Garden State Show

Wendy Rosfeld and I met Ruth Riley at the show Saturday morning. I had picked up Wendy at around 1PM Friday, and we were at the hotel in 2 hours/15 minutes. We checked in and they gave us a room so far from the elevator (despite my online request) I was panting like a dog when we finally got there. The keys didn’t work, so a housekeeper let us in. I called down for a room closer to the elevator and we waited over 30 minutes, but go a new room. We set up the cats, rested a few minutes, then went to the showhall to check in and set up our cages. Back in our hotel, we had supper- Wendy brought her cooler and I ordered nachos from room service- and the cats had a blast racing around, looking out the window at the people in the pool, and playing hide and seek. Curly was frightened at first, but was relaxed by morning. Tawny was bouncing around like a ping-pong ball and thought the pool view was better than a video. We all turned in early, as we had to be in the showhall by 9AM.
Setting up the cats with the sturdicages is a snap. Dray, however, pounds on the front of the cage and would overturn it if I didn’t lean on it. I brought Chico, for sale, but didn’t sell him. He spent the weekend mostly curled up asleep, in with Dray. Drummer shared with the two girls until Ruth arrrived with her sturdicage and then the girls shared her cage. Tawny put on a show all day!
It wasn’t until I saw Drummer at eye level on the judging table that I realized how “fluffy” he’s gotten! (He is now on a diet- no more scoffing up Trustee’s canned food!) He took red ribbons all day to Dray, who is in fine fettle. Dray split with Elaine Phillip’s boy, Payday, a 9-month old Chocolate Pt. Wanda Martin’s Grand Premier, owned by Claire and Bob Dubit made two finals. The competition at this show is fierce.
None of the kittens finalled that I know of; and I don’t know if Beth Cassely’s Grand did anything in championship. There was a very nice young man showing a kitten he bred from one of Sue Robbins’ females and his own male.

I got to talk to Norma Roy for a couple of minutes and saw a lot of friends, but we really didn’t have time for a lot of socializing during the show. Ruth went to spend Saturday evening with Fred. Saturday evening we had dinner with Robert Barrett, Barbar Baird and Barbara Levine. We got tipsy on just one drink each. We were all telling stories and laughing so hard other exhibitors were coming over to see what was happening! WE were the happening!

I ate too damn much and didn’t get enough sleep, so Sunday morning I was nauseous and had an Ambien hangover. I dozed at the cage sitting up for an hour and then was fine. Of course, the concrete floors in this 100,000 square foot showhall are a bitch on our aging bodies. We hurt like hell by the end of the day. The schedule was heavy on Saturday and lighter Sunday- 5 rings/3 rings- to get us out relatively early. We’d have been home before dark if it hadn’t been for traffic. We crawled across Staten Island and Brooklyn. By the time we got to Bellport- about 15 minutes from home- we’d been on the road over three hours and desperately needed a pit stop. We stopped at our favorite diner for the former and had a bite to eat. I dropped Wendy off and got home around 9:30; unloaded the truck; fed everybody; checked email; and turned out the light at around 10 or 11PM. Unfortunately, I woke up around 3AM, but went back to sleep about 4:45 and slept until Noon-ish. However, aside from a quick trip to library, post office and supermarket, I spent most of the day flat out!

The two Honeys were very well received. The judges were pleased to see a Mink and a Point, both with decent type and good eye color. Tawny’s eyes are small- she was a premie and her eyes hadn’t developed well; they took a long time to open; she is also light sensitive; but she put on such a show in every ring, she had everyone laughing and cheering for her! Curly was very much a lady, and handled nicely. Pam DelaBar said she was very happy to see the two Honeys, as she’d not seen them before where she usually judges. Joan Henderson said she was very excited to see them and loved them: she said that if she were judging them at an Australian show she’d have written them special certificates for outstanding color (which she described as absolutely perfect, including their eye color!) and type. She said she liked them much better than the “English” type Tonks. I was, of course, thrilled! But it was Walter Hutzler who, unexpectedly, put the icing on the cake. He discoursed for ten or fifteen minutes about how much he adores the color, how he does not understand why they were dropped from championship, he doesn’t understand the attitude of the Tonkinese people, that they belong in championship and we should absolutely keep showing them and so on…. he was so enthusiastic and emphatic, he made our day! I was so touched, I was nearly in tears.
Please note that Pam is President of the World Cat Congress and does many International shows: and she is a Siamese breeder. She recently moved from Texas to Finland. Joan is a prominent Australian judge. And Walter was also a prominent Siamese breeder.

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About shotokutonkinese

I've had cats all my life. All kinds of cats, domestic and pedigree. My involvement in the cat fancy started with breeding Siamese in the 1960's, but only became serious around 1970. Then, in the mid-Seventies, I chose to focus on Tonkinese, a naturally occurring fusion from Thailand that also gave us the Burmese breed. In 1979, I chartered Tonkinese Breed Association and led the march to bring Tonkinese to National recognition from 1978-79 to 1984, when the breed was finally granted Championship status in The Cat Fanciers' Association. Showing my cats and breeding the best gave me a lot of satisfaction for several years, but I decided that it was more important to revive interest in the cinnamon-gene Tonks- the Honeys and Fawns- which seemed to be disappearing in the competition for awards. While others concentrated on the Platinums, I worked with Champagnes until finally, about six years ago, a baby called Uno (Wyccats 1singulrsensashn of Shotoku) popped up in the litter of a friend to whom I'd given a lovely female. Uno was different from all my current Champagnes, so I had him DNA-tested at UCDavis. Uno was carrying the cinnamon gene! He was the foundation cat for the Honeys and (hopefully, soon) Fawns now happily running around my home and making beautiful babies. The Honeys were dropped from Championship status by the Tonkinese breed Council in the early Nineties, when a clique of controlling breeders decided to limit Tonk colors to Natural, Blue, Champagne and Platinum. I am working with a minority of other breeders to reinstate Honeys establish Fawns to Championship status in CFA. hope you'll enjoy meeting all my "kids" and coming along with us for the ride!

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