWLAREN IAMGARFIELD (70 19) “Georgie” after his first show

Showing is a hobby to enjoy and even so should be approached with serious preparation and only cats happy at shows should continue; because whatever happens on show days, we always bring our ‘best cat/s home.’